Does it matter who owns the brewery?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by jazzmac, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. jazzmac

    jazzmac Nov 8, 2002 Connecticut

    We all know some "craft" breweries are owned by BMC, but some are also partially owned by distributors (some very LARGE distributors). Does that matter as long as the beer is good?
  2. dap325

    dap325 Apr 2, 2009 New York

    I think the problem people have with craft breweries owned by BMC is that they are ultimately supporting companies who have had very questionable business practices when it comes to pushing around the much smaller craft breweries in the past. No it doesn't truly matter who owns the brewery if the beer is good, but if you buy them you have to keep in mind who is getting the profits and what those companies have been know to do to their competition, ethical or not.
    BierGartenok, JohnnyMc, leezy and 5 others like this.
  3. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Yes it matters to me. (I will not buy anything from AB/InBev including GI) But it matters to me in most things and not just in beer. I want to know where my money is going.
    I am not saying that I would not buy a beer because the brewery is owned or partially owned by the distributor. I am just saying I would like to know who the owner is so I can make a decision as to whether or not I want to give them my money.
    To the people that say they don't care as long as the beer is good, If the Taliban releases a great Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout are you goin to buy it? (I know this is a bit of hyperbole.)
  4. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Which ones? Any that are more than 25% owned by " alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer" would be no longer considered a "craft brewer" under the Brewers Association's definition.
  5. jazzmac

    jazzmac Nov 8, 2002 Connecticut

    C'mon you know any beer brewed in the caves of Pakistan will have that wonderful horse blanket nose we all love!!
  6. Hanzo

    Hanzo Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    I get where your heart is, but do me a favor, look around wherever you may be, start picking up random items and checking tags\labels and start counting up "made in China" items and let me know when you lose count.
    MaxOhle, MarioM, buzze40 and 4 others like this.
  7. Bay01

    Bay01 Nov 19, 2008 Illinois

  8. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    And for those who can't or don't want to count too high, count the "made in U.S.A." items.
    UNCCTDawg, jmw and Hanzo like this.
  9. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    That's very honorable but I hope you adhere to this belief for everything you buy since beer is not the only product where you are giving companies that have questionable business practices your money.
    albertq17 likes this.
  10. jacksback

    jacksback Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    I see this as not really being applicable. Like you note- there are many instances where it's close to or fully impossible to actually buy "made in america". Find me a TV. Or a car. Heck, find me some childrens toys made in the US.

    But- beer. That's one that's easy to make this call, and it's an easy area to NOT support the big companies.

    To the OP though- this topic really has been beaten to death. Some people do care, some don't. It's an individual call, and to each their own. I don't buy beers from/owned by ABInbev, but that's just my call. I certainly DON'T hate on friends of mine that do.
    tjkinate, Providence, gengle and 4 others like this.
  11. jacksback

    jacksback Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts


    Beer = possible.

    This is the only aspect of this discussion that annoys the hell out of me. The idea that "if you buy ONE THING made overseas or by a big company, you're not allowed to be happy about doing otherwise where you can".

    It's impossible to buy a TV or a car entirely made in the US. It's entirely possible, and easy, to buy beer that's entirely brewed by smaller, independent brewers.
  12. bleakies

    bleakies Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    I may be thirsty and it may be delicious, but I will not buy a beer brewed by Josef Stalin.
    MaxOhle, 5thOhio, Andygirl and 2 others like this.
  13. KBrennan1000

    KBrennan1000 Sep 20, 2010 Massachusetts

    It matters to me simply because of my own personal dealings with BMC companies, AB-InBev in particular. I don't really care if other people buy their stuff but because of how they've treated me in the past, and continue to treat me, I won't financially support them aside from doing my job.
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  14. Hanzo

    Hanzo Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    So what about a Toyota or whatever that is assembled in the US by American workers? I mean AB employs how many Americans? I just don't see how beer is the line in the sand for "Buy American!".

    I mean Cantillon isn't an American brand, should I feel guilty drinking it?
    UNCCTDawg and albertq17 like this.
  15. chefkevlar

    chefkevlar Apr 17, 2010 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Please give an example of a brewery that is owned by a distributor since that would be illegal where I'm from.

    Also yes, it matters to me personally. I have a lot of friends who work for local craft breweries and I won't give money to companies that would like to see them go out of business.
    Providence and SammyJaxxxx like this.
  16. jacksback

    jacksback Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    I shouldn't have used "buy american". Good point. I should have used "buy small and independent".

    The toyota analogy is perfect in terms of showing the grey area and difficulty of buying american.

