Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Stubborn Fact Department: Kona is Hawaiian for "crafty."

OMG, another great craft beer is coming to Kentucky! But before we wet our drawers, perhaps a few facts are in order.

First, we've all been here before, as attested by this PC posting from 2007: Beer-related despair for yet another year at Louisville Slugger Field.

Second: Kona's an AB-InBev pawn, plain and simple, and it's brewed nowhere near Hawaii for sale on the mainland. Even the press release craftily concedes the point by observing the place of Kona's brewing being "closest to market."

Not only is Kona out of town; it's also out of craft.

12 Craft Beers that Aren’t Really Craft Beers (March 7, 2013 at Refined Guy)

Kona was founded in 1994 and is supposedly the top-selling craft brew in the state of Hawaii. Of course, they aren’t really a craft brew, since they merged into the Craft Brew Alliance and are now 35% owned by AB.
Now, you may say, only 35%? That doesn’t give AB full control over the company, so why aren’t they still considered a craft brew? Well, the answer is that this 35% is enough to buy Kona into AB-Inbev’s powerful distribution network, and also enough to get favorable treatment in the marketplace—treatment that independent craft breweries don’t get.
So it’s not so much that Kona doesn’t still make good beer, or that they aren’t also still “local.” It’s just that, with the world’s largest beer company backing you, you can’t call yourself a craft brewery anymore.

Let's visit the irony-free zone, shall we? For Kona, it's a valuable marketing point to be brewed "closest to market," which of course local Kentuckiana breweries do every single day of their working lives, and yet when it comes to next-greatest-OMG sexiness, it's the non-craft contract beer from far away that scores style points on the red carpet.

Really? This is the world we created?

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