TrentonDevils

BEER

1,164 posts in this topic

Funny that I don't think I've ever posted in this thread since I work at a liquor store haha. All we've been getting lately is Winter/Christmas beers, it kills me since most of them are heavy and I'm not much of a fan of stouts and porters. Tis the season for me to drink pretty much only Shiner Cheer. I did however recently try Heavy Seas Winter Storm. Not bad at all. I also just got a sample bottle of Sierra Nevada's Celebration that is sitting in my fridge for me to try.

Edited by PWW

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My cousin got a hold of Heady Topper, nd let me share some. Imo, it's worth the hype. While I prefer a citrusy IPA, this one just had so much going on. In a good way. I waited a couple minutes between sips, and I was tasting different flavors for at least a minute. I'm not that refined either, so there were a ton of strong flavors. If I drive up to Montreal for WWC this summer, I may stop in Vermont on the way home to stock up.

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I am lucky to have a good friend who is friends with the owners. Every summer he visits from VT and leaves me a cooler of Heady, very delicious.

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Interesting read about Bud's anti-craft beer ad that was aired during the Super Bowl.  AB/InBev is getting desperate.

 

http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/02/valuable-lessons-i-learned-from-budweisers-hypocri.html

 

Good read. When I saw the ad, all I did was angrily tweet and then polish off my third coffee porter. That guy dropped some knowledge. Good stuff.

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Good read. When I saw the ad, all I did was angrily tweet and then polish off my third coffee porter. That guy dropped some knowledge. Good stuff.

 

Def is and as the author of the article pointed out, Bud is putting out this commercial while buying craft breweries at the same time (Goose Island and Blue Point comes to mind).  Talk about hypocritical.

 

I also read a week or 2 ago that AB/InBev has reached an agreement to buy Elysian Brewing out of Washington state.  So there goes another one.

 

Edit: But this is also a good point of discussion now that I think about this.  These craft brewers, as committed as they are to their craft, have no real ideas on how to expand once their product takes off and they reach max capacity.  These brewers have passion on what they brew, but they also are in it to make money which is understandable so I can imagine that at some point every successful craft brewer will eventually reach that crossroad where they have to decide if they want to expand with the help of these macro-breweries massive distribution channels as well as capital and other advantages or do they want to continue tinkering away at what they love doing.  Very interesting and I think its something that a lot of craft brewing industry folks are not quite sure what to do.

Edited by DevsMan84

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Edit: But this is also a good point of discussion now that I think about this.  These craft brewers, as committed as they are to their craft, have no real ideas on how to expand once their product takes off and they reach max capacity.  These brewers have passion on what they brew, but they also are in it to make money which is understandable so I can imagine that at some point every successful craft brewer will eventually reach that crossroad where they have to decide if they want to expand with the help of these macro-breweries massive distribution channels as well as capital and other advantages or do they want to continue tinkering away at what they love doing.  Very interesting and I think its something that a lot of craft brewing industry folks are not quite sure what to do.

A big reason for that is that the rules are rigged against them.  Distribution laws, labeling laws, etc. are written with MillerCoors and AB-Inbev lobbyists at the table, so of course they do what they can to make it as hard as they can for anyone who isn't them.  In some states, there are laws that prohibit the sale of beer higher than a certain ABV.  Clearly that only helps the big guys.

Here is another good read, this one discusses why it matters who owns the beer, and why breweries like Elysian and Goose Island should be avoided even if they still make good beer after being bought by AB-Inbev.

 

And each dollar that goes to buying those “good” beers goes toward the acquisition of another brand.  Each bottle of Bourbon County purchased helps fund the effort to tip the scale in AB-InBev’s favor by helping them fund their fleet of lobbying lawyers:

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I know this article is from last August but it is the most detailed report about Triumph Brewery's new location in Red Bank with an anticipated opening in June of this year.

http://www.app.com/story/money/business/main-street/whats-going-there/2014/08/13/triumph-brewing/14021137/

The story says this is the third location, but this is incorrect. This is technically their fourth location as they had one in Philadelphia from 2007 until it closed last year. From what I have heard from the staff there over the years that location always struggled from the day they opened and I visited it three times over the years and found it to be the weakest location overall. I guess he didn't want to mention his one failure which would make sense lol.

