Another Faux Craft

MillerCoors launches Colorado Native from faux brewing unit

MillerCoors launched Colorado Native last week, a β€œcraft” beer with no reference to the MillerCoors brand.

A.C. Golden Brewing Co. will market the brand exclusively through digital and word-of-mouth channels. The marketer says the brand is brewed from “99.9%” Colorado-grown ingredients, a percentage that includes the locally made glass bottles. It will initially be sold only in Colorado but may roll out into other states depending on success.

With Colorado Native Lager, A.C. Golden is using the model that worked for MillerCoors’ Blue Moon: seeding the brand through word-of-mouth and letting consumers feel as if they “discovered” the beer for themselves, which encourages them to introduce friends to it. To do so, it’s putting the entirety of its tiny Colorado Native budget into mobile and social-media channels.

Every Colorado Native label is affixed with a “SnapTag,” which, if photographed on a mobile device and e-mailed to a specified phone number, allows the brand to begin a conversation with its drinkers.

After e-mailing in a picture of the logo, a drinker will first get a reply asking for their birthday. If they say they’re older than 21, they’ll be queried with Colorado-centric trivia about their hobbies and interests, and the database will remember the answers and use them to craft future communications and offers to each individual drinker.

Depending on what each purchaser tells the brand, it could receive communications on outdoorsy activities such as hiking or skiing, Colorado sports trivia or notices about bar nights and special offers. It’ll also inquire about their favorite local charities, which will receive 25Β’ from each case sale. Colorado Native also uses more conventional social-media means, such as a Facebook page.

Colorado Native is the first brand to use the SnapTag technology on its packaging, although companies such as Unilever, Ford and Crayola have used it on ads and displays.

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Comments

  1. beerking1 says

    I really don’t care whether it is a real craft beer or a faux craft beer, I really don’t need my beer talking to me about what activities I pursue or what charities i donate to! πŸ™

  2. South County says

    Well this will fall flat on its face like the other attempts, yet clog up shelf space.

  3. liammckenna says

    I wish them luck.

    Market fragmentation is my friend.

    I love to see consumers reaching for other than the same old product.

    Pax.

    Liam

  4. gitchegumee says

    Hey, I’m all for this attempt by the big guys to show us how local sourcing is done. Remember the mantra “Think Global, Drink Local”? Kudos to them for implementing the idea. Any “real” craft breweries doing this? And forget about your beer talking to you. If you don’t want to participate, then don’t. Nobody is forcing you to photograph on a mobile device and e-mail to a specified phone number. Just my $0.02 worth.

  5. einhorn says

    The true “problem” has been addressed: this brand will take up another shelf space that could belong to me or you. But, I believe we had better get used to these products; I’m hearing devastating (negative) sales numbers from the Big 3 and they will surely all march in this direction. Don’t forget – these breweries are marketing-driven and the “solutions” frequently come from the advertising executives.

  6. Tlangle1 says

    Can someone qualify the use of the derogatory “faux” for me please? If you’d bothered to check you would know that, this beer is made in our 35 bbl Golden Based R&D facility. There are brewers whose brands you don’t refer to as “faux” with batch sizes much larger than that. The geography is CO only, and the current volume is miniscule compared non-“faux” brands. Blue Moon was very small when it started at the Sandlot brewery at Coors field – home of the CO Rockies. I know the brewer there, he’s a craft man through and through, check his GABF medal total sometime. So why the “raspberry”?
    Just because a company has become good at supplying the mass market what it want to drink, which is not at all what the craft market wants to drink, doesn’t mean our guys can’t “craft” beer. I know, I see and sample what the R&D guys come up with. It’s every bit as good as anything on the market, regardless of source. These guys know their “craft”.
    Try it, you might like it.
    This is “probrewer”, not “fauxbrewer”, right?

  7. beertje46 says

    Tlangle1 wrote: Can someone qualify the use of the derogatory “faux” for me please? If you’d bothered to check you would know that, this beer is made in our 35 bbl Golden Based R&D facility. There are brewers whose brands you don’t refer to as “faux” with batch sizes much larger than that. The geography is CO only, and the current volume is miniscule compared non-“faux” brands. Blue Moon was very small when it started at the Sandlot brewery at Coors field – home of the CO Rockies. I know the brewer there, he’s a craft man through and through, check his GABF medal total sometime. So why the “raspberry”?
    Just because a company has become good at supplying the mass market what it want to drink, which is not at all what the craft market wants to drink, doesn’t mean our guys can’t “craft” beer. I know, I see and sample what the R&D guys come up with. It’s every bit as good as anything on the market, regardless of source. These guys know their “craft”.
    Try it, you might like it.
    This is “probrewer”, not “fauxbrewer”, right?

    I believe the “faux” comes from the use of the A.C. Golden Brewing Co. in lieu of MillerCoors.

    I don’t think anyone on ProBrewer will argue the quality and craft of Sandlot. Speaking from personal experience I’ve enjoyed many a good beer from Sandlot.

  8. beerking1 says

    Tlangle1 wrote: Can someone qualify the use of the derogatory “faux” for me please? If you’d bothered to check you would know that, this beer is made in our 35 bbl Golden Based R&D facility. There are brewers whose brands you don’t refer to as “faux” with batch sizes much larger than that. The geography is CO only, and the current volume is miniscule compared non-“faux” brands. Blue Moon was very small when it started at the Sandlot brewery at Coors field – home of the CO Rockies. I know the brewer there, he’s a craft man through and through, check his GABF medal total sometime. So why the “raspberry”?
    Just because a company has become good at supplying the mass market what it want to drink, which is not at all what the craft market wants to drink, doesn’t mean our guys can’t “craft” beer. I know, I see and sample what the R&D guys come up with. It’s every bit as good as anything on the market, regardless of source. These guys know their “craft”.
    Try it, you might like it.
    This is “probrewer”, not “fauxbrewer”, right?

