News More bars are booting corporate beer from their taps and doubling down on craft

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Smakawhat, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (6,623) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

  2. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (242) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    Okay.... founders isn't craft enough now? Smdh
  3. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Disciple (309) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon

    According to the (arguably) ridiculous 25% cut off defined by the BA, they stopped being craft the moment they sold 30% of the company to Mahou San Miguel. If they had sold 24.999% they'd still be craft, but everyone knows once you go over that magic number you lose all credibility and might as well just start pumping out AALs and making Super Bowl commercials. :rolling_eyes:
  4. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,111) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    But in this example, they were already a "beer bar" type of place. For every bar like that, you've got a generic sports bar that every "craft" beer tap is Goose Island or another AB owned brand.
  5. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (242) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    I think not including founders is a travesty.
  6. lordofthemark

    lordofthemark Aspirant (225) Jan 28, 2015 Virginia

    With anything like this, whether it is independent craft, local sourcing, organic, whatever, if you are going to do it, you need to draw the line somewhere (in the case of local sourcing, quite literally). PP decide to use the BA definition. That was their choice. There are plenty of other places around here to get Founders. And given all I know about PP, they will always have excellent choices on tap without Founders. They are a very respected venue here, both for their beer and their food. Those who don't like their choice are free to go elsewhere, or even to boycott PP. Though I suspect most of the people who will express anger at PP for this don't even live in the DCarea.
  7. lordofthemark

    lordofthemark Aspirant (225) Jan 28, 2015 Virginia

    Pretty long drive from New Jersey to Old Town Alexandria, eh what?
  8. lordofthemark

    lordofthemark Aspirant (225) Jan 28, 2015 Virginia

    Not only that, but I think many of the craft venues here serve GI and Founders.
  9. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,317) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Premium Trader

    Founders will always have a place at my home bar :sunglasses:
  10. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (242) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    I guess I can't voice my opinion because I'm not in the area. Noted.
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  11. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (6,623) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

    The only pre-requisite for a business is to basically follow the law, and aside from that they can choose what to offer and cultivate an image from it.

    I killed so many pies at the Dupont location I am ready to head back there after reading this and get caught up again.
    AZBeerDude72 likes this.
  12. lordofthemark

    lordofthemark Aspirant (225) Jan 28, 2015 Virginia

    You are free to voice anything the owners of this site allow. But it sure seems silly to get worked up about a change in the offerings at a venue you don't patronize, and in all likelihood, will never patronize.
  13. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (242) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    It's the mentality of where people want to draw a line in the sand. There are so many shitty small "craft" breweries putting out mediocre beer and founders does a great job of putting out a ton of variety and 90 percent of what they make is very good. Just funny to me that's all.
  14. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (809) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    I just don't go 'cause their service blows. Problem solved. Too many other great places in DC to worry about them.

    And that makes their opinions less valid because . . . ?
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  15. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (809) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    You know what I've never asked myself before going into a bar?

    Do these guys serve beer that the BA doesn't consider to be "craft"?

    Not even once.

    Serve the best beer possible. Period. End of discussion.

    If that beer is corporately owned . . . OK. If that beer is independently owned . . . OK. Just don't serve me less than good beer than think that it's going to make me come back because said less than good beer is local or independent or small or micro or nano or fair trade or organic or gluten free or locally sourced or otherwise.

    If you don't like non-independently owned breweries . . . fine. Just make sure that you research ALL your accounts to make sure that you know who they are owned by, make sure you know their business practices, and make sure their products are excellent. If you don't, and you're just boycotting ABI and Miller-Coors, you're a hypocrite of the first order.

    In other words, there are PLENTY of non-corporately owned breweries that are bad for craft beer. Many of them worse for craft beer than ABI or Miller-Coors. At least you can count on the latter to make an excellent product.
    #15 EvenMoreJesus, Nov 28, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2017
  16. 5thOhio

    5thOhio Devotee (481) May 13, 2007 South Carolina

    It's not necessarily that some of the beers are partially or wholly corporate owned, it's the business practices of the corporation. I still enjoy Lagunitas, Founders and others because, to my knowledge, they don't use aggressive tactics to shut out other craft breweries.