The old triumph philly location was sold to a group last year whom I last heard opening a brewpub there called Second Story Brewing Co. Not sure if that is open yet.

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A big reason for that is that the rules are rigged against them.  Distribution laws, labeling laws, etc. are written with MillerCoors and AB-Inbev lobbyists at the table, so of course they do what they can to make it as hard as they can for anyone who isn't them.  In some states, there are laws that prohibit the sale of beer higher than a certain ABV.  Clearly that only helps the big guys.

Here is another good read, this one discusses why it matters who owns the beer, and why breweries like Elysian and Goose Island should be avoided even if they still make good beer after being bought by AB-Inbev.

 

To touch on this, I think you have made good and truthful points on this and you know I very much support the craft beer industry and believe they are superior to anything InBev or any of the other macrobreweries put out.

 

That being said the distribution and labeling laws do indeed favor InBev and MillerCoors and the like, but let's be honest in that they are the only two that could afford to have those kinds of distribution networks.  Even if the laws were changed, these craft brewers couldn't afford the level of distribution that the large guys have unless the craft brewers band together, they won't reach that level.  Even if they did, it would be temporary as eventually competition between them will certainly start to pop up.

 

Also even if they figure out the distribution model, these craft brewers still have issues on the retail level.  Walk into any liquor store that sells a lot of craft beers and you will see there is a ton and only a limited amount of shelf space.  At that point the craft beers will be fighting amongst themselves for the little shelf space there is and that opens another can of worms.

 

Also that article you cited about why breweries like Goose Island should be avoided even though they were bought by inBev even though they are making the same product is kind of silly and very much of the close-mindedness some of these craft guys have.  By being bought out by the bigger guys but still retaining the same taste and process and for the most part people, why wouldn't it be an advantage for them to overnight increase their distribution while making bank at the same time?  Do these craft beer companies and their brewers have to continue to toil forever for the sake of a supposed moral high ground?  I know if I was in some of these craft brewer positions and offered me a chance at greater distribution, a hands-off approach and a huge check, I would be very well tempted and probably would take their offer.

 

Not only that but these craft brewers are not immune from shenanigans themselves.  Big example is how up until 2011 a craft brewery was described as a brewery that produced 2 million barrels or less a year.  Well Jim Koch decided that he still wanted to produce more beer so he got the guild to increase the limit to 6 million barrels a year.  How much will it be in 5 years from now?  Will they change the definition to 10 million barrels a year?

 

I love craft beer and I only drink craft beer.  I just think in a few years time (I think 5 years or less) that craft beers worst enemy will be the craft beer industry.  The guild has never fully addressed expansion and how to accommodate successful breweries who want to go bigger.  This is why you see many of these craft breweries saying yes to InBev.

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Damn shame about Elysian, didnt know they got bought/Sold out.

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I know this article is from last August but it is the most detailed report about Triumph Brewery's new location in Red Bank with an anticipated opening in June of this year.

http://www.app.com/story/money/business/main-street/whats-going-there/2014/08/13/triumph-brewing/14021137/

The story says this is the third location, but this is incorrect. This is technically their fourth location as they had one in Philadelphia from 2007 until it closed last year. From what I have heard from the staff there over the years that location always struggled from the day they opened and I visited it three times over the years and found it to be the weakest location overall. I guess he didn't want to mention his one failure which would make sense lol.

The old triumph philly location was sold to a group last year whom I last heard opening a brewpub there called Second Story Brewing Co. Not sure if that is open yet.

I actually live in Philly and cooked there for like 3 years. I love that place. 2nd story brewing is there now and Opened a couple of months ago. I've been there a couple times, same atmosphere and aome of the same employees.

