I agree to an extent. Business is business. But I also think part of the issue is the American idea that business isn't successful without constant growth. "Does every brewery have to distribute everywhere" is almost the same question as "Does every restaurant need to be a chain?" What's wrong with running a small business? If you got into it to expand 100x and then cash out, that's fine, but it's not my personal goal nor is it what I want in a local business.
I think this reflects my thoughts on the topic. My
biggest personal value is the personality and creativity of the 'mom & pop' brewer. If a family can make a decent living and provide employment to one or more people, that is wonderful. I'd be happy never drinking another beer from a publicly traded company.
I know that the downward pressure on beer prices, largely as a result of macro-breweries makes this very difficult. Perhaps it is right at the tipping point. The investment required to have a brewery that can provide the owners with enough income to raise a family is substantial.
But I also think that some of the tactics and language of the macro-brew world sounds a bit like desperation. For them it is like a slow death by 10,000 cuts. The simple fact is that even though they utterly dominate beer sales, their percentage is shrinking. And it continues to shrink despite buying the likes of Goose Island or 10 Barrel Brewing. This is failure in the corporate world.
The bottom line vis. the PourFool is that I think the blogger is feeling personally
betrayed. It was not just business. It is a weird fact that it is out of a loving relationship that the extremes of domestic violence can come. It is as though 10 Barrel Brewing is having an extramarital affair. As they say, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." I don't know the relationship that existed between them, the many conversations about shared values, and the symbiotic work that went into the relationship, but it sounds substantial.