not my point. My point is that the idea that a major buys up a craft and it 'stays the same' is only true to the extent that incremental adjustment must be slow enough to allow the customer to adapt their expectations. People didn't start wanting less hops in their bud because their tastes just inexplicably changed. Their expectations were handled through careful application of incremental change. We all drink goose island and say "it's still good" and as long as one generation is never so far from the last that we say, "jeez goose island tastes kind cheap and ricey lately doesn't it?" costs can be lowered. I don't know the history of fat tire recipe, perhaps it has changed and that's why people think less of it today but I expect it's that a) You personally think less of it because your palate has changed over the years and b) the palate of the 'average' craft beer drinker has shifted over the years. That's a different thing than AB slowly reducing the level of hopping in bud over the course of decades to cut production costs without admitting to their customer base that the beer was getting less and less tasty, the whole while pointing at customer desire as the reason for their low level of flavor.
I'm not so sure you can blame the drift away from hops in bud on manipulation by AB. If you look at the 1940s-1980s there was a drift away across the board from flavorful foods and bitter foods towards foods with high salt and sugar content and otherwise fairly bland. You can track those changes through other foods. You don't see the wedge salad become a popular item on menus in the 80s unless people wanted to consume complete blandness. AB sure steered into the skid on that one with their advertising and product adjustment but they can't be singularly blamed for it happening.