HOPTOLOGY

San Diego Beer, Local & Independent!


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Independent Beer and the Scumbags who attack it; Know your Enemies.

I’m not going to sugar coat things. I’m pissed off.

I have tried to write this blog with a gentle touch. With precision, with a use of eloquent vocabulary, with pithy commentary and clever word play. Yet, it eludes me. Not because I’m incapable of finding those words, but because they do not fit. They do not accurately reflect the  tone and intentions with which the author wants to convey his feelings and emotions on the topic. I am an angry individual.

From day one, the intentions of this blog/website were never to spread a message of negativity or to disparage any person or persons. It is something that I held firm for a long time. If I didn’t like something, or someplace or someone, I would simply choose not to write about it. It was as simple as that.

Things have changed. Dramatically.

First, we can start with some good news. Exciting news.

A few weeks ago the San Diego Brewers Guild had announced the creation of a window decal that would be displayed in the windows of San Diego Breweries that qualified as local and independently owned breweries in the city and county of San Diego. It was a move designed to help provide some clarity in the wake of mega-corporation owned, i.e. AB-InBev, !0 Barrel Brewing, opening its doors in the downtown neighborhood of East Village, almost directly across the street from local heroes Monkey Paw Brewing. It was a well received move on the local level.

Then, early this past week, the Brewer’s Association, a nationally recognized organization for craft breweries with over 3,800 members nationally, announced a logo of their own. This logo would not only be available to its paid members but to all breweries who meet the criteria of an independent brewery. The goal of this logo: to be placed on any and all of a brewery’s packaging formats. Six pack holders, cases, individual bottles and cans, it was all acceptable and was yet again, a way to help the consumer have some clarity on which brewery is truly independent and which are owned as part of a corporate machine.

Here is where we need to be most clear on things. Beer geeks like myself, perhaps like you and many of your friends. We follow these type of stories. We stay up to date on brewery acquisitions, whether by Big Beer brands like Ab-InBev or Heineken or other. We do it through beer news websites, podcasts, blogs, and even simple word of mouth. These moves by the SD Brewers Guild and the Brewer’s Association have a lot more to do with informing the average, non-beer geek consumer about where they are going and what they are purchasing. It is about giving useful information so that an average person can make an informed choice about where they spend their hard earned money.

The breweries that are owned by Big Beer Corporations are proponents of keeping this sort of information hidden. Obfuscation is the name of the game for them; keep consumers in the dark. Let them think they are drinking a local brand and never bother to correct them. Keep the consumer in the dark.

That sort of mentality cannot be allowed. Information is power.

All in all, logo announcements were a good thing. Was it the perfect solution? Maybe, maybe not, only time will really tell if there is any sort of an impact from either logo. The most important aspect is that the information exists for people to see and to process on their own.

All seemed well and good. At least for a few days.

Later in the week, High End, the portfolio in which InBev lists its “craft” brewery properties, decided to make a video with many of its formerly independent members making all sorts of bold statements that essentially equaled an attack on the Brewers Association and an attempt to discredit them and to confuse consumers by alluding to something they consider far more serious, an imaginary war with Wine & Spirits consumers.

This is what has set me off. This is what has my blood boiling.

I’m not sharing the video. It can be found easily enough online. It only makes me want to punch things until my knuckles are bloody.

As to what some of these “High End” members refer to as the “real issue” with wine and spirits sales…Well, I can only say this: As someone who works in a retail environment around beer, wine and spirits I can honestly say, with 100% conviction, wine and spirits drinkers/consumers could seriously not give one single FUCK as to what is happening in the beer world. They don’t care. This is a non-issue and High End is simply trying to distract from the topic at hand.

As for these brewer’s themselves…well, I don’t know them. I don’t know their situations or their histories, but I would strongly suspect that at one point they all had one thing in common; When they first started their brewery, it had something to do with the fact that they didn’t like the beer options that were available to them as consumers. They demanded more out of a beverage that that loved. They wanted change and they wanted a better beer so much that they decided to become home brewers and eventually that small success lead them to the idea that they could open their own business built on something they had a passion for, something that was against the establishment but they knew that people wanted and would respond to. So they did it. They succeeded. They created breweries that helped to change the game with Big Beer Corporations and I would imagine they were pretty damn proud of themselves, and rightly so.

