The zombie craft beer bots went berserk on Thursday as the Brewers Association and fellow travelers launched a long overdue assault-by-press-release on "domestic non-craft" beer producers: Brewers Association’s Papazian and Pease, Schlafly’s Kopman call out ‘faux-crafts’
Fans of Goose Island, Magic Hat and Pyramid shuffled through soiled drawers. Perhaps appropriately, the BA release was preceded by an op-ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Craft or crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth
If you think craft breweries are a good force in America, take the time to familiarize yourself with who is brewing the beer you are drinking.
Is it truly from a brewer that is small (producing less than 6 million barrels of beer a year) and independent (less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves craft)?
Or is it a product of a large international brewer, capitalizing on the unprecedented growth of the sector to produce a faux-craft beer?
It makes a difference. By supporting small and independent craft brewers across the country, we are giving them a chance to thrive in business, create more jobs, boost the economy and compete against the massive corporations that have controlled the market for so long.
Don't say it; I already know.
I'm agreeing with Charlie Papazian, an unusual position that has me casting wary eyes toward fence posts and manhole covers to see if Allen Funt is stalking me.
And yes, it's true that I sought to get Charlie interested in this topic as far back as 1994, and could get no comment from him apart from the equivalent of "who the fuck are you?"
Finally, one aspect of the BA definition troubles me a bit: If a locally-owned, small-time brewery took to exclusively producing the best Pre-Prohibition Pilsner ever tasted, would it be excluded as "craft" because of the use of adjuncts (corn), even though such a beer is the very essence of traditional, at least in American terms?
But times change. What the BA has done, finally, is to publicly and specifically recognize the true nature of the threat, and from whence it comes.
Vindication. It's sweet like Doppelbock, ain't it?