    OTOH, I avoid AB/InBev beers because of the way they try to push independent breweries off the shelves and taps along with other questionable, albeit legal tactics.

    If I get evidence otherwise, I'll avoid those breweries too.
  17. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (242) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

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  18. Beernut9230

    Beernut9230 Initiate (0) Aug 17, 2016 New York

    Abev will be distributing wicked weed in ny next year so I'm excited to try some of their beers
    EvenMoreJesus and Loops like this.
  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,637) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

  20. John_M

    John_M Moderator (6,171) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon

    You and I have a very different interpretation of what constitutes an "excellent product." :grin:
  21. rgordon

    rgordon Champion (845) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I agree 100%. It's comical that inside of 10 years the Bud guys went from anti-craft in their sales spiels to lauding their advent as if they were responsible.
  22. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (238) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    If local beer styles can all compete in quality to beers they are kicking off of taps, I am all for it.

    Sadly even when places get rid of SNPA in favor of another local option, sometimes those local options aren't that great. Local for the sake of local will be our downfall.

    Give me the best beer at the best price please.

    I call bulshit on that pizzeria though. I know some slime ball craft owners. Some of which own car dealerships and other restaurants. They donot need my money technically. Many are rich enough. Same for the places that are trust fund backed or have 10-15 initial investors, all of which were well off to begin with. They either need to go all in and investigate all of the beers they are serving and their owners, or.not at all. Calling it corporate vs. craft is so very short sighted. Craft isn't so immune to the slime ball corporate tactics.

    Basically what @EvenMoreJesus said

    I know one local place came in hot when they opened and wanted to be everywhere. They stole some Co and CA taps and I guess there must have been down backlash because that local beer wasn't on tap very long. Speak with your wallet and mouth. Let these places know you like SN and not some.mediocre swill that's upcharges $2 because it's local.
    #22 Oktoberfiesta, Nov 28, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
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  23. Jonc

    Jonc Initiate (50) Feb 12, 2007 Missouri

    I've been noticing change. Some of the "generic sports bars" (I like that name!) have saw the light. I'm seeing more and more local stuff. I travel a bit in the midwest, I see this in other places besides St. Louis.

    I'm not a bar person. Most of the time I am doing service type work for my employer at the bar so I see many places. I am a "brewery" person! I like the mediocre stuff, I don't need the top ten beer everyday. If it tastes pretty good and the place has a good vibe, I am happy. I know where the average beers are at. Every beer can't be The Rolling Stones.
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  24. lordofthemark

    lordofthemark Aspirant (225) Jan 28, 2015 Virginia

    I suppose "not including Founders is a travesty" could be considered an opinion. Not sure how to respond to the claim though - I expect a lot of bars are not serving Founders on any given night. I tend to read it as an emotional reaction, and reacting strongly to the decisions of a pizza chain with four stores, 200 miles away, to serve or not serve certain beers, is over the top IN MY OPINION. I think that some people are incredibly sensitive to any suggestion that drinking beer is not just about the liquid, and to any use of the BA definition of independent craft as a guideline to what to drink or serve.
  25. lordofthemark

    lordofthemark Aspirant (225) Jan 28, 2015 Virginia

    If only there was some new technology, some way of connecting computers, that could tell us what is actually on tap at PP.

    Oh wait : its not all local by any means - there is even an IPA from Arizona, otherwise impossible to find around here, AFAIK. Almost all the beers are hard to find. If any are mediocre let me know.
    beertunes likes this.
  26. lordofthemark

    lordofthemark Aspirant (225) Jan 28, 2015 Virginia

    That is YOUR opinion. Not everyone shares it. As for business practices A. An owner of a small pizza chain does not necessarily have time to research them. The BA definition is for them a time saver. B. Not everyone is using the BA definition to evaluate business practices - some of us just want less of our lives controlled by giant corporations - in some areas that is hard to manage, the alternatives are not available or are much more expensive. But with beer, that is not the case.

