In a sound and needed statement, the Brewers Association issues a must-read statement on the difference between actual craft beer…and the “crafty” brands made by the big guys that are attempting to hijack craft success for their own good:
The large, multinational brewers appear to be deliberately attempting to blur the lines between their crafty, craft-like beers and true craft beers from today’s small and independent brewers. We call for transparency in brand ownership and for information to be clearly presented in a way that allows beer drinkers to make an informed choice about who brewed the beer they are drinking.
Here’s a great list from the above referenced article of “crafty” beer (opens .pdf). The big guys freely admit they’re trying to take advantage of the work done by entrepreneurs and the craft beer movement.
Others have taken up the cause, including CNN and St. Louis’ media, formerly home to the headquarters of the U.S.’s largest brewer, which is now part of a foreign owned conglomerate which has laid off local workers and lowered quality standards. I encourage you to read each of the above hotlinks.
As we’ve stated before HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE, we also urge you to familiarize yourself with and support real craft brewers. Every dollar counts in the battle for shelf space, distribution and – in the case of many small purveyors – survival.
EDIT: It must be said, that the BAF does sympathize with brewers who ARE family owned or closely held and still do things the “right” way…to us there’s a big difference between companies like Yuengling and Schell versus the ABI, SABMiller & PBR’s of the world. The former IS traditional, despite the use of adjunct, while the latter groups are basically “interlopers” trying to profit or increase sales volume on the efforts of the craft beer movement. To that end, we wanted to pass along the following statement from Schell: