Author Topic: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth  (Read 9490 times)

Offline djinkc

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #75 on: December 15, 2012, 10:14:10 PM »
I brewed with triticale in the mash today.  Is the AHA going to kick me out?

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Offline narvin

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #76 on: December 16, 2012, 08:05:37 AM »
Narvin - Marketing is more than just ads. Marketing involves any messages (intentional or unintentional, explicit or implicit) between you and your customers. Descriptions of beers, and "about us" sections on breweries' websites is what I was mainly thinking of, but even the "buzz" around a brand is just as much a form of marketing as a super bowl ad.

Again, the "buzz" around craft beer is at least beer related.  There's no doubt that craft beer is a culture, identity, scene, or whatever you want to call it, but it didn't grow because of low budget web sites and labels.  A lot of people were involved, and this identity you see today was created by the brewers, bar owners, and patrons.  Saying that unintentional messages is the same as focus groups and tv spots is just silly.

Comparing small brewery marketing and branding with the constant tv spots from Bud shows a big difference.  There are degrees here;  it's not all the same just because it's "marketing".  The closest thing I see to exploitative marketing from craft beer comes from Sam Adams, but they're appealing to the macro drinkers with those ads.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 08:09:27 AM by narvin »
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Offline nateo

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #77 on: December 16, 2012, 08:26:52 AM »
I'm not trying to get too far off-topic here. The BA is engaging on marketing on behalf of their members (press release). They're saying "this is what craft brewing is" and they're defining it as small, independent, with no adjuncts to "lighten flavor," whatever that means. There's no mention of "quality" anywhere in the press release. So, it's not really about the beer. It's about defining "craft" as the opposite of whatever BMC does, and if BMC manages to make beer that tastes good, don't be fooled, because it's not really good.

Maybe in the 80s and 90s, when "craft" was new, it was fine to define it as "not BMC." That's not a sustainable position going forward. BMC hires some of the most technically proficient brewers and QC people in the world. They are capable of making good beer, and probably better beer than 90% of the current "craft" brewers. I suspect that's why the BA is focusing on factors other than "quality," because they know they couldn't really compete, if BMC honestly tried to crush small brewers in the flavor department.

I don't watch broadcast TV (I use Hulu and Netflix), so I don't really have any idea how ubiquitous BMC advertising is, or what the content is.
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Offline bluesman

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Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #78 on: December 16, 2012, 09:29:33 AM »
Just to be clear.

The statement from the BA recognizes the fact that the large producers are indeed trying to break into the Craft beer market and they have done just that. However, the large brewers have not done so in accordance with the "definition" set forth by the BA.

"While this is certainly a nod to the innovation and ingenuity of today's small and independent brewers, it's important to remember that if a large brewer has a controlling share of a smaller producing brewery, the brewer is, by definition, not craft."

In my view the definition created by the BA holds true for the most part, by and large. It depicts the proper attributes and paints a clear picture of most of the Craft breweries in my region. I believe it to be a sound definition.

I also think there's a blurred line that needs to be brought back into focus so that beer advocates and enthusiasts can make informed choices.

I fully support indie craft beer. They need our support and will benefit from our support if there's a clear line.
This publication is simply calling for transparency in the market, hence the proposition, Craft or Crafty?
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #79 on: December 16, 2012, 03:12:30 PM »
The definitions released are arbitrary and a IMHO a more than a bit laughable. The AS link I posted earlier in the thread hit the nail on the head. Tell my buddy who brews at Redhook he doesn't brew craft beer...because they are partially owned by a major conglomerate? How about the flip side, the craft brewery owns an alcopop? (Oh, no he didn't. Oh yes I did!) ;)

Personally I believe the vast majority of beer drinkers can see right through the BMC brands masquerading as craft. Now when I sit at the bar, the folks who start out drinking say Blue Moon or Shock Top, quickly move on to something else that is craft. We should be thanking BMC for promoting craft using "me too" beers as opposed to ostracizing some of the oldest breweries in the US.

Bottom line is good beer is good beer, it really doesn't matter what you label it, nor who brews it. I dare someone at the BA to call up Nick Floyd and tell him that because Alpha King was once brewed and bottled by AS it wasn't craft beer during that time. How about the folks at Goose Island? Today your beer is craft, now that you have sold the business the beer is fizzy yellow stuff. I'll take a four pack of that fizzy yellow Bourbon County Stout any day! ;)

http://mashbang.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/is-it-craft/




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Offline a10t2

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #80 on: December 16, 2012, 03:27:43 PM »
We should be thanking BMC for promoting craft using "me too" beers as opposed to ostracizing some of the oldest breweries in the US.

