My Rant On The Beer Wars

So, I am one of the people out there that calls myself a Craft Beer Enthusiast. I buy everything released from my favorite breweries and even over priced bombers, collaborations, and the like just because I want to be able to talk about what is new and everything that is going on with the beer world. More often than not the beers are just ok at best. There are some truly amazing beers that come out nowadays, and those are the ones I am hunting for.

Collaboration beers are just something cool to say you have had. You can hold it above other beer drinkers heads like a badge of honor. I also use programs like untappd to show off how many more kinds of beer I have had than you or anyone else looking at my profile. I feel that the wider variety and the more rare beers I have, the cooler I am… Yeah… About that…

Now, I do not go out and buy beers from Bud, Miller, and Coors intentionally or without good reason. I know they own pretty much every company out there collectively so when I pick up a bottle of beer from Malaysia that I have never heard of or had before, I come to terms with the fact that I may have just put a little money into their pockets. Even with domestic brands, without doing research do you really know who is getting your money?

One of the things that really bothers me with these Beer Wars is the fact that there are comments like this.

If only Budweiser would put as much care and passion into their beer as the do their Super Bowl ads.

I don’t really think they get the picture of what is going on. Sure, you may not want to drink a flavorless, American adjunct lager but they are doing exactly what they set out to do and nothing more. Make Beer. They never said they were out to be the most flavorful beer or they were going to be the newest and most innovated brewery in the world. No. Again, They Just Make Beer. Granted I do not condone or agree with their practices, but that is another story all together and what I feel the Beer Wars are actually about.

Like I posted yesterday from 1001 Beers,

Surely there are more challenging, rewarding beers? Yes, but Bud never pretends to be something that it isn’t: this is a beer about refreshment and drinkability, not for sipping out of a china teacup with a pinkie extended.

Who knows, maybe I got the message wrong and this is actually a fight against flavor and not the multi-billion dollar corporations trying to destroy any “competition” in their way because they are starting to lose more and more money each year to a growing segment of the market.

Though, either way I feel that if you want to bash a beer because it does not taste the way you think a beer should, speak with your wallet not your mouth. There are a ton of other beers out there and even a ton of bad craft beers. There is no denying that. Care and Passion mean nothing if your idea of a good beer is to make a sub par base beer and add more alcohol or a whole harvest worth of hop growth plus whatever kind of oak and any other random ingredient you can get your hands on. That does not make you craft beer. That does not make your product better or even good.

Though, there are people out there that do understand the real situation. Even if people that make comments like the ones prior understand it, they do not go about showing it in the right ways. Even when it comes down to things like the Craft vs Crafty debate, but I will not be getting into that. Here is a response from Randy on my review of Budweiser Black Crown.

Good review. I’d like to be “beerlitically correct” and say something like, “I love beer and I will not turn down any beer that is good”, but I will not try this. Even though your description appears as if this beer is pretty decent, I will not buy it for three reasons: 1. Beer Wars opened my eyes to how this company (and other macros) try to destroy other smaller mom & pop companies who are passionate about beer. 2. They seem to want to go about innovation by stealing ideas of the innovative. 3. There are way too many other awesome beers out there for me to settle for their feeble attempt to get in on the growing craft beer market.

IMO, as far as I am concerned they have dammed themselves. I will not knowingly (I say that because they are sneaky as snakes and one has to be really careful when buying beer to find out who owns it) support them ever. Maybe my opinion can be changed if they were to just bow down to the craft beer passionates and try to let them be without trying to copy them and force them out. What they do is nothing more than beer gentrification. They can’t play in the sandbox because they will not be content with craft beer being probably less than 10% of the industry and they own WELL over a third and closer to 40% of the industry.

Screw ABInbev and every thing they do. I respect them for creating a massively successful business, but I won’t be supporting.

Great review tho 😉

This, to me, sounds like someone who actually gets the real issues we should be fighting. He points out that even though I say the beer is decent, he will not support it for good reasons. He did not come out and say, “Budweiser is crap! It tastes like ass and you would be better off drinking water!”, he actually has valid claims and reason as to why he will not support that company and I agree and respect his decision.

Though, what I think does not matter because I am just a lowly craft beer drinker that wants to see change but the things being decided on in our community by the ones who actually have the power are things such as, “Does this brewery use traditional methods? Are they owned xx amount by this company? Do they make more money in house than out of house?” etc…. etc…. etc….

Why don’t they spend this time to educate drinkers. Teach them about good beer. Teach them about what actually goes into the process, the business and give them good reasons why they should follow you. I think that would make sense? There are a lot of people out there than run with this stance. Someone even made this cool little map.

Interactive Map Of The Below Image

I borrowed it from Philip H. Howard Associate Professor, Michigan State University. This was all over twitter a while back. He has a lot of cool things on the site linked below. Not only about the beer industry but wine, soda, coffee, etc as well. Check it out. This one may be a little old as things have changed in such a little time but consider that since this was made BMC has acquired more companies.

There are other maps like this out there. A simple form of education that people will look at. Though, there are a ton of craft beer drinkers out there today that will buy and seek beers just because they are labeled rare but they will not know anything about the style, the brewery, or the beer itself. They are just caught up in the movement. Great for business but not for the cause.

There are many beers out there that are very limited that I want but I think the idea of being put into a raffle for a chance to buy the beer is just purely dumb. For other releases the parties and such they throw for them sound like a great idea and great time but then again, I am not the kind of person who will stand in line for 12 hours or so after the event just to buy the beer…

I know there is probably more to it but if you want beer that much I am sure there are comparable beers out there and you would only have to wait for the bartender to pour it for you. And think about how many you could drink in that time as well…

I understand that part of the mission may to be to pull people away from “Crap Beer” and turn them onto “Craft” but sometimes you have to let things take their course. Introduce people to beers based on what you know they like. Don’t just throw IPA after IPA or Stout after Stout into their face expecting them to change. They have to find what works for them.

You know one thing that might work? Give them a Pilsner. Crazy, huh? That is what they are used to drinking and they may find your favorite beer offensive and turn them off to the idea of craft beer all together. There is no one magic style of beer that will convert every person. Though, that is another story as well…

I think my rant is over… I guess I will just keep on buying craft beer and writing about it here. I mean, what else can I do?

Tomorrow you can read about how awesome I think Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye is. That company seems as if it can never do wrong…

Cheers!

My Rant On The Beer Wars

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