Each week, Tony Budny pens SCREAMING INTO THE VOID and looks at the best in writing and social media conversation around the biggest issues in beer. If you feel something should be included, have a tip, or just want to sound off, feel free to look him up on Twitter @DrinksTheThings or email DCBeer. Our patronus is beer, but you already knew that.
Monday [Tuesday, I suck, -BD] Void for your eyeholes, short but sweet, packed with dense, link-laden graphs for your coffee- or beer-induced reading binge purposes, depending of course on when you’re reading this.
Me too! And there is a bit of good news, in that regard, as science continues to give people more reasons to drink. As if people needed an excuse other than “it’s Tuesday,” or “I just stubbed my toe,” or “I have three kids.” Maybe there’s too much good news on the drinking front. Because, as we all well know, the official stance of the Void is beer is poison, and our stance makes no exception, especially not for this one.
OK, fine, so you want to have a beer? Great. We’ve been known to drink on occassion. The good (bad?) news is some great beers are receiving way less attention than they either used to or should. That is good news for you, the well-informed beer drinking consumer, who reads The Void and knows which beers are good and bad and will only stand in line for the former, despite what hype other brews may have. Drink smarter, not harder.
Now that I’ve gotten the mostly good news out of the way, here's the bad news. And, boy, is it bad. A business is a business is a business, but it is, in the opinion of this beer writer of mediocre esteem, a bad look when you are a highly regarded domestic beer brewer whose brand is associated with not selling out, loyalty, and being better than Big Beer, and you expand not only outside of our community but globally and then lay off many in the community in which you were founded.
I hope the guise of community association among the bigger craft brands is being peeled back among consumers and that we can at least see them for what they have become. I’m not here to judge anyone for their choices, as I did my part in drinking enough Stone this year to offset at least one turned off consumer, but I think it's time to start comparing brewers of this size to their bigger, less craft brand-oriented competitors rather than their craft ones. How is this approach to business any better than the oh-so-disparaged “selling out?” Also, it is important to remember that Stone is far from the only business (and America far from the only country) where companies make these kinds of moves. And it's over these kinds of moves that rifts like this either get patched up over time, like the Colorado groups did, or you move on. And that’s before you even get into the ongoing, neverending issue of how to define and divide the industry.
OK. That might have been my longest piece of industry commentary I’ve ever written. Let's go to a bad bar to cleanse the palate.
Or, let's all go to… New York… to get good beer? Hey, wait a minute, what is happening here?
Here's a pretty good thought exercise to wrap this whole section up. And here’s a tweet that does the same.
All your grain are belong to AB-InBev. Also, all your home brewing supplies belong to them. AB is starting to look more and more like Unicron everyday.
Here's a church ad that ended up backfiring when a brewery used it as a coupon for discounted beer. Nothing more to add here.
<<<<SAM CALAGIONE SIREN>>>>
That’s all for this week. We’ll end where we started: with the time of day, because if this sign is in the venue in which you’re currently reading this, it doesn’t matter the time, because it doesn’t specify AM or PM:
See you next week, maybe, if we don’t get fired or bought by AB. Because we all now they want to-
*puts on sunglasses*