Ever since I’ve become an admitted “beer snob” my tolerance for macrobreweries has become horribly thin. So much, in fact, that I won’t purchase anything remotely owned or operated by them. It’s a new trend the big guys at Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors are trying to get on, craft beer imitation and deception.
While perhaps they shouldn’t feel entirely threatened by the microbreweries, they should feel threatened by the passion put into the craft beer. Traditionally, macrobreweries have focused on one or two different styles, both of which are weak and light compared to their smaller competitors. Since the rise of the craft beer industry, really within the past year or two, macrobreweries have been staging a strategic marketing ploy to lure in unsuspecting consumers to buy what they believe to be “craft beer.” And I have to give it to them, they’re good at it.
The biggest strategy is using a small, unheard of “brewery” to hide their name. For example, take Blue Moon, a Belgian-style Witbier (hardly, though but that’s their claim). While Molson Coors Brewing Company actually produces the product, they go under the name “Blue Moon Brewing Company” in a feeble attempt to conceal their real identity. And the problem is: people buy into it. The lies, deception and otherwise bad product. Have I had a Blue Moon before? Absolutely. But until you try a Witbier that is made true to style by a craft brewery, you haven’t had a Witbier.
Now, to my story. I was recently fooled by the demon that is Anheuser-Busch InBev. And I was pissed. One Saturday night at a reputable pub that serves up a wide variety of craft beer on draught had something on their list that would make it seem legitimate. The Franziskaner Weissbier was on draught and listed as a German import. I made the mistake of ordering it and couldn’t help resist the urge to Google it on my iPhone. Wow. Holy shit. It’s an Anheuser-Busch InBev product. You’ve got to be kidding me…
I was more than upset to know my money just went towards one company I make every chance I can to not support. After taking one sip and looking them up, I didn’t drink any more. In fact, I didn’t even let anyone at my table finish it. It sat there and they got my money. I never thought they would get me, but I’m not surprised they did. I rarely drink imports and the one time I do, I was fooled.
I think this event really goes to show how far the conglomerates go to hide their name and turn anything they can into a profit for themselves. They don’t care about the quality, it’s all about quantity. If they could infiltrate and buy out every single microbrewery in America, they would. But it’s up to us, to stand up for the craft breweries and keep the quality at the level we’ve come to expect and cherish.
Fool me once, shame on you; you won’t fool me again.
Shane Holland is the Editor-in-Chief for Passion Beer.
He is a self-proclaimed craft beer geek and an all around lovable dork. He loves homebrewing, everything Philadelphia, traveling and enjoying the pleasures of life.