I think it might be worthwhile to examine this idea that the macros make cheap, fizzy yellow water because that's what the consumer really wants. I disagree with that idea as well. It's not how market forces work. Yes if they made a beer that actually tasted like piss that would be one thing. But as was pointed out in an article that I think was posted on here at some point, since the 1970's budweiser has reduced the amount of hops in it's beer by 2/3. It's not because the consumer demanded a less hoppy brew it's just that AB found that if they reduced the hop presence bit by bit they could trick their consumers into drinking less hoppy beer AND reduce the cost of production and thus increase profits.
Humans are alarmingly susceptable to suggestion and the macros maintain their dominance of the market by hammering their brands into our heads all the time not by maintaining the very best quality product in their segment. Quality can't drop below a certain point where the product becomes actually disgusting to the majority of it's consumers but beyond that profit margins rule.
I think this might be the real differentiator between 'craft' and 'crafty' or perhaps between 'craft' and 'crap'
you average small brewery wants to make the very best beer they are able to within the contraints of the market and hope to make a solid profit from doing this (which they very often do, quality still speaks loudly to a certain segment of the market who are listening). The macros hope to maximize profit on all of their product lines period. If AB can show through focus groups, tasting panels, or what have you that Goose Island with less hops or more adjuncts, or less costly ingredients is substantially the same as Goose island with the proper amount of hops, no adjuncts (except where appropriate) and the highest quality ingredients they will do so.
so Craft = doing something for the joy and love of doing something really well and Crafty = doing something as cleverly and, sometimes, deceptivly as possible in order to maximize profit.
at least that's sort of how I see it.