Still the same atmosphere that I loved. Not sure why they would think it'll last when triumph didn't (it was hard to tell that triumph was failing as it was still popular). Could have something to do with the location (old city is extremely expensive as far as real estate goes)

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To touch on this, I think you have made good and truthful points on this and you know I very much support the craft beer industry and believe they are superior to anything InBev or any of the other macrobreweries put out.

 

That being said the distribution and labeling laws do indeed favor InBev and MillerCoors and the like, but let's be honest in that they are the only two that could afford to have those kinds of distribution networks.  Even if the laws were changed, these craft brewers couldn't afford the level of distribution that the large guys have unless the craft brewers band together, they won't reach that level.  Even if they did, it would be temporary as eventually competition between them will certainly start to pop up.

 

Also even if they figure out the distribution model, these craft brewers still have issues on the retail level.  Walk into any liquor store that sells a lot of craft beers and you will see there is a ton and only a limited amount of shelf space.  At that point the craft beers will be fighting amongst themselves for the little shelf space there is and that opens another can of worms.

 

Also that article you cited about why breweries like Goose Island should be avoided even though they were bought by inBev even though they are making the same product is kind of silly and very much of the close-mindedness some of these craft guys have.  By being bought out by the bigger guys but still retaining the same taste and process and for the most part people, why wouldn't it be an advantage for them to overnight increase their distribution while making bank at the same time?  Do these craft beer companies and their brewers have to continue to toil forever for the sake of a supposed moral high ground?  I know if I was in some of these craft brewer positions and offered me a chance at greater distribution, a hands-off approach and a huge check, I would be very well tempted and probably would take their offer.

 

Not only that but these craft brewers are not immune from shenanigans themselves.  Big example is how up until 2011 a craft brewery was described as a brewery that produced 2 million barrels or less a year.  Well Jim Koch decided that he still wanted to produce more beer so he got the guild to increase the limit to 6 million barrels a year.  How much will it be in 5 years from now?  Will they change the definition to 10 million barrels a year?

 

I love craft beer and I only drink craft beer.  I just think in a few years time (I think 5 years or less) that craft beers worst enemy will be the craft beer industry.  The guild has never fully addressed expansion and how to accommodate successful breweries who want to go bigger.  This is why you see many of these craft breweries saying yes to InBev.

Yeah I mean craft brewers wouldn't have the same distribution network as the big guys if the laws were fairer, but there are some places where it's illegal for breweries to self-distribute like Kane does, and some places where if they want to sell beer at the brewery, they have to sell it to a distributor and then buy it back from them.  What kind of sense does that make other than to jack up the cost of craft beer?

 

I think the point of the article wasn't that it is bad for Goose Island, it's obviously great for them.  The point is that it is bad for craft beer because in some cases the bigger guys decided to cut corners on the beers they acquired and the end result wasn't the same.  More importantly is that even if they keep the same recipes for their craft beers, it means more difficulty on the independently-owned craft breweries unless everyone gets bought up, and if we get to the point where such a big portion of craft beer is owned by the macro guys that competition starts to dwindle, why should they continue to make good beer?  If we are left with such few alternatives, they can cut corners all they want and steadily decrease the quality of their beers until new breweries open up again and people start searching for better options again and the cycle repeats.  Maybe I am being overly pessimistic, but increasing shareholder value doesn't always translate to making high quality beer when there are other ways to compete.

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I actually live in Philly and cooked there for like 3 years. I love that place. 2nd story brewing is there now and Opened a couple of months ago. I've been there a couple times, same atmosphere and aome of the same employees.

Still the same atmosphere that I loved. Not sure why they would think it'll last when triumph didn't (it was hard to tell that triumph was failing as it was still popular). Could have something to do with the location (old city is extremely expensive as far as real estate goes)

From what I have heard over the years from the employees at Princeton and New Hope about Philly was that food sales were always lagging.  I remember in about 2010 or 2011 they actually had the chef from New Hope go and work at Philly to help that side of the business.  Out of the 3 locations the New Hope one is by far the biggest moneymaker due to it also being a pretty decent music venue as well as being the only somewhat "moderately" priced bar in the downtown tourist district.  Also Philly was right in the middle of the Old City where there are bar after bar there and tons of competition.  I've only been to the Philly location 3 times and 2 of them were pretty dead to be honest, and one of the 2 dead times was on a Saturday evening from what I remember.