    I don't see beer as a line in the sand for "buy american"; I do see beer as an easy opportunity to "buy small and independent".
    JohnnyMc, LeRose, SammyJaxxxx and 2 others like this.
  17. dap325

    dap325 Apr 2, 2009 New York

    Of course, if everyone went as far as to boycott things or businesses with questionable origins/practices than nobody would own diamonds or products powered by lithium ion batteries etc... I was just restating the sentiment I've seen over and over again when this subject comes up. As jacksback said.. beer is one of the easier areas to not support the big compaines as opposed to other items where you may not really have a choice. I personally don't take it as far as not buying Goose Island any more (as Goose is usually the main example of this) but I was just saying that I can see why people no longer would.
  18. Omensetter

    Omensetter Nov 24, 2012 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    The issue reminds me of when so many indie bands started signing to major labels in the early 90s, and I wonder whether we'll see the same effect in craft brewing--some smaller breweries that get bought up may completely lose it, others will figure out how to do as well or better than before. And on the consumer side, you have to decide whether to suck it up and support big business or avoid it completely. Personally, I keep buying Goose Island because I like the product, though I wish they were still the brewery equivalent of Sub Pop.
    sleeponthestairs and Sokool like this.
  19. jacksback

    jacksback Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    Well said.

    I think lately this issue is presented as an "argument"; as in, when it comes up, people try and project their decisions onto others. It's a personal choice.
    Hanzo likes this.
  20. deadbody

    deadbody May 10, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Seriously? His red ale is to die for.
  21. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I don't see what this argument has to do with items Made in China.
  22. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    This is a ridiculous position. Why is it all or nothing? There are some items that you cannot help but buy from companies who you would rather not support. Gasoline is the prime example. The fact that one cannot do this in every aspect of their life should not mean that you remain blind to what you are buying and who you are buying it from.
    Providence, JediMatt and jacksback like this.
  23. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I think buying Goose Island is more detrimental to the craft beer movement than buying Bud Light.
  24. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Ironically, his Russian Imperial Stouts suck.
    5thOhio and Kerrie like this.
  25. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    If you pick and choose how to support your personal preferences with what's convenient, easy or fits your particular lifestyle, that's hypocritical IMHO.
    ColForbinBC likes this.
  26. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    See my response to jacksback above.
  27. jacksback

    jacksback Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    That's ridiculous. Within this context, that means it's IMPOSSIBLE to take the position of buying small and independent. From that standpoint, unless one lives off the grid in a shack in the woods, one cannot have any preferences as to where one's money goes.

    And, I absolutely garauntee that by your own criteria, you're a hypocrite as well.
  28. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    There is a diference between practical and convenient. There are some fights that you cannot win. It doesn't mean you shouldn't find the ones you can.
    maxcoinage and pweis909 like this.
  29. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    You can keep repeating it. It doesn't make your statement and less ridiculous.
  30. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew May 8, 2006 Michigan

    I really like heroin, unfortunately the best smack is produced in Afghanistan and usually by terrorist organizations. I don't care that my heroin purchases ultimately fund an organization who wants to destroy a country that I just happen to live in.

    If I am willing to give money to a radical terrorist group and further their goal of destroying my country, why wouldn't I give money to a brewery who wants to eliminate and destroy the craft beer industry that we all love so much?

    *This post screams hyperbole. Think about it before you get all bent out of shape.
  31. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    To each their own. Good spelling too.
  32. jazzmac

    jazzmac Nov 8, 2002 Connecticut

    Not wholly owned, but partially. A few well respected ones. BM me
  33. stayclean

    stayclean Mar 17, 2012 Wisconsin

    His vodka was much better.. :p
    Kerrie likes this.
  34. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Sep 21, 2012 Texas

    You may not like ABInBev's current/past position towards craft brewers but if you look at how many craft brewers started their career at BMC breweries it may be unreasonable to demonstrate absolute hate towards their business practices. It wasn't always the case that you could brew a few homebrew batches, volunteer to wash some kegs and then open a brewery by calling other brewers and asking them how to run your business.
  35. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew May 8, 2006 Michigan

    Why not just bring all the information to the table, would make for a more interesting conversation.
  36. jazzmac

    jazzmac Nov 8, 2002 Connecticut

    Ok...MBC and 6 Point. Partially owned by L Knife & Sons/Craft Brewers Guild. Beers are amazing, BIG scary Distro behind them.
  37. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Sep 21, 2012 Texas

    You could really taste the oppression in his kvass.
    stayclean likes this.
  38. LordFoul

    LordFoul Oct 7, 2012 South Carolina

    I try to buy from businesses that are small and independent when it is practical; as others have said there are times when it is either impossible or extremely impractical to do this (auto manufacturers, gas companies, electronics manufacturers, etc...)

    With beer it is an easy proposition, I simply don't buy beer that is made by AB/Inbev or Miller/Coors or any of their subsidiaries. As was mentioned above, it is not all or nothing, but I do try to support like minded companies when possible...
  39. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    You can guarantee something about me and you don't know jack about me? That's nice. Would you like to back that up with some $$$? And by the way, nice spelling.
  40. evilc

    evilc Jan 27, 2012 California

    Still ISO: Taliban IPA
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