    Feel free to not go to PP. Its only the second highest rated beer venue in the City of Alexandria. As for service, quite a few people have had very positive experiences there.
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  27. kell50

    kell50 Meyvn (1,201) Jul 25, 2007 North Carolina

    Wicked Weed sucks!
    keithv70 likes this.
  28. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (1,805) Sep 3, 2008 California
    Premium Trader

    I'll happily support the business model shift of Cap Tap, and do support the Drink Local concept when possible and the beer is solid. It aligns well with the other Farm-to-Fork efforts in Sacramento.
  29. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,325) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Well, Anheuser-Busch did buy into both Redhook and Widmer Bros. in the 1990s, so some "Bud guys" weren't anti-craft.
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  30. rgordon

    rgordon Champion (845) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    True. Both of those brands never did very well here. I'm sure they continued to perform in their original markets, and also likely grew nationally. "The Bud" guys I observed back then didn't quite grasp that these new beers and acquisitions required a pre-sale method, rather than their preferred bulk route commodity method. These days, the more enlightened big beer folks separate portfolios, like L. Knife and Sons did long ago.
    beertunes likes this.
  31. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,594) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    I'll continue to buy what I like, IMO the smaller breweries will still grow and do well if they continue to push out a superior product. It's a business, nothing more, there's beers like Yuengling/ Bud Light on tap in the better beer bars, I can still get 50 craft offerings, I'll probably find Bcbs on tap this weekend. They can coexist under the same roof. If I feel like a Bud I'll but one, boycotting AB serves no purpose IMO, in 20 years you might be drinking fruit juice as AB/ Miller Coors buys up smaller companies. AB didn't ruin BCBS, distro expanded into areas that would not of seen a single drop 10 years ago. Remember when it was a Chicago only Distro, those days are long over.
  32. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (809) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Probably not. :wink:
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  33. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (809) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    But you and I both know that this doesn't happen all the time.

    Agreed. If you're going to boycott a business because of its tactics, firstly make sure that you know what those tactics are and secondly, make sure that other businesses that you favor instead of them aren't using similar ones.
    eldoctorador likes this.
  34. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (809) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Not the case in some areas. In others, as you said, there may be FAR less options so then they have far less reasons to boycott the ones that they do have.

    Every time this subject comes up, I'm reminded of a Jim Jefferies bit on gun control from his special Bare. If you haven't seen it, I'd recommend it highly, but it's really not necessary for this discussion.

    Modified for Big Beer vs. Craft Beer it would go something like this:

    "What I am not for is bullshit arguments and lies. There is one argument and one argument alone for only drinking beer that's "independently owned", and this is the argument… “Fuck off. I like independent beer.” It’s not the best argument, but it’s all you’ve got. And there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I like something. Don’t take it away from me.” But don’t give me this other bullshit."
  35. eldoctorador

    eldoctorador Zealot (526) Dec 12, 2014 California

    So we are boycotting Founders now? Noted
    #35 eldoctorador, Nov 29, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  36. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (1,979) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    Being a staunch individualist I will continue to treat both sides the same which is to say I'll buy what I like even if one of the 'big guys" owns a stake in the brand and if I ever find myself in Lincoln, NB again I'll stop by that bar and order the Pilsner on their menu.
    matcris likes this.
  37. HappyRaven

    HappyRaven Initiate (0) Oct 25, 2015 Nebraska

    Hey guys, wanted to jump in and give my two cents. Hopefully I don't regret this. I'm Matt, the owner of Happy Raven, which was one of the bars quoted in the article. I wanted to give a few reasons and explanations for what we were doing. But I want to be clear that I am not advocating for any bar to take the path that we did. Every bar has their own decision and values and such to weigh when they come to what products they carry.

