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(Mother Jones)   If you Farkers think you're comfortable with your craft brew, think again   (motherjones.com) divider line 28
    More: Scary, Washington Monthly, Tim Heffernan, Anheuser-Busch InBev, craft brewers, SKUs, SABMiller, InBev, threats  
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12450 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Nov 2012 at 3:37 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-17 01:27:27 PM
3 votes:

St_Francis_P: GAT_00: Ah, the wonders of a free market. Driving out competition because it makes a better product.

Since most people are satisfied with crappy beer, the meaning of "better" is debatable in the large picture. As far as the market goes, better means reasonably cheap, or at least affordable, with lots of effective advertising, product placement, and demographic identification.


Buying a bad product doesn't make it good. I have Comcast because I don't have a decent second option.
2012-11-17 06:52:02 PM
2 votes:

baorao: DoctorCal: Enemabag Jones: in many states there are two beer distributors

Really? Which states?

If what I learned from Beer Wars is accurate, when prohibition ended they made all sorts of goofy laws to control the sale of alcohol. So the states were each divided into "zones" and each zone was allowed a specific number (around 3) distributors. And so the common pattern in each zone is one for Annheuser-Busch, one for SABMiller and one for Coors and whatever microbrewers that can afford to pay for the leftover space on their distribution truck.

It wouldn't surprise me to find out that a distribution conglomerate was in control of a piece of multiple zones in a state.


ABC varies state to state depending on the states regulations.

maryland, for example is a nice and weird one... each county in maryland has it's own separate ABC board and groups of regulations pertaining to each county and each county more or less handles distribution. DC is similar.

as to each ZONE? you will usually have two main distributors dealing with the big three. AB folks tend to be singular to themselves, and the other guys handle Miller and coors. and then you might have a third, much smaller guy that handles smaller imports and specialty and craft beers.
AB distributes will most likely also carry more major brand Craft lines. Around here, none of the craft distributors will deal with the Miller/Coors houses.


As for everything else regarding the article.. and I release this post from what I quoted to lead it in....


first off... what is blue pale? is this a new one I'm not familiar with? or did the author of the article meen Blue moon? also, the craft segment is commanding 12% of the market now, not 6%

and me, being in the biz am not worried about the big guys.. they will be fine, and they are adapting very well. what I 'm seeing is an explosion on the market of craft beer.
two breweries opened up here in town in the last week alone. it's great for the consumer, and competition is always good to keep folks on their toes.

the problem is though... how many little breweries can the market support before they start eating themselves? How many of these little guys are just people that are more focused on marketing and trying to make a buck?

during the last craft bubble, and I was there for it, the market was flush with thousands of mediocre beers with fancy names. they competed with each other for attention and shelf space and ultimately the market decided, y'all suck, and folks started drinking PBR again.

a lot of good breweries got lost in all the noise. and failed because of it. not enough available shelf space, and having to compete with lack luster beer that was louder on the shelf.

back when the brewery I work for made its first Big expansion, going from a 10bbl pilot house to a 30bbl pilot house, it was by being able to purchase a bunch of equipment cheap from fire sales of failed breweries from the last bubble, our brew house is a Frankenstein' monster of potato engineering, but it works, and works well. back then, you really couldn't buy these sized systems out of a catalog. now you can. back then, we were re-purposing dairy equipment, now it's all specialized and the costs are commiserate.

and large distro houses are willing to look at you and pay attention. and help you help then instead of seeing you as some upstart threat to competition.

but still, I can't help but see that the big guys are sitting back and watching us eat ourselves.

Ive personally have seen the change of attitude.. and I con only compare it to a mosh pit.... once upon a time, it was all about having a good raucous time. and if you fell down in the pit, folks would pick you up and throw you back in there.. but nowadays, if you fall down, they seem to be just as happy to start kicking you while you are flailing on the floor.

alright... made my big obervational post.. have fun Folks.
2012-11-17 12:27:41 PM
2 votes:

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I liked the part about their being unable to consolidate further without possible anti-trust repercussions


Yeah, like they are actually going to get attacked for violating anti-trust laws.
2012-11-17 12:22:53 PM
2 votes:

GAT_00: Ah, the wonders of a free market. Driving out competition because it makes a better product.


This just goes to my thesis: the most anti-competitive force on the planet is big business. Not to say Sierra Nevada or Dogfish Head wouldn't do this if they could, but they're nowhere near being able to do it. Every business' dream is to charge as much as possible while providing as little possible. Quality beers threaten that model.
2012-11-17 11:12:23 PM
1 votes:
Plastic carboys are fine, back in my homebrewing days, I used both glass and plastic..

big concern though... don't use anything harshly aprasive to clean them.. if you scratch them, or anything for that matter, you have a contamination point, bacteria can hide and grow in a scratch.

you gotta rely on chemical cleaning at that point. a weak/ medium solution of sodium hydroxide, or tri-sodium phosphate to break down the biologics, rinse, then use an acid to neutralize the caustic and sanitize the vessel.

the tri-so will rinse clean with just water, and can be had in the hardware stores painting aisle..


but plastic is just fine, as long as you don't scratch it.
2012-11-17 09:18:31 PM
1 votes:

foxyshadis: xynix: Two companies dominating a beverage industry? Unheard of!

