Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Beer Post: Final Four of Beer Madness and some sad news

After 3 weeks, the semi-finals and finals of beer madness are open for voting over at DRAFT Magazine.  3 of my final four from last week made the cut!  I certainly did better with beer than I did with my NCAA bracket!  The 3 I nailed were Moose Drool from Big Sky Brewing, Dead Guy Ale from Rogue, and Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale.  Much to my chagrin Alaskan's Smoked Porter didn't make it; it was usurped by Old Rasputin Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing.

Voting for the final round is open, so get to votin'!  My picks are Dead Guy Ale to face off against Sublimely Self-Righteous, with Stone's demonic Black IPA coming out on top. 
My pick to win it all.

Happy Friday!

In some sad news, Chicago's own Goose Island announced that it was selling out to Anheuser-Bush this week.  Goose Island, one of the older craft breweries in the nation, sold it's soul to the brewing devil for $38.8 million.  The decision seems to have been made because of inability to meet demand.  John Hall, founder of the 23 year old company, will stay on as CEO.

At the bottom of the article, there's a brief mention that GI becomes the 5th brewery in the top-20 craft breweries to sell-out in the past year.  I understand the difficulties in meeting demand and continuing to grow your business, but does it have to end this way for some of the biggest names in the craft industry?

For my palate, selling out to the big-3 only drags you down into the corporate jizz-pool of tasteless swill.  Sure, more people will now be exposed to your product, but at what cost to the quality and ingenuity of your brand?  There's something special in the provincial nature that some of the best breweries in the country have to offer, or the truly limited, and daring, quality a rebellious brew holds.  Corporate beer makes for lousy beer in my estimation.  Just saying, but maybe mass-distribution isn't the answer.


aaron.jordan said...

What do you have against Anheuser-Bush? Outside of any discussion of beer, they are actually one of the most ethical companies out there.

RumblinBuff said...

Well, its the discussion of beer thing that ruins it for them; that they may or may not run things ethically is besides the point.

Rico said...

This is a fundamental shift in strategy for AB-InBev in trying to grab a piece of the craft beer market. Before they tried their hand at macro knockoffs (American Ale, Wheat, Shock Top, etc) and failed miserably at that venture. The owners of Goose Island decided that they were tired of the business game and sold their brewery to AB - and AB jumped on it like a pack of wolves on a three legged cat.

My belief is that their ultimate goal is to turn GI into the next Sam Adams in terms of size and scope. A sort of "mom and pop" face to the beer giant.

The real question for independent craft breweries is do they keep growing and keep borrowing money or do they pull a GI and sell out to a bigger corp.? This is the crossroads of craft beer, gentlemen.