But something happened.

Maybe it was simply they wanted out of debt. Or they wanted financial security. Maybe they wanted a way to grow their brewery and wanted to take the simple route to doing so. Maybe they got bored, or maybe they didn’t want the headaches that came with owning and running a growing business and brand. Whatever the reason was the simple truth is that dollar signs persuaded them. Money became an important issue and it offered them a way to escape or ease whatever it was that gave them concerns. They sold their souls for money. They sold their passion for a payday.  Even more, you can see them betray everything they once stood for in a video online.

Let’s not be crazy. Money is a powerful tool. A number with the right amount of zeros behind it can change they way a lot of people feel about a lot of things. Changing your principals and your core beliefs has to come with a big price tag.

One year ago. Two years ago. Five years ago. 10 years ago. I don’t believe any one of these people would be saying what they are saying now. To attack the Brewers Association, a group they had once been proud members of, for trying to provide consumers with information, is a move that is beyond disgusting. These are people who have turned their back on the beer community. They have turned their backs on everything that they once believed in and were previously happily a part of. These people are awful, they are traitors and they do not deserve your support or your patronage. They are now part of a corporate machine that exits to squash any and all local and small business. They are simply corporate schills and not to be trusted or believed. Big Beer like AB In-Bev exists to crush competition and to exert dominance over the beer market. They think that because they now have a portfolio of “craft” beer brands, they can mislead and regain market presence by diminishing what the Brewers Association is trying to do. It is our job to stop them.

Your neighborhood has better beer. It’s local. It’s independent and it deserves your support much more than these clowns, and I’m putting it out there:

David Buhler of Elysian Brewing: You are a scumbag and a traitor.

Walt Dickenson of Wicked Weed: You are a scumbag and a traitor.

Garrett Wales of 10 Barrel: You are a scumbag and a traitor.

Andy Ingram of Four Peaks: You are a scumbag and a traitor.

Steve Crandall of Devil’s Backbone: You are a scumbag and a traitor.

As consumers we demand better. We demand honestly and transparency. I stand with the Brewers Association. I hope you do as well.

Make your next beer and Indie Beer!

Cheers,

Tom

BAlogo

 

 

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The Line is Drawn; San Diego Beer Defends its Independence.

This weekend three of San Diego’s downtown breweries unite to show solidarity and resistance to the encroachment of Big Beer right in the middle of their own neighborhood. Monkey Paw Brewing, Resident Brewing and Half-Door Brewing have collaborated on a new beer to show that united spirit.  This has also lead to an exciting way for the entire San Diego Beer community of brewers and beer lovers alike to show our support for the belief that the best beer is the beer brewed by our friends and neighbors, by  breweries that are intrinsic to the fabric of their respective neighborhoods, and that being an independently owned brewery is not only something to support, but something to be proud of.

The faceless mega beer bar of lies and deceit, (they are happy to pass their product off as local San Diego beer and I’m not going to name them) will be opening their doors on Saturday. To counter this event, designed to lure in the uninformed or the oblivious, Monkey Paw will be previewing the collaboration beer with two special casks of the beer known as “11 Barrel IPA”. Both casks will be triple dry-hopped and special t-shirts will be available for purchase.

The real event kicks off in full force on Sunday, May 28th at 2pm. All the breweries, Monkey Paw, Resident and Half-Door are sponsoring an organized pub crawl across downtown, providing a free shuttle between all the locations between 2pm and 6pm. Each brewery will feature the 11 Barrel IPA and all sorts of other tasty beers made by true members of the community. It should also be noted that portions of the proceeds of each pint sold at the three brewpubs will go to Downtown San Diego Homeless and Hunger causes.

This is the weekend that we, the beer loving community of San Diego need to come together and show our support for local, independent breweries. We will not be sheep who are lied to and manipulated. We see the strings, we know your tricks. We are smart, educated consumers who know that every time we open our wallets, we are voting with our hard earned money. This weekend we are going to send one simple, yet overwhelmingly loud message; We want out beer to be independent.