 

The new Red Bank location will be interesting.  Not yet oversaturated with bars but they are within a couple of blocks of another brewpub, Basil T's.  Went to Basil T's a couple years ago and while the beers were solid, the food was way overpriced and unimpressive.

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Yeah I mean craft brewers wouldn't have the same distribution network as the big guys if the laws were fairer, but there are some places where it's illegal for breweries to self-distribute like Kane does, and some places where if they want to sell beer at the brewery, they have to sell it to a distributor and then buy it back from them.  What kind of sense does that make other than to jack up the cost of craft beer?

 

I think the point of the article wasn't that it is bad for Goose Island, it's obviously great for them.  The point is that it is bad for craft beer because in some cases the bigger guys decided to cut corners on the beers they acquired and the end result wasn't the same.  More importantly is that even if they keep the same recipes for their craft beers, it means more difficulty on the independently-owned craft breweries unless everyone gets bought up, and if we get to the point where such a big portion of craft beer is owned by the macro guys that competition starts to dwindle, why should they continue to make good beer?  If we are left with such few alternatives, they can cut corners all they want and steadily decrease the quality of their beers until new breweries open up again and people start searching for better options again and the cycle repeats.  Maybe I am being overly pessimistic, but increasing shareholder value doesn't always translate to making high quality beer when there are other ways to compete.

 

Do you happen to know which states have the laws that are against self-distribution?  I am actually interested to know if perhaps one of the main reasons is due to unions and they do not want to lose jobs with the drivers.  If most of the states that have these laws against self-distribution are in the Northeast and Great Lakes states then that would be a major reason I believe.

 

As for cutting corners, I mean yeah that could happen, but it really hasn't happened yet.  Goose Island sold its controlling stake to AB back in 2011 but I have yet to notice a decline or change in quality and you would think it would have happened by now.  I am not sure InBev and the others are purchasing these brands just to grab the recipe and cut corners and fool customers.  They have already done that and for a lot cheaper with those fake "craft beers" like Miller did with the Batch 19 and the like.  It makes no sense to not continue to allow these breweries to keep doing what they are doing as the value is in the quality.

 

Also I am not too worried about the loss of competition only because I do not think it is fiscally possible inBev and the others to buy all the craft beers out.  There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of national craft breweries, regional craft brewers, micro and nano brewers and brewpubs that make their own beer for just their bar.  They would have to spend an insane amount of $ just to buy them all up.  Coke and Pepsi may dominate the soda industry, but it is not hard to find alternatives to them even with their dominance. 

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Yeah I'm not sure why everyone gets up in arms about Inbev buying a couple breweries. There's a ton of hypocrisy from beer snobs who say they'll never buy Elysian anymore. Yet I can honestly say there is not a more sought after beer than Bourbon County. Nothing even comes close.

And let's not kid ourselves and act like everyone went nuts for Elysian in the first place. Bifrost sold okay, so did space dust, as well as their pumpkins. But no one goes crazy over their products. Its not like inbev bought Dogfish or Sierra.

If the beer is good people are going to drink it. Yes there will be the people who say they don't want to support the big companies, but do these people only take the moral high ground with beer? Do they shop at home depot instead of the mom and pop hardware store? Do they buy their clothes from Target or Walmart instead of the little department store?

Its just really silly when people think that Inbev and MillerCoors are going to try and buy up all the craft breweries and abolish them like a bunch of Nazis. There's over 3000 craft breweries in America. If a big company buys up your favorite brewery and you don't like it, guess what, there's about 300-400 other breweries that distribute to your area, try something new. That's why I rarely ever keep the same products on the shelf. I'll give just about every brewery its fair shot.

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Yeah I'm not sure why everyone gets up in arms about Inbev buying a couple breweries. There's a ton of hypocrisy from beer snobs who say they'll never buy Elysian anymore. Yet I can honestly say there is not a more sought after beer than Bourbon County. Nothing even comes close.

