Brewery asks on bottom of cans: 'Is Joe Flacco elite?'

In keeping up with one of the top rivalries in the NFL, a Massachusetts brewery playfully sent a couple of beers to the Baltimore Ravens' facility this week.

The cans are among the 12,000 that contain a special question on the bottom: "Is Joe Flacco elite?" It comes courtesy of Tree House Brewing Co., which proudly says that all employees are New England Patriots fans.

Andrew Pillsbury, a packaging line operator for the brewery, came up with the idea to put those four words around the date the beer was brewed. Flacco's eliteness has been an ongoing conversation in the football world and has taken on a life of its ow,n in recent years.

"I figured, let's open it up to our audience and let's see what they think," Pillsbury said.

During the past year, the elite debate with Flacco has appeared on T-shirts, has surfaced in a nationwide poll and became a question asked of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that a Pats-friendly brewery became the latest to poke fun at whether Flacco is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.

Dean Rohan, one of the co-founders of Tree House Brewing, said that a football question is part of the interview process at the brewery.

"We ask everyone if they are a Pats fan," Rohan said. "I know it's not legal, but you have to be a Pats fan to be here."

So does Tree House believe Flacco is elite?

"We go back and forth," Pillsbury said. "In the regular season, he doesn't look too elite. But sometimes he comes through there in the playoffs, and it gives us a little scare. But we got Tom Brady, so we're not really worried."

It is not the first time that a New England-based brewery has used the bottom of its cans for football-related messages. In 2015, Downeast Cider House printed "Free Tom Brady" on its cans as a response to Indiana's Sun King Brewing printing "Tom Brady Sux" on the bottom of theirs.