Does it matter who owns the brewery?

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

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  1. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,304) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    That was to be expected if you think about - but did you ever try his "Uncle Joe's Russian Proletarian Stout"?
    SammyJaxxxx and Kerrie like this.
  2. Thickfreakness

    Thickfreakness Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2010 New York

    Not too me. As long as INBEV keeps making BCBS and other GI products as good as this years batch, I'm good with that. Give me all the GI Barleywine you can make if it's in the vein of KH!
  3. jmgrub

    jmgrub Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2010 California

    Yes it does matter who owns the brewery/brews the beer, and not just in the "craft v. crafty argument" context.

    I won't buy Westy beers because the Abbey at St. Sixtus has been sheltering a molester priest for a few years. I won't go to Chick-Fil-A or In-n-Out because I don't like the way they push religion on me (and I don't like the social stances that Chick-Fil-A takes). I want my money to go to people who share my beliefs insofar as it's possible to identify the beliefs of the businesses I frequent.

    I'm sure I'll get hammered for be it.
    MaxOhle, Shagator, gauldk and 5 others like this.
  4. KBrennan1000

    KBrennan1000 Initiate (0) Sep 20, 2010 Massachusetts

    I'll probably regret this but I have to ask, why are you resorting to calling people out on their typos? Wouldn't it be a better idea to just focus on defending your position by giving examples of how you live your life?
    CBlack85 likes this.
  5. Momar42

    Momar42 Initiate (0) Sep 19, 2010 Maryland

    It completely overwhelmed the White Ale. :wink:
  6. KBrennan1000

    KBrennan1000 Initiate (0) Sep 20, 2010 Massachusetts

    These guys are partially owned by L. Knife? I thought they just had a distribution contract with them.
  7. ShameAndFailure

    ShameAndFailure Initiate (0) Mar 26, 2009 Texas

    For me, it comes down a combination of taste and price. If the best tasting and affordable beer is made by a large multinational or a mom and pop down the street I'll drink that. I won't support local or small just because their not big beer.

    It just so happens the tastiest beer is usually done by the local brewer and not the big boys.
  8. UltraZelda64

    UltraZelda64 Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2005 Ohio

    To me, it matters but then it doesn't really matter at the same time if that makes any sense. I would prefer not to help crooked mega-corporations if I can help it, so they are certainly not what I seek out when I go to the beer. However, a good beer is a good beer, and there are several of them I've had over the years that were at least partially owned by one of these mass-production companies. I recall some excellent "craft" beers of different styles with the Michelob name, and Dundee had a couple that were pretty good.

    Sometimes the price-to-quality ratio is downright unbelievable, and especially in those cases I cannot see fault in buying something just because it was made or owned by Anheuser-Busch. It's better than buying some crap lite beer by that same manufacturer, and when I'm low on money I won't hesitate to let that show in my beer purchases. As long as that beer itself is decent. Even if you buy from a major company, as long as it is not the typical crap macro/adjunct lager, you're still "voting with your wallet" in a way for better styles instead of that company's standard crap.

    I am highly likely to read reviews to make sure any typical macro off-flavors and other nastiness does not affect the beer, and to make sure it is, in fact, what the label claims. Simply put, I'm not very happy when I put down money on a supposedly "craft" beer by a major company and it turns out tasting like a basic all-malt lager with fake caramel flavor and coloring. In that case, what I bought is only good as an alcohol delivery system, and my money went to fund bland garbage with an inaccurate purely-marketing name.

    Every once in a while, I don't even mind buying a bigger case of some kind of decent macro lager... usually to finish a night off after drinking some actual good stuff.

    And as for shunning non-American beer? Well, I wish I could find more "Made in U.S.A." non-consumable goods myself, but for beer, come on! So many traditional styles are from places like Germany and Belgium (two countries I have absolutely no problems with), and by avoiding those you're missing out on some truly great beers.
  9. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 New York

    Just one. GI. New thread. Bad talk.
  10. jazzmac

    jazzmac Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2002 Connecticut

    Leiny, Magic Hat, Redhook, Pyramid, Mendocino.
  11. maxcoinage

    maxcoinage Defender (611) Apr 6, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    For me everything is a balance between quality and price. If I enjoy it, I have no qualms about drinking a brew regardless where it's from (sans the extreme Taliban case). I'd question whether they are trying to "put craft brewers out of business", more like they are concerned with profits just like every single for-profit corporation in America! I'm sure many members of this site work for publicly traded companies. The fact of the matter is this is how capitalism works. If you don't want to support them, I can respect it, just don't look down on those that do.
  12. stayclean

    stayclean Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2012 Wisconsin

    Eh, nothing wrong with that. I will say though, when I went to California a few summers ago, I went to In n Out a lot, mostly due to it being a few blocks from my hotel (I was only there for 2 days for business, didn't really feel like bothering to check out anything better, ha). I already knew all about the religious part of it, but I honestly didn't notice any of that at all. I was disappointed, ha.
  13. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Yeah you're right but a "guarantee" hit me in the wrong place.
  14. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    And yet your position GUARANTEES it.

