We recently wrote about a few of the commercial-end breweries in the United States that, while pushing that commercial brewery range, are still producing some great craft beer for us to enjoy. However, that led us to wonder, why are the independent breweries truly our favorites? Do we strive to support a rebellion that strongly, or is it something deeper, something… craftier?
Whether we want to admit it or not, it saddens us each time we see an independent brewery purchased by a commercial brewing giant. We feel as if we’ve lost a soldier in a fight that many people do not understand. What exactly is the rebellion behind independent craft breweries all about? Is it simply a need to “stick it to the man” or is it tied to the very things this country was built upon?
At one time in this country, folks got together and protested the creation of huge monopolies. This caused the government to take notice, because, whether they admit it or not, we can be some pretty loud folks when we’re riled up about something. Huge electric, telephone, natural gas, oil, and other monopolies were busted to pieces, creating more diversity in the markets and giving us more buying options.
However, this proud moment seems to have been reversed over time, as big businesses have found new and more complicated means of creating their monopolies. You see, it’s easy to camouflage bad behavior if you involve a few friends. For example, say Company A purchases Companies B and C who are floundering. Company D comes along and purchases Company A who has become overextended by their previous purchases of B and C. Soon Company D merges with Company E who recently purchased companies F, G, and H (who also happen to own Companies I, J, K, L, M, N, and O). And BAM, you have a monopoly.
While our example may seem oversimplified, it really isn’t. This is exactly how it works and how big brewers like Inbev have come to own over two dozen existing companies, including Anheuser-Busch, Goose Island, and several more. Don’t believe us? Simply take a moment to search for the facts yourself. That is why it is so important to us that our independent craft breweries stay exactly that, independent. We love the brews they are creating, from rum barrel aged joys to dry-hopped monsters of mayhem.
When you start to lose breweries, you lose selection, and in the end, the right to choose at all. It may seem an extreme view of the situation, but really it is not. This happened with Electricity, Telephone Services, and more and we don’t want it to happen to our beloved craft beer industry anytime soon. However, there is a way to help ensure this never happens.
If you have the choice between a twelve-pack at the grocers or a couple of great craft beers with friends at your local taproom, get out to that taproom! Your local breweries need this kind of support in order to continue bringing forth the great craft brews they’d offered for so long. Without support, they have no one to please! Let them know what you like, ideas you may have, and any questions you have about their brewing processes. Who knows, perhaps you’ll end up liking the industry so much that you join it. We are and we think it’s great!
Also, if you’re in West Palm Beach this October, remember to stop by and see us at West Palm Beach Brewery and Wine Vault. We’ll be offering great craft beer on tap, outstanding premium wines from our 12,000 bottle wine vault, and even artisan food made in our new wood fired brick oven! We look forward to seeing you and until then, stay independent!
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