Or making better craft beers than the current craft brewers, selling them in more places for less money, and putting us all out of business.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #81 on: December 16, 2012, 03:50:11 PM »
For everyone who doesn't live in one of the many beer meccas around the country: there are huge swaths of America where you can't get good beer on tap, period. You are lucky if you can even find Blue Moon. There is no competition with craft beer, because there is no craft beer.

So, yeah, I'm kind of thrilled there's Goose Island IPA on tap at the ballpark now, because now I don't have to drink Bud light, or heaven forbid, water, when I go to a baseball game.
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Offline joeysmokedporter

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #82 on: December 17, 2012, 05:13:02 AM »
The obsession with the megabrewers buying up craft brewers and watering down their offerings, and ultimately killing our choice, borders on paranoia to me. Look at what's been happening. The craft beer segment of the market has been growing double digits for years. We have more access to good beer than ever, maybe even better than before prohibition (although excluding some areas like Nateo's from the sound of it). The megabrewers barely grew this year...after having no growth or shrinking in previous years.

They are buying craft brewers because it gives them access to a growing segment, unlike their current offerings.

If they try to trick us into buying their craft brands and then water it down, aren't we discerning enough in our tastes to figure it out and buy something else?

I understand that the BA's objective is to advocate for smaller brewers. They absolutely should. I understand their call for transparency is in line with that. However it was clumsy at best, and bordering on snobbery at worst, especially given the arbitrary nature of the guidelines that were articulated well enough in the Schell rebuttal. There are different ways to advocate for small brewers, including the ancient and messy legal landscape, and while I am sure BA is exploring every avenue, perhaps more effort here and less into judging who is and isn't craft is in order.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #83 on: December 17, 2012, 05:35:45 AM »
This is my 3rd or 4th attempt to post in this thread.  Without creating a 3 page response this time, I hope.

Business is business.  Each niche in the market is trying to do the same thing, make a product people will buy and return a profit to their investors.  Nano and micro brewers focus on unique and flavorful products that appeal to people looking for more than alcohol and fizzy water.  The macros play to the lowest common denominator and look to make money off volume. 

"Quality" can be defined any way you choose.  Small craft brewers tend to see "quality" as well made made beer with more body and flavor than BMC.  The big boys worry about "quality" as making the same beer, 10's of thousands of times a year, all over the world and having every glass taste exactly the same.

This whole discussion is hung up of the definition of a custom designed word.  The craft brewer market knows the difference between micro and macro.  I think AB-InBev making "craft beer" will open the market up for small brewers more than shrink it.  The big boys are eating their own young by giving people more choices and giving them a reason to be more adventerous.  It could be a good thing.

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Offline BrewingRover

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #84 on: December 17, 2012, 05:59:32 AM »
I understand that the BA's objective is to advocate for smaller brewers. They absolutely should. I understand their call for transparency is in line with that. However it was clumsy at best, and bordering on snobbery at worst, especially given the arbitrary nature of the guidelines that were articulated well enough in the Schell rebuttal. There are different ways to advocate for small brewers, including the ancient and messy legal landscape, and while I am sure BA is exploring every avenue, perhaps more effort here and less into judging who is and isn't craft is in order.
Thanks, I've been trying to articulate something like this. The editorial came off like the guy at the record store telling me my band sucks because they're on a major label.
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Offline MDixon

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #85 on: December 17, 2012, 06:03:39 AM »
The editorial came off like the guy at the record store telling me my band sucks because they're on a major label.

^^^
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #86 on: December 17, 2012, 06:08:36 AM »
Its my understanding that ownership by a BMC does come with a price.  I'm not saying that it will immediately reduce quality, but if a brewery stumbles financially they can expect to receive guidance on how to reduce costs and increse the bottom line.
Lennie
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Offline udubdawg

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #87 on: December 17, 2012, 07:50:55 AM »
So most of the breweries they are insulting are BA members, right?  Can someone explain that?
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #88 on: December 17, 2012, 07:58:31 AM »
why do we even have to define a craft brewery. it is really the beer that seems to be in question.  american lager versus everything else.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Craft versus crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
« Reply #89 on: December 17, 2012, 10:17:29 AM »
The whole thing sounds like something PETA would say. Aggressive activism doesn't really change many minds. How many people became vegetarians because PETA yelled at them? How many people will read the BA's editorial and stop buying Blue Moon?

The BA is assuming that everyone agrees that "corporate beer" = bad, but they don't really explain why, or give a compelling reason to choose "craft" over macro-brew. I think if you're a casual follower of beer (like the people who read this in the newspaper) you wouldn't really understand why faux-craft is a problem, or even if it is a problem, other than the BA just doesn't like it.
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