    Unless you'd really like to claim that you've never made a value decision based on it being "easy or convenient".

    But yeah, the typo bit is nice. Always the fallback of someone who can't make a solid point.
  15. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    And furthermore- as people have noted, the "all or nothing" position in this debate is a BS strawman. No one who participates in society in the US can avoid giving money to corporations that have shady practices. Quite simply, if you use ANY petroleum products, you're "supporting" companies that are well known for destroying the environment, abusing workers, reaping profits at the expense of everyone else, and so on.

    But good luck avoiding petroleum products.

    By Mr. Driftwood's argument, hence, none of us can speak to making value decisions with where our money goes, since we'll all be "hypocrites".

    Most, however, have noted respectable positions- either "yes, it matters who owns the brewery", or "no, not so much".

    Again, personal decision. I've got a hell of a lot more respect for someone who simply states "It doesn't bother me so much, so I'll keep buying their beers" as opposed to someone who has to fall back on untenable strawmen. And pointing out spelling errors.
  16. HipsterBrewfus

    HipsterBrewfus Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2012 Maryland

    That was the first thing I thought of when I saw this thread.

    That was a good thread.
    evilc likes this.
  17. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 New York

    Leiny is not craft
    Redhook is not owned, just distributed by
    Mendocino is owned by UB
    Magic Hat and Pyramid are NAB
  18. 5thOhio

    5thOhio Zealot (501) May 13, 2007 South Carolina

    Must be from Louisiana...
  19. kelvarnsen

    kelvarnsen Devotee (401) Nov 30, 2011 Ontario (Canada)

    With regards to the business practices of the big brewers, it is kind of hard for me to get upset about it since there are other companies out there that I have spent money on whose business practices make Inbev look like a small company owned by a bunch of hippies. I mean all of my kitchen appliances are made by General Electric (who also used to own NBC up until a few years ago), inside that fridge there is probably some coca-cola. And my car is filled with gas that I bought at a Shell station. Inbev or whoever trying to squeeze out the new guys is nothing compared to some of the business practices of those companies.
  20. booyahachieved3

    booyahachieved3 Initiate (112) Sep 5, 2012 Kansas
    Beer Trader

    If you say Jai Alai with just the right inflection...
  21. JediMatt

    JediMatt Initiate (81) Jun 18, 2010 Iowa

    This is my stance as well. I try to avoid companies where I know I don't agree with their business practices. That includes ABInbev.

    How can you say Leinie's isn't craft? They most definitely were before they were bought by MillerCoors. I agree they aren't now. But then, by that definitiion neither is Goose Island. Which I also agree with.
    Redhook is part of CBA (Redhook, Widmer and Kona, actually). ABInbev owns 32% of that company. So, not exactly free from the shackles of BMC either...
  22. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,304) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Leinenkugel was a heritage pre-craft-era brewery when Miller (alone) bought them in 1988 - brewing primarily adjunct lager beers just as the "non-craft" (according to the Brewers Association) breweries like Yuengling, Straub, the Lion and Schell's do today. If they were to be spun-off, they'd probably have a hard time meeting the B.A.'s craft "traditional" designation, tho' other similar breweries have done it (Matt, Spoetzl, Steven Point). In that deleted B.A. "blacklist" Leinenkugel was disqualified as "craft" for both the MC ownership AND as an "adjunct brewer".

    Yes, CBA's annual report has some interesting things to say about it's relationship with AB- like "We are dependent upon our continuing relationship with Anheuser-Busch, LLC and the current distribution network" and that AB is entitled to "... to designate two members of our board of directors. A-B also generally has the right to have a designee on each committee of the board of directors..."

    An overlooked part of the AB-Goose Island purchase was it was a way to also pump some cash into CBA because AB bought CBA's 40% (IIRC) share of GI at the same time.
    SidSquid likes this.
  23. SidSquid

    SidSquid Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2010 California

    So if one isn't able to be practice perfect ethics, it's better to not even make the effort?

    Sure it's impossible for anyone living a close to normal life to not support any corporations (or nations) that have questionable practices (which is a personal call)

    Responding to the OP, part of the problem is that big corporations are more likely to look at short-term bottom line. I hate to say it, but Anchor is not what it used to be: it took a while for the quality to really dip. and I kept telling myself that I might have been influenced by my expectations, but Liberty/Steam/Porter are all inferior to what they were before the buyout.
  24. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    Love how beer geeks cite the business practices of the big guys as reason why someone should not buy their craft attempts. Meanwhile they would rather stick their head in the sand and remain ignorant over the same/similar practices by craftbrewers and their agents and pretend it doesn't happen because small brewers are inherently the "good guys" due to their marketed altruism. Its a business like any other, companies are always going to try to take advantage of their strengths when big money is on the line. For myself, I find this kind of cherry picking to be intellectually dishonest and until I know the business practices of all the breweries I buy from, I can't hold the practices of another that I have heard about second handedly against them. YMMV.