[www.logoblog.org image 187x150]
[upload.wikimedia.org image 220x155]

In other frightening news, AmBev is angling for a 2013-2014 buyout of Pepsi's beverage division, selling the snack division (Frito-Lay) off.


And PBR has been lying in wait to buy up the Hostess names for two years now.

sprgrss: Coors Banquet is a good cheap beer. I don't care what y'all think.


I don't think ill of you for liking it. it is what it is and as long as you like it, that's the important thing.

a much wiser man than i, a legend in the craft beer industry, when asked "what's the best beer in the world right now" he turned to the guy asking the question and said quite bluntly " the best beer in the world sir, is the one that's in my hand, and it will stay that way until, I get another beer. "


so, while some may look down on you for doing, or saying so, As long as you are enjoying that beer, for all the reasons you want to enjoy it, that beer, right there, is the best beer in the world.
2012-11-17 05:16:56 PM
1 votes:
While Ohio has its faults, we have 5 distributors in Cincinnati, at least 4 micro/nano breweries, a Rock Bottom, and two large homebrew clubs. I have a keg of homebrewed KBS clone in the basement we brewed as a project and aged in a bourbon barrel. I'm not worried.
2012-11-17 04:54:36 PM
1 votes:

alienated: clowncar on fire: Cyclometh: The carboy of pumpkin ale I've had aging for a while laughs at you, subby.

Plastic or glass- I was wondering if I could use one of those plastic water jugs you find in the office,but covered with a blanket to keep out the light as a carboy. As the contents are not under pressure, I'm not seeing to many downsides to my scheme. Probably difficult to clean but maybe better than a 6 gallon utility pail?

Plastic is hard to sanitise.Glass is not. Use a new plastic one only once. Glass is heavy but its worth it.


I think you can aquire the plastic jugs for around 3 bucks each although I know a couple of people who can get them for au gratis. As they only contained fresh water, sterilization should not be to much of an issue (pickle buckets are free but don't bother). how much did the glass carboy (presumeably 6 gallon) set you back? I've seen $30 0r more as opposed to the white utility buckets for around 10.

Kinda interesting that a 5 gallon utility bucket is around 3 dollars but the price jumps quickly to 10 when its a 6 gallon bucket.
2012-11-17 04:46:17 PM
1 votes:

clowncar on fire: Cyclometh: The carboy of pumpkin ale I've had aging for a while laughs at you, subby.

Plastic or glass- I was wondering if I could use one of those plastic water jugs you find in the office,but covered with a blanket to keep out the light as a carboy. As the contents are not under pressure, I'm not seeing to many downsides to my scheme. Probably difficult to clean but maybe better than a 6 gallon utility pail?


Plastic is hard to sanitise.Glass is not. Use a new plastic one only once. Glass is heavy but its worth it.
2012-11-17 04:26:07 PM
1 votes:

clowncar on fire: St_Francis_P: GAT_00: Ah, the wonders of a free market. Driving out competition because it makes a better product.

Since most people are satisfied with crappy beer, the meaning of "better" is debatable in the large picture. As far as the market goes, better means reasonably cheap, or at least affordable, with lots of effective advertising, product placement, and demographic identification.

I drink crappy beer (the kind found all the way to the left end of the cooler at Walmart) as punishment for not making better life decisions that would have allowed me to buy better. When i'm on a particularly nasty bout of self pity, I'll chug a couple of Nattie 40's and try to sound witty in the politics tab- I figure you have to play on a level field when you enter that tab.

The good news is that i have everything I need- short of a 6 gallon pot and fresh grains and hops to have a go at it by myself. Can anyone recommend a good lager-like first timers recipe? I want to go easy on the hops, maybe something with carmelized oats but not much more intricate than that. Definitely do not want to attempt a lager as I won't have much control over the lower temperatures nor timetable required to make a decent lager.


If you have a local beer and wine brewing store, pay them a visit. Most of those guys are happy to help you out.
2012-11-17 04:22:03 PM
1 votes:

DoctorCal: Enemabag Jones: in many states there are two beer distributors

Really? Which states?


If what I learned from Beer Wars is accurate, when prohibition ended they made all sorts of goofy laws to control the sale of alcohol. So the states were each divided into "zones" and each zone was allowed a specific number (around 3) distributors. And so the common pattern in each zone is one for Annheuser-Busch, one for SABMiller and one for Coors and whatever microbrewers that can afford to pay for the leftover space on their distribution truck.

It wouldn't surprise me to find out that a distribution congolmerate was in control of a piece of multiple zones in a state.
2012-11-17 04:08:31 PM
1 votes:
I take this article with an immense shovel of salt, since it's Mother Jones. But, in the final issue, if it comes to pass, I just continue brewing my own. I won't buy the beers of the bigs (even their soi-disant "crafts") anyway.
Some good that could come out of this is to make beers more intensely -micro, or even -nano than they are right now. Beer is fundamentally a perishable, local product that should be made and consumed that way. I subscribe to the New Glarus motto: "Drink Indigenous."
2012-11-17 04:03:36 PM
1 votes:

Bob_Laublaw: If I think I'm comfortable, then I'm likely comfortable.


