News "Craft or crafty? Consumers deserve to know the truth"

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Dec 13, 2012.

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  1. geocool

    geocool Initiate (175) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    So if it's common then it's OK? I can tell you that if I disliked Toyota for some reason and wanted to be sure to never buy a car made by Toyota, I would not buy a Lexus. But there are lots of people buying Shock Top who wouldn't if they knew who made it. Or worse, they're allowing their experience to turn them off to craft altogether. I'm pretty sure Toyota didn't create the Lexus brand to sour people on luxury cars and keep them buying economical ones.
  2. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,583) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Well, that's a good question, but you an' I have done some talkin' a little bit so I know that you're aware of a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff in the "Craft Beer Industry", and are just using that comment as a rhetorical device.

    But all the same, I just visited the website and lookie-here:

    "Shock Top is brewed to be enjoyed responsibly by adults. © 2012 Shock Top Brewing Co.
    St. Louis, MO. All Rights Reserved."

    That's 'printed' at the very bottom of the "Contact Us" page, right underneath the "Privacy Policy" and "Terms and Conditions" links.

    All of that is 'fine print' stuff, I know. But granted also the fact that I know a little bit about a lot of beer biz whatnot and folderol (and even with my geezer self's failing memory I know enough to remember that St. Louis, Missouri = Bud-tastic Brewing Company, LLC and all of its subsidiaries.)

    But there's simply no way that any itty bitty Craft Brewery could put together a website with that degree of implementation, nor could they have the wherewithal to produce static peelback (non-adhesive) plastic stickers for POS and coldbox doors, hardback laminate utensil holders for two tops in bars, or any of the other promo remarkable swag and neons and lightboxes and tee-shirts and tap handles and...
    cavedave likes this.
  3. infuturity83

    infuturity83 Initiate (0) Sep 22, 2009 Massachusetts

    1) So, if you didn't like Toyota because of their past vehicles, but then they released a new vehicle that was getting better reviews, you would refuse to buy it simply because Toyota produced it? That is just snobbery. I am not saying that Shock Top is good....yech, but if people like it, where's the problem?

    2) I don't think ANYONE who is buying Shock Top would stop buying it if they found out it was an Inbev product.

    3) Anyone who allows one bad beer experience to "turn them off to craft altogether" wasn't really gonna make it anyway, were they?

    4) Agreed, Toyota did not create Lexus to sour people on luxury cars. Nor did Inbev/AB create Shock Top to sour their customers toward their product.

    5) I notice that in your entire response, you sidestepped the Goose Island part of the conversation. Why are you not upset that BCBS doesn't contain an AB label? Your statement is that Shock Top should essentially come with a "warning label" so to speak to indicate the company that makes it also makes yellow piss water swill. Why, then, does Goose Island not draw your ire?
    Norica likes this.
  4. geocool

    geocool Initiate (175) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    No it's not, it's consumerism. I'm allowed to make my own purchasing decisions and base them on whatever I want. But if it makes you feel better to call me names because I don't like the car you drive or the beer you drink then go right ahead.

    I bought it once before I knew who brewed it. A lot of people on this forum don't like AB-InBev, have you noticed?

    It's been documented in the movie Beer Wars and many other places that it is indeed a big part of the "crafty" strategy to discredit craft.

    First of all, there's no ire here. Second, I do not believe Goose Island deserves a pass any more than any of the other crafty brewers. What I'd like to know is why do you have a problem with a trade association promoting their products and informing consumers?
  5. Flibber

    Flibber Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2013 United Kingdom (England)

    I had a bottle of Guinness Foreign Extra tonight. It's very nice. It says on the label that it's made by "Guinness & Co". Now, I know that it's made by Diageo, who are as "BMC" as anyone, but there's no indication of that on the label. Do I care? Not really. If it tastes good I'll drink it again, if it doesn't I won't.

    Incidentally, I checked out a bottle of the hated-by-beer-geeks (almost as much as the evil Heineken!) Blue Moon in the shop and it clearly stated that "Blue Moon Brewing Co." is a trading name of Molson Coors.

    What's with all the big brewer bashing round here anyway? I thought it was "Beer Advocate", not "Craft Beer Advocate"?
  6. jivex5k

    jivex5k Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Florida

    I'd say a better analogy is not buying a new, better Toyota because you disagree with how the company affects the entire auto market, and dislike their underhanded tactics in taking up lot space when better cars from small manufacturers could be sitting there.

    • The big brewer bashing comes from big brewers pursuing litigation against smaller ones.
    • From them deviously copying label art, and asking retail stores to position their beers next to the look-alike microbrews.
    • From them cutting costs on ingredients at the expense of quality.
    • For their lobbyists who try their best to pass laws which make it more difficult and costly for microbrewers to distribute.
    smutty33 likes this.
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,789) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Blue Moon in the shop and it clearly stated that "Blue Moon Brewing Co." is a trading name of Molson Coors.” There is no such labeling on the Blue Moon bottles sold in the US. Maybe the UK has tighter “right to know” laws than the US.

    Blue Moon White bottles in the US solely mention Blue Moon Brewing Company. There is absolutely no mention of the ‘parent’ company which would be MillerCoors for the US.

  8. Bmadd

    Bmadd Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2013 Virginia

    I def think a blacklist is needed....... but BCBS is all i drink at the moment..... 1 a week, what do i turn too?
  9. BurgeoningBrewhead

    BurgeoningBrewhead Initiate (0) Jul 18, 2012 Pennsylvania

    AFAIC it's about quality, not size. The whole "too big, not craft" thing stinks of hipsterdom. If a company could make good beer, from quality ingredients, in as large quantities as AB/Inbev et al make their corn-swill, then that would be craft beer too.
  10. VictorWisc

    VictorWisc Devotee (463) Jan 2, 2013 Massachusetts

    Seriously? Lexus and Infinity actually do show their corporate ownership, as does Acura. Jaguar is another matter. I never liked it before--it was an overpriced rust-trap for overage wannabe playboys (the few women that had the car didn't exactly break the pattern). But now that it's owned by Tata, the junkification is complete.

