The Independent Brewing Revolution

You know, I wasn’t even going to write about the new Brewers Association new Independent Seal. I mean why talk about it when I figured it was an amazing thing for the non macro brewing community? Everyone should be behind it right? I think many independent breweries are, but that’s not why I am here today rambling on about a small little logo. No my friends. It is the reaction of the “craft” breweries that have sold out to our enemy, big beer. I ran across this video today of the handful of breweries that had been bought out by AB InBev all telling us why this new “Independent Brewery” cause is bad for all beer and how we shouldn’t support separation in beer. How we should all…..work together under one banner. And how they aren’t the “bad guys.” They say there is a war on beer from wine and spirits. We have to watch out and not engage in our own civil war of beer….really……….really? Let’s take a look at this propaganda straight from the mouth of big beer itself.

Propaganda at it’s finest…you say hold on now. Propaganda is a harsh word! Yes it is my friends, but what I think the average person might not realize is “The High End” is ABInBev’s arm that has been buying up any craft brewery they can get their hands on. This is straight from the snake’s mouth, but disguised as a bunch of jolly brewers just chatting about the Brewers Association Independent Brewery Campaign. These previous “craft” brewers have seemed to change their tune a bit since being bought out by their corporate overlords. I’m wondering if they would have been behind the seal if they hadn’t sold out yet. We will never know.

“Beer Civil War?”

I’ve been involved in the industry for a few years now and I have yet to hear one craft brewery tell me that they were threatened by wine and spirits. Maybe the big beer conglomerates are threatened, but at the bottom of the food chain many craft breweries are doing just fine. In fact, they are growing every year taking market share away from big beer….which is why this video was really made…let’s be honest. So is this a civil war between beer? Not in my opinion. It is a revolution. Independent breweries across the nation are telling ABInBev to shove it. That they aren’t sitting down and letting them destroy the craft beer industry that we all know and love.

Craft vs Independent

What about the term craft vs independent? Personally I think we should start transitioning to the term independent because the lines between craft and macro are being blurred more and more as big beer buys more and more craft breweries. You’ll never see an ABInBev logo on the side of a Breckenridge, Wicked Weed, or an Elysian package. Why? Because they don’t want the average consumer to know that they own them. They want to use their “High End” arm as a front to trick consumers into still buying their brands. Moving to independent will draw a clear line in the sand between big beer craft and real craft.

But it’s all just beer right?

We are all beer lovers because we just want to drink good beer right? Yes, but at the same time I can’t make myself support a company that is doing everything in their power to bump small, medium or even large independent breweries out of business for their own gain. These tactics are super shady and honestly quite dishonorable. It’s sad because at the end of the day I know the same people are still working at these breweries and they still have the same passion for making great beer that they had before they sold out. You want to support them as much as you can, but that little voice in the back of your head is telling you to choose independent.

So what do I think about the new BA Independent Seal?

I personally think it’s a great idea. Regular consumers need to know that they are buying independent beer if that’s what they want to support. I don’t think the average beer drinker even knows these big beer companies own so many craft brands and big beer wants to keep it that way. My only displeasure is the logo itself. I know the beer world keeps talking about the design and beating a dead horse over and over so I will only mention it briefly. Let’s turn that bottle right side up and make a can graphic for our canned brewing buddies out there. Boom, I said it. Let’s move on from that point.

Do I think it will work? In short yes, but it will take a lot of time. I am really interested in seeing more opinions of breweries who are not planning on using the logo and why. Overall I feel like the majority of breweries nationwide will adopt the seal.

Cincinnati breweries getting behind the cause!

I reached out to all of our Cincinnati breweries who regularly can and bottle their beers to see what their plans are. Most responded, but some didn’t.

Right now the following Cincinnati breweries are adopting the independent seal: Blank Slate, Brink Brewing, Cellar Dweller, Christian Moerlein, Listermann, and March First will be adding the logo to their packaging.

The following breweries have still not made a final decision: MadTree, Mt. Carmel, Rivertown, Streetside, and Urban Artifact.

The following breweries did not get back to me so they are unknown to me at this time: Braxton, Fifty West, FigLeaf, Old Firehouse, Rhinegeist, and Taft’s Ale House

I truly do hope all of Cincinnati gets on board with this. I think it is a good thing for independent brewers.

Tell me what you think of the Brewer’s Association Independent Seal.