News Schell's Response to the Brewer's Association

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by RKPStogie, Dec 15, 2012.

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  1. RKPStogie

    RKPStogie Initiate (0) Nov 4, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I read this on BeerPulse and I thought I would share with the MN BA crew. I understand what the brewer's association is trying to due with respect to advocating for craft beer, but I personally side with Schells on this one. Schell's is one of the beers that got me into craft beer...and yes brewer's association, they ARE CRAFT BEER. The brewer's association is full of s**t on this one.

  2. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Poo-Bah (3,004) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I'm also with Schell's on this one. Looks like I'll be buying a 12pk of Grain Belt in the near future to show my support.
    RyanMM and bergbrew like this.
  3. TomClem

    TomClem Initiate (8) Mar 7, 2012 Nebraska
    Beer Trader

    Bring on Schells Bock in a couple months!
    dhannes and psychotia like this.
  4. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,577) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    Very well written reply by Schells. I agree 100 percent with their thoughts on this. Brewers association loses a lot of credibility in my book on this one.
    albertq17, somenerd and dhannes like this.
  5. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (3,694) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Schells is 100% right, but really, I could give a flying turd about definitions as long as they keep pumping out good beer.
    JxExM, otispdriftwood and dhannes like this.
  6. bergbrew

    bergbrew Initiate (50) Jan 12, 2004 Minnesota

    To be honest, the definition is nothing new. We've known where we stood since the word "craft" was defined by them. What was new, however, was an actual blacklist. I'll be honest, when I saw our name on that list, it was like being punched in the stomach. That's how I felt, and I've only worked there for 6 years. Imagine how it felt to the family who has owned the business for 150+ years.
  7. incutrav

    incutrav Initiate (0) Jan 16, 2007 Minnesota

    Why isn't new glarus blacklisted then too? Spotted cow is most of the output- which contains corn. The horror!!
    somenerd, dhannes and henderan like this.
  8. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,933) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Uncle Charlie's definition(s) are -it seems to me- arbitrary and ever changing.

    I've always been amazed that an amateur* and guru to thousands of home brewers could take control of an industry lobbying group and thereby become the tail that wags the dog. His chutzpah is legendary to some, but I don't much respect him or wonder about how a blacklist will keep me from buying beers such as Deer Brand or "Carling's" Black Label for that matter. I think there's, what; 90% of the overall beer market that doesn't genuflect at the notion of Craft Beer? As such, we'll see how far his chutzpah lasts, and whether a blacklist will shame enough people into disowning brands they've enjoyed for decades, as I have with the brands from August Schell.

    Bergbrew wrote:
    "I'll be honest, when I saw our name on that list, it was like being punched in the stomach."

    Indeed! It's an attempt to guilt and shame the majority of the American, of-age drinking population, and a HUGE slap in the face of the notion of free consumer choice. What is this, anyway: Beer McCarthyism?

    A solid, worthy piece of agit-prop from Jace Marti, in my estimation. Meanwhile, I await the Beer Inquisition, who will at any moment be bursting through the kitchen door, scaring the cats, and destroying my carefully-hidden stash of "Pabst brands". :rolling_eyes:

    * Has he ever drawn a paycheck for brewing a commercial batch of beer?
  9. tgchief

    tgchief Initiate (57) Nov 30, 2010 Iowa

    Although we are members of the BA, I'll be the first to say that they have backed themselves into a corner on this one. We posted a link on our website and the responses have been overwhelmingly in favor of all beer! The BA clearly shows it's political bias often, and has hurt us with this latest attack on the breweries that have been good enough to with stand the test of time.

    Although the global consolidation of beer is a reality, I am still enjoying all beer, because brewers are people with heart trying to please our palates with the recipes they craft. I have found that common trait while traveling and serving as a supplier to brewers all over the globe, big and small.

    Thanks for posting the link to the reply. Well said indeed.
  10. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (3,694) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Oh yeah, totally reaction would not have been so measured in your place. I might have suffered a minor stroke. But it's really inside baseball, & as long as Schell's keeps brewing great stuff, none of us drinking Emerald Rye are going to care.
    steorn, Chaz and bergbrew like this.
  11. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,699) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Ha, I'm with you. Who else in the US had the balls to brew a Burton Ale? No one as far as I know. Keep on trucking, Schell's. I'm proud of your efforts.
  12. henderan

    henderan Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2007 Minnesota

    I noticed on the .pdf that they indicate "There are additional adjunct beer and contract brewing companies not included in this list." Seems convenient to me that they left off a few.
  13. wonderbread23

    wonderbread23 Initiate (0) Aug 4, 2009 New York

    Personally, I think it is lame that an industry group can claim ownership over the term 'craft' and attempt to put their own spin on what it means. This term belongs to the consumers; they should define it. Personally for me, craft has nothing to do with size or tradition, but is all about the quality of the end product. If they can call what Dogfish Head is doing 'traditional' then I can certainly see the use of adjuncts which has over a century of history as being 'traditional' as well. Honesty in marketing is important, and really what I think this craft vs. crafty push is really about. If you're drinking a Blue Moon, you should know that it is a Coors product. Perhaps this is what the BA set out to express with this campaign and simply took it a little too far crossing the line into beer snobbery land.
    RyanMM, Horbar and Chaz like this.
  14. Jeffthebrewer