    I think David has it right on the reasoning behind the term “faux.” While I share the concern about shelf space, especially considering the heavy-handedness we sometimes see from the “Big 3.” To this day I find people amazed to learn the Blue Moon they have been drinking is “Made by Coors.”
    There just seems to be a touch of dishonesty in inventing a brewery so the MillerCoors name doesn’t have to be on the label. “A. C. Golden” is a corporate convenience, NOT an actual brewery, IMHO. The brewery is, as you stated, the MillerCoors R&D facility in Golden, CO. If Sam Calgione brought his original BrewMagic into the brewery (it may be there, AFAIK) and brewed small batch on it, it would still be a DFH beer, not “Rehoboth Beach Brewing,” IMHO. (I know, the above argument could be applied to Boston Brewing and other contract brewers, but that is another thread.)
    I know Tom as well, and you are right, he makes some great beers, and I agree he is a “Craft” brewer. His smoked beers are indeed cutting edge, even if they don’t fit today’s definition of “extreme.” I also know of several beer drinkers who were introduced to craft beer through Blue Moon. Maybe a bit out of the traditional style definition for a Wit, but a good beer.
    I can also state that I have enjoyed several “Coors” products. The Winterfest was a very nice beer, and there have been some other special brews over the years.
    All that said, why “hide” the source of the beer? Yeah, I know, there are many on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer who would refuse to drink it just because it is a MillerCoors (or A-A-B/Inbev…) product, but are those really the customers this beer is targeting? I doubt it, if for no other reason that even if they try it without knowing the origin, those types of extreme beer drinkers would not like it and won’t come back for a second bottle.
    A-B went with “faux” brewery names for a while, but they seem to have settled on keeping either Budweiser or Michelob on the label these days.

    Why not be proud that MillerCoors can produce beers in the craft mode?

  9. admin says

    I thought the use of “faux” was pretty gentle actually.

    From the Wikipedia definition: When manufacturing faux objects or materials, an attempt is often made to create products which will resemble the imitated items as closely as possible.

    I’ll be the first to say that the big brewers can make exceptional beer. There is no doubt about that.

    But I consider this to be marketing deception. There is only one reason why not to put MillerCoors on the label and that is to deceive the consumer into thinking the product is brewed by an independent, small craft brewing company. Which it is not — 35-bbl system regardless.

    This is a forum of professionals in the industry and I think we are very good about mutually respecting all products that are well made and brewed with proper intention. But brewing and marketing are two very different arenas. And that is where I think craft brewers often disagree with the major brewers.

  10. Sulfur says

    Well it will be that much harder to increase the market share of craft with these pseudo craft beers out there. I liken it to what I call “pseudo Irish pubs”. These can be found all over the world and are made to look like the real thing, but they’re not. They may have the dark wood paneling, musty books, and cute bar paraphernalia, they often times even serve Guinness, but ask any Irishman/gal and they will know right away.

    Back to the beer, this could be a worrying trend, perhaps. I think this phenomenon will increase and it will cut into genuine craft breweries’ share, but not the small ones. Maybe the big craft breweries out there aka the top 10 or 20. Smaller fish, like my humble shop, should not be affected IMO…

    Beer for beer it may very well be a similar product. I would be surprised if it wasn’t. They probably cannot make “extreme beers” b/c it wouldn’t be profitable…and maybe that will lead more of the craft brewers to go more extreme. IMO this is all very healthy and will lead to better beer which is the bottom line…if you educate your consumers to stay and support their local breweries, then you will be immune. IMO. Salud.

  11. Tlangle1 says

    admin wrote: I thought the use of “faux” was pretty gentle actually.

    From the Wikipedia definition: When manufacturing faux objects or materials, an attempt is often made to create products which will resemble the imitated items as closely as possible.

    I’ll be the first to say that the big brewers can make exceptional beer. There is doubt about that.

    But I consider this to be marketing deception. There is only one reason why not to put MillerCoors on the label and that is to deceive the consumer into thinking the product is brewed by an independent, small craft brewing company. Which it is not — 35-bbl system regardless.

    This is a forum of professionals in the industry and I think we are very good about mutually respecting all products that are well made and brewed with proper intention. But brewing and marketing are two very different arenas. And that is where I think craft brewers often disagree with the major brewers.

    It’s not truly a deception or an attempt to deceive. It’s not an extreme beer, it’s not trying to encroach on the 100 IBU turf. It’s a separate company, using separate suppliers, unique ingredients, & different processes. It’s not sold or marketed by the MillerCoors Sales & Marketing machine, there is truly an AC Golden Brewing company, a CEO, not on MillerCoors payroll, with employess on a payroll that isn’t the MillerCoors payroll. If this was a “big guy” approach, there would have been advertising. This a very commited small team of people, with a different idea on how to go to market and build beer brands. Just like we did with the Blue Moon brand, the 15 year overnight success. We think it’s unique and different from a more traditional beer brand launch and to be successful needs to be differentiated in name and body. Characterize it how you will, I think the ACGolden team is more than willing to let the consumer decide. Thanks for the discussion. Good day.

  12. mishipeshu says

    There’s an old saying about telling a lie so big people will eventually believe it.

    The AC Golden Brewing Company is a subsidiary of MillerCoors, a joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Company. Its purpose is to serve as a specialty brewing arm of MillerCoors, in the words of president Glenn Knippenberg, “Our mission for AC Golden is to be a brand incubator for what is now MillerCoors”.

    This is Miller Coors. Period.

  13. Jephro says

    Tlangle1 wrote: It’s not sold or marketed by the MillerCoors Sales & Marketing machine, there is truly an AC Golden Brewing company, a CEO, not on MillerCoors payroll, with employess on a payroll that isn’t the MillerCoors payroll.

    You try to distance yourself from the parent company…

    Tlangle1 wrote: This a very commited small team of people, with a different idea on how to go to market and build beer brands. Just like we did with the Blue Moon brand, the 15 year overnight success. We think it’s unique and different from a more traditional beer brand launch and to be successful needs to be differentiated in name and body.

    …and then use “we” when referring to MillerCoors, Blue Moon, and your new R&D Project.

    I’m not trying to bash you or your new brand. I don’t doubt your loyalty to building this new brand, I don’t doubt that it is a decent beer, or that you and your team are passionate about what you are doing. I think it is really cool that you’re using locally produced products, reducing your carbon footprint as they say- BTW Happy Earth Day Everyone!!

    Craft Brewers, especially the mash paddle in hand craft brewers, will never accept this type of entity as a craft brand, and i think some consumers will feel duped when they connect the dots. I have used the quote before when speaking of A-B attempts to go craft, “imitation is the highest form of flattery”.

    My analogy of the day:
    You can call Wal-Marts produce section a Farmer’s Market and use any number of fallacies to make it sound true. Maybe even funnel the money in a way so that you could design a proof for the statement. But the fact remains that it’s still Wal-Mart’s Produce Section.

  14. liammckenna says

    All beer is good beer. Period.

    Brewing and marketing are indeed two separate aspects of successful beer brands.

    But let’s not cast any stones here please. Some of the marketing practices I have seen by small brewers leave a lot to be desired as well. I have seen T&A, questionable, juvenile humour, and sometimes overt contravention of Advertising Standards. I have also seen back door deals and incentives (read free beer etc.) on the micro side as well.

