Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Quick Follow Up: MSNBC Beer Summit?

I know I know three posts in one day, but I hadn't realized that a follow up had been written until today, but alas it has and I felt the need to not only post a link, but to discuss it. What am I talking about? Well last week James Dlugosch of MSNBC wrote what I called a pretty ignorant article regarding beer. Well he has posted an apology of sorts. I say of sorts, because it seems like he does it rather begrudgingly.
He starts off well stating:
I would have been much better served making my point by specifying that the big-name beers made by the large brewers taste the same -- and they do, as far as I am concerned. My mistake was suggesting that microbrews and varietals taste the same.
Well that is not at all what he said. He in fact specifically mentioned microbrewer's in the paragraph talking about all beer tasting the same. A recap if you will:

Despite what the microbrewers will tell you, all beer is pretty much the same. Consumers who pay a premium do so more for the experience than the taste.
But let's not stick to that topic, let's instead move on to what his point is, which its not that all beer tastes the same, its that Micro Brews can't make money and will go out of business he explains:
While it may be true that the microbrewers craft a wonderful-tasting product, it's not so certain that they make money.
I find that quote funny especially coming off the recent news of Saint Arnold's 22.9% increase in production. Pair that with the fact that the craft beer market continues to have double digit growth and I don't understand how the author can make that statement. Yes there is really only one craft brewery that is traded on the Stock market, Sam Adams (SAM), but that doesn't mean other's aren't making money. Brewers like Stone, Dogfish, New Belgium Saint Arnold's, and many others are making money. Are they making Billions? No, but I don't think they want to.
Mr. Dlugosch misses this point as well with this statement:
Specifically, can they make money, or are we forever destined to the very large and the very small?
Can't a brewery make money while at the same time staying "small" and local? Whats wrong with trying to stay local. Saint Arnold's has grown tremendously the last few years, however, any time you talk to owner Brock Wagner he continues to state he has no plans to move outside of Texas. If he can make money, whats wrong with that? Nothing in my mind.
I appreciate Mr Dlugosch's apology, but can't help feeling that he is still incredibly ignorant about the craft beer scene and what it means. He says he wants to have a beer summitt. I'd gladly take him up on it, have a craft beer and discuss the Craft Beer industry and that you don't have to be multinational global domineering company to make money. You can be local, small, regional, and still make a buck (or two).

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