    As craftbrewers become larger and need to keep increasing sales and taking market share away from other craftbrewers, there will be even more questionable business practices taking place, get used to it, could be your favorite brewery.

    I take a consumer based view on this since I am a consumer of beer - those providing the products I want at the price I want to buy them gets my business and I'll let the market figure out the rest.
    MaxOhle, rocdoc1 and djsmith1174 like this.
  25. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    When did this become a thread about "buying American"?

    Im not sure why you brought that in. Toyota or Ford are both big car companies, I think that is the issue, not that one is American and the other is foreign.

    The problem with Bud and Miller isnt that they are foreign owned.
  26. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I love shitstorms. And I don't use the words 'always' and 'never' so ask me again.
  27. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    As far as beer quality, etc., the mind can play tricks on you. Ever hear of a self-fulfilling prophecy? You think therefore it is. And as far as practicing anything perfectly, perhaps you can't but if you are a vegetarian, for example, do you say "oh today I can't be bothered or it isn't convenient so I'll eat meat?" My point was, if the source of your beer is the only thing you have a problem with and actually do anything about, how is that really supporting your belief that you don't support corporations that have unethical or questionable business practices. It's lip service to the cause.
  28. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    Gotcha. So "everything" doesn't really mean... well, "everything", right?
    Glad we cleared that up.
    LordFoul likes this.
  29. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    That was my bad, and Hanzo was really replying to that overall sentiment, which I did mention.

    As I said to Hanzo, it would have been far more appropriate for me to use the phrase "buying small and independent".
    Hanzo likes this.
  30. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
  31. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    This is an entirely legit point. Personally, I accept that craft breweries, like the big guys, are in it for the money first and foremost, and sure, they may do things that aren't entirely commendable. Lawsuits over tap handle designs, homebrew stores suing far flung breweries over a beer name, and so on.

    But still, within that context, the scope of the underhanded things MOST craft breweries do doesn't come close to the practices of the bigger conglomerate breweries.

    And, for every example of a craft brewery being... well, asshole-ish, I bet I could find 10 examples of craft breweries that DON'T engage in any really underhanded practices.

    While that's certainly legit, I wouldn't say that's simply "a consumer based view". We're all consumers of beer. In many cases, we've just got different criteria as to how we make those consumer decisions. Ownership may well be one of those criteria, however arbitrary it may be.
  32. erichall

    erichall Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2008 Kentucky

    Its funny that so many BA's consider Inbev/Miller Coors the evil empire because of their size yet will walk into gigantic international liquor stores to purchase their chosen brand of craft beer.

    Many of those liquor stores engage in the same tactics that the big beer companies do. Then again, beer purchased from a big store tastes the same as beer purchased from a small store.
  33. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    That'll work. As long as we're OK with some typos here and there.
  34. BMitch

    BMitch Initiate (170) Jul 10, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    And I've got a hell of a lot more respect for those of you on the anti-InBev side of the debate that take this stance, like yourself, instead of the select few who still feel the need to throw in an unneccessary jab in almost every GI thread that comes up.
  35. gauldk

    gauldk Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2011 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    It does matter! Just eliminating BMC leaves TONS of great products from USA, Belgium, etc that are made by craftsmen which I want to support. Simple as that...
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  36. alucard6679

    alucard6679 Aspirant (259) Jul 29, 2012 Arizona

    I usually do my best to support actual craft breweries since the big ones are starting to remind me slightly of the mafia. That being said, if I ever finally come across a bottle of will be mine....oh yes, it will be mine. At the the end of the day we're all hypocrites to some degree.
  37. Ranbot

    Ranbot Devotee (467) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Gotta love those slippery slopes...
  38. jacksback

    jacksback Initiate (0) Jul 20, 2011 Massachusetts

    Agreed. I think it's clear at this point that there are different stances. And to a good extent, Mr Driftwood's "agree to disagree" comment is the one that really needs to be front and center.

    The one slight qualifier- I DO think it's a good thing if people at least KNOW that GI is owned by ABInbev. As with all the beers we buy- full info and disclosure can't be a bad thing, right?
    BMitch likes this.
  39. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    So what great products from the USA, Belgium etc are you missing out on because BMC exists?
  40. gauldk

    gauldk Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2011 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    a big goose egg - read into that how you will
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