    I’m not perfect by any stretch, but when it comes to marketing beer, I prefer to take the high road always. I tend to let the beer speak for itself.

    Kind of like what Golden/Coors is trying to do with this brand.

    The brewing paradigm has never stopped evolving. Dynamism is critical to our brewing culture. Embrace it and move forward. Take it to heart that large(r) breweries will always endeavour to grow/maintain their market
    share.

    Just like you and I?

    Pax.

    Liam

  15. admin says

    In my previous post on this thread I stated;
    I’ll be the first to say that the big brewers can make exceptional beer. There is doubt about that.

    I meant to say ther is no doubt about that.

  16. bone yard says

    Tlangle1 wrote: It’s not truly a deception or an attempt to deceive.

    Really?

    A hypothetical for you: Imagine that this venture is wildly successful, that you find huge consumer acceptance and before long, the brand has far outgrown your 35 bbl brewhouse. What do you do. Bite the bullet and reinvest, like every other independent brewery would need to do? No, you super-size the recipe and move it across the carpark to the macro brewery (where they don’t have and can’t handle your specialty grains, your whole-flower hops or your quirky yeast strain). Having worked myself in a multi-national, brand incubator “craft” brewery, I know too well the degree to which you have to compromise your beer when it makes that move.

    If your vision for growth has no provision for maintaining the quality and integrity of the beer, how is that not deceit?

  17. LuskusDelph says

    I think all of us here like good beer.
    But I’m getting a quite weary of the attitude that if a large brewer (or one of it’s subsidiaries) has made a specialty beer, that it just can’t be a craft beer.
    That notion is of course nonsense, plain and simple.
    Despite someone’s artificial definition of what constitutes craft beer, some bigger brewers are now once again making some VERY well crafted products that will compete very well alongside the efforts of smaller brewers.
    Good beer is good beer.
    And it’s not like every single small brewer is exactly turning out liquid gold. I always try new products from new brewers as they appear and unfortunately, quite a few are lackluster or even downright nasty. As in “what can they be thinking?” nasty.

    The big brewers AND the small are making their share of great beer and crap beer. There’s just more of both these days. And frankly, I think that the competition is going to heat up considerably in the coming years as the bigger brewers respond to increased demand for good beer.
    Either way, it’s business. And just about any business is in large part about dealing with competition, and hopefully, aiming to better it.
    Despite the prevailing hype, the smaller scale brewers among us don’t have a monopoly on quality beer. But there’s room for everyone, especially if beer consumers can be encouraged by the smaller brewers of the world to ‘drink local’.

  18. admin says

    [QUOTE]But I’m getting a quite weary of the attitude that if a large brewer (or one of it’s subsidiaries) has made a specialty beer, that it just can’t be a craft beer.
    That notion is of course nonsense, plain and simple.[QUOTE]

    LuskusDelph, you are straying from the point of this thread topic. It’s important to focus on the specific discussion. This is not about quality. It’s about deception in the marketplace. No one in this thread has suggested that Colorado Native is not a good beer (I haven’t even tried it). It’s about the validity of marketing a beer with a intentional intent to make it look like it comes from a small independent craft brewer when in fact it is brewed by a major brand brewer

  19. liammckenna says

    Admin

    With all due respect. Your latest response to Lukusdelph is bull sh#t.

    The real topic of this thread is your arbitrary presentation of a new beer as a ‘faux’ beer. Since when are you the arbiter of legitimacy in the beer world? I’ve been at this for 25 years now and have seen everything you can dream of in the beer world. Large companies frequently introduce new brands lacking the imprimatur of the parent company (Acura, Infiniti, Lexus, Rickard’s Red – sorry about the car thing, I’m currently shopping). In the liquor world, there are literally tens of thousands of examples worldwide.

    While this may or may not be ‘right/fair/just’, it is reality. As with all things, ‘buyer beware’.

    I think this new product is a good thing (I haven’t tried it either). Then again, It won’t affect my world at all. Except to perhaps present me with a few tourists who otherwise mightn’t be interested in my wares. Golden/Coors are not my neighbours or competitors.

    I think there are many elements of the marketing of this new beer to be lauded, not mocked.

    I think you should have less editorial and more respect in your industry announcements. Why not let us discuss it in the third person for you?

    You’ve seriously risked my respect here.

    Pax.

    Liam

  20. South County says

    liammckenna wrote: Admin

    I think this new product is a good thing (I haven’t tried it either). Then again, It won’t affect my world at all…… Golden/Coors are not my neighbors or competitors.

    Pax.

    Liam

    With all do respect, I think that statement shoots a hole in your credibility Liam. I guess this topic shouldn’t concern you then, maybe you could focus on some of the aspects of your homeland for a bit. Last time I checked you didn’t create probrewer.com and if the admin wants to interject some perspective on a topic, I think he has every right to. With that said, I’m sure there is another inferior forum out there that you’d be welcomed to if probrewer doesn’t suit your needs..

    Back to it then….What many are trying to say and what is truly the beef here,(Colorado Native being the latest in this), is that for all of us who have busted their asses, gave up everything, and braved the free market to build a dream and deliver an honest, heartfelt product are just a bit pissed-off when the beer they worked so hard for is copied for the sake of revenue. That extra shelf slot may be the difference of some small breweries making it at all. However I recognize that this is how the free market works, but I still have a right to be pissed off about it.

  21. liammckenna says

    When I arrived in Newfoundland three years ago, Coors Light was the number one selling brand. It still is. As I’ve mentioned, Golden/Coors are not my neighbours or competitors. Nor will they ever be. Even if they launch a ‘faux’ micro in my back garden.

    South County: I hear you. I’ve lived the life. For the last twenty five years. I don’t, however, think you have a right to be pissed off about a new beer. You can’t selectively appreciate the ‘free market’. Not in my world anyways. It is why we’re here ultimately.

    And just to re-iterate perhaps more succinctly, while I have a lot of respect for this forum (as well as many others I participate in,) I do not expect editorial input from the moderator(s).

    Pax.

