Author Topic: Who owns your beer?  (Read 4845 times)

Big Monk

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Who owns your beer?
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2017, 10:17:42 PM »

You don't think this is a bit of paranoia? Craft beer will NEVER be a majority in the market. I can see the larger companies buying out contenders that pose a threat, but let's face it, breweries who could pose a threat to the macros are so big that brand identity and marketing were in their repertoire from the beginning. The old, "made and groomed to be sold" adage.

I guess until the beers I enjoy are removed from my local supply chain I won't understand why this is a big deal for me. If that happens I'll just have to take a road trip to the 4.6 million local breweries around me, or god forbid, travel to Maine to Allagash (insert any other northeast state and brewery here)....what a pity!

I realize you were exaggerating, but there are 5300 breweries in the US.  The problem with your theory is that there will be far fewer when they can't find tap or shelf space to sell their beer becasue it's been taken over by the macros.

Is that necessarily a bad thing? How is it different than any other business? Stay regional if you don't want to wage marketing warfare against your competition. It's cutthroat but it's business.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2017, 10:30:53 PM by Big Monk »

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Who owns your beer?
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2017, 10:52:36 PM »
Macro beer =/= evil beer, though some macro breweries are certainly using unfair business practices. (I can't get fresh beer from a brewery 1.5 hours away, the distributors care that little/are controlled that much.)

Guinness is proving to be very helpful to local craft breweries, as is even doing collaboration brews. Heineken makes great beer (just don't buy it in the bottle) and so far seems to not be doing any harm to Lagunitas, hopefully time will show that they're one of the good guys as well.

Whether playing dirty like AB/Inbev is good business or not, it's not good for them or their employees. To me a business's goal shouldn't just be to turn a profit for shareholders, but to provide a good product for their buyers and gainful employment for it's people. I don't see AB/Inbev doing this, and honestly I don't see playing dirty as being good business the long run.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Who owns your beer?
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2017, 11:05:36 PM »
Is that necessarily a bad thing?


That depends, Derek. If low quality, unskillfully made craft beers fail by their own merits, they have no one else to blame. But if excellent beers have no chance to get to taps, liquor stores, and grocery stores because of unfair business practices, I see that as a very bad thing. Just me. This is probably one of those issues where minds are firmly made up, I guess. All good. 
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Big Monk

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Re: Who owns your beer?
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2017, 11:13:35 PM »
Is that necessarily a bad thing?


That depends, Derek. If low quality, unskillfully made craft beers fail by their own merits, they have no one else to blame. But if excellent beers have no chance to get to taps, liquor stores, and grocery stores because of unfair business practices, I see that as a very bad thing. Just me. This is probably one of those issues where minds are firmly made up, I guess. All good.

I'm kind of being half serious here.

I look at it like this: what's the number one thing people say after making the transition to professional brewing? The one tip? They say, "Brewing is a business. You have to learn that quickly..."

Makers of terrible craft beer likely don't have much of a business sense is they went into business doing something they aren't good at. Or they thought they could just cash in.

On the other hand, a solid brewery who gets to the point where they can expand and distribute nationally should know that at some point they would rub elbows with the big dirty dogs in the biz.

Do I agree with heavy handed dirty deeds? No. But that's the game.

Offline narvin

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Re: Who owns your beer?
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2017, 11:32:17 PM »
To me the issue is not beer quality.  People can drink whatever they like and it's fine with me.  The issue is that the huge corporate beer companies are limiting access to beers that they don't own.  That's not good for beer drinkers.

+1.  And, now competing with essentially free money against the local Homebrew shops that got us all into this hobby.
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Offline santoch

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Re: Who owns your beer?
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2017, 01:14:55 AM »
A big part of this problem lies in how much in bed the distributors are with the big breweries.  A few friends changed to a self-distribution model. They are more profitable now, because they don't have the distributors holding their beers back.  Luckily, they can do it that way in this state.  Lots of states that is illegal.
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Offline boulderbrewer

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Re: Who owns your beer?
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2017, 02:51:39 PM »
A big part of this problem lies in how much in bed the distributors are with the big breweries.  A few friends changed to a self-distribution model. They are more profitable now, because they don't have the distributors holding their beers back.  Luckily, they can do it that way in this state.  Lots of states that is illegal.

In Wisconsin the Tavern league and Beer Distributors are try to sneak into a budget bill to eliminate self distribution. Even a brewery's tap house would have to buy its beer back from a distributor. This is an effective way to eliminate the small breweries in Wisconsin, especially if you make under 10,000 barrels a year. Most beer distributors in Wisconsin carry one of the big beer brands coincidence?

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Offline denny

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Re: Who owns your beer?
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2017, 03:41:08 PM »
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline gregrippin

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Re: Who owns your beer?
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2017, 04:14:32 PM »
https://www.brewersassociation.org/press-releases/brewers-association-launches-new-seal-to-designate-independent-beers/

We interview Bob Pease of the BA about this on the podcast coming out next Wed. 7/5

Awesome.  I was hoping that the BA would do a label ID like this.  Hopefully brewers will get on board with it.

After some thought, I have changed the "Crap" category on craftorcrafty.com to "Corporate."
I decided that the "crap" designation implied a judgement about the quality of the beer, which is not what this site is about.  And “crap” is certainly not a good description of breweries like Guinness and Franziskaner, which do make more sense in the Corporate category.  So ultimately this is a pretty broad category, encompassing “old master” breweries that have been purchased by Big Beer, international mainstays, and truly “crap” breweries that produce better advertising than beer.



Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Who owns your beer?
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2017, 04:58:49 PM »
One of the local breweries around me is already tweeting the label. 
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Offline narvin

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Re: Who owns your beer?
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2017, 05:35:46 PM »
Is that necessarily a bad thing?


That depends, Derek. If low quality, unskillfully made craft beers fail by their own merits, they have no one else to blame. But if excellent beers have no chance to get to taps, liquor stores, and grocery stores because of unfair business practices, I see that as a very bad thing. Just me. This is probably one of those issues where minds are firmly made up, I guess. All good.

I'm kind of being half serious here.

I look at it like this: what's the number one thing people say after making the transition to professional brewing? The one tip? They say, "Brewing is a business. You have to learn that quickly..."

Makers of terrible craft beer likely don't have much of a business sense is they went into business doing something they aren't good at. Or they thought they could just cash in.

On the other hand, a solid brewery who gets to the point where they can expand and distribute nationally should know that at some point they would rub elbows with the big dirty dogs in the biz.

Do I agree with heavy handed dirty deeds? No. But that's the game.

There's a third option: small to medium sized local beer.  It's fresh, it's saving shipping costs, and the money is going toward your community, not some vague global center of finance.  But when the distributors are owned by the big corporations, they can have a hard time getting shelf space, and it has nothing to do with the consumer's choice.
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Offline boulderbrewer

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Re: Who owns your beer?
« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2017, 06:52:35 PM »
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Re: Who owns your beer?
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2017, 08:21:54 PM »
I can see the craftiness in use of alliteration.  How about instead of "crap" you use "crooked"?

EDIT: Or "corporate", yeah, that works.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 08:24:38 PM by dmtaylor »
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