Tag Archives: opinion

Special interests

Going after special interest groups for buying politicians votes is like going after the guy your wife is cheating on you with…Its just shortsighted and idiotic. This country is comprised of nothing but individuals with individual interests and pursuits. What should really grate your cheese are politicians that are obviously ignoring their districts and servicing primarily special interests. These are the people you put into office to represent you, but you’re getting pissed at the ones that are offer the bribes (or what amount to bribes)?! Thats the cart pushing the donkey. Turn it around, you don’t like your rep being beholden to special interests? Vote in a new guy, if he/she fails, vote someone else in… its called political evolution. Once the politicians get a whiff that they won’t have a job very long if they don’t service their constituents at least as much as they service special interests, they’ll starting getting things done that you ask of them. Its pretty simple people. Special interests aren’t the problem, your shitty vote is the problem. Start caring more about the legislative and political process and less about television and Facebook, and there might be some positive progress…


rant over…


Call me a beer snob, but…..


Maybe this is a sign of an impending market collapse for craft beer? Im not one to begrudge anyone the opportunity to make a dollar or two, but this reeks of empty capitalist opportunism in the worst sense. Dont get me wrong, Im no dirty socialist (whatever THAT means these days), but a big part of the reason that I became enthusiastic about craft beer is the incredible number of stories behind small brewers, brewpubs and craft brewers that can be summed up as such: “We couldn’t find the beer we like to drink, so we decided we would learn how and eventually just go into business making the beer we like, the best way we know how to make it and hopefully enough other people like it to keep us in business…” granted, this isnt the same story for EVERYone, but an aggregate market sketch of sorts.

‘What are these guys possibly doing?’ you might ask. The short version is that they are approaching contract brewers with product concept, asking for something in return that fulfills the idea, re-packaging,selling and marketing these relatively non-descript beers in national and regional chain grocery markets in a way that implies the same or similar handcrafted origin that defines ACTUAL craft brewers, but obviously for a much better price. These people are literally nothing more than profiteers with nothing of their own to say except to try and grasp at whatever dollars they reach from people’s pockets that don’t have any idea how the beer industry operates. It looks enough like craft beer, tastes reasonably close/similar to other craft beers, but costs less than good craft beers. Normally I am the first one to argue that everyone should unapologetically drink what they like to drink, I don’t care of its Corona or Miller light, or as much Pliny the Younger as you can get a hold of, enjoy it all you want. The difference is, going into those transactions the consumer has certain expectations and there is an above board nature to it. Someone drinking Bud Light has no pretense that it might be a specially crafted beer, its widely understood to be an industrial light lager that doesnt cost much at all. But this contract brewing nonsense, it feels………deceitful, as though someone thinks they’re going to be drinking an honestly brewed beer, but instead are being sold a false bill of goods. Whats worse is that the people being taken advantage of are the ones that don’t know anything about the craft industry. Those that do know generally avoid these beers, knowing that they dont come from a legitimate craft brewer, so it is almost as if its twice the sin because its the ignorant being fleeced.

By the end of the 90’s the craft beer bubble was bursting thanks to similar products flooding the market, mostly nondescript amber ales with over processed and thinly conceived marketing notions trying to sell poorly made generic reddish beer. I know that the craft market is only 10% of the total market (less than that actually), but if the big brewers (AB Inbev, et al) are entering the market with their own craft brands, maybe its time for all of us craft beer drinkers to start looking more closely at what were drinking and try to help educate our friends to avoid buying these duplicitous products, maybe we can help to avoid another bubble burst…