Long live indie beer!

Visit the pub crawl at:

Resident Brewing
1065 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Monkey Paw Brewing
807 16th St, San Diego, CA 92104

Half Door Brewing
903 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

I’ll see everyone on Sunday!

Cheers,

Tom18194075_1315523381873131_7175154672301558122_n

 


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Beachwood Brewing warns of Invasive Species.

An invasive species is an animal or organism that is introduced to a non-native environment where it is expected to cause great harm to that eco-system and the inhabitants of that eco-system.

This is a fitting description for Ballast Point Brewing and their opening of a Long Beach location in the middle of an area that is home to local and independently owned Beachwood Brewing. While it is likely that this would have been problematic even if Ballast Point were still owned and operated by the same people who started it over 20 years ago, it is all the more contentious since Ballast Point was acquired by Constellation Brands (owners of Corona) a little over a year ago.

When the plans for opening were first announced, it could only be interpreted as shots fired by Big Beer against small, independent local breweries. Instead of cowering in the shadows or simply ignoring the threat against them, Beachwood took action. On July 29, 2016 they adopted the hashtag #independentbeer, they marked the day as one to unify and stand-up to corporate beer and their attempts to bully the smaller, local breweries who were clearly their targets.

Next up in their acts of independence was a bold yet simple idea; a growler exchange program. Bring in your corporately owned brewery growler (i.e. Ballast Point and a few others) and have it swapped out for free with a brand new Beachwood growler and a $5 gift card. Essentially paying the consumer to ditch their big beer gear and support local and independent.

As great as those ideas were and are, Beachwood saved the best to close out the year 2016. This is when, for the first time ever, they would release a mixed 4-pack of 12oz bottles that would essentially recreate the famous Ballast Point lineup of Sculpin beers. The four beers in the pack consisted of a standard Sculpin-like IPA, a mango
, habanero and most importantly a grapefruit variant. This series was titled “Invasive Species” and features the logo of a dead fish and the bold words of “It matters who makes your beer” and a new hashtag       #truetobeer.img_8156

As a staunch supporter of the independent beer movement, this release was too good to pass up.

Now, as a consumer, I’ve not purchased or drank a Ballast Point beer in over a year, so my recollection of those initial offerings might be fuzzy. With that said, I must also disclose that my palate happily agrees with just about all the beers that Beachwood is currently brewing.

So how were the beers? They were all winners.

The Beachwood take on these four staples of the Ballast Point lineup were, in my opinion, superior to those of the original. The Habanero had a lingering pepper flavor that did not burn, yet allowed for natural beer flavors to shine. The Mango was subtle, not overly sweet like the Ballast version I remember. The grapefruit was masterfully recreated and it avoided overloading the palate with fruit flavor. And the standard IPA? Another masterstroke as it might have been the best version of Sculpin I have had in many years and served as a reminder of what put Southern California on the beers map in the first place.

While it is not yet known if Beachwood will continue to brew these four reinterpretations, I tend to think that these are the beers that might just make the average, non-informed consumer pay a little more attention to where their beer is coming from and just how good it can be when you strip away the billions of dollars and have quality people focused on making quality beer for all to enjoy. Long live Beachwood Brewing and long live Independent Beer!

Cheers,

Tomimg_8155


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Societe IV : Let the Games Begin!

2016 has been something a weird year for me in the world of craft beer. I have never had to defend my own personal opinions from other beer drinkers in the way that I have had to do since January when the usage of the term “indie beer” got exposure on a quasi-national level. It marked something of a turning point for me as I realized that the craft beer world was not quite not the shiny, happy place that I had turned it into in my mind. In short my love affair was under something of a strain.

So leave it to Societe Brewing to host an event that not only delivers the goods on every level but helps to rekindle the fires of my passion for this elixir that I love so much.

