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‘Craft’ beer: A little compare and contrast

Curious timing. Pete Brown has a thoughtful post today titled “Two contrasting responses to the growth of craft beer from two different big brewers.”

And yesterday, although I only noticed it today via Twitter, DRAFT magazine posted a profile of Keith Villa that I wrote for the the current issue: “Being Keith Villa.”

Brown’s story is not easily summarized, so I won’t try. It’s a Big Picture think piece. Here’s a paragraph from near the end. It hope it motivates you to read the whole story.

Talking to the guys who run this, there’s a philosophy of enlightened self-interest. It’s only going to work if it’s done right – and that means not doing it the MC (Molson Coors) way. But if it’s done well, it might just create a halo effect that makes people think a little bit more of beer in general, in relation to wine and other drinks. And that would, ultimately, help the rest of the MC business.

Villa, of course, works for MillerCoors (a joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors). Fast Company recently had a story explaining how “MillerCoors Took Taste Out Of The Equation And Made Cold Unique” (Subhead: “MillerCoors knew that nothing distinguished its marquee beer from the competition. So it made something up.”)

But the breweries in its Tenth and Blake division — including Villa’s baby, Blue Moon, as well as AC Golden and Leinenkugel’s — they focus on flavor. And their sales are booming.

Were the beer world only that simple.

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