    There is a post on top of our Facebook page that probably can explain most of the stuff way better than I can here. Here's the link:

    First off, we don't carry any ABInBev or MillerCoors products. We do carry Lagunitas, Founders, etc. As mentioned previously, we had to draw the line somewhere and here is my reasoning. I'm not against big beer. People have to make money, and they have many reasonings for doing many things. I'm against the practices of some of the big beer companies. Do I know all business practices of every company that we carry? No. But I do know a lot about ABInBev and MillerCoors business practices, and I believe they hurt the industry that I love. So, they are out. If I start seeing news articles and everything else about how for instance Heineken is doing this and that to hurt the industry, then I will have to rethink the line I have drawn right now.

    Is there a perfect way to draw that line? No. But that's how we are doing it. It's more of a personal decision. I don't agree with their business practices, so I won't carry their products. Do I necessarily agree with the crowd that says just drink whatever is good? No, because ABI isn't dumb, of course they are going to buy good breweries. I still don't want to give my money to the people that I think are actively trying to tear down our industry. But that's my opinion, and I know many people's differ.

    A little bit about the bar...we are a beer bar in Lincoln, Nebraska that has been open just over two years. Being a beer bar in a college town in a state that does not consume as much craft beer percentage wise as the national average makes us sort of an oddball around here. And let's just say making the announcement that we did on Facebook got a lot of people around here riled up. So many people said we are doomed, etc etc. That has certainly not been the case. I think it's been a great thing, and today most people don't even question it anymore.

    Two more points and then I'm done...
    We have 18 constantly rotating taps. We don't have 150 taps we have to fill every night. Therefore, it's a very curated and well thought out taplist with locals, regional, national, and global brands. We put a lot of things on that is quite different than what you generally see at most bars. Not carrying Goose or whoever won't stop us from having a great tap list. There are many great beers out there, and we fill ours with great beers everyday.

    It was not a personal decision against anyone that worked at AB. I have made friends with AB reps, etc. We used to carry a lot of Goose products. We had a three year verticle of Bourbon County event planned for the month we made the announcement. I had over 20 bottles of sour sisters in our cellar that we couldn't sell. We didn't do a fire sale or anything. We let someone else do the tapping, and we ate the cost of the bottles. So it wasn't all roses.

    Hopefully that explains a few things. Is it the perfect way to do everything? No. With whatever line you choose, there is always going to be arguments against this or that. But I think it was a good decision. I feel good about myself, and I feel good with the decision. But every bar, restaurant, bottle shop, consumer has to make their own decision. Just explaining why I made mine.

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  38. lordofthemark

    lordofthemark Aspirant (225) Jan 28, 2015 Virginia

    By area, I meant other parts of the economy, not geography. To head off the "do you have a non corporate smart phone" Kind of argument.

    Iam not prepared to concede that argument for wanting a smaller role for giant Corps reduces to I just don't like it.

    As for business practices, there are non BS rationales for avoiding many big beer firms on those grounds. No they do not map perfectly to the BA criteria, which are size based. But until someone comes up with an ethical certification program for breweries, BA seal is easier for a local pizza chain/bar to use. Could the PP owner have said all that in a press release? There are folks in this town - lawyers, PR flacks, who would. I am kind of glad there are some people who live here who are not so nuanced. And I hope the people who scan the words of a local bar owner looking for bullshut, spend as much time scanning the words ofvthe professional PR flacks at ABI et al, including their various ad campaigns.
  39. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (809) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Firstly, thanks for chiming in, man! Nice to hear that you're willing to defend your position on this subject.

    Why you would admit to not knowing everyone's business practices but make decisions about what occupies your taps because of certain companies business practices?

    The cognitive dissonance should be torturing you by now.

    And that's your prerogative.

    Curious to hear your opinion of the $12 - 16 tallboy four-packs being sold out of a brewery's doors (thereby eliminating two tiers of the otherwise three tiered system)?
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  40. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (809) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    This has nothing to do with ethics and everything to do with competition. Craft beer, both big and small (but especially Big Craft), does not like that they have to compete against ABI and Miller-Coors.

    They, collectively, need to get off their high-horses, stop whinging, and prepare for the inevitable, because their current "they're not independently owned" strategy isn't a viable one.
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