For your reading pleasure today:
– Alan at a Good Beer Blog takes some of us to task to for suggesting that some small-batch beer should sell for more. Or put another way: Are Craft Beer Prices Too Low? No, They Are Not Too Low.
Also spare yourself a little pain and pass on trying to envision the three of us joining in Kumbaya. Lew can flat out sing, but my voice has been known to shatter glasses (with beer still inside).
– And for those who want to spend less for beer and call it “craft” the Wall Street Journal offers To Trump Small Brewers, Beer Makers Get Crafty.
If you hang out here you should already know that Molson Coors brews Blue Moon White, that Miller owns Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve and Leinekugel’s, that Anheuser-Busch makes Wild Hop Lager, etc. But one of the points of the story is that you wouldn’t learn this reading the beer labels, and that’s a big deal because . . .
Sales of craft beers affiliated with the big three brewers in grocery, drug, convenience and major-market liquor stores surged 45% to $177 million through Aug. 25 against year-earlier levels, excluding sales at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Nielsen found. (Wal-Mart doesn’t supply sales data to Nielsen or any other data-tracking firm.) Sales of independent craft brands rose 16% to $531 million.
The good news seems to be that people are buying beer other than mainstream lagers brewed with adjuncts. The concern is that part of the attraction could be the idea they are crafted by small, independent brewers . . . and they’re not.
“Any brand put into the marketplace with an intentional lack of affiliation with the brewery brewing it, I consider that a faux craft,” says Tom McCormick, executive director of the California Small Brewers Association (and editor at ProBrewer). “It’s intentional deception.”
Does that sound fair to you?