And let's not kid ourselves and act like everyone went nuts for Elysian in the first place. Bifrost sold okay, so did space dust, as well as their pumpkins. But no one goes crazy over their products. Its not like inbev bought Dogfish or Sierra.

If the beer is good people are going to drink it. Yes there will be the people who say they don't want to support the big companies, but do these people only take the moral high ground with beer? Do they shop at home depot instead of the mom and pop hardware store? Do they buy their clothes from Target or Walmart instead of the little department store?

Its just really silly when people think that Inbev and MillerCoors are going to try and buy up all the craft breweries and abolish them like a bunch of Nazis. There's over 3000 craft breweries in America. If a big company buys up your favorite brewery and you don't like it, guess what, there's about 300-400 other breweries that distribute to your area, try something new. That's why I rarely ever keep the same products on the shelf. I'll give just about every brewery its fair shot.

 

I don't know a ton about the beer industry, but I imagine small breweries are just like most small business in that a lot of them hope to cash out (sell out if you like) to big business.  I mean, I don't see why it's somehow wrong for Goose Island to sell out to AB, but we mostly talk about how brilliant the people who founded Instagram are for selling out to Facebook. 

 

And it certainly seems that the entry costs into the craft beer industry are relatively low.  So for every craft brewery that gets bought out by AB or Inbev, probably a whole lot more spring up with the hope of getting the same reward.  Overall, it's also good for the consumer.  I would love it if I could get Kentucky Ale at more liquor stores, and at a lower price than I do now.  It probably won't happen though unless someone with really deep pockets takes over their operation. 

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I mean my point is not really the whole is craft beer better than the big guys.  I am solidly in craft beer's corner and wish them to succeed over the bigger guys.  My main point is that I feel that craft beer is at a critical point where macro breweries are now really seeing them as a major threat and their attempts at creating fake craft beers like Blue Moon, Batch 19 and the like have not really made a dent.  However, the big issue that for some reason craft brewers are avoiding and haven't quite figured out is how to really grow beyond the point where they are at now.  I am not talking about brewers like Boston Beer Company, but brewers like Elysian.

 

The main thing that these craft brewers keep insisting are pointing fingers at macro breweries but not really coming up with much solutions for themselves.  Fact is even some of the most ardent craft brewers want to get paid at some point.   If the craft beer industry is not going to help them or at least help them figure out a roadmap, I can't really fault them if they then turn to big beer.

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Do you happen to know which states have the laws that are against self-distribution?  I am actually interested to know if perhaps one of the main reasons is due to unions and they do not want to lose jobs with the drivers.  If most of the states that have these laws against self-distribution are in the Northeast and Great Lakes states then that would be a major reason I believe.

 

As for cutting corners, I mean yeah that could happen, but it really hasn't happened yet.  Goose Island sold its controlling stake to AB back in 2011 but I have yet to notice a decline or change in quality and you would think it would have happened by now.  I am not sure InBev and the others are purchasing these brands just to grab the recipe and cut corners and fool customers.  They have already done that and for a lot cheaper with those fake "craft beers" like Miller did with the Batch 19 and the like.  It makes no sense to not continue to allow these breweries to keep doing what they are doing as the value is in the quality.

 

Also I am not too worried about the loss of competition only because I do not think it is fiscally possible inBev and the others to buy all the craft beers out.  There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of national craft breweries, regional craft brewers, micro and nano brewers and brewpubs that make their own beer for just their bar.  They would have to spend an insane amount of $ just to buy them all up.  Coke and Pepsi may dominate the soda industry, but it is not hard to find alternatives to them even with their dominance. 

I don't know every state that has senseless laws like that, but here are a couple examples:

Texas

"Brewpubs, for example, must sell their beer to distributors and buy it back to sell it at remote, unlicensed locations, such as fairs and other public events."

 

"Furthermore, neither brewpubs nor production breweries can sell their distribution rights...Some of the better-established craft brewers want the option to sell their distribution rights so that they can use the proceeds to expand production capacity and grow their brands."

