The craft brewers mentioned and linked in this post have been chosen because they brew great beer and I’m supporting / showcasing local brewers; I’m not making a political or commercial statement.
Thanks to my buddy Marko for the picture up there.
To me, craft beer is like classic rock in that it’s about a vibe and how the thing gets done. It’s not about who owns it, where it’s poured / played. For example, just because K-Rock (classic rock station) in Edmonton played some Loverboy song doesn’t make the song or Loverboy classic rock. And just because Kid Rock’s All Summer Long was only released in 2008 doesn’t mean it’s not classic rock. Craft beer is similar. If Banded Peak were bought by some macro brewer, but changed nothing about how they made their beer, would their beer not be craft beer? I think it would. Based on the OFFICIAL definition of craft beer, Last Best wouldn’t be classified as craft because of the corporate structure that they fall under. What a load of crap!
As far as I’m concerned craft beer is about spirit, art, community, craft, and not turning things into mediocre commodities. Craft beer is about striving for excellence. Hell, craft anything is about striving for excellence and not settling for mediocrity. Just this morning my girlfriend and I were talking about how there’s an acceptance and expectation of mediocrity in our professional lives (we’re both in IT), and how what was once true skill and differentiation is now a commodity. Fortunately, beer has craft brewers to combat that.
If Molson or any other macro brewer had sub-brands that really practiced craft in their brewing and made beer I liked, hell yeah I’d drink it and more power to them. That does not mean I’m not on the side of the micros and nanos. I am. I got interested, beyond drinking, in craft beer as a direct result of local brewers being shut out of local events through contractual arrangements with a macro brewery. That just sucks. As far as I’m concerned there’s plenty of room for both. Earlier this year when this beer brands infographic thing was a discussion topic, I read a comment from someone stating that they would no longer drink some craft brand or other since they found out it was owned by a macro brewery. Why the hell not!?
If Banded Peak, Last Best, or Village got bought by SAB Miller and still produced great beer, I’d still drink their products. If anyone of them started supporting causes with which I have moral, legal, political, or ethical issues, I’d boycott them in a heartbeat regardless of their corporate structure. For the record, none of them support anything with which I have moral, legal, political, or ethical issues.
Bottom line … craft is that thing I taste and feel when I drink beer. Craft beer is about how it’s made, not who made it. When all is said and done there are two basic types of beer in the world; beer I like, and beer I don’t like.