    Jeffthebrewer Initiate (0) May 13, 2012 Minnesota

    Great response from Jace! So let me get this straight. August Schell has won 6 medals at the GABF, the latest being silver in 2010 for Oktoberfest but they are not a craft brewery. The BA certainly has no problem cashing the checks from these non craft breweries every year. I think the BA has a little explaining to do. Either you exist to promote craft beer or beer in general, which is it? If breweries do not meet your standard, then do accept their application. Hard to push your agenda without those fat check from SAB/Miller, InBev and the rest of your non craft members.
  15. Ungertaker

    Ungertaker Disciple (341) Apr 30, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Keep keeping it real, Schell's, and you will never lose my business!
    leschkie likes this.
  16. mdwalsh

    mdwalsh Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2009 Iowa

    I appreciate what the BA is doing. And I appreciate even more that there be a way to differentiate between independently owned breweries and subsidiaries/brands. Hmmm...if only there were a way to differentiate between independently owned breweries and the others. What word could we use that would include all the small businesses that brew beer independently that would just allow us to note that difference while allowing us to judge the quality and styles of beer we want to drink separately....hmmm. What word could we use...
  17. immobilisme

    immobilisme Aspirant (231) Nov 8, 2005 Illinois

    It's not like Schell's contract-brewed for 3 Floyds early on or anything either.

    Schell's is probably my second favorite Minnesota brewery that bottles (or cans). Keep making great lagers and obscure styles!
    stinsonwbs, dc55110, Duff27 and 2 others like this.
  18. bergbrew

    bergbrew Initiate (50) Jan 12, 2004 Minnesota

    Well, that beer did have adjuncts in it. Too bad most of the the brewers of that style are gone...I could tell them they weren't craft.
  19. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,933) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Hmm. "Small Brewery" doesn't quite cut it. Perhaps "Artisan" (or Artisanal) might work, Marty?
    Just a thought. :wink:
  20. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,933) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I laughed out-loud at that! In fact, I'll have to salute your post with my last bottle of Stag Series Burton Ale! :sunglasses:
  21. mdwalsh

    mdwalsh Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2009 Iowa

    Really, what I would love to see is a chart that breaks down percentage of barrels thusly or so: smaller size craft/independent/whatever the hell you want; top 10 craft brewers; independent "better beer" producers (Which I agree should be rolled into craft, but whatever, this would include Schell's); "better beer" brands held by corporations (Goose Island, Blue Moon), and then the rest, maybe differentiated by import/domestic.

    Does this exist anywhere out there?
  22. cmannes

    cmannes Disciple (383) Mar 15, 2009 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    What if we just judged beer on the beer itself? Whether my brother makes it in a coffee pot, or it's brewed in a multi-million dollar production line, what if I try both, and judge the beer.... On the beer itself.

    Not to say I won't complain if someone uses their money to squeeze out shelf space, or unfairly manipulate the 3-tieir system. But that's not the 'beer.' I can debate and complain about the system's behind the beer all the day. But in the end, the beer I drink, I can judge on the "beer" itself.
  23. hardy008

    hardy008 Poo-Bah (1,969) Jan 12, 2008 Minnesota

    I am also on Schell's side in this dispute. Hands down, Schell's makes by far the best lagers of any brewery in this country. Since it is harder to brew a good lager than a good ale, I think Schell's is definitely a craft brewer.
  24. GeezLynn

    GeezLynn Champion (856) May 10, 2009 Colorado

    A bit disappointing to see BA completely discrediting itself with such arbitrary and biased standards. Oh, and Boston Beer Company is a great standard bearer for "craft". I'm sure that 8 month old light struck bottle served in a south Alabama bar next to the Bud Light really does wonders the image of "craft beer". Comical.