 

The same article also shows that a law was passed in 2013 that raised the limits of production for self-distributing, but I still don't see why there is a need to prevent breweries from self-distributing if they produce over a certain amount.  There is also a limit on how much of your beer you can self-distribute.

 

Florida

This was a bill that didn't become law, but did pass the state senate that would require breweries to buy their own beer back from distributors if they want to sell it on site.  An exception was made for Anheuser-Busch, of course.

 

"Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) sponsored Senate Bill 1714 requiring craft brewers to sell their beer to a distributor and buy it back even if the beer stays at the brewery. She said an exception was made years ago for the Busch Gardens theme park, which brews beer on site, so it could sell its beer at that venue."

 

Supposedly Rolling Rock was never the same after InBev bought it, though I am dubious that it was ever that good to begin with.  I'm not an economics expert, but I don't think they would need to buy a ton of breweries to have a big negative impact on craft beer, probably just a few of the bigger ones like Sierra Nevada, Dogfish Head, New Belgium, etc.

 

Yeah I'm not sure why everyone gets up in arms about Inbev buying a couple breweries. There's a ton of hypocrisy from beer snobs who say they'll never buy Elysian anymore. Yet I can honestly say there is not a more sought after beer than Bourbon County. Nothing even comes close.

And let's not kid ourselves and act like everyone went nuts for Elysian in the first place. Bifrost sold okay, so did space dust, as well as their pumpkins. But no one goes crazy over their products. Its not like inbev bought Dogfish or Sierra.

If the beer is good people are going to drink it. Yes there will be the people who say they don't want to support the big companies, but do these people only take the moral high ground with beer? Do they shop at home depot instead of the mom and pop hardware store? Do they buy their clothes from Target or Walmart instead of the little department store?

Its just really silly when people think that Inbev and MillerCoors are going to try and buy up all the craft breweries and abolish them like a bunch of Nazis. There's over 3000 craft breweries in America. If a big company buys up your favorite brewery and you don't like it, guess what, there's about 300-400 other breweries that distribute to your area, try something new. That's why I rarely ever keep the same products on the shelf. I'll give just about every brewery its fair shot.

What store do you work at?  You really think Bourbon County is the most sought after beer?  Heady Topper, either Pliny, Westvleteren 12, Dark Lord?  It's not even the most sought after beer of its own style--what about KBS and especially CBS?

 

I think Elysian makes some of the best pumpkin beers, so I am bummed about the InBev takeover.  They didn't buy Dogfish Head, but they did try to and after the owner refused to sell the brewery, they hit him with frivolous lawsuits over naming rights for Punkin and Chicory Stout.

 

If you must ask, yes I do go to my local hardware store instead of Home Depot, and I never go to Walmart and almost never go to Target.

My decision to stop buying from breweries that are owned by InBev and MillerCoors isn't so much because I am afraid of them buying all the breweries, it's because I don't want to help fund craft beer's biggest enemy.  I don't want to help pay for their fleet of lawyers trying to come up with ways to make craft beer more expensive and less accessible. 

 

It is hard to think that they care a whole lot about their craft beer products after watching their latest Super Bowl ad attempting to bash craft beer.  They knocked "pumpkin peach beer," which Elysian happens to brew.  If they are slamming their own newly-acquired products in their own ads, how can we have that much confidence that they will uphold their quality in the longrun?

Edited by devilsfan26

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Interesting and yeah while those examples are not in well known union stronghold states, I wonder if the potential loss of delivery drivers had an impact.

 

However, just seeing that a Republican state senator (Republicans are not historically pro-union to say the least) proposed that bill in Florida def gives me the impression that you are quite possibly right that the macro brewers had a part in those laws.

 

As for upholding quality, I would think they continue it.  I mean people who drink craft beer tend to stick to craft beer only while people  who drink the big beer products tend to stick with those.  While I know there are people who drink both, both sides tend to be pretty loyal to their beers.  Therefore if InBev decided to cut corners on something they just spent millions to acquire, wouldn't they just be pissing $ down the drain?  It makes more sense just for them to allow these craft breweries that they bought to keep doing what they are doing as the moment they change things around then the drinkers will leave pretty quickly.

