News Brewers Association Launches New National Campaign: "That's Independence You're Tasting"

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,603) Aug 23, 1996 California

    "That's Independence You're Tasting"

    Brewers Association Launches New National Awareness Campaign for Independent Brewers

    Boulder, Colo. • August 29, 2018—To educate beer lovers about the craft brewing community and what it means to be independent, the Brewers Association—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent craft brewers—is launching a new national awareness campaign, “That’s Independence You’re Tasting.” This integrated advertising campaign is part of the Brewers Association’s ongoing efforts to distinguish and promote America’s small and independent craft brewers. The videos will be presented across a variety of media platforms.

    “That’s Independence You’re Tasting” takes a proud and positive tone, focusing on independence and choice—both key tenets of craft brewing culture—and tells the story of the country’s more than 6,600 independent craft brewers. These hard-working women and men are entrepreneurs, innovators, collaborators, risk takers and underdogs who advance the beverage of beer.



    “Independent craft brewers are a success story for American industry,” said Bob Pease, president & CEO, Brewers Association. “Each of the over 6,600 U.S. craft breweries is a unique contributor to its community and should be celebrated. As a national campaign, ‘That’s Independence You’re Tasting’ generates awareness beyond any one individual brewery or beer and touches the spirit of independence that is a core American value. We are proud to be able to do for all our BA members what would be extremely difficult for them to do individually. Together we are united in independence.”

    The initial phase of the awareness campaign launched in June 2017 with the introduction of the independent craft brewer seal. Featuring an iconic beer bottle shape flipped upside down, the seal indicates that a brewery is certified to be independently owned. The seal has been adopted by more than 3,700 craft brewing companies—representing more than 80 percent of the volume of craft brewed beer.

    “‘That’s Independence You’re Tasting’ is designed to keep independent craft brewers and their beers top of mind. Our hope is that after being exposed to these stories, beer lovers are moved to support independent breweries and seek the seal when making their beer purchases," added Pease. “By choosing a beer that has the independent craft brewer seal, the beer drinker knows that they are supporting a brewery with ties to the community.”

    To learn more about “That’s Independence You’re Tasting” and the independent craft brewer seal, visit—the Brewers Association’s website for beer lovers—follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and join the discussion at #SeektheSeal.

    pat61 and StoutElk_92 like this.
  2. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (839) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    They should have a third video entitled "Bullshit", because that's what that seal is.
    Nate, IPAExpert69, bstyle and 17 others like this.
  3. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (655) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Certified by who? And who really cares?

    Really? All beers with the seal have ties to the community? Does this mean the hire locals?

    Bunch of crap, trying to do anything to keep themselves relevant.

    End of day a symbol Ina beer means zero, especially when it comes from nothing.

    DISKORD, ShanePB, dcotom and 5 others like this.
  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,649) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    A bunch of marketing crap.:slight_frown:

    Why doesn't the Brewers Association instead spend that money on something like improving beer quality instead? It is the stuff inside the bottle/can that should be of greater importance IMO.

    Non-cheers to marketing crap!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. BayAreaJoe

    BayAreaJoe Zealot (574) Nov 23, 2017 California

    The only parts I really don't get are the horseback riding, skateboard trick jumping, picking up hitchhikers, and metalwork manufacturing.
  6. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (839) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    The BA is trying to play a game that their imagined enemy, Big Beer, plays infinitely better than they do.
  7. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,013) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    I should pay a premium because they have community ties? That rather diminishes my financial ability to support my own community which is made up of no less deserving folk.
    bstyle, KarlHungus, MNAle and 4 others like this.
  8. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Devotee (414) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana

    This is my problem with "locally produced produce/goods."

    End of the day quality speaks to my wallet, not the fact it is local. If it is worth a premium I will pay it, but I'll never patronize something just because it is local.
    ovaltine, THANAT0PSIS and Lahey like this.
  9. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,638) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I love threads like this and the way some folks on here just get sucked right in by the Marketing shtick.

    One guy I used to work with is a marketing research specialist. Not more than a year or so ago he was telling me about some of the changes in marketing strategies that have been triggered by social media.

