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Showing posts from October, 2013

Craft Beer Is Telling the Wrong Story

An NPR story went wide today describing how American Small Brewers are chipping away at the market share enjoyed by the country's former big 3 brewers.  It continues to spin the increasingly tired David v. Goliath story that champions the little guys as they struggle against the big business establishment.  Is this narrative still relevant?  Is it even appropriate to reduce trends in the free market to simple, two-sided box scores? If we consider, a completely different perspective, this oversimplifies to a story of punk teenagers mugging elderly billionaires to gather nickels.

The David v. Goliath metaphor is breaking down, and fragmenting the culture of quality beer producers.  The  size mismatch is a key feature of this story.  But it's getting awkward as the early leaders of the craft beer revolution grow to enjoy distribution as wide-spread as their acclaim.  The brewer's association, a trade union representing small brewers, has incited a lot of controversy by defini…

So Much Changes in So Little Time

This past Saturday, I returned to the Seacoast NH beer circuit I'd too neglected.  When Kate became pregnant, we decided to let our Smuttynose big beer subscription lapse.  What would I do with all of that delicious beer and a jealous wife?  Clearly, no good could come of it.  Should I have been suprised that the Saturday social held for the Scotch Ale's release drew a larger crowd than I recall from the mostly after-work Friday socials?  Probably not.  The fact that barrels and tankage are squeezing out every last but of available space only amplified the sense of crowdedness.  It was cool to see a couple little kids at the social.  We weren't the only ones dragging our youngster around.

The suprise is the depth, vibrancy, and frankly economic scope of the Sea Coast's beer scene.  Yes, there's now a beer bus tour.  And I've been keeping tabs on the nanos popping up like weed's along route 1.  It just didn't resonate as a success, until I walked into my…