Friday, September 11, 2015

What, you couldn't find an actual beer writer to fetishize multinational beer companies?

Esquire helpfully informs us ...

Aaron Goldfarb is the author of How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide, The Guide for a Single Man, and The Guide for a Single Woman.​

How very compelling, considering the article he wrote is about beer, not sex. Qualifications, anyone? In "It Doesn't Matter Who Owns Your Favorite Brewery," Goldfarb celebrates the fact that beer is entering a golden age of multi-national stewardship.

In fact, I predict the beer industry will begin to resemble the liquor industry. You know, the industry where an Italian amaro-maker like Campari can also own an American, family-run bourbon distillery like Wild Turkey, as well as SKYY Vodka and about 20 other international brands. Where Diageo seems poised to own just about everything you can possibly pour down your face. Or where a Japanese company like Suntory somehow manages to own Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbon-wise, Laphroaig and Bowmore in the scotch realm, and even a brand that makes cupcake vodka. Have any of these brands grown worse? I doubt it.

Have you ever heard about the straw man fallacy?

It never, ever was about the fear that AB-InBev (with Goose Island and others Trojan crafts) or Heineken (Lagunitas) would destroy the quality of the "craft" brands they buy.

Rather, it's always been about following the money: About them using such brands to leverage shelf space, or conduct price wars, or use in many varied ways gleefully developed throughout their multinational corporate histories toward the objective of "winning," which in multinational terms, is about eliminating, weakening and neutralizing competition.

You see, Aaron -- you wouldn't know this, so let me help you -- this thing got started back in the day so as to save beer's soul, which had gotten sucked clean out of it by ... yes, by the same multinational companies you fetishize.

It's time we admit craft beer is a business, no better and no worse than any other multi-billion dollar business. Sure, its products can get you drunk and make you hug people more than normal, but in the end, it's still a business that needs to make a lot of people a lot of money. There's nothing wrong with that.

Go back to writing dating books. Please.

As noted yesterday: Now more than ever, what matters to me is supporting brewers who function as independent local business persons. I know from a quarter-century of experience that these are the folks keeping the ethos real, and the money local, where it recirculates and helps other local businesses. It's just a matter of personal taste. Multinationals like Heineken have enough money. I'd rather have more control over where mine is spent.

It's time to put the genuinely local and "micro" back into this thing we all love.

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