    One change he finds interesting is called Reverse Psychology Marketing. Using RPM some organizations deliberately introduce or produce things for people to criticize. This gets people who think they don't like the marketing or the product to actively spread the word and attract attention to the marketing. Getting people to notice you is half the battle in building product awareness.
    IceAce, ovaltine, tzieser and 6 others like this.
  10. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Devotee (414) Apr 8, 2017 Indiana

    I'm shocked to hear this is new. This is the same old "any publicity is good publicity." New age "stars" like the kardashians and Paris Hilton did this with their porn tapes.
    FatBoyGotSwagger likes this.
  11. frozyn

    frozyn Zealot (570) May 16, 2015 New York
    Premium Trader

    Glad you posted before me as it saved me some typing. All news is good news these days, and these types of ads are reaction-grabbing. The early responses to this thread are indicative of that. That said, BeerAdvocates thinking of this as marketing crap is fine -- we're not the targets of the ads. Think PBR/High Life drinking millenials who care about where their coffee is roasted, where their butcher sourced their meat from, and who love Sweetgreens for the fact that they post where every ingredient they use comes from.

    Indeed not new. Perhaps just a "new" focus on it in light of the changes in social media and how much more useful it's become. Kardashians/Paris Hilton are perfect examples.
    beertunes, Beer_Economicus and drtth like this.
  12. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (247) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    Sometimes independence can taste like shit though.

    I've had a number of local products that are truly mediocre. In fact I think percentage wise the crappy breweries outnumber the stellar.

    Does the label only go on quality independent products? Or is it in the same vein as organic non GMO ( as some of those products just taste terrible).
    wspscott and FatBoyGotSwagger like this.
  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,649) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I am pretty sure that you are posing a rhetorical question but I will respond anyway: no the aspect of "quality" is not a criterion here. The Brewers Association seems to be 'focused' solely on pushing what they deem to be independent brewery beers.

    Did you take note of my comment in post #4 above of:

    "Why doesn't the Brewers Association instead spend that money on something like improving beer quality instead?"

    What are your thoughts about the above question?

  14. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,638) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Since they already have paid for the development of a Best Practices Guide to Quality Craft Beer, mulitple Beer Quality manuals, have at least two Beer Quality Ambassadors and sponsor occasional Beer Quality workshops what would you suggest they add? (Keeping in mind that their role is to "lead the horse to water," and is not "to make it drink." :sunglasses:)
    #14 drtth, Aug 30, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
    cavedave, sharpski and beertunes like this.
  15. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (360) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    They could have gotten a way gnarlier trick than that weak ass one second clip of an ollie in that video. Way to half ass your b-roll guys. Was that dude wearing knee pads and a helmet by the way? So cool:rolling_eyes:

    Seriously though, marketing like this is stupid. No one is gonna be sold by some stupid seal if they aren't already looking at the beer.
    Beer_Economicus and JackHorzempa like this.
  16. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (247) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    Do these breweries have to pay to get the seal? I think that answers the question as to why pretty much everyone is 'accepted'. I think there are a few breweries around me who are so small that they basically aren't even a Ba registered brewery, let alone granted a seal.

    This doesn't apply to every place but so many breweries are started by 5-6 original investors, many who are well to do business owners in other rights. They don't exactly need another venture to get even more rich off of. You also hear of some that just start with family money. Or the four college friends who somehow aren't in debt already who manages to brew out of their families barn and somehow get financial backing to get things going.

    I don't like the way ab inbev deals with taps and beer shelf space around my way. But I've also learned, what am I really drinking beer for? First and foremost, quality or perceivers likeness. I think I like some beers most tend to hate. Everyone's different on what defines quality

    I do like stories though. The teacher who quit his day job to go in $100k in debt (by banks) to open his dream brewery who puts out kick ass beer should be rewarded. He put his car and house on the line for the dream. That's really cool.

    I don't need to know everyone's life story to support them through beer purchases. The label is sort of forcing that onto consumers. I don't think it's helpful.

    I overheard from a bartender at this new NYC area brewery that the owner also owns a couple other restaurants. The small time local vibe perception is a lot of bs as well and the label sort of feels self righteous.

    Most 'local' fast food places are franchised out and owned by local millionaires or well to do people. Investors are caught up in everything. Nothing is as independent as we think. If we are supporting local millionaires who own/part investors of these breweries, why not the franchise owners, who are also local residents?

    The fairytale independent garbage needs to stop being shoved down our throats.
    #16 Oktoberfiesta, Aug 30, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
    KarlHungus likes this.
  17. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,603) Aug 23, 1996 California

  18. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,399) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    What defines independent?

    I have a feeling my definition is going to be very different than BA's.
  19. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (247) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    Looks like a great rated beer. Would you want average beer to have that same label? I think it diminishes your product. It's like how they had grade meat and other items. All prime meats are equal. This place is proud of a certified label where the range of quality is from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. Not a very good distinguisher

    Saw this one too

    Tricky slippery slope here. What is building wealth locally, really? Isn't it 95% jobs? We hear of cities fighting for new factories and corporations to call their hometown their new headquarters but somehow beer is off limits.

