Author Topic: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth  (Read 9179 times)

Offline udubdawg

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2012, 11:54:42 AM »
"They sell these beers through their strong distribution channels, but market these faux-craft beers as if they were from independent, locally owned craft breweries."

This sentence, or at least the part I bolded, just seems like hyperbole.  Absence of a prominent "big beer" logo on a bottle - sure.  Actually pretending to be something they are not? - I don't see it. 
Remember the old Bud campaign that said "It's not heavy like an import" and "Darker heavier beers could hide flaws" - I didn't see any craft beer uproar.  if we are worried that someone will be fooled and enjoy a "faux-craft" beer why weren't we worried about the big companies perpetuating consumer lack of knowledge with further misinformation?
Instead of ridiculing craft beer they are imitating it.

Wasn't Blue Moon created at Sandlot?  I don't like that particular beer but those guys do an amazing job IMO. I have no use for Coors Light but I wouldn't hesitate for a second to get another What The Helles Bill just based on who their owner is.

This article would be better limited to distribution IMO.  Make sure the kinds of practices that shut small breweries out are outlawed.  Give everyone a fair chance.  Everyone wants that, and it's reasonable.  But it's not like the little guys are the only ones allowed to make "good" beer.  And the concept that a brewery loses craft status overnight when bought by a big brewery is ridiculous to me.

I'm going to assume that most breweries that were started in decades past thought they could make better beer than what was being offered.  And I know several of us have asked Gordon how to get medals and been told to make better beer.   ;D
Same goes for the pros.  Make better beer.  If the faux-craft version is better than what you make, do better.  If it isn't, count on your consumers to make the right choice.  Again, assuming you have market access...

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2012, 11:55:11 AM »
Just ruff back of apkin math, if the 75% of the beer market in america that is controlled by the big guys were in the hands of small indie brewers that would mean around 725,000 new jobs! that's huge!

Not quite, this was an apples to oranges comparison.  I have the feeling that the 100,000 plus jobs mentioned in the article include all staff involved in getting grain, water, and hops to the consumer and getting them to buy it (read: marketing staff too).  I read the 25,000 folks as just being at the breweries for the mega brewers.  They have a bunch more folks involved with distributing and marketing that would then dwarf the number applied to the craft breweries.  I think this was a bit of a ruse, but since most readers don't get into the details, it serves the point that the craft industry has an important impact on jobs too.
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Offline denny

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2012, 12:12:08 PM »
I understand the attempt, but the AHA needs to "craft" a better message than this...

Please keep in mind that the definition comes from the BA, not the AHA.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2012, 02:00:58 PM »
I understand the attempt, but the AHA needs to "craft" a better message than this...

Please keep in mind that the definition comes from the BA, not the AHA.
All these acronyms, I read BA as Beer Advocate for the first half of this thread. D'oh! There's also the American Heart Association...

Anyway, Goose Island is definitely still craft beer in my mind. It doesn't matter who they're owned by, it's where they came from. And Goose came from a small operation founded on craft beer, just as Sam Adam's did. I still consider that craft beer. But that's just like my opinion, man.
But when a brewery is founded on light, fizzy yellow beer and wants to fit in by making not light, fizzy yellow beer, well that's just not craft brewing at all. That's just douchebaggery because they're afraid a few people are going to stop drinking their beer. I don't touch the stuff anymore. Plus none of that stuff is brewed with any passion or anything new to contribute to the beer world. I follow Denny's sentiments, you only get one liver, destroy it wisely.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 02:02:52 PM by beersk »
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2012, 02:06:43 PM »
I understand the attempt, but the AHA needs to "craft" a better message than this...

Please keep in mind that the definition comes from the BA, not the AHA.
All these acronyms, I read BA as Beer Advocate for the first half of this thread. D'oh! There's also the American Heart Association...