    Liam

  22. gitchegumee says

    Sorry, going to have to side with Liam & Luskus on this. I, too am tired of some smug “craft” brewers thinking they know beer better than the majors. Most don’t. The big guys drive beer R&D–they know their beer. Just look at this forum and some of the simple, basic, remedial questions asked on a Professional brewing forum. Startups by folks who have never worked in a brewery before–let alone business at all! And they have license to call their resulting product “craft”? Where’s the logic there? Enthusiasm doesn’t make it “craft”. Working harder (but not smarter) doesn’t make it “craft”. Neither does love of your job, love of EXTREME beers, sacrifice of time or money. It is about honing your skills well over decades and working in many different environments. It’s about the final product regardless of what it is called, who makes it, or how big the batch size is. It is about mastering beer in the eyes of your peers and the public.
    And to address Admin: “It’s about deception in the marketplace” Oh please give me a break. Like small brewers don’t get away with crap marketing? “Brewed with pure spring water” when it comes from the tap? Reinheitsgebot when it has gypsum added? “Made with 100% pure East Kent Goldings” when the hop bill is only a few percent EKG? I could go on and on, but you get my point–it’s deceptive. No segment is devoid of shysters. Not even “craft” brewers. Like Liam, I think this thread is more about how you call ANY beer from a large company “faux craft” (even when you haven’t tried it) as if it were impossible for a large company to produce such a product. Why would that be? Just can’t make a “craft” beer with the same equipment, ingredients, techniques and passion if you have connections to a large brewery? That’s ridiculous.
    Again, my best wishes to a brewer who is clearly showing the “craft” segment how to locally source their materials. OK, now I’m up to $0.04. Stepping down….

  23. admin says

    Wow! Great comments. Thanks to all.

    I appreciate the various opinions and respect each comment. I’m not going to argue the various opinions and thoughts because each is valid.

    We live in a great industry. I’ve been in the craft brewing family for 28 years now in a wide variety of positions. I’ve seen a lot come and go. Some things that I thought would never make it have become hugely popular and just the opposite.

    I have my opinions and they are pretty strong. I rarely infuse those opinions into ProBrewer but sometime I do.

    Please don’t interpret meaning into what I wrote. Some of the comments here have strayed way offcourse from the original post. I never mentioned quality, I never compared, I didn’t say one was better than another or that only major brand brewers are deceptive. It has nothing to do with “legitimacy.” It’s not about whether other industries do it. It’s about the core issue of a major global brewer who creates a fake brewing company name to market a beer. Why do they do that? Answer that question, and give it some thought. Over a pint.

    Thanks again for the comments. Keep ‘em coming – but keep it respectful.

    I think I’ll go have an Anchor Steam……

  24. gitchegumee says

    Hmmmm… Points well taken. I stand corrected here as I just looked up what the Brewers’ Association calls “craft” beer:
    “Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.”
    Wish someone would have pointed that out before my last post! So, although I believe AC Golden are able to “craft” a great beer, they do not meet the definition of a “craft brewer” according to Brewers’ Association as AC Golden is a subsidiary of MC. So, indeed it is not a “craft” beer by that definition.
    BTW admin, Is Anchor Brewing still craft now? They no longer fit the definition! And you’ll still drink it?!! Shocker indeed! :^}

  25. dberg says

    Oregon Originals, private label brands, etc, etc.

    By the way, Admin, I don’t think anyone has a problem with you expressing your opinions. It’s just when we see a post by “Admin” we assume it to be information or moderation. Perhaps post under a different user name?

  26. beerking1 says

    gitchegumee wrote: Hmmmm… Points well taken. I stand corrected here as I just looked up what the Brewers’ Association calls “craft” beer:
    “Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.”
    Wish someone would have pointed that out before my last post! So, although I believe AC Golden are able to “craft” a great beer, they do not meet the definition of a “craft brewer” according to Brewers’ Association as AC Golden is a subsidiary of MC. So, indeed it is not a “craft” beer by that definition.
    BTW admin, Is Anchor Brewing still craft now? They no longer fit the definition! And you’ll still drink it?!! Shocker indeed! :^}

    Which is what I have heard many point out as the problem with the current definition of “craft” breweries. “Less than 25%”? That is a pretty small number. So Brewery X signs a deal with A-B/InBusch that gives 24% stock to the macro, but gives the brewery access to the distribution system. Brewery Y signs the same deal, but A-B/InBusch ends up with 26% of the stock. Now X is a craft brewer but Y isn’t? Pushes credibility, at the least.

    If Stone/New Belgium/DFH/Greenflash/you name the latest rock star craft brewery makes an American Light Lager, with ingredients, flavor profile, body, and everything else virtually identical to Coors Light, is it still a “craft” beer because of the ownership of the brewery?

  27. twoodward15 says

    Tlangle1 wrote: It’s not truly a deception or an attempt to deceive. It’s not an extreme beer, it’s not trying to encroach on the 100 IBU turf. It’s a separate company, using separate suppliers, unique ingredients, & different processes. It’s not sold or marketed by the MillerCoors Sales & Marketing machine, there is truly an AC Golden Brewing company, a CEO, not on MillerCoors payroll, with employess on a payroll that isn’t the MillerCoors payroll. If this was a “big guy” approach, there would have been advertising. This a very commited small team of people, with a different idea on how to go to market and build beer brands. Just like we did with the Blue Moon brand, the 15 year overnight success. We think it’s unique and different from a more traditional beer brand launch and to be successful needs to be differentiated in name and body. Characterize it how you will, I think the ACGolden team is more than willing to let the consumer decide. Thanks for the discussion. Good day.

    It’s NOT a separate company, It’s not using separate suppliers, and it certainly isn’t using “unique” ingredients. While I’m sure you’d like to think that you are using something unique, I can assure you that anything and everything that is in that beer has been used in a beer before. Perhaps before you try to defend your product you should do some research so that you don’t end up making it look even worse than the good beer that it probably is. There’s nothing unique about this beer at all! In fact, there’s nothing unique about 98% of the beers on the market today! Get out the dictionary and look up the word unique if you plan on using it to explain your beer.

  28. liammckenna says

    I’ve always thought the BA’s definition of ‘craft’ was wanting.

    Pax.

    Liam

  29. Ted Briggs says

    I once tryed my hand at a low-carb beer. It started at 10p w/ 5ibu and finnished below 0p – so dry the alcohol made it thinner than water, On a 10bbl system.
    Of course, I didnt make a new company to sell it under. It was on tap the same time my 10abv bourbon barrel baryleywine was.
    Am I still a Craftbrewer?
    There is an assumtion here that the creation of a new company to brew this beer is for decipt. However if I was to be tasked for the project I would ask for the same. The atonomy of my own payroll and the freedom to do it right. And a M/C benifit package of course…

    PS: Notice my sign-on is my real name, with my contact info in my signature and my full info in my profile page. I think everyone who stands behind what they write should do the same. I often find myself looking at blank profiles, not knowing who the poster really is.