Societe Brewing has been one of my favorite breweries since they opened their doors four years ago. Honestly, Societe is probably my personal favorite but the thought of trying to rank breweries in San Diego is not only daunting but counterproductive to the harmony and unity between breweries in the area. Those ideas of harmony and a collaborative spirit between breweries was proudly on display at Societe’s fourth anniversary party this past Saturday, known simply as Societe IV.IMG_7095

Part of the fun with anniversary parties at Societe has been that every year is something new and they are continually raising the bar. This year will be a hard one to beat. Incorporating an Olympics theme, complete with a torch and a parade of the “Ale-thletes” to start the event, Societe invited nearly two dozen breweries (and one-man team Nate Soroko) from all over San Diego and one from Northern California to compete in a variety of brewers games, including a washer toss tournament, grain stacking challenge, tri-clamp challenge, Beer Chugging, Stein Holding and even an impressive barrel throwing event, which for those who are not sure, a barrel weighs right around 90 pounds and is not the easiest thing to throw for distance, but was a sight to behold. The spirit of camaraderie and friendship were on display for all to see and take part in and the fun that these folks were having was simply infectious as it was impossible to find someone not having a great time.IMG_7098

As fun as all the games were to watch and enjoy rooting for your favorite local brewers, we also came for the beers. I found several new treats to savor while enjoying all the festivities the day had to offer. New variations of The Bachelor, their single hop IPA series, included Nugget, Calypso and Idaho 7 while The Bachelorette, their single hop lager, introduced the Sterling varietal. To round out the new beers was the first Societe witbier, The Filly. Suffice to say everything was incredibly enjoyable and of the highest quality.

What came as perhaps the biggest surprise of the entire day, and announced only a few hours before the event, was the opportunity to purchase their very first bottled beer, a feral ale called The Swindler. As someone who was lucky enough to have this beer during the Societe 3 event last year, I can attest to its absolute incredibleness.IMG_7103

At four years in Societe is continuing to showcase not only their excellence at brewing but at displaying the strong sense of community between an incredible number of local San Diego breweries. In a lot of ways I was filled with a great deal of pride, even if my connection to the brewing industry is tangential at best, the event left me invigorated and rejuvenated. So cheers to Societe and all the Ale-thletes, I hope this one becomes a tradition, but even if it doesn’t, I will still be there to give all the support I can.

Cheers,

Tom


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Copenhagen to San Diego: Good Beer Knows No Boundries

In case you have somehow missed the news about Mikkeller San Diego opening its door this past weekend, I offer my own humble report for your perusal.
First off, I love this place. Walking in, you still recognize the bones of the old Alesmith. They have since moved to a brand new and massive brewery space just a little further down Miramar Rd. Yet Mikkeller (Originally out of Copenhagen, Denmark) has made the site very much its own. The tasting room area is cozy with plush couches and tables making for a very welcoming tasting room experience. It is hard not to feel both welcome and very comfortable as you walk in and take in the feel of the place. The lighting was low and added a special ambiance to the space, and while it was a packed house with long lines for beers, the environment was so relaxed that most people were very good about simply having a good time and not making a fuss about the wait.  IMG_6799
On this opening weekend the beer menu was full of variety, something for everyone so that even if you were not a fan of or had never even tried Mikkeller before, there was very little reason for a person to not find something to their liking. From a hoppy pilsner, big IPA’s, to dark Belgian delights, to the legendary Beer Geek Breakfast Stout, the draft list and killer, and with Mikkeller being known as a man who is not shy about putting a beer recipe together, there are literally thousands of option that exist and will eventually see its time on the board at some point.
A quick history for this not familiar with Mikkeller (also known as Mikel Bjorg Bjergso). He is what is known as a “Gypsy Brewer”. It simply means (prior to this opening) he did not have a dedicated location for brewing his recipes. He would travel to other breweries and either do it himself, or let that brewery team pull it together according to his instructions. San Diego is his first steady base of brewing operations. Perhaps the smartest, and from a local perspective, the best decision he made (aside from setting up in San Diego) was the hiring of Bill Batten.
Bill Batten is the man who has helped make Alesmith Brewing what it is today.IMG_6803
So if you are going to hire a brewer to work in the old Alesmith Brewery, you might as well bring on the guy who knows how to get the most out of that particular brewing system. It should be noted, that Alesmith is a parter in this venture, so the idea of Bill being the brewer should not come as a total shock.
On this opening trip, the crowd was lively, the beer was tasty and much like the warm sunny weather on this opening day, the future for Mikkeller SD looks to be very bright and I cannot recommend enough taking a visit to check it out for your self.
Cheers,
Tom


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Four San Diego breweries claim spots in the top 50 for Craft Beer sales in 2015

Released today by the Brewers Association, this information provides a valuable look at how the sales of craft beer are impacting the market as more and more local breweries make a name for themselves on a national level.

