Archive for Sellout

The Imperial Expansion of the Corporate Macro Breweries

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2015 by themadhopper

Change has come to the world of beer, the people have spoken and Craft is on the rise but don’t count the Industrial Macro brands out yet, you can bet they won’t just take this this lying down.

All Hail the King

All Hail the King

I don’t claim to be a beer blogger, or a beer critic – just a drinker turned brewer with a story to tell- and even I usually try to stay out of beer politics this issue has touched me so deeply that by the power invested in me by the internet I will add my voice to the shrieks of dismay as my Idols make deals with the devil.

It seems only befitting that one of the largest beer producers in the world has dubbed itself the “King of Beers”, a title that is supported not only by its 25% share of the World Beer market but also by its ability to subjugate its rivals (I know, I know, Budweiser isn’t the name of the company, only one of its largest brands, but give me a break I’m taking a little creative le way here).

Since the beginning of the Craft Revolution, Industrial Macro beer producers have done their best to crush the rising tide of small breweries, but in the last 30 years (in the U.S at least) Micro-brewers have slowly but surely made a great deal of progress. Now faced with such a formidable opponent Macro Corporations have, out of frustration (or business brilliance) decided to simply buy its competition out. As some great philosopher once said “If you can’t beat them, buy them out and make them your bitch” or something along those lines.

Newschoolbeer.com

Alright, perhaps that’s a harsh way of putting it, but  AB InBev and MillerCoors have recently become pimp to quite a few microbreweries claiming  their corner in exchange for protection and money. Most recently 10 Barrel Brewing and Elysian Brewing Company have traded in their freedom for a chain and a massive bank roll.  The business man in me wants to give both of them a high five and buy them a drinking for “Making it big”. Not only have the founders of these microbreweries been able to finally really cash in on their hard earned work but now the sky is the limit for both brands.  In the article written by Chris Furnari over at Brewbound (Inside A-B InBev’s Acquisition of Elysian Brewing ) The owners of Elysian Brewing Company make some pretty rational points on how “teaming up” with Ab InBev will allow them to grow and expand their Brand in ways never seen before.  Everything from lab facilities, bulk orders and country wide distribution (oh, and let’s not forget a bankroll the size of a countries gold reserve) will allow Elysian to finally become the brewery it was meant to be. . Truly these companies have achieved the American Dream of success.

And with an industry becoming overly saturated with competition this transaction will make sure that Elysian comes out on top during the next few difficult years claims its founders. Though I’d argue that a brand like Elysian would never really be in any true danger of going under.

However, the beer drinking moralistic hophead in me is going through a swing of depression that makes the Pacific Northwest’s weather seem sunny by contrast. I feel like a jilted lover. Absolutely Betrayed. I feel like I was stabbed in the back and abandoned in a rain of mediocre light lager. And you want to know the worst part? The worst part is they said they did it all for me, that they sold out in order to better meet and please my demand as a consumer. How little they know me if they thought that is what I desired. How little they know if they thought that is what would make me happy. I liked them the way they were. I appreciated them for their faults and their accomplishments, their success and their failures.

However, this innocent bystander certainly isn’t the only one  to notice how ironic (hypocritical?) this is?

Alright before I get too emotional I’ll just end there. The point is I see the buying out of microbreweries as simply a new tactic in the KINGS fight against the craft revolution, with me as simply a causality of war. Will I stop drinking Elysian and 10 Barrel for a time? Yes. Will I stop drinking it forever? Who knows.? But more importantly would I ever sell out? And the truth is, I can’t honestly say I wouldn’t do the same, because damn does that devil king have a silver tongue ( And some awesome freaking horses).

*Full disclosure- The author of this article was in love with Elysian Brewing Companies Avatar IPA

*Full Full disclosure-  More than a few beers might have been consumed during the writing of this as a coping mechanism.

 

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