  30. el_mocoso says

    liammckenna wrote: I’ve always thought the BA’s definition of ‘craft’ was wanting.

    Pax.

    Liam

    I’m curious as to how you, or anybody, would change it. I’m not saying it is right or wrong, just professional curiosity. Anybody else have any suggestions? Below is a quote from craftbeer.com.

    “An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional.
    Small: Annual production of beer less than 2 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition.

    Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.

    Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.”

  31. beerking1 says

    el_mocoso wrote: Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.”

    i have always thought that last one to be pretty subjective. Who decides whether the adjuncts are used to enhance or not? Isn’t some of the purpose of sugar in bigger Belgians to lighten the flavor? Is it really true that lightening flavor is not an enhancement?…

  32. liammckenna says

    Some of my thoughts on the BA definition can be found here in what I found to be a very engaging thread.

    Happy to discuss further.

    Pax.

    Liam

  33. ParishBrewingCo says

    Tlangle1 wrote: It’s not truly a deception or an attempt to deceive. It’s not an extreme beer, it’s not trying to encroach on the 100 IBU turf. It’s a separate company, using separate suppliers, unique ingredients, & different processes. It’s not sold or marketed by the MillerCoors Sales & Marketing machine, there is truly an AC Golden Brewing company, a CEO, not on MillerCoors payroll, with employess on a payroll that isn’t the MillerCoors payroll. If this was a “big guy” approach, there would have been advertising. This a very commited small team of people, with a different idea on how to go to market and build beer brands. Just like we did with the Blue Moon brand, the 15 year overnight success. We think it’s unique and different from a more traditional beer brand launch and to be successful needs to be differentiated in name and body. Characterize it how you will, I think the ACGolden team is more than willing to let the consumer decide. Thanks for the discussion. Good day.

    A subsidiary of a parent company is still part of the parent company.

    AC Golden doesn’t fit my definition of craft beer because CRAFT BREWERIES ARE BUILT FROM THE GROUND UP, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. It’s not just about the quality of the product, but also about the journey or story of the beer.

  34. CaptainEBC says

    I think this is totaly deception on some part. The goal of the marketing campaign is to make the consumer “feel” like he or she discovered a new brand.

    I am in the begining phases of starting my own brewery and I love to try new beers I see on the shelves to support the other little guys that are just getting onto the frontlines of the industry. When I buy a beer that I originally think is a new micro and realize that I have been tricked by a boardroom marketing scheme, it makes me pretty mad.

    One of the previous quotes was “If it were a big guy approach, there would have been advertising.” This is completely untrue. To the general craft beer drinker, large marketing campaigns have the opposite effect as when used on the light party beer crowd. Therefore, large marketing campaigns will turn craft beer drinkers away. The only way for a large beer company to compete with craft beer is with guerilla marketing.

    Just to add to the marketing schemes; whats the deal with “Tripple Hops Brewed” or “Cold Filtered.” These are as arbitrary as claiming to make beer with a unique process of “Hot boiling.” Whats next? This takes advantage of the general beer drinker that has no knowledge of the process.

    However, this doesn’t mean that large breweries can’t make great beer. I would love to be able to buy a 30 pack of something like Coors IPA.

    On the bright side, this is just proof that more complex beers are becoming more popular.

  35. CaptainEBC says

    I think this is totaly deception on some part. The goal of the marketing campaign is to make the consumer “feel” like he or she discovered a new brand.

    I am in the begining phases of starting my own brewery and I love to try new beers I see on the shelves to support the other little guys that are just getting onto the frontlines of the industry. When I buy a beer that I originally think is a new micro and realize that I have been tricked by a boardroom marketing scheme, it makes me pretty mad.

    One of the previous quotes was “If it were a big guy approach, there would have been advertising.” This is completely untrue. To the general craft beer drinker, large marketing campaigns have the opposite effect as when used on the light party beer crowd. Therefore, large marketing campaigns will turn craft beer drinkers away. The only way for a large beer company to compete with craft beer is with guerilla marketing.

    Just to add to the marketing schemes; whats the deal with “Tripple Hops Brewed” or “Cold Filtered.” These are as arbitrary as claiming to make beer with a unique process of “Hot boiling.” Whats next? This takes advantage of the general beer drinker that has no knowledge of the process.

    However, this doesn’t mean that large breweries can’t make great beer. I would love to be able to buy a 30 pack of something like Coors IPA.

    On the bright side, this is just proof that more complex beers are becoming more popular.

  36. laughinglemur says

    beerking1 wrote: If Stone/New Belgium/DFH/Greenflash/you name the latest rock star craft brewery makes an American Light Lager, with ingredients, flavor profile, body, and everything else virtually identical to Coors Light, is it still a “craft” beer because of the ownership of the brewery?

    No, the use of adjuncts would disqualify it (by definition) as a craft beer.

  37. BrewinLou says

    OK so where is the cut off point for using adjuncts? Or does any use of adjuncts in micro brewed beer disqualify the beer from using the word craft. Seems silly to me. Lots of breweries around use rye, oats, flaked goodies to improve their beers, not water them down. I have a yellow fizzy beer that is light, but contains no adjunct grains. I have big APAs that do. Just seems a bit of a stretch to try to say what ingredient makes a beer micro or whatever else one would call it.

  38. beerking1 says

    BrewinLou wrote: OK so where is the cut off point for using adjuncts? Or does any use of adjuncts in micro brewed beer disqualify the beer from using the word craft. Seems silly to me. Lots of breweries around use rye, oats, flaked goodies to improve their beers, not water them down. I have a yellow fizzy beer that is light, but contains no adjunct grains. I have big APAs that do. Just seems a bit of a stretch to try to say what ingredient makes a beer micro or whatever else one would call it.

    I agree: Silly distinction.

    The definition says adjuncts cannot be used to lighten the beer.
    I know Vinnie uses corn sugar in his Pliny, SPECIFICALLY to lighten the beer (he has made the recipe available many times, and has lectured on the beer). So now Russian River is not a craft brewer? Hogwash!

    BTW: The definition specifically excludes the brewers united under the name “Craft Brewers Alliance.” Ironic!

  39. admin says

    OK folks. The Brewers Association has given their best group effort to define craft beer. Since many of you don’t agree with it – how would you define craft beer.

    And please don’t use the answer “why define it” or “we don’t need to define it.” Because as an industry, we do need a definition. The media, legislators when re-writing laws and our consumers constantly inquire “what is a craft beer.” So we need to define it. How would you…?