    I know the Oakland area was very much against golden road building a brewpub in their area. That was months ago. Unless your own brewery is pumping out new jobs every week, I think a lot of Brewers are selfish.

    Unless he's talking about his own wealth where he's a resident, then he would be correct. Nothing is being funneled to Brazil. Other than jobs, what true wealth are these smaller players bringing that other non independent wouldn't? Are we talking charities and donations and such? Most still hire local people. Now I'm completely torn. Or are we just fans of local people being quite wealth, where we see where the money is actually going.
    #19 Oktoberfiesta, Aug 30, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  20. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,399) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    That is a load of crap.

    The Breckenridge Brewery in Littlelon, CO probably does more for the wealth of the local community than many small, neighborhood breweries.

    But we need to stop worrying about quality when arguing about independent vs not-independent. At least, IMO, independent is about the structure of an operation and who runs it, who it beholden too.
  21. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (1,987) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Premium Trader

    What the independent craft brewer seal means to me:
    Minhas can put it on their labels and Founders can't.
    'Nuff said.
  22. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,335) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    According to the Brewers Association:
    Yeah, but you don't have a seal. :grin:
    See above (and the yet to posted comments below :astonished:).
    Ya think? :wink:
    pat61 and beertunes like this.
  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,649) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    @jesskidden, you posted:

    BREWERS ASSOCIATION: Use of the Independent Craft Brewer Seal is Free for Breweries that:
    • Have a valid TTB Brewer’s Notice.
    • Meet the Brewers Association’s craft brewer definition.
    • Sign the licensing agreement
    Isn't there a fourth bullet of the brewery needs to be a member of the Brewers Association (and pay the commensurate membership fee)?

  24. JohnnyChicago

    JohnnyChicago Crusader (794) Sep 3, 2010 Illinois

    Here’s my take on it: I’m not Jewish. But I’ve got no problem with food items bearing a “certified kosher” image. Same with the “non GMO” one. The BA has concluded that enough consumers care about this to include this seal.

    If you don’t care about it, it’s not for you. It’s not like it’s presense is going to make the beer more expensive or shave an oz off the total volume.

    I know it’s an Internet forum and the whole point is for people to express their opinions, but personally, I don’t bother getting upset by things that have zero impact on my life.

    As for the ‘quality certification’ angle. In theory, there are already federal institutions tasked with assuring your beer is safe to drink. Beyond that, what standards would one use for ‘quality’? There’s people on this site think underattenuated or DMS-laden beer isn’t intrinsically flawed. I’m betting the BA coming out with a list of requirements for ‘good quality’ would be as, if not more controversial than their ‘independent brewer’ requirements.
  25. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,335) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    You have to ask them - it doesn't say it on their page
    (and I, too, was somewhat surprised at that). Perhaps it's in the "licensing agreement" - accessible only with a brewery email.

    Of course, what non-member would want to use it, assuming that any qualifying "craft" brewery which doesn't belong probably has some philosophical problem with the organization. Or, maybe just financial problem with paying the dues.
    pat61 likes this.
  26. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,638) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    They've already said, back when the seal was first introduced in 2017:

    "The seal is available for use free of charge by any of the more than 5,300 small and independent American craft brewers that have a valid TTB Brewer’s Notice, meet the BA’s craft brewer definition, and sign a license agreement. It is available to both member and non-member breweries of the BA."

    hopfenunmaltz, sharpski and beertunes like this.
  27. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (89) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina

    From a BA press release dated 2017-06-27:
    "The seal is available for use free of charge by any of the more than 5,300 small and independent American craft brewers that have a valid TTB Brewer’s Notice, meet the BA’s craft brewer definition, and sign a license agreement. It is available to both member and non-member breweries of the BA."
  28. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,013) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    Isn't this an "us vs them" sort of appeal?

    When I go see a doctor I don't care if he's an independent private practitioner or on staff at a local hospital associated with other hospitals nationally. I only care about the quality of his diagnosis.

    I support the local brewers because I can get a fresh, quality, unpasteurized, unfiltered product made with no concern about shaping the formula to appeal to a broad audience or to extend shelf life. I also like that they are independent and locally owned but don't believe their employees are any more deserving of a job than our other neighbors who drive the Bud truck. The driver's kids go to the same school as ours, his family goes to the same churches as ours, and his job provides income which he spends locally. Why should I ignore him and instead support the job of a brewery employee far away who doesn't contribute locally solely on the basis that the distant people are labeled independent.
    pat61, KarlHungus, elohim and 7 others like this.
  29. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (2,231) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    That is objectively funny. Would love to see a Beer Me Anything with this guy.
  30. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,649) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    It does not have to be a “list of requirements”.