It is also hard to look at this list and not notice the breweries who will be left off of it this time next year when the are removed due to their acquisition by larger macro breweries.

Still, the silver lining is that the market for quality craft beer made by local, independent brewers continues to grow and that should be applauded, well done to the men and women who are making great beer to be enjoyed by all.

Brewers Association Lists Top 50 Breweries of 2015

 

Boulder, CO • April 5, 2016 – The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers—today released its annual lists of the top 50 craft and overall brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume. Of the top 50 overall brewing companies, 43 were craft brewing companies.¹

 

“The top U.S. brewers continue to drive demand, growth, innovation and exponential interest in beers from small and independent brewers,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “With a historic record number of breweries in U.S., the top brewers continue to open new markets and expose beer drinkers to a variety of fuller-flavored styles and offerings.”

 

Top 50 U.S. Craft Brewing Companies

(Based on 2015 beer sales volume*)

Download Map Here

 

Brewing Company City State
1 D. G. Yuengling and Son, Inc Pottsville PA
2 Boston Beer Co Boston MA
3 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co Chico CA
4 New Belgium Brewing Co Fort Collins CO
5 Gambrinus San Antonio TX
6 Lagunitas Brewing Co* Petaluma CA
7 Bell’s Brewery, Inc Kalamazoo MI
8 Deschutes Brewery Bend OR
9 Minhas Craft Brewery Monroe WI
10 Stone Brewing Co Escondido CA
11 Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits* San Diego CA
12 Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn NY
13 Firestone Walker Brewing Co Paso Robles CA
14 Oskar Blues Brewing Holding Co Longmont CO
15 Duvel Moortgat USA Kansas City & Cooperstown MO/NY
16 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Milton DE
17 Matt Brewing Co Utica NY
18 SweetWater Brewing Co Atlanta GA
19 Harpoon Brewery Boston MA
20 New Glarus Brewing Co New Glarus WI
21 Great Lakes Brewing Co Cleveland OH
22 Alaskan Brewing Co. Juneau AK
23 Abita Brewing Co Abita Springs LA
24 Anchor Brewing Co San Francisco CA
25 Stevens Point Brewery Co Stevens Point WI
26 Victory Brewing Co Downingtown PA
27 August Schell Brewing Co New Ulm MN
28 Long Trail Brewing Co Bridgewater Corners VT
29 Summit Brewing Co Saint Paul MN
30 Shipyard Brewing Co Portland ME
31 Full Sail Brewing Co Hood River OR
32 Odell Brewing Co Fort Collins CO
33 Southern Tier Brewing Co Lakewood NY
34 Rogue Ales Brewery Newport OR
35 21st Amendment Brewery Bay Area CA
36 Ninkasi Brewing Co Eugene OR
37 Flying Dog Brewery Frederick MD
38 Narragansett Brewing Co Providence RI
39 Left Hand Brewing Company Longmont CO
40 Uinta Brewing Co Salt Lake City UT
41 Green Flash Brewing Co San Diego CA
42 Allagash Brewing Co Portland ME
43 Lost Coast Brewery Eureka CA
44 Bear Republic Brewing Co Cloverdale CA
45 Troegs Brewing Co Hershey PA
46 Karl Strauss Brewing Co San Diego CA
47 Breckenridge Brewery* Littleton CO
48 North Coast Brewing Co Inc. Fort Bragg CA
49 Four Peaks Brewing Co* Tempe AZ
50 Revolution Brewing Co Chicago IL
*Craft volume pro-rated in 2015 or will be pro-rated/exiting craft brewer data set in 2016

 

Top 50 U.S. Overall Brewing Companies2

(Based on 2015 beer sales volume)