  40. safety man says

    Craft Beer is defined by the volume of the breweries production, and who is/are the financial backers for the product.
    The CBA breweries are not Craft Beer, because they have large amounts of investment from AB In-Bev. Sorry G.I.
    Jim Koch can still be a craft brewer no matter how much beer he makes, because he is on the board of directors for the BA. He can continue to increase the volume limit as long as he has the support of the rest of the BA, and does not sell his shares to a conglomerate.

  41. beerking1 says

    admin wrote: OK folks. The Brewers Association has given their best group effort to define craft beer. Since many of you don’t agree with it – how would you define craft beer.

    And please don’t use the answer “why define it” or “we don’t need to define it.” Because as an industry, we do need a definition. The media, legislators when re-writing laws and our consumers constantly inquire “what is a craft beer.” So we need to define it. How would you…?

    Good call. I have been rather vocal on this topic, so I’ll give it a first stab (it is harder than it might seem):

    Starting with the BA definition, which has many good points, and is a good start:

    Small: Annual production of beer less than 2 million barrels. Beer production is attributed to a brewer according to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Flavored malt beverages are not considered beer for purposes of this definition.
    (This one seems alright to me. I don’t see any need to change it, even considering Boston Brewing is soon to break this barrier. I think they can afford it. πŸ˜‰ )

    Independent: Less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.
    (This one seems overly restrictive. Why 25%? I’d try something like this:
    “The craft brewery operates without controlling interest by a member of the alcoholic beverage industry who is not themselves a craft brewer, regardless of ownership percentage. Equally, ownership percentage is irrelevant if the non-craft brewer owner has no controlling authority in the brewery operations.”)

    Traditional: A brewer who has either an all malt flagship (the beer which represents the greatest volume among that brewers brands) or has at least 50% of its volume in either all malt beers or in beers which use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor.
    (OK. I think this is the one we all have expressed some “issues” with. Here is my attempt:
    “A brewer whose decisions regarding ingredients and processes reflect primary concern over the quality of the beer first, and not primarily the cost of production. A craft brewer may use adjuncts, but NOT primarily to reduce production costs.”) (emphasis added for discussion purposes.)

    Comments and criticisms welcomed. That is what boards like this are all about, right?
    (At the risk of invalidating my own post, keep Stan Hieronymus’ New Beer Rule #5 in mind: “It is only beer”) πŸ˜‰

  42. LuskusDelph says

    beerking1 wrote:
    (…keep Stan Hieronymus’ New Beer Rule #5 in mind: “It is only beer”) πŸ˜‰

    I think beerking1’s take on the subject is clear and rational and probably the most sensible assessment I’ve seen (even if I still dislike the term “craft” brewer…I think the term “artisanal” would have been more appropriate form the ouset

    But yes…that Stan Hieronymus quote IS right on the money.

  43. jesskidden says

    beerking1 wrote:
    Small: Annual production of beer less than 2 million barrels.>snip<

    (This one seems alright to me. I don’t see any need to change it, even considering Boston Brewing is soon to break this barrier. I think they can afford it. πŸ˜‰ )

    Yeah, BBC can “afford” it, but can the craft brewing industry, or, more specifically, the Brewers Association’s PR machine?

    Drop BBC from the totals, and you’ve “lost” over 20% of the craft beer total barrelage – subtracting BBC’s 2m bbl from craft’s 9.1m bbl – which would drop the total volume market share of craft back down to around 3.5% of the US market.

  44. beerking1 says

    jesskidden wrote: Yeah, BBC can “afford” it, but can the craft brewing industry, or, more specifically, the Brewers Association’s PR machine?

    Drop BBC from the totals, and you’ve “lost” over 20% of the craft beer total barrelage – subtracting BBC’s 2m bbl from craft’s 9.1m bbl – which would drop the total volume market share of craft back down to around 3.5% of the US market.

    Good point, Jess!

  45. safety man says

    As long as Jim Koch is on the board of directors for the BA, they will continue to up the total volume brewed to keep the BBC qualified as a craft brewery. He’s good friends with Ken, Sam, Charlie, and the rest of the major players. It’s a simple matter of business and politics. We all want the craft beer segment to grow, and without BBC as a member it would hurt everyone involved. The BA will make sure the BBC is still considered a craft brewery.

  46. LuskusDelph says

    dberg wrote: In other words, the “rules” really aren’t rules…

    …nor should they be.
    Anyway, it bears repeating, the craft is in the making of the beer. “Craft” really has nothing to do with the size of the brewery. There’s plenty of proof of that out there, on both ends of the spectrum.

  47. dberg says

    LuskusDelph wrote: …nor should they be.
    Anyway, it bears repeating, the craft is in the making of the beer. “Craft” really has nothing to do with the size of the brewery. There’s plenty of proof of that out there, on both ends of the spectrum.

    But then the question is “why bother?” By the way, I’m not disagreeing with you.

    How’s this for a theory:

    The BA came up with a definition to exclude the three largest brewers, but they couldn’t just come out and state that. Due to their definition, a lot of breweries end up as collateral damage, mainly the CBA and the few remaining regionals. In the latter, you have breweries like Yuengling and August Schell (full disclosure, I work for the latter). We’ve been in continuous operation for 150 years, owned by the same family. We’ve been through prohibition, a Native American uprising which burned the entire town to the ground (the brewery was spared). We survived the 70s, when virtually every other brewery was run out of business. We were one of the first breweries to join the BA when it went by a different name. We were making German Pils and Weizen in the early 80s. Yet now, since our flagship beer (or the beer we sell the largest quantity of) uses corn (as did our beers 150 years ago–we have brewing logs), we’re no longer part of the “club.” So be it. We didn’t make the rules. However, it’s a bit disingenuous for the BA to keep bending the same rules they made.

    I’ll have to disagree with the Admin–a question was answered that wasn’t asked. There was no need to define craft. Small brewers face the same challenges, and how exactly are those challenges addressed by dividing the brewers?

  48. safety man says

    dberg you are absolutely in the right. Raw materials should have no basis as to the categorization of a brewery. I like your beer and your mission, breweries like yours built the platform for places like Sierra and BBC to build on. Don’t feel bad for the CBA breweries. They are making plenty of money off of their deals with AB In-Bev. Again sorry G.I., looks like you got caught up with the wrong crowd.

  49. admin says

    dberg wrote:

    I’ll have to disagree with the Admin–a question was answered that wasn’t asked. There was no need to define craft. Small brewers face the same challenges, and how exactly are those challenges addressed by dividing the brewers?