Anyway, Goose Island is definitely still craft beer in my mind. It doesn't matter who they're owned by, it's where they came from. And Goose came from a small operation founded on craft beer, just as Sam Adam's did. I still consider that craft beer. But that's just like my opinion, man.
But when a brewery is founded on light, fizzy yellow beer and wants to fit in by making not light, fizzy yellow beer, well that's just not craft brewing at all. That's just douchebaggery because they're afraid a few people are going to stop drinking their beer. I don't touch the stuff anymore. Plus none of that stuff is brewed with any passion or anything new to contribute to the beer world. I follow Denny's sentiments, you only get one liver, destroy it wisely.

i am not convinced of this.  clearly they are trying to make a buck, but the brewers, are after all brewers, and they may like brewing other than their normal, just like we do.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2012, 02:07:23 PM »
Thanks for posting Crispy.  This is a great article that really sheds light on the fact that craft does make a real difference and continues to make strides forward.  Let's hope that craft continues it's path forward for the betterment of us all.  I plan to continue to support our indie craft friends.  Not only is it my belief, but craft beer quality speaks for itself.  :)
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 02:10:03 PM by bluesman »
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Offline anthony

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2012, 02:34:45 PM »
They own the production, though, not the distribution.  Owning so much of the production gives them a lot of weight with the distributors, I'm sure, but the distribution laws and three tier system are a whole different subject that has an impact on the retail availability of craft beers.

Not completely true. In Illinois for instance, AB owns a 30% stake in a holding company that has four licenses to distribute beer in Illinois. And there are several other instances of similar situations with bigger craft brewers as well. Windy City distribution was started by the Two Brothers owners and until a year or so ago was completely owned by them too (they recently changed the ownership to comply with changes to Illinois liquor law).

AB is increasingly and sometimes successfully arguing that if craft brewers, microbrewers, etc. can self-distribute, it should be able to self-distribute as well... of course they have to walk a fine line and not piss off all those distributorship lobbyists too.

Offline beersk

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2012, 02:41:23 PM »
I understand the attempt, but the AHA needs to "craft" a better message than this...

Please keep in mind that the definition comes from the BA, not the AHA.
All these acronyms, I read BA as Beer Advocate for the first half of this thread. D'oh! There's also the American Heart Association...

Anyway, Goose Island is definitely still craft beer in my mind. It doesn't matter who they're owned by, it's where they came from. And Goose came from a small operation founded on craft beer, just as Sam Adam's did. I still consider that craft beer. But that's just like my opinion, man.
But when a brewery is founded on light, fizzy yellow beer and wants to fit in by making not light, fizzy yellow beer, well that's just not craft brewing at all. That's just douchebaggery because they're afraid a few people are going to stop drinking their beer. I don't touch the stuff anymore. Plus none of that stuff is brewed with any passion or anything new to contribute to the beer world. I follow Denny's sentiments, you only get one liver, destroy it wisely.

i am not convinced of this.  clearly they are trying to make a buck, but the brewers, are after all brewers, and they may like brewing other than their normal, just like we do.
What aren't you convinced of? That Anheuser-Busch making something other than light lager is craft beer? What are they crafting? They aren't adding anything to the beer world, in fact, they're taking it away by making weaker, less flavorful versions of real craft beers.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 02:45:48 PM by beersk »
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Offline nateo

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2012, 02:42:57 PM »
The only reason putting a barrel limit on "craft beer" makes any sense is if you don't really want everyone to be able to enjoy "craft" beer. It's not likely, and maybe not even feasible, for small breweries to supply all of the beer in country. So if your goal is to keep "craft" beer something small and exclusive, so you can feel like a cool person for drinking it, then exclude the big makers.

What is the BA's plan when small breweries get big because people like their beer? Keeping bumping up the allowable barrels? Boston beer co and New Belgium are already big breweries in their own right.

I think it's great that small brewers are putting pressure on big brewers to make better beer.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2012, 03:25:27 PM »

What aren't you convinced of? That Anheuser-Busch making something other than light lager is craft beer? What are they crafting? They aren't adding anything to the beer world, in fact, they're taking it away by making weaker, less flavorful versions of real craft beers.