    Since you are a professional brewer you likely have more familiarity with the Brewers Association initiatives on quality vs. us non-B.A. members.

    From information available from the B.A. website:

    Basics of Beer Quality Workshop

    They conduct a one day workshop periodically (and at differing locations). Is a one day course long enough? Is there a fee involved here? Is there a way (e.g., via certification which can be advertised) for the B.A. t0 incentivize their members to attend?

    Needless to say but for B.A. brewery members to attend the course but choose to not implement what was taught (e.g., due to cost implications) does not result in full completion here.

    Quality Management: Essential Planning for Breweries

    They sell a book for $95.

    From the book’s forward (with emphasis in bold by me):

    “Making great beer is hard. Making the same great beer every day is harder. Ensuring that your great beer is still great after packaging is harder still. And the hardest thing of all is ensuring that every customer gets the great beer you brewed, whether they drink it in your pub or another establishment, or from a glass, bottle or can…Our collective success is built on quality. I hope that both established and aspiring brewers will learn and benefit from many of the fundamentals that Mary details in this book.”

    –Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

    Can the B.A. do more to ensure that craft beer customers who purchase beer are getting “the great beer you brewed” when they pick it up off their local retailers’ shelves?

    As a commercial brewer you likely have ideas on how the Brewers Association can better promote quality brewing. Ensuring that there is improved beer quality in the craft beer industry seems like a worthy goal to me as a consumer.

  31. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,399) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico


    So now they are defining independent the same as craft?
    EvenMoreJesus and Squire like this.
  32. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,335) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Well, no - "Independent" is one of their 3 criteria for a "Craft Brewer" :
    (with a few tweaks in the last decade, re: annual barrelage and ingredients, same as their original definition from circa 2006-7)
    pat61 likes this.
  33. JohnnyChicago

    JohnnyChicago Crusader (794) Sep 3, 2010 Illinois

    I was referring to this guy and the shitstorm it provoked:


    I predict that trying to do something similar for “quality beer” would have the same result.

    It has been previously noted, and I’ve brought it up in other threads. The BA does have tools available for brewers to improve quality. As @drtth put it, it’s very much of a, “leading a horse to water” kinda thing. There are plenty of resources that teach the correct approach to properly brewing conventionally high quality beer.
    Is there opportunity for improving educational modules? Sure! There are multiple surveys every year to improve their programs. There is always room for improvement.
    But that is vastly different than maintaining a “quality seal” standard. Take, proper attenuation. Do you mandate that brewers with this hypothetical seal maintain a mandatory maximum terminal gravity? How do you test that? Random, unannounced quality visits to members?
    The controversy would be high, the cost would be insane, and the benefit would be minimum.
    meefmoff, cavedave, beertunes and 3 others like this.
  34. Alefflicted

    Alefflicted Initiate (75) Dec 2, 2017 Minnesota

    It's like you pulled the thoughts right out of my mind!
    EvenMoreJesus likes this.
  35. Alefflicted

    Alefflicted Initiate (75) Dec 2, 2017 Minnesota

    I truly believe good Sir, that if more people thought the way you do, the world would be a much better place.
    RobH, EvenMoreJesus and Squire like this.
  36. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,649) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    In my opinion the money spent on "That's Independence You're Tasting" would have been more wisely spent here.

    JohnnyChicago likes this.
  37. JohnnyChicago

    JohnnyChicago Crusader (794) Sep 3, 2010 Illinois

    You are certainly not alone in this opinion, including many BA members. But you know how these things work - voting and elected representatives. Their official stance is probably “why not do both?”.

    Personally, in my opinion, I’m somewhat in the middle. I don’t agree with some that this is a non-issue that deserves zero attention, but I think that some of the campaigns - most notably that ridiculous “Take Craft Back” thing was a waste of time and money.

    I will say that this whole issue is about <5% of what the BA does, but gets probably over 50% or the press here and at similar sites, which can skew perception of how much time and effort the BA actually commits to it. The other 99% is decidedly unexciting but equally valuable industry resources.
    meefmoff, beertunes and drtth like this.
  38. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (227) Jun 4, 2005 California

    I have tasted hype (overrated) and rare (expensive), not sure what independence tastes like :grin:
    KarlHungus and DISKORD like this.
  39. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (839) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    My questions would be where he gets his ingredients and where he got his brewing equipment. Hope he's using local producers or at least ones from California. You know, to support the local economy and all.
  40. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (839) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    That is definitely the association that they're attempting to make, no matter how incorrect it is. The problem, as has been discussed ad nauseam, is that they are the ones who get to define "independent".