 

I really do not think these macro brewers buy these craft breweries just to destroy them and eliminate competition.  I know the big guys have a ton of money but I do not think they have enough to take out even all of the bigger craft brewers.  That's only if the given is that all the craft breweries even say yes to selling to them.

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I'm not an economics expert, but I don't think they would need to buy a ton of breweries to have a big negative impact on craft beer, probably just a few of the bigger ones like Sierra Nevada, Dogfish Head, New Belgium, etc.

 

 

Even though I'm not an economics expert either, I highly doubt this is true.  The barriers to entry into the craft beer business seem pretty low as there are new brands popping up all the time.  And again, large breweries buying up the craft beers that already exist would probably drive the price down and make them more available.

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What store do you work at? You really think Bourbon County is the most sought after beer? Heady Topper, either Pliny, Westvleteren 12, Dark Lord? It's not even the most sought after beer of its own style--what about KBS and especially CBS?

I think Elysian makes some of the best pumpkin beers, so I am bummed about the InBev takeover. They didn't buy Dogfish Head, but they did try to and after the owner refused to sell the brewery, they hit him with frivolous lawsuits over naming rights for Punkin and Chicory Stout.

If you must ask, yes I do go to my local hardware store instead of Home Depot, and I never go to Walmart and almost never go to Target.

My decision to stop buying from breweries that are owned by InBev and MillerCoors isn't so much because I am afraid of them buying all the breweries, it's because I don't want to help fund craft beer's biggest enemy. I don't want to help pay for their fleet of lawyers trying to come up with ways to make craft beer more expensive and less accessible.

It is hard to think that they care a whole lot about their craft beer products after watching their latest Super Bowl ad attempting to bash craft beer. They knocked "pumpkin peach beer," which Elysian happens to brew. If they are slamming their own newly-acquired products in their own ads, how can we have that much confidence that they will uphold their quality in the longrun?

Let me rephrase that, bourbon county is the most sought after beer that you can access in NJ. Pliny and Heady aren't distributed in this state as I'm sure you know. KBS isn't as in demand as bourbon county. This is where I work btw; https://www.beermenus.com/places/18052-union-plaza-liquors

DM84 echoed my thoughts exactly. Inbev isn't going to invest tens of millions of dollars just to run a company into the ground. They know which direction the market is going, and maybe they decided if you can't beat them you might as well join them. http://cdn.pastemagazine.com/www/articles/bud%20vs%20craft%20WSJ.jpg

It will make their beers much more accessible to more people, which is something you can be happy about. If quality drops, then I would say stop drinking it and be happy that Inbev is going to lose millions of dollars on their investment. But of course the downside would be that one of the breweries you liked sucks now.

Btw on a side note, Bells, New Belgium, and Sweetwater are looking like they might be in NJ by the end of this year. At least 2 out of the 3. Which is exciting. Boulevard just came here in January, it hasn't exactly been setting the world on fire but they make some quality stuff, the popup ipa is really good.

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Either way, I'd prefer not to give any money to the big guys who try to beat craft beer by outlobbying, outlegislating, and outlitigating them rather than just making better beer.  Even if the quality of the breweries they buy doesn't drop off, there are still too many good beers out there for me to change my mind on that.

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Either way, I'd prefer not to give any money to the big guys who try to beat craft beer by outlobbying, outlegislating, and outlitigating them rather than just making better beer.  Even if the quality of the breweries they buy doesn't drop off, there are still too many good beers out there for me to change my mind on that.