So do people lying in a snowbank moments before they freeze to death. Same with someone who has a concussion. Or the frog in the slow simmering pot. Sometimes it does take another person to tell you you aren't comfortable but in deep shiat.
2012-11-17 04:00:49 PM
1 votes:
FTA What the beer exec is saying is that supermarkets and corner stores might think they make more money by finding space on the shelves for independent craft beers, but they actually sell more beer and book more profits by dropping craft beers and sticking with the giants.

Not really true.

also

And the giants are now peddling faux craft beers like InBev's Shock Top or SABMiller's Pale Moon. So if you're running the beer cooler of the retail outlet, you'd do better to offer a couple of corporate-made craft knockoffs than a dozen genuine craft brews.
Aye. Shock top and blue moon are quite popular, but then again, so is NBB- I cant keep Ranger ipa in stock.

And
Dave showed research that indicated that retailers that have too many SKUs actually end up selling less overall beer. Thats a flat out lie, except for where the big boys are concerned. I have 6 pk can, 6 pk btl 12 can/bottle 18 pk can 20 pk btl 30 pk can 16oz can 6pk, 24 oz can and 3pk 24 oz can, and that just for bud light. Sales of most units except for 18 pk can and 24oz 3 pks is way down from last year and the last couple of years before that.

Its good that I have 4 independents in addtion to the 2 big boys- I bring in Icelandic plae ale and toasted porter and they just fly off the shelves.
2012-11-17 03:59:44 PM
1 votes:

GAT_00: Ah, the wonders of a free market. Driving out competition because it makes a better product.


Actually it's government regulation that is allowing this to happen. The three tier system created at the end of prohibition is what is allowin this abuse. Check out Beer Wars where they go pretty at length on the subject.
2012-11-17 03:52:40 PM
1 votes:
I brew my own...

fark them
2012-11-17 03:48:28 PM
1 votes:
Considering that in many states there are two beer distributors, and it is illegal for craft beer makers to pool their resources to do the same, many of the six packs you will see on shelves are made by bud or miller with a pretty label.

/You can argue about the quality of that pretty label beer.
//The joke is the big beer makers get to decide what beer is available and where it is put.
2012-11-17 02:24:09 PM
1 votes:
Only one of the five bars on my street has anything like Bud Light on draft. I live in a pretty cool little neighborhood.
2012-11-17 02:14:04 PM
1 votes:
I've been away for a while: is this thread where I talk about how your beer isn't as cool as my beer?
2012-11-17 02:11:27 PM
1 votes:

sammyk: and world of beer


You realize my ears perked up when you said, "World of Beer," yes?

So I googled it+ Charlotte.

Jealous, even though I live in the alcohol capitol of the world. Well, there's Wisconsin. Those folks scare even me.
2012-11-17 01:47:07 PM
1 votes:

St_Francis_P: GAT_00: St_Francis_P: GAT_00: Ah, the wonders of a free market. Driving out competition because it makes a better product.

Since most people are satisfied with crappy beer, the meaning of "better" is debatable in the large picture. As far as the market goes, better means reasonably cheap, or at least affordable, with lots of effective advertising, product placement, and demographic identification.

Buying a bad product doesn't make it good. I have Comcast because I don't have a decent second option.

Except I've talked to people who like Bud and Miller. They think it's perfectly good. I won't drink it either, but that's the reality of the market.


And people think McDonalds and Sonic are good too. Americans have a long history of aspiring to reach the worst.
2012-11-17 01:36:59 PM
1 votes:
Not sure if it still counts as a "craft" beer, but this is what we drink in New Orleans:

encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

And because it's sweet, this is a good breakfast beer. Goes down easy:

encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com
2012-11-17 12:58:39 PM
1 votes:
The ironic thing is that the people who are claiming that the big brewers don't make a quality product are wrong.

American light lager is difficult to make, and the consistency and freshness is amazing.

That being said, I believe that A-B is evil.
2012-11-17 12:19:53 PM
1 votes:

GAT_00: Ah, the wonders of a free market. Driving out competition because it makes a better product.


I liked the part about their being unable to consolidate further without possible anti-trust repercussions

/ALL YOUR BEER ARE BELONG TO US
//I'll stick with cider
2012-11-17 12:16:27 PM
1 votes:
Ah, the wonders of a free market. Driving out competition because it makes a better product.
2012-11-17 10:46:08 AM
1 votes:
The problem isn't retail space (my local has three half aisles and a cooler devoted to beer and 16 devoted to wine) but tap space at the local.
2012-11-17 10:44:13 AM
1 votes:
YOU FOOL! YOU'VE SUMMONED THE APOSTROPHE POLICE!
2012-11-17 10:38:48 AM
1 votes:
Meh. If the big boys buy up and ruin the craft brewers, I'll just start making my own again.
 
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