Author Topic: Mitch Steele on the craft beer industry  (Read 1591 times)

Offline Stevie

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Mitch Steele on the craft beer industry
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2015, 12:27:02 PM »
Good article. The idea of many big brewery buyouts having the ultimate goal of selling cheaper (and thereby undercutting the craft beer industry) is the scary part. 
Jon H.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Mitch Steele on the craft beer industry
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2015, 02:08:35 PM »
I can more or less agree with him. One point that I thought he took an unsurprisingly narrow view is how craft breweries poach brewers from one another. That's not just a function of cost-shifting to competitors. Like many industries the large businesses always eat the cost of training new workers because they have the most job openings to take on new employees. People then want to work somewhere less regimented and drift off to smaller competitors. That's true in breweries and Steele knows that as well as anybody having left his AB position for craft beer. People at Stone leave to go work at some smaller craft brewery.

It's also far easier to gain promotion and pay by jumping between businesses. If craft brewer A has a head brewer it likes then your chance of moving up to head brewer at that business is nearly zero. You have to move elsewhere and in a market where new breweries are constantly popping up it's likely you will find a head brewer position in a startup. There are a small number of promotions available at any brewery so moving between competitors is almost a requirement to move up in the industry. It's also easier to increase one's salary by jumping from one brewery to another where the later brewery pays better. Raises just aren't that great in brewing.

His point should be well taken by the industry even if he is making it in a way that doesn't make Stone out to be at least partially complicit in the same problem. The cost-shifting burden to brewers that train brewers is a pain that is partially felt because this is an industry where there are so many people begging to get in the doors to work that they will do it for free and wages are being set against that trend. I doubt Stone takes on much free labor but they probably have at some point in their past and undoubtedly employ people who got into the industry that way.
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