Sunday, March 8, 2009

Craft Beer Hegemony--not like Bud

Wouldn't you say that the macro beers have influenced us beer drinkers for years, by getting the majority of tap handles, prime shelf space, getting into all the distributors, and being able to afford the prime Super Bowl spots?

This has had a direct influence over what we've come to drink, and aligned the playing field such that the craft beers have had to pick up the crumbs of what is left, being forced into smaller venues, slower uptake, retarded adoption, and low revenues.

Further, I think there has always been a copy-cat approach used by the macros--when the big guy came out with a light beer, everyone else dimly followed.

But do you really see this in craft beer? Do you think that anyone making craft beer is at all influenced by these behemoths in terms of beer quality or business model? I don't think so, and in fact I can't even think of one craft brewer trying to influence the craft beer industry in anything but positive ways. That is, being adventurous and creative in what the produce, pushing the envelope, and letting the consumer joy in the results.

You might say that some of the big craft brewers do and have had some influence over the smaller. But this is mostly in pushing the bounds of what's possible in the creative endeavor of brewing and not dominating what is sold in a particular market.

I think of this as the true democratization of beer which might even serve as an example of what we should all be striving for in work and life.

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