Is it that you just don't like american lagers.  hard time calling them just weak.  bud ice (i agree yuck) comes in at 5.5%.  in terms of non light lagers the mich amber bock is a servicable beer and comes in at 5.2%.  take this and plain budweiser over a regular guinness any day.  (not over something like a stockyard oatmeal stout or a rasputin)  i just don't think everything they brew sucks, nor do i like everything that Sierra nevada, goose island, or Sam Adams makes.  I would take a red seal amber over any of the above, but i would drink a budweiser before i drink another abita purple haze.
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Offline tubercle

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2012, 03:54:58 PM »
This is an interesting thread and I agree with most....

 Usually on my way home from work on Fridays I stop at the local grocer and get a 6'er of beer from one of the 2 local craft breweries, Thomas Creek or R J Rockers but I am standing in line to check out with a multitude of BMC. Bud Light is still the #1 seller I believe.

 For some reason folks crave "triple hopped" rice beer instead of a good IPA or tasty barley made drink. I think this is changing though and the big conglomerates want to jump in but don't want to let the cash cows to wander loose. Give the BMC crowd something too good and you will lose the high margin sale. They will like and want the better product but will not want to pay the premium so they are hitting the middle ground.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 03:58:51 PM by tubercle »
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2012, 04:02:37 PM »
The only reason putting a barrel limit on "craft beer" makes any sense is if you don't really want everyone to be able to enjoy "craft" beer. It's not likely, and maybe not even feasible, for small breweries to supply all of the beer in country. So if your goal is to keep "craft" beer something small and exclusive, so you can feel like a cool person for drinking it, then exclude the big makers.

What is the BA's plan when small breweries get big because people like their beer? Keeping bumping up the allowable barrels? Boston beer co and New Belgium are already big breweries in their own right.

I think it's great that small brewers are putting pressure on big brewers to make better beer.

I disagree with your idea that small breweries couldn't supply all beer drinkers. We just need more small breweries to do it. This increases employement. it also drives prices up on high quality agricultural products which benefits farmers
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Offline tubercle

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2012, 04:18:20 PM »

I disagree with your idea that small breweries couldn't supply all beer drinkers. We just need more small breweries to do it. This increases employement. it also drives prices up on high quality agricultural products which benefits farmers

 Before refridigerated transportation all beer drinkers were supplied by small breweries. Every city/town/village/hamlet had one or several, depending on the population. There were thousands of them.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2012, 05:10:23 PM »
I disagree with your idea that small breweries couldn't supply all beer drinkers. We just need more small breweries to do it. This increases employement. it also drives prices up on high quality agricultural products which benefits farmers

 Before refridigerated transportation all beer drinkers were supplied by small breweries. Every city/town/village/hamlet had one or several, depending on the population. There were thousands of them.

There used to be thousands of small farmers too, and cobblers, and tailors. That's just not how the world works anymore, and it's not likely the world will work that way ever again.

Craft beer is what, 5% of the market? I don't see how it can grow to the point it supplies even a majority of the beer consumed. 10-15% per year won't cut it. Craft beer needs macro beer, it needs to be the underdog, because if everyone does it, it's not unique anymore.

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2012, 06:54:22 PM »
I do agree that consumers have a right to know what is going in their bottles, and part of that is where the beer was brewed. However, I believe that it has more to do with what's inside the bottle, rather than what's outside the bottle.

Especially when we are talking about Goose Island or Craft Brewer's Alliance, we all need to pay attention to what's inside the bottle. If Goose Island stays making really good beer, IMO, it's still a craft brewery. I know CBA is producing really great beer (including at GABF and NHC). I think CBA is moving more toward a New Belgium style where they make huge amounts of their standard beers (kind of "Meh" similar to NB standards) and they do one-off beers (Widmer Brewmaster's Series, Red Hook Blueline Series) that are really great. I haven't had Goose Island beers yet (they just got here, thanks to the Bud distribution network) but if they maintain the same style that they are known for, I still think its great. I still support my local businesses (Beer or otherwise, I like to meet the people who own businesses I support), but Red Hook is rather local to me.
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