 

Rank Brewing Company City State
1 Anheuser-Busch, Inc (a) Saint Louis MO
2 MillerCoors (b) Chicago IL
3 Pabst Brewing Co (c) Los Angeles CA
4 D. G. Yuengling and Son Inc Pottsville PA
5 Boston Beer Co (d) Boston MA
6 North American Breweries (e) Rochester NY
7 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co Chico CA
8 New Belgium Brewing Co Fort Collins CO
9 Craft Brew Alliance (f) Portland OR
10 Lagunitas Brewing Co (g) Petaluma CA
11 Gambrinus (h) San Antonio TX
12 Bell’s Brewery, Inc (i) Kalamazoo MI
13 Deschutes Brewery Bend OR
14 Minhas Craft Brewery (j) Monroe WI
15 Stone Brewing Co Escondido CA
16 Sleeman Brewing Co (k) LaCrosse WI
17 Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits (l) San Diego CA
18 Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn NY
19 Firestone Walker Brewing Co (m) Paso Robles CA
20 Founders Brewing Co Grand Rapids MI
21 Oskar Blues Brewing Holding Co (n) Longmont CO
22 Duvel Moortgat USA (o) Kansas City MO
23 Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Milton DE
24 Matt Brewing Co (p) Utica NY
25 SweetWater Brewing Co Atlanta GA
26 Harpoon Brewery Boston MA
27 New Glarus Brewing Co New Glarus WI
28 Great Lakes Brewing Co Cleveland OH
29 Alaskan Brewing Co Juneau AK
30 Abita Brewing Co Abita Springs LA
31 Anchor Brewing Co San Francisco CA
32 Stevens Point Brewery Co (q) Stevens Point WI
33 Victory Brewing Co Downingtown PA
34 August Schell Brewing Co (r) New Ulm MN
35 Long Trail Brewing Co (s) Bridgewater Corners VT
36 Summit Brewing Co Saint Paul MN
37 Shipyard Brewing Co (t) Portland ME
38 Full Sail Brewing Co Hood River OR
39 Odell Brewing Co Fort Collins CO
40 Southern Tier Brewing Co Lakewood NY
41 Rogue Ales Brewery Newport OR
42 21st Amendment Brewery Bay Area CA
43 Ninkasi Brewing Co Eugene OR
44 Flying Dog Brewery Frederick MD
45 Narragansett Brewing Co Providence RI
46 Pittsburgh Brewing Co (u) Pittsburgh PA
47 Left Hand Brewing Company Longmont CO
48 Uinta Brewing Co Salt Lake City UT
49 Green Flash Brewing Co San Diego CA
50 Allagash Brewing Co Portland ME

Download High Resolution Graphics Here

The Association’s full 2015 industry analysis, which shows regional trends and sales by individual breweries, will be published in the May/June issue of The New Brewer, available in May 2016.

 

For additional statistics, see the Brewers Association’s annual craft brewing industry growth report for 2015.

1 Figure based on companies that met craft brewer definition for all or part of 2015. An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. Traditional:A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.

2Top 50 Overall U.S. Brewing Companies notes: (a) includes 10 Barrel, Bass, Beck’s, Blue Point, Bud Light, Budweiser, Busch, Golden Road (partial year) Goose Island, Elysian (partial year) Landshark, Michelob, Rolling Rock, Shock Top and Wild Series brands. Does not include partially owned Coastal, Craft Brew Alliance, Fordham, Kona, Old Dominion, Omission, Red Hook and Widmer Brothers brands; (b) includes A.C. Golden, Batch 19, Blue Moon, Colorado Native, Coors, Keystone, Killian’s, Leinenkugel’s, Miller, Saint Archer (partial year), and Tenth & Blake brands; (c) includes Pabst, Schlitz, Small Town, and 28+ other brand families; (d) includes Alchemy & Science and Sam Adams brands. Does not include Twisted Tea or Angry Orchard brands; (e) includes Dundee, Genesee, Labatt Lime, Magic Hat and Pyramid brands; (f) includes Kona, Omission, Red Hook and Widmer Brothers brands; (g) full year volume; craft rank reflects pro-rated volume due to sale of stake to Heineken (h) includes BridgePort, Shiner and Trumer brands; (i) includes Bell’s and Upper Hand brands; (j) includes Mountain Crest and 10 other brand families as well as export volume; (k) includes Sleeman and Sapporo brands as well as export volume; (l) volume will be pro-rated in 2016 data set due to sale to Constellation Brands; (m) will be part of control group with Duvel Moortgat USA starting in 2016; (n) includes Utah Brewers Cooperative and Perrin Brewing Company brands, will include Cigar City brands starting in 2016; (o) includes Boulevard and Ommegang brands; (p) includes Flying Bison, Saranac and Utica Club brands; (q) includes James Page, Point and Whole Hog brands; (r) includes Grain Belt and Schell’s brands; (s) includes Long Trail, Otter Creek, The Shed and Wolaver’s brands; (t) includes Casco Bay, Sea Dog and Shipyard brands; (u) includes Iron City and 17 other brand families.

