OK, I get it. You are against the big guys. But why? Just because you want the underdog to win?
Brewing beer is not for the faint of heart. It’s a capital intensive business, and like all businesses, it boils down to economics.
What will happen when the local brewery that you visited since the taproom was as big as a playpen gets an offer it can’t refuse so that the brewer you adore can brew even more of the beer you love? Will you stop loving them because of their financing arrangements? Does the definition of “craft brewer” even matter?
The parade of brewery sales and acquisitions marches steadily on. With ownership details becoming ever more murky, consumers must move past the Brewers Association’s definition of “craft beer” when making purchasing decisions.
No. Stop the madness. Why do we need to move past it? I say let the brewery sales and acquisitions happen. The definition doesn’t matter.
Follow the beer you love. If you like the “little guy”, then buy the beer the “little guy” produces. Buy lots of it. Tell you non-beer drinking friends about it. The market is cruel but generally gets it right.
The real issue is the flawed markets maintained by 50 different states in the name of the three tier system, let alone hundreds of countries in which beer is produced.
If you really care about choice and the underdog, then you need to do two things:
- buy the beer you like, and
- get politically involved.
You need to advocate for free and fair access to the market. Right now, at least in the state of Florida, we’re doing pretty good. Other places like Georgia aren’t, and they failing to launch because of the laws in place that prevent them from doing things like selling alcohol directly to consumers and self-distributing their products.
Contact your local brewer’s guild to learn more about the challenges they face in their marketplace.