United Indie True Craft Beer Bullshit
This week's video is about the bullshit words beer has been rolling in.
Join me as I send love out for mother's month (including the messiah's above), joke about the trend to change craft beer to indie beer, jab Greg Koch for trademarking the truth, and outline how Oskar Blues is wrapped in the warm embrace of moneybags.
There is a parting manifesto that may help heal the wounds of being divested of our beer business innocence, but honestly, you're going to want some vodka to sterilize the wounds first.
Got home the other evening after being verbally abused by some wine specialist and decided to pop this beer in my mouth.
In the video below I give a little review of the beer, but mostly all you need to know is that La Marise is extremely un-offensive. Drink quick and cold to ward off soggy cornflake after taste.
I am the happy drunk I am today because my beautiful Mother Rhonda dedicate her life to raising me to appreciate everything and everyone. Being a young mother, she made hard decisions, kept me safe and gave me wings of inspiration. She continues to influence me and forms the base of my support system, without which I couldn't live. LOVE YOU MOM!!
We've got a beer and honoured our loved ones, lets get to the BULLSHIT.
Indie beer is the fun new term beer geeks are whacking around. There is an important reasoning behind it, but in short it means independent beer. As in, the beer was made by a company that is privately owned, as opposed to a publicly limited company, which is owned by investment shares that are traded in the stock market.
Craft beer has been notoriously difficult to define. In 2005 when the Brewers Association, the Boulder, Colorado-based trade group representing the interests of the nation's many smaller breweries, voted for the first time to set parameters for the use of craft brewer, a debate was sparked that has lasted over a decade.
All About Beer outlines the history and evolution of craft beer as a phrase and how it is linked to True Beer.
Having known the tale of True Beer myself, when I saw Greg Koch, CEO and Founder of Stone Brewing, slinking around a presentation stage repeating the word misfit, I had no idea what was going on when he unveiled his new business venture : True Craft. The cereal spoon nearly fell from my hand.
I love beer. My main motivation is to help people live better lives through conscious consuming, and in that I want to make sure we all know where our money is going and why. After years of buying into corporate branding, I'm tired of it! Stop subliminally telling me what I want and get your goddamn dick cheese products off my face. Koch basically echoes that in his speech, minus the dick words of course, because he is pandering to an audience that would uncomfortably chuckle. Dick words may offend someone.
In theory, what Koch is proposing with True Craft is wonderful. The problem is that it makes no sense. The LA Times has more information than anyone at this point and their title is, does anyone understand what's happened here?
I don't think Koch himself knows. Which is why you'll want to skip to about the 16 minute mark if you watch the presentation (linked in the video description). Unless you enjoy mildly awkward and strangely scripted attempts to be related to, of course, then go right ahead.
The information void presentation may have been spurred on by anger at the recent announcement of money minded ABI moving 10 Barrel Brewing into a new brewpub in East Village, San Diego. Seeing a zombie brewery making it's way across Stone's backyard can't be good news for Koch's House.
Or perhaps the one year old True Craft had committed to the appearance assuming they'd be further along at this point, but one thing is sure. For all his talk of being a misfit, Koch has always been and will continue to be, the poster child of beer trend.
"True Craft is seeking breweries that want to remain in it for the long haul, and retain their Soul and Control along the way; a brand with an excellent reputation and of like philosophical mindset (e.g., focus on quality); and have a need for an alternative investors and wish to join forces to compete more effectively." - Stone's public relations specialist Nickie Peña
True beer or not to beer
Dale Katechis (left), founder of Oskar Blues brewing, and Fireman Capital managing partner, Dan Fireman, take a sample of one of Oskar Blues's beers.
More importantly, in my video I discuss how while researching True Craft's loose business outline I discovered that Oskar Blues isn't as independent as previously assumed.
Boston Globe writer Jon Chesto posted a report last April showcasing the relationship between the brewery and the private equity firm that owns it. The article cultivates a jovial sense of friendship between beer creator and business figure, that looks to demonstrate, like Katechis's ground breaking move to exclusive canning production, how equity take overs can be done without hurting quality or credibility.
Leading a skeptical bitch like myself to rise an eye brow. No matter how much in love you are right now, and how much nicer he seems than your friend's partners, when someone has over riding control of all that you own and do, you aren't independent. << Period.
That being said, I can see how Firemen Capital Partners's money and expertise could make them a desirable bedmate, but they aren't exactly loyal. Chairmen and former Reebok CEO Paul Fireman (father of the above photographed) started courting Oskar Blues after lusting over profits made by Boston Beer Co. and Craft Brew Alliance. They got a taste of the craft beer business back 2012 with the acquisition of Utah's Squatters and Wasatch brewing company, and they wanted more, according to Chesto's article.
The private equity firm cozied up to Oskar Blues and are now majority stake holders which means they are able to create a shell company named Oskar Blues. No joke. Because they own the brewery they are able to create a separate business with the same name with which they can purchase other breweries while wearing the craft canning king's halo.
Using their new found purity (read: anonymity) they created :
What makes United Craft Brewers different from True Craft, different from MillerCoors?
If you watch my bitter video, you'll get the sense of how I feel about it. Knowing that my reliable and unique Coconut Porter is rolling in the hay with a fat cat is hard for me to stomach. As much as I love what's on the inside, I'll be looking at those friendly cans differently.
In the end, the choice comes down to the brewer, and I respect that. You've weighed what you want, with what you are willing to compromise on, and you've made a decision that you feel is best for you and those in your nest.
Time has come for us consumers to realize that rather it be a friendly financier, a misfit messiah, or a man behind a curtain, the time has come. Moneybag beer will be filling our media feeds with how happy, beautiful and well off they are.
RELATED LINKS :
-The beer consumer manifesto that may save us from moneybag beer
-Listen to this outstanding podcast from respectable and beer passionate Good Beer Hunting, with Lisa Zimmer of MillerCoors to get a feel for how buddy, buddy big beer can be.