 

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About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the World Beer CupSMGreat American Beer Festival®Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, Homebrew Con, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

 

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association. Follow us on Twitter.

 

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.

 


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The Battle for the Soul of San Diego Indie Beer

At the end of 2015 big beer made a barrage of acquisitions in an effort to expand its portfolio of “craft” Brewers. The moves were significant, and showed that corporate beer is not planning to sit back and let its share of the market be reduced any longer.

On the local front San Diego felt the sting of losing two of its own local breweries as Saint Archer was purchased by Miller/Coors, and more devastatingly, Ballast Point selling for 1 Billion dollars to Constellation Brands i.e. Corona. 

Now with the news that 10 Barrel Brewing, a property of InBev that masquerades as still being a local, independent brewery based out of Bend, Oregon, will be opening a location in downtown San Diego’s East Village neighborhood it has become clear that big beer is no longer content to simply buy the competition. They want to bury it. 

10 Barrel sold to InBev in November of 2014. Since then big beer has made a concerted effort to aquire at least one indie Brewer in every major market of the western United States. They purchased Elysian in Seattle, Golden Road in Los Angeles, Saint Archer and Ballast Point here in San Diego, Four Peaks in Phoenix and Breckenridge Brewing in Colorado. 

By placing a brewpub in San Diego, InBev has shown that it will continue to rely on deception and outright lies to attempt to create a ruse to confuse and trick customers. It is shameful. This is an effort to severely damage the indie beer culture of San Diego and we cannot sit back and take it.

One of the many rewarding aspects of loving the local, independent beer scene of San Diego is the knowledge that your money is staying in San Diego and supporting small business. Your money is helping your neighbors, and not lineing the pockets of rich people who do not give a damn about the community of San Diego. They see our city as dollars signs. They know their product does not stand a chance when lined up against the world class beers brewed by many of our local, indie Brewers. Deception is the new strategy.

Recently on a trip to Portland, Oregon I spent a Saturday night hopping from brewpub to brewpub in the downtown area. After a few hours I stumbled upon the 10 Barrel location; it was packed. I was shocked. Portlanders are known for their being savvy when it comes to supporting local business over corporate greed. It opened my eyes to a few truths that I still wrestle with but two of those truths are that not only are InBev’s deceptions working, they are working very well even in a indie beer town like Portland.

The most dangerous weapon we possess in the revolution against big beer is a knowledgable consumer. It is now more important than ever that we, as consumers, take the time to learn who owns who and where our hard earned money is going. Big beer is betting that we are too lazy to bother with seeking out the truth. It is time to teach how wrong they are. 

One of the most interesting details of the proposed location for the corporate beer sell out is the proposed location; just a block away from local favorite and Great American Beer Festival gold medal winning Monkey Paw Brewing and Pub. While I do not know their reactions to the news, I do know this: Monkey Paw Owner Scot Blair and Head Brewer Cosimo Sorrentino are two of the best the San Diego independent beer community could hope to have on the front lines for this battle. These are two people that I will always have the backs of and the San Diego indie beer community will be right there with me. 

InBev just brought a knife to a gunfight.

Cheers and remember to keep your money local,

Tom