    I do agree though with the previous poster that this list will have negligable impact on Schell's consumers.
  25. dj420

    dj420 Initiate (13) Aug 9, 2007 Minnesota

    Schell's 12-packs are on sale this week @ Coborns Liquor. Time to stock up.
    Chaz and WhatANicePub like this.
  26. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Shouldnt be too hard to put together from the BA's annual release of brewery production. In fact, all of that info is in it. Check out the May/June issue of The New Brewer. The info isnt 100% accurate, as they have to estimate for some and some dont give the BA accurate info.
  27. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Technically, they werent craft because they werent American. BA definition only applies to American Breweries.

  28. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    The definitions from the BA have nothing to do with judging beer.

    This gets a lot less controversial when people understand that.
    Beezee likes this.
  29. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    No one has ownership of the term. We are all free to use/ignore the BA definition as we see fit. I know I do (generally, Im fine with it, but I ignore it in the case of Shiner, feel free to do the same [in the opposite direction] for Schell's).
    dhannes likes this.
  30. jRocco2021

    jRocco2021 Disciple (351) Mar 13, 2010 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    They better kick New Glarus out for using corn in Spotted Cow
  31. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    I think someone should actually read the definition.
  32. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Here are some of the numbers for 2011 (all numbers in 1,000s of BBLs):

    Total craft (BA definition): 11,468
    Top 10:
    1. Boston** 2,096
    2. Sierra Nevada 858
    3. New Belgium 713
    4. Gambrinus* 567
    5. Deschutes 221
    6. Matt 196
    7. Bell's 181
    8. Harpoon 174
    9. Lagunitas 165
    10. Boulevard 157

    Schell at 130, btw.

    *yeah, I dont get it either
    **2,471 if you include Twisted Tea and Cider
  33. BedetheVenerable

    BedetheVenerable Meyvn (1,023) Sep 5, 2008 Missouri

    mmmm, Schell's Burton Ale :slight_smile:
    WYVYRN527 likes this.
  34. RichardMNixon

    RichardMNixon Zealot (515) Jun 24, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I'm even more confused about Yuengling: the lager is all malt isn't it?

    Presumably those don't use adjuncts? :wink:

    That's another sort of ridiculous bit the Schell's response alludes too - I'm pretty sure they changed the definition of "small" when Boston got too big.
  35. bergbrew

    bergbrew Initiate (50) Jan 12, 2004 Minnesota

    Careful, I'm going to think you are stalking me, as you seem to want to engage me on every post. As I said before, I don't know your beef with American Adjunct Lager, or apparently, Schell. Give it a rest. Or don't. I don't care. Because, I'm going to work tomorrow and making beer. What exactly are you doing?
  36. cmmcdonn

    cmmcdonn Initiate (0) Jun 21, 2009 Virginia

    What does being "blacklisted" by this faux association actually mean?
  37. bergbrew

    bergbrew Initiate (50) Jan 12, 2004 Minnesota

    You can't play in any reindeer games. And as everyone knows, those are the best ones.
    JSL, 2beerdogs, RyanMM and 8 others like this.
  38. dhannes

    dhannes Devotee (499) Feb 14, 2010 Wisconsin

    Wisconsin has a handful of breweries like Schell's--Leinenkugel's, Minhas (formerly Berghoff's, formerly Huber), and Point--older breweries that have been around before the "craft" movement started and survived by producing lower priced AAL's but now are letting their brewmasters expand their other words, they were not craft brewers but are now making craft beers. They should be included (even though I personally think most of Leinie's offerings are watered down).
  39. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Just a topic Im interested in.

    If you had read the 1000s of my posts like you said in the other thread, you would know my beef with AALs. I really dont have one. Ive said many times that if I had the power to eliminate one beer style from the Earth, it would be American Wheats. I dont drink AALs, never have (Ive tried them, of course, but Im one of those people who can count on one hand the number of beers they had in college [with a thumb and maybe a pinky left over], and in 87-91 Georgia, that was all that was available). I also dont drink stouts and rauchbier. I think that about covers what I wont drink.

    As far as I know, I dont have a beef with Schell. If yall are at Great Taste, I will stop by next year, it sounds like you have some good beers. I wont be trying Grain Belt though. I do have a beef with all (almost all, I guess) the breweries that existed from, say 1934 (Im not concerned about pre-pro) to 1984. They are all a bit responsible for the path the American beer industry went down.

    As far as tomorrow goes? I was planning on brewing a zoigl.
  40. bergbrew

    bergbrew Initiate (50) Jan 12, 2004 Minnesota

    That's a nice piece of revisionist history. Where did you get that, Beer Wars? Or was it from any of Uncle Charlie's books? I'm afraid that if you knew as much as you seem to think you do, you might actually know something. But you keep quoting nonsensical things, changing arguments, etc.

    Go ahead and brew that zoigl. I assume it will be something like this. Because if it's not, you're just another guy making beer at home.
    JSL and benjaminahudson like this.
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