Blog: Andy MortonMake way craft, here come the indie brewers

Andy Morton | 2 February 2016

Could it happen?

According to this report, a section of the US beer community wants to ditch the word craft. They prefer instead the term “Indie” for brewers they believe follow the enlightened path of the artisanal producer. In other words, they are sick of the big boys moving into what they consider their hallowed turf.

In the past year or so, those big boys have spent millions of dollars buying up craft brewers, particularly Anheuser-Busch InBev and its growing craft portfolio led by Goose Island.

At the same time, the idea of craft (forgetting that it has always been a nebulous concept anyway) has moved further into the mainstream and has become for consumers, and therefore marketing departments, shorthand for quality.

This classic case of appropriation is nothing new, of course. In hospitality, small hotels looking to differentiate themselves started calling themselves “boutique”. Today, Starwood, one of the world's biggest hotel owners, has its own boutique chain - W Hotels. Small hotels looking to differentiate now must therefore think of something else.

As must brewers who want to show they are not beholden to big beer.

Expect to see the word “Indie” on a tap near you soon.

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