An interesting read.
An interesting stat from the article:
Small "mom and pop"-style breweries — or regional breweries — now account for about 6 percent of domestic beer sales. That may seem like a small number, but it's been growing every year since the early 1990s, while big brewers' share is declining.Then there's this:
There are now more small breweries than there were before Prohibition, when beer was largely a regional business.
"There's also the issue, Flock says, of what the Brewer's Association calls "crafty" beers — beers owned by big beer companies disguised as small craft beer. A common example is Blue Moon, a Belgian-style beer."
Not everyone agrees. Benj Steinman, an editor for Beer Marketer's Insights, a trade publication, says these so-called "crafty beers" might be helping the craft beer market.
"What Anheuser-Busch and Coors have done through Shock Top and Blue Moon is opened up a greater number of consumers to the universe of craft beers and their innovation, flavor and variety," says Steinman, a 30-year veteran of the beer business. "They're sort of gateway beers."I agree with Benj Steinman's.
To be perfectly honest, as much as I like many craft beers, I don't particularly care WHO makes what I drink. If I like it, I'll buy it. At the moment, I tend to like what the smaller brewers are making and I don't mind paying a little more for them. But if the big guys can make something just as tasty, and preferably cheaper, I'll buy it too. I've tried Shock Top and I like it. I know who made it because I tend to read the cans/bottles/labels of the stuff I buy. That doesn't deter me one bit.
I don't drink craft beers because they're craft beers. That's too... umm.. fanboi-like. That smells to elitist and stinks of attitude.
I don't think the little guys have anything to worry about. I think they have more freedom to be creative in their brews. They don't have to go through all the corporate B.S. to release an new product. They have the freedom to work with each other (and they do!) to make some pretty tasty beverages. They don't seem to compete against each other -- they work together.
That's what sets them far apart from the big boys and that's what gives them an advantage, imho. Keep making what the people want and there's nothing to worry about.