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Author Topic: New Strategy Against 'Big Beer' Buyouts  (Read 2152 times)

Offline HoosierBrew

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New Strategy Against 'Big Beer' Buyouts
« on: May 13, 2016, 10:49:21 am »
This article is about Greg Koch's (of Stone) new investment group, formed to allegedly help give small breweries the finances to resist 'Big Beer' buyouts. Don't know how feasible it is long term but I love the idea in principle.

Jon H.

Offline Iliff Ave

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Re: New Strategy Against 'Big Beer' Buyouts
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2016, 10:58:56 am »
Ha! The video is like an Apple unveil or something.
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Offline PrettyBeard

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Re: New Strategy Against 'Big Beer' Buyouts
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2016, 11:59:40 am »

Offline ethinson

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Re: New Strategy Against 'Big Beer' Buyouts
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2016, 12:24:44 pm »
I don't know if it would prevent buyouts, but here in Oregon they passed a law to allow small investments known as a Community Public Offering.  It's just like buying stock in a company, but smaller and open to Oregon residents only.  Agrarian Ales out near Eugene just completed a CPO.  They raised about 160,000$ for new bathroom facilities, new bottling equipment and a malt floor to malt their own grain. 

Very small scale, but still keeps from having to put a hand out to someone bigger.
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Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Re: New Strategy Against 'Big Beer' Buyouts
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2016, 04:15:47 am »
While I like the idea of resisting "big beer" in any way possible, craft brewing seems to be doing quite fine.  New craft breweries seem to be sprouting up almost as fast as the dandelions in my yard.

The antidote to the big boys: be informed, buy from breweries you know are craft, and brew your own.
It's easier to get information from the forum than to sacrifice virgins to appease the brewing gods when bad beer happens!

Offline blair.streit

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New Strategy Against 'Big Beer' Buyouts
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2016, 06:24:44 am »
I like that there's a funding source called True Craft, but if you stop and think about it that name is just marketing. I think it's overly simple to view the beer world via this good guy/bad guy dichotomy.

"Big beer" led us down a path to less flavorful beer, but a lot of the "devolution" of the US beer market can be linked back to the damage done by prohibition and the fact that tastes changed. For a few generations that's what people thought beer was supposed to taste like.

As most marketing driven companies are wont to do, some US breweries just took that light flavor to the extreme. Here's a funny example of Schlitz taking this to the extreme. This was my college marketing professor's favorite example of an epic fail:

In this example, AB and Miller are the "good guys", keeping their products natural and not trying to rush it, while Schlitz is the penny pinching brewery run by accountants and geologists. I think this example is how our minds want to view all of Big Beer sometimes, but clearly it's not that simple.

It's easy to malign Big Beer as the cause for all that's wrong and align craft beer with all that's right. But what if Firestone Walker is Big Beer? Does that change your thinking?

Larger craft breweries will participate in some of the same aggressive marketing practices that are the hallmark of BMC. Some of the smaller breweries don't do it because it's uncool. Others don't simply because they don't have the leverage. It's easy to take the high road when you don't have the option. It gets much harder when you have to choose to do it at the expense of short term profits.

In my mind, the True Craft investors are people who believe that making great beer is worth sacrificing a little short term profitability to create more long-term growth. They still expect a hefty profit at the end of the day, they're just willing to wait a little longer. I'd also wager that they're the types of investors who will taste the beer, talk to the brewers about recipes and strategies and generally be informed investors.

As long as the True Craft investors can resist the urge to tell smaller brewers how to do their jobs, I think this could be a huge success for the investors and the breweries. Just don't let that fool you into thinking that True Craft is something that it's not. It's simply a craft beer-focused venture capital fund.