    There is absolutely a reason to define our category. Not only for the media and consumer, but very, very importantly for legislative positioning. If all brewers are allowed to be a voting member of the trade association (the BA and state guilds), then they ultimately could create their own legislative agenda which would quite simply put small independent brewers (like most of you on this Forum) out of business. That is basic industry category survival 101.
    There does need to be a definition.
    What that is exactly is the hard part. There hasn’t been consensus here on the Forum, there wasn’t consensus when the BA created the current definition among the BA Board or membership, and there will probably never be a definition that everyone agrees on.
    The point is, there needs to be a definition. And there is no definition that is perfect. So should we accept the BA definition?

    Admin

  50. dberg says

    Admin-

    I’ll concede your point that there is a need for a definition. I do find it strange, however, that an organization would coin a term and then *years* later decide they should define it.

    With that being said, take a look at the list of the top craft brewers and tell me how the definition has been applied consistently. Since it’s obvious (to me at least) that it has not, I ask once again–what exactly is the point? You can’t make rules and then bend/break them. Is this really informing the consumer?

  51. admin says

    dberg wrote: Admin-

    I do find it strange, however, that an organization would coin a term and then *years* later decide they should define it.

    You can’t make rules and then bend/break them. Is this really informing the consumer?

    Sure you can. You have to. Things change. The industry has evolved tremendously over a short period of time (20 years). We, as industry members have to evolve with it. Otherwise we would be “stuck” like to major brewers are. These aren’t “rules,” they are definitions.
    Again, I’m not defending the BA definition – I’m just stating that we must be able to define our category and I haven’t seen anyone who has a definition that everyone agrees with.

    Thanks for comments and opinions! Keep ’em coming…

  52. dberg says

    Admin-

    You’re missing the point (or I’m not making it very well). The definition has only existed for a couple of years. They bent the rules of who could be a craft brewer almost immediately *without changing the definition.* Why?

    I have no problem with things evolving. But then the definition that appears on *every single press release* should evolve also. If this doesn’t occur, the whole thing becomes meaningless.

    The consumer is confused not only by the inconsistencies, but by the definition itself. Take a look at any message board around the time the top craft brewers list comes out and you’ll see what I mean.

  53. beerking1 says

    Admin- You are right that the definition needs to evolve with the industry. I remember when the earliest large craft brewers were approaching 15K BBLs per year there was a good amount of concern about what to do now. Do we kick them out of the club for being successful…hardly. You are also right that it is nearly impossible to come up with a definition all agree with.
    Then again, how frequently can you change the definition and maintain any credibility? If Safety Man is correct and the Board, featuring members such as Jim Koch himself, will keep up with BBC’s growth, I think they risk losing some credibility. Such a quick change for such an obvious reason would run a high risk of making the BA appear to be “the BBC/DN/DFH and friends Brewer’s Association.

    Dberg- What immediate bending of the rules are you speaking of?

    BTW, as I stated before, the ingredients piece is concerning. If a brewery (oh, I don’t know, maybe August Schell) makes a beer true to the Pre-Prohibition American Pilsner “Style” (aka Classic American Pilsner in the BJCP Guidlines), and it becomes their biggest seller, should that exclude them? I don’t think so. We just brewed a CAP at Battlefield, using Corn Flakes. Have I risked our “Craft Status” if that becomes our biggest seller? Somehow, I doubt the BA would even notice in the case of a 3 BBL Brewpub, but what if business takes off and we end up doning 20K BBLs in a couple of years (HIGHLY unlikely).

  54. BrewinLou says

    I am against changing the definition of any word. It is far to easy to create a new word (and fun). The BA losses credibility if it caves under the pressure of one member, even if it is their biggest. Create a new catagory for Boston’s of the world. It is highly unlikely they will be the last to grow to their size. They are breaking new ground in growth, perfect time to break new ground not rehash what was laid out before. You can not change history because you no longer like it. You can only manipulate the recorded versions of it. Far to much of that has been done already. JMO

  55. gitchegumee says

    Arguments for a definition seem to revolve around US legislative positioning (and an us against them bias). What about the rest of the world? Is there “craft” beer outside the US? As an expat brewer, beer enthusiast, and beer consumer, I don’t see the value of a definition. If it tastes good, it IS good. Mega-made or not.

  56. safety man says

    The BA does risk losing some of its integrity by continuing to allow what i like to call “macro-craft” to determine the rules by which we all have to play. The question is, why does the BA feel it’s necessary to continue to push towards this magic number of 10% of the total market share? Do we all get an office party or something?
    It seems to be an irrelevant number similar to the Dow Jones hitting 11,000.
    These numbers boost consumer confidence, because the public needs to quantify success. Will people drink less “craft” beer if the market share is less? Personally, I doubt it. The movement to drink better beer is too strong.
    I don’t care if craft beer is 1% or 20% of the market as long as the beer is being made with the integrity that is part of the movement. It’s almost as if the craft brewing industry is demanding these numbers to justify our existence as a separate and “superior” brewing community. Elitism, egos, snobbery? I’m am far from perfect, but I am not a hater of people who chose to drink beer produced by larger breweries. If I was, I would heckle people who drink BBC at a nice beer bar.

  57. Tlangle1 says

    The debate still stirs. I worked for a small Rocky Mountain based brewer back when they were only distributed in 11 western states and folks bottlegged their one brand in car trunks to all points east. No one used the word “craught-brewer” then, brewing, just was a craft, period. That company had a smaller distribution than New Belgium does now, or Sams, but I don’t recall us beating down the doors to the legislature suing for a differentiating tax structure. Now that brewery is big, and apparently, short of any other arguments, that’s in and of iteslf is enough to make it bad. That brewery didn’t do anything to slam the door behind them on up and comers. In fact, they still participate in multiple meaningful ways in supporting the local “craught beer” industy. Technology, talent, materials, etc. Here’s a thought. Reach out to me off line. Come meet the ACGolden Brewers, see the brewery, touch the ingredients, listen to the story, taste the Beers, then tell me it’s not “craft”, by any meaningful definition. Come see ACGolden at the GABF, love to meet you and chat.
    Peace;
    TL

  58. SRB says

    Tlangle1 wrote: …. but I don’t recall us beating down the doors to the legislature suing for a differentiating tax structure…. Come see ACGolden at the GABF, love to meet you and chat.
    Peace;
    TL