    Not exactly. GI started independent, developed their line independently and the creative unit remains independent. And the part that AB actually owns and distributes, I, for one, don't care for. Compare that to Leinenkugel and the current incarnation of Henry Weinhard. Or even Blue Moon, for that matter. Still, there are a lot of people here who've poured a lot of hate on GI for "selling out". I would compare them (unfavorably) to Al Sharpton calling someone out as a "race traitor".

    That's just lame. No one called on AB to produce another crap beer--whether under their own umbrella label or not. By your argument we should also welcome Platinum.

    I, for one, welcome our new intergalactic overlords...
  11. GreenCoffee

    GreenCoffee Initiate (0) Jul 2, 2012 Illinois

    After all this time I still fail to see the problem. If you care where your beer comes from, do some research before buying. It's almost like people just randomly buy whatever beer catches their eye and then they get pissy for their beer adventures not turning out exactly how they want. That's part of the risk in not doing the research. You can't have it both ways.

    I see no reason companies should be obligated to put a "please don't buy me" label on their beers to warn people who care about where their beer comes from but not enough to spend 5 seconds on Google.
    Dracarys and cavedave like this.
  12. scotorum

    scotorum Meyvn (1,478) May 28, 2013 Massachusetts

    Exactly my reaction to this thread too. I see politics once again rearing its ugly head on BA in the form of a tendency to instantly imply condemnation of anything owned by a "Big Corporation."

    The only concern I might have is that there are plenty of examples of where big corporations thirsting for big profits expanded and cheapened production of their own good stuff. That was a big part of what inspired the craft revolution in the first place. But that would be shooting themselves in the foot in the long term, because as history has already shown, sooner or later beer drinkers will turn to the remaining uncorrupted smaller breweries' better quality products. It's called free-market capitalism, and it works. People make businesses successful by buying what they make. If they don't like it, no one is forcing them to buy more of it. They and their wallets walk, and the big corporation screwed itself by having paid more attention to its own bottom line than the consumer's sense of value.

    After having just spent a whole day of my life questing in vain in north central Vermont for a bottle or a can or two of Heady, Double Sunshine, or anything Hill Farmstead, I kind of wish Anheuser Busch would buy out those three and start mass producing them. Just so I could get some sort of vague taste of them before I die. LOL Actually, I did get a taste of the first two at The Pig and The Alchemist's brewery, for which I remain deeply grateful. But I hope you get my point. Still haven't had anything by Russian River, Surly or Three Floyds. And I'm not getting any younger. Maybe some global conglomerate could come to the rescue of those of us who don't have the wherewithall to travel to California. Minnesota or Chicago, and have nothing to trade for Pliny, Abrasive or Zombie Dust.
    Flashy likes this.
  13. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,165) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    So, we can believe what we see in documentarties, and they aren't put out as tools to achieve business goals, or political ends?

    Mostly they are as objective about their subject matter as this one, Beer Wars included.
    Flashy likes this.
  14. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Crusader (730) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Toyota never tried to hide the fact that Lexus was their brand. That Lexus was built by Toyota was a selling point.
    The people who drink Shock Top & Blue Moon don't care who brews them. If they did it's not hard to find out.
  15. geocool

    geocool Initiate (175) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    I think they make a compelling case. Do you disagree? Have you seen it? Anyway my point is that there are differing opinions on this, no one should be surprised that people feel this way.
  16. geocool

    geocool Initiate (175) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    If this were true then why don't they label the package?
  17. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,165) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    I have seen it and I believe that big businesses do use their clout to try to succeed. Including breweries. It is hardly news worthy of a documentary. What next, a documentary that Mott uses migrant labor to pick their apples?

    In my opinion that documentary is propaganda made as advertising for craft brewers. Quite successfully if this website is any judge.

    I could make a stilted documentary from the other side of the fence and get folks all riled up that craft brewers are four times as unsafe for brewery workers as are large corporate breweries. Call it, 'Unsafe At Any Fermentation.'

    I am sure there are many factors we need to consider when buying beer. For me, if there are no illegalities being prosecuted against brewers, it is about if I like the beer, if it is reasonably priced, and is the quality consistent.
  18. geocool

    geocool Initiate (175) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    Do you mind if others make their choices based on other criteria? Or if a trade association (like the BA) lobbies consumers to choose based on other factors? It seems to me that because you personally don't care about corporate ownership, you don't think anyone should have the right to know or be lobbied to try to find out.
  19. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Crusader (730) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I don't know you will have to ask them.
  20. VictorWisc

    VictorWisc Devotee (463) Jan 2, 2013 Massachusetts

    From another Blue Moon thread:
    For comparison, here's another pair of identical brews with different distribution:
    Draw your own conclusions... My own Blue Moon rating was closer to Rickard's average FWIW
    kabritz likes this.
  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (2,789) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    FWIW, you can read John Faucher’s (JPMorgan analyst) explanation in the context of not labeling Blue Moon as being a MillerCoors company:

    “What’s the advantage of letting people know that it’s by MillerCoors?” Faucher said. “The downside is the beer-snob factor. If there is no upside from doing it, then why take the risk?”

    So, according to Faucher there is no sales upside to properly labeling Blue Moon as being produced by MillerCoors and there is a potential sales downside if you do so.

    From a business ethics perspective I think that MillerCoors should list their name on Blue Moon labels. Based upon the input of John Faucher, I understand MillerCoors business decision to not be transparent in their labeling.

    geocool likes this.
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