Three breweries that were part of a new summer festival in Brunswick have withdrawn over the involvement of a concert promoter who had been charged with domestic violence.

The decision was based on the brewery owners’ “zero tolerance policy for domestic and sexual abuse,” the owners said in a statement.

Late last week, the owners of Flight Deck Brewing, Moderation Brewing and Black Pug Brewing learned that Waterfront Concerts had become a sponsor of the “Taste of Summer” festival scheduled for June 22, according to the statement. The event is to be held at Brunswick Landing to celebrate all the commercial activity at the former Navy air base.

Alex Gray Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer

Waterfront Concerts is owned by Alex Gray, who pleaded guilty in October 2017 to domestic violence assault, although he denied hitting his girlfriend in an altercation that led to the charge. He was able to withdraw the plea and the charge was dropped a year later under an agreement with prosecutors.

Gray had signed a 22-point agreement with prosecutors, including a clause barring him from contacting his former girlfriend,  in return for the charges being dropped. Prosecutors said he followed the compact for the full year.

“The owner of Waterfront Concerts has a recent and publicly documented record of domestic abuse,” said the statement from the three brewery owners. “Each of our breweries have a zero tolerance policy for domestic and sexual abuse. As a result, as many other companies and communities have done, we choose not to be associated with, or do business with, Waterfront Concerts. We listen to, support and respect survivors.”

Nate Wildes, co-founder of Flight Deck Brewing, declined to comment beyond the statement. Calls to the other brewery owners were not returned.

Gray said Thursday evening that he will talk to festival director Amanda Cahoon to find out how she wants to handle the controversy.

Gray’s sponsorship consisted of providing the festival with tickets to upcoming concerts. Gray said he didn’t know what Cahoon planned to do with the tickets, but speculated they were either going to be raffled or given away.

“We don’t want this to adversely affect Amanda,“ he said. “We’re going to step back from this so it doesn’t hurt her.”

Gray also said he wasn’t surprised that his involvement proved controversial, although he did regret it. The allegations are “in my DNA forever,” he said.