    We cannot afford to participate at GABF….Yet. With or without a change in the current tax law we will continue to strive to get there and share our beers. If it passed it sure would help though! πŸ˜€ I thank my Senator, Crapo of Idaho for co-sponsoring the Senate bill and the Brewers Association for fighting so hard for this.
    I find this debate fascinating. 2,000,000 BBl’s seems like SO MUCH BEER. Yet clearly 2,000,000 BBl’s represents such a small percentage of what the mega brewers produce. For me that simple fact alone only reinforces how powerful multi-national corporations and their subsidiaries really are.
    It seems to me that when Coor’s (I assume) only had 11 states
    (wow..that seems like so many states to me πŸ™‚ ) the political landscape in the beer industry was very different.
    I think it’s great you have posted Tlangle1 and I believe you that if I can find a way to visit and meet the ACGolden Brewers, see the brewery, touch the ingredients, listen to the story and taste the beers that I would be hard pressed to not call you guys a craft (artisan?;)) brewery.
    But this thread is really about politics right?
    For me alone if AC Golden has any contractual financial affiliation with SAB Miller-Molson/Coor’s my perspective changes politically. In the same way that my perspective changed politically with RedHook and then with the Craft Brewers Alliance, Blue Moon etc etc.
    If AC Golden truly has no financial support from a parent company of any kind or is a 30 bbl brewery that is not destined if demand allows to grow to a point that the mega brewer parent can utilize it for profit then I concede my points in context to AC Golden are moot.
    You guys look like you have a killer brewery down there. Enjoy!!
    Prost!
    matt g @ SRB

  59. safety man says

    First of all, I haven’t been part of such an interesting and well debated thread in a while. Everyone really seems to have great points. Tlangle1 I think you make a great point. Obviously larger breweries put as much attention into their product as anyone else, if not more. They are held responsible for a huge range of distribution territory, and they are held to the highest of standards. Every Budweiser had better taste exactly the same as every other Budweiser. I think the point of contentions are in the size and philosophy of the brewing company. Are you trying to do something different/new or not?
    From my experience different isn’t always better. Unfortunately, smaller brewers can’t afford publicity, so we need to find other ways to sell product. I think that only by banding together can craft brewers compete in the open market place. Therefore, we must differentiate not based on quality, but on quantity.

  60. admin says

    I commend Miller/Coors (which owns and fully controls “AC Golden”), ABInBev and many other major brewers for their products. They are marvels at consistency and they do what they do very well.

    And I greatly respect and admire the passion that brewers at many major brewers posses about their “craft” – brewing.

    But we as craft brewers operate in a totally different industry today than when “a small Rocky Mountain based brewer… was only distributed in 11 western states.”

    Often, the brewers who work at major brewers have a unintentional disconnect between brewing and surviving in the business of beer. With all due respect, those who work in production at the big breweries often don’t understand the realities of market access or the forceful political power that these large brewers exert at the state Capitols.

    All craft brewers, from Jim Koch on down, have sat many, many times in a distributors office or rode with a distributor sales rep and watched as the primary supplier to that wholesaler exerted tremendous mind-share over which brands were prioritized and aggressively sold. All of us in the craft beer business have watched as our brand was taken off a tap to make room for a major brand to satisfy a sales quota, make “points” in a supplier-induced promotion or to meet a major suppliers sales goals. So by default, Colorado Native (for example) will get powerful representation by wholesalers – far more than most craft brands in the house, because Colorado Native is part of the Miller/Coors portfolio and Miller/Coors commands distributor attention.

    It is more than just about what is being brewed in the brewery and how it is brewed. It is about craft brewers banding together to protect our industry as small, independent brewers who do not have the financial resources for massive advertising, do not have the benefit of huge political contributions to buy votes, do not command 60-70% of our distributors total sales (and mind-share) and do not have the purchasing power with our suppliers.

    So how do we band together? First we define who “we” is. And, back to the original discussion, that is what the BA has attempted to do in defining “craft beer.”

  61. BeerBoy says

    (parentheticals are mine…)

    To quote (and paraphrase) Potter Stewart, U.S. Supreme Court justice:

    β€œI shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material (beer) I understand to be embraced within [the term β€˜hard-core pornography,’ (craft beer) to which the justice believed that state criminal laws in the area of obscenity were constitutionally limited]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it (craft beer), and the motion picture (beer) involved in this case is not that.”

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    I, too, have enjoyed this discussion – trying to define the subjective, especially when it’s a moving target, is iffy at best. I fully understand the need for protection and am not sure how best to achieve and maintain it. Is it a “class” of beers? Is it volume driven? Some nether world of both? It will be interesting to see how it all plays out – aka, follow the money.

    Farmer Dave
    Dave’s BrewFarm – A Farmhouse Brewery
    Wilson, WI

  62. admin says

    Here’s a related blog post by BA president Charlie Papazian. The BA is conducting a consumer poll on “what does craft beer mean to you?”

  63. banjolawyer says

    admin wrote: don’t understand the realities of market access or the forceful political power that these large brewers exert at the state Capitols.

    Excellent post admin.

  64. jesskidden says

    Tlangle1 wrote: I worked for a small Rocky Mountain based brewer back when they were only distributed in 11 western states and folks bottlegged their one brand in car trunks to all points east.
    TL

    Did you work for Tivoli? Or maybe Walter in Pueblo? πŸ˜‰ Because, even anachronistically using today’s Brewers Association definition for “small” it couldn’t have been Adolph Coors, since they’d passed the 2m bbl cut-off sometime in the early 1960’s -when the US total beer market was less than half [75m bbl in ’60] of what it is today.

    By the era of “bootlegging Coors east” [mid-1970’s], the brewery was in the US Top Tier, the Big 5 of US breweries [all with over 10m bbl capacity], with a capacity of 15m bbl a year and about 7-9% of the total US domestic market. “Regional” distribution, yeah- “small”, no way.

  65. The Gooch says

    This thread might be the finest collection of people who love to hear themselves talk (or in this case see themselves write) that has ever been compiled. Come down off the high horses guys, you know who you are.

  66. liammckenna says

    What has happened to this thread?

    Have we not discussed this before?

    What is it with the need of so many here to apply labels/compartmentalize/put themselves and others in various boxes?

    Just make good, wholesome beer. And make it well. It seems elegantly simple.

    Don’t let me define that for you. Don’t let some organization define that for you either, whether that be the BA, BJCP definitions, or the often arbitrary opinions of the local beer geeks and beer press. Listen to your customers/clients, most importantly, the ones who are NOT very vocal.

    Hoe your own row. Don’t let me tell you what to do.

    Avoid using any crap in your beer that your grandmother wouldn’t recognize (unless it is absolutely unavoidable) and you’ll be fine.

    Don’t underestimate your consumers.

    Build it well, be nice about it, and they will come.

    Pax.

    Liam