Finally just read this book by Josh Noel! It’s a must-read for any craft beer fan and/or anyone who wants to know more about how the business works. (It’s also a great business read for anyone interested in any kind of business.) It’s entertaining and exhaustively informative, and I know most all of you will appreciate it.
The one and only thing I wish it had more of was driving home how fucked up InBev and the other macros operate against independent beer, via lobbying for laws that actively hurt craft beer. He covers a whole lot in regard to the illusion of choice, pat-to-play, and other shady tactics. Alas, I kept waiting for more talk about the legal shit. Rant...
For me, it’s imperative that we all become more informed and therefore make more informed decisions about our beer, where it comes from, and where the money goes. And Josh does a great job at explaining almost everything, but the legal/lobbying aspect of it was only mentioned once and it’s the part that I find to be the most troubling and most pertinent to know. By giving these companies your money, you’re giving them money to lobby against laws that help craft beer.
Not to mention all the other fucked up things that Josh covers in the book. These reasons are why I no longer pay for macro-owned craft beer. And why we no longer feature any “craft” beer owned by the macros. (Not even BCBS. Which stings a bit as Chicagoans.) Independence and the right to build a business are at the core of America’s ideals, and we all need to start giving a fuck.
Every time you say it’s the American way to be a capitalist and become a billionaire, you may very well be undermining your own opportunity at success. There’s nothing wrong with being rich, but we all must realize that almost none of these people have our interests at heart. Psychopathy in business is a Very Real Thing.
So, next time you buy a Goose Island or a Lagunitas or a Ballast Point or whatever, I urge you to remember where your money is really going. Sure, they Create Jobs locally. But, most of that money flows far, far away from your neighborhood...Ran out of space! Well done, Josh. SUPPORT INDEPENDENT BEER.