A new infographic from Northland Beer wants to ensure you know which beers aren’t craft in the latest bitch-fit about craft vs. crafty. It’s a perfect illustration of why I’m starting to hate beer.
At this point, I’m officially done with the debate. I understand the motivation to band together, but now it just seems like whining. The first thing on infographic is marketing strategy, but they failed to mention on the craft side that their major plan at this point seems to be to yell “We’re craft! They’re not!” That means nothing. There are plenty of craft beers that are 10x worse than High Life. Obviously they don’t believe in “make great beer and people will buy it” otherwise they wouldn’t be complaining so much.
If one is going to use the traditional vs. adjunct ingredients argument as at the bottom, at least make sense. Is Bud Light made of gasoline? No, it’s mostly water…like every beer. Macro brewers use barley, hops, water, and yeast as well. They might fill out their beer with adjuncts, but the 4 main ingredients aren’t exclusive to craft beers. And it’s not as if the craft beer industry is a pillar of the Reinheitsgebot. It’s actually tough now to find a craft beer without adjuncts these days. Yes, they’re for flavoring not substance, which is a big difference, but don’t just throw around buzzwords. This infographic assumes beer drinkers are dumb just like the “lifestyle marketing” people do.
I know Goose Island is the biggest cross-over threat, but people need to stop including them in this debate. It only hurts the argument. It’s owned by AB-InBev, but if the argument is that craft is innately better, Goose Island needs to be left out. They are making some of their best beers ever right now. They shipped out 312, Honkers, and IPA and made room for more creative and unique beers. Thanks to the sale, Bourbon County Stout and all its iterations are actually getting into more hands than just those free to line up at the door one day a year. And regardless of owner, beers like Juliet, Sofie, and Night Stalker as still some of the best out there.
Craft vs. Crafty isn’t going away anytime soon, nor is craft vs. macro. The latter is a necessary fight to ensure fair play in distribution, but complaining that a big brewery is trying to make better beer is downright childish. It should be seen as a good thing. Ever hear of a gateway drug? It’s tough to bring someone straight from a Coors Light into a Racer IPA. Someone drinking a Shocktop Wheat IPA, on the other hand, is much easier to bring into the full-flavored fold.