Blog: James WilmoreCraft brewers cut up rough

James Wilmore | 21 December 2012

Fresh battle lines were drawn over craft beer last week after the Brewers Association took a swipe at the big beer firms

The US group accused the majors of trying to “blur the lines” between their mass-produced products and "genuine" craft beers. More "transparency" over the labelling of products was also needed, was the verdict.  

No doubt this outburst was partly inspired by moves this year by Anheuser-Busch InBev to get a bigger foothold in this increasingly attractive sub-sector. The brewer has even set-up its own craft advisory board

For added extra, the Brewers Association re-stated its definition of a craft brewer: "Their annual production is 6m barrels of beer or less and no more than 25% of the craft brewery is owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer.”

The problem the group has - and it must be acutely aware of this - is that only a small percentage of the population really cares about whether the beer they are drinking has been brewed by a so-called "craft" brewer, or a company where profit is perhaps more a priority than palisade hops.  

As beer writer Will Hawkes says in his new book - Craft Beer London - for some, craft beer is a "rather ambiguous term which merely serves to obsure what really matters about beer - whether it tastes good or bad".

Hawkes does suggest, however, this is more the view of mature drinkers who turn their nose up at the young bucks revolutionising the brewing world. 

But this distinction does draw out what the Brewers Association has in its favour. With the mis-trust of big corporations at an all-time high, the glare of social media, and savvy consumers caring more about a product's origins, there is a wide space to push the craft beer message - particularly among the younger generation. 

My message to the Brewers Association would be: don't worry too much, trust the people. 

Follow me on Twitter @jamescwilmore

 

 

 


BLOG

I've got the brains, you've got the water. Let's make lots of money

Do you have a water source in your garden? By which, I mean a spring, rather than an outside tap....

BLOG

The just-drinks Weekly Round-Up

Here's a round-up of the top stories on just-drinks last week, featuring PepsiCo and Coca-Cola Co, Castel, Molson Coors and the cachaca sector....

BLOG

The real stars behind supermarkets' Scotch success

There was a big focus on supermarkets and their Scotch offerings this week when a couple of own-brand malts scooped top awards at the International Wines and Spirits Competition (IWSC)....

BLOG

San Francisco's 21st Amendment breaks ground on new site - video

You can't seem to move at the moment for news of US craft brewers expanding....

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?