That's the thing. IF I'm at a bar with only the big 3, I'll drink Goose, because I like the taste. I also have no problem with the BA changing the definition of craft so Sam could stay, because as a St. Arnold employee said on a tour I went on, "we want them." Hell, I'd have no problem with a bunch of craft brewers forming a stronger coalition to strengthen their distribution, production, even lobbying power. It's a business, even if it's also a passion. InBev, however, is playing dirty. So are the others. They're trying to take over the shelf and tap space from the real brewers out there. The stores I go to never have all the variety I want, so much as at this point, there will always be craft brewers, if we, as consumers want access to their products, we don't want the macro companies getting more shelf space, an issue I'm seeing now, as Goose and Blue Point are still being shelved with the craft stuff. Throw in the fact that bars can save money without alienating consumers who don't like piss weather by selling Goose, Blue Point, Elysian, even Blue Moon, and it gets a lot tougher to get the best, most interesting beers without going to craft bars. Don't get me wrong, those are great bars, but when I just want a good sports bar to watch a Devils game in, I'd prefer to have some beer choices.

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That's the thing. IF I'm at a bar with only the big 3, I'll drink Goose, because I like the taste. I also have no problem with the BA changing the definition of craft so Sam could stay, because as a St. Arnold employee said on a tour I went on, "we want them." Hell, I'd have no problem with a bunch of craft brewers forming a stronger coalition to strengthen their distribution, production, even lobbying power. It's a business, even if it's also a passion. InBev, however, is playing dirty. So are the others. They're trying to take over the shelf and tap space from the real brewers out there. The stores I go to never have all the variety I want, so much as at this point, there will always be craft brewers, if we, as consumers want access to their products, we don't want the macro companies getting more shelf space, an issue I'm seeing now, as Goose and Blue Point are still being shelved with the craft stuff. Throw in the fact that bars can save money without alienating consumers who don't like piss weather by selling Goose, Blue Point, Elysian, even Blue Moon, and it gets a lot tougher to get the best, most interesting beers without going to craft bars. Don't get me wrong, those are great bars, but when I just want a good sports bar to watch a Devils game in, I'd prefer to have some beer choices.

I see what you're saying. However the problems you're encountering is that whoever is running those bars and stores are either ill informed, or not educated on the market. Or they are comfortable with just selling popular big name beers because they are guaranteed to move.

Understand that some of these kegs can be very expensive. And I'm not just talking about the 80-200 dollars for the keg. But if they try something new on tap and the customers don't buy it, they're not just losing money on the keg, but on the tap space where blue moon or yuengling or something of that ilk would be selling consistently. It happened to me here with Carton Guilded Lily. Its a super expensive keg and the beer just wasn't that good, so you get a line tied up for an extended period of time. Now I have 4 lines just for craft but still its tying up a line for another keg that could be moving.

Now you can say, well just put craft beers on tap that you know are constant sellers, but where's the fun in that right? Plus some beers come out for the first time ever and they're a one shot deal, where you order it that day or you don't get it until next year, maybe.

Bud and Coors aren't paying anyone to keep their beers on, it's up to the management of the establishments plain and simple. Listen if I say to my bud salesman, hey man I'm taking off bud and putting Sierra Nevada on, first thing he'd do is laugh and ask if I was drunk. Then when he realized I was serious he would offer me tickets to a game or a concert or some other kind of giveaway. That's it. Now you can either take that stuff and keep that beer on tap, or run the business how you want and change what's on tap. Inbev, MillerCoors, Diageo, they can't give you free product, they can't give you money. So they can buy whatever breweries they want, its up to the man behind the bar who decides whether or not you're going to be drinking craft there.

I know it stinks to go into a bar and just see, bud, miller, coors, blue moon, etc on tap. But if I was you I would say something to the manager at your favorite sports bar. If they have any sense to them they'll listen to you and change up the selection.

Edited by Jerry Lundegaard

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While we're on the topic of sports bars not having a great selection, another pet peeve of mine is when there are a few craft choices, but the bartenders are not given any description of what they are, or the menu just lists breweries and not the actual beers.  "Sierra Nevada" and "Dogfish Head" are not beers.  Usually at these places you can assume it is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Dogfish Head 60 Minute, but it would be nice if you didn't have to make assumptions.  One bar I went to had a menu that included "Ithaca Beer," so I asked the bartender which beer from Ithaca it is, and his response was, "some dark beer."  I ordered it anyway, turned out it was their apricot wheat beer, which is not dark by any means.

Edited by devilsfan26

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