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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  1537 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Bud and Miller Are Trying to Hijack Craft Beer—and It’s Totally Backfiring

Okay, but -

1) The major breweries have never attempted to shut down small breweries in order to sell Bud or Corona. Budweiser bought Red Hook in 1994. They still own 34% of it. Never once did they try to shut down Red Hook in order to sell Budweiser - instead, they profit off whatever Red Hook does.

2) It's kind of silly to think that InBev is somehow upset that sales of Shock Top are scavenging sales of Budweiser. Shock Top is much higher profit. If you asked Budweiser if they'd rather sell 3 glasses of beer they make 50 cents on or 2 glasses of beer they make $1.50 on, their answer wouldn't surprise you.

This is basically an argument that large brewers are somehow suffering from diversifying their product offering and moving their merchandise upscale - "Toyota is getting creamed by Mercedes Benz as evidenced by the formation and success of Lexus." I don't really get where it comes from: the idea that an outfit like Budweiser wants you to drink shitty beer instead of the idea that an outfit that sells beer wants you to buy their beer. If the market moves that way, that's the way a savvy company will go.

The Rise And Fall of An American Beer

PS. Leinenkugel has been making beer since 1867. They've been making it for Miller since 1988. Calling Leinenkugel an "ersatz" craft beer is like calling Moto Guzzi an "ersatz" Italian motorcycle manufacturer.




cgod  ·  1537 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The big breweries are facing a lot of competition and I'm sure It worries them a bit. Lots of places in town with 24 taps only 2-3 domestic macro brews (some places no domestic macros).

My bar sells most tap beer for our sales reps accounts and only one is from a macro brewery (8 taps). At the same time domestic macro makes up probably half of our can/bottle sales.

I'd guess that Portland is an outlier with breweries all over the city and the state.

kleinbl00  ·  1537 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Tap beer and retail sales are two entirely separate animals. They're often not even the same beer.

And yes. Portland is a major outlier. Weinhard's, brewed since 1856, bought by Stroh's, sold to Miller, now brewed under contract by Full Sale. The fact that the cheap beer of the PNW generally includes Rainier and Kokanee pretty much sets the entire region apart.

cgod  ·  1537 days ago  ·  link  ·  

PBR rules the roost here now. PBR did a bunch of savvy marketing, getting heavily involved in community events (roller derby, box car races, ect) and pricing their beer dirt cheap. They got a neon sign and a tap handle in just about every bar in town. It was the spark that reignited Pabst across the nation defining their marketing for decade. Became the definitive "hipster" beer in town.

Kokanee is almost gone, it's the unicorn of beers here now, I know of one neon sign in a bar window and only see it served at the sports arena. Rainer keeps on chugging, not as big as Pabst but you always see a some tall boys on the lawn after a big bash. Rainier is the only tap handle that never gets taken off at the bar I work at. I've been told that we sell more than any other bar in town. Every once in a while the distributor runs out, we put a PBR keg in, don't change the handle and no one ever notices.

Weinhards, Widmere, Deschutes and Full Sail all hover in the Macro/Micro category. They are the beers that people's fathers like, not really Micros and not really all that good but holding a big chunk of the supermarket shelves for the old folks. Deschutes does a few amazing small batch beers ever year (The Abyss at the holidays is amazing) but otherwise their offerings are a bit pedestrian.

ButterflyEffect  ·  1537 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's funny how whatever the cheap/hipster beer is varies by region. PBR is always there in some capacity though. Where I'm at, we are all about Genesee and it's variants when it comes to cheapo hipster beer.

When I was partying with the other college people in Boston? Mostly Narrangansett, which I had never even heard of before living out there.

_refugee_  ·  1537 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Pabst and Miller High Lifes (cans and bottles, respectively) rule the cheap-hipster-beer market in my little corner of the world. Natty Bo and Natty Light are big for the 20-year-olds paying their friends' siblings to buy them beer.

FolcHero  ·  1537 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Gansett is an old beer company, and since its most recent incarnation in 2005, it's been pitching itself directly to the hipster crowd by pumping out vintage iconography- just a cursory look at the website will turn up a dozen examples. It's also a very sugary brew, which makes it an easy first beer for college kids experimenting with alcohol for the first time. (Last Sunday, I went for a drink with my sister and she dropped a shot of Amaretto into a glass of Gansett: Instant Dr. Pepper.)

Gansetts has also done an amazing job of marketing itself as the face of the Ocean State. Ad a born and bred Rhode Islander, I remember thinking in 2005 when the "Hi, Neighbor" signs went up, "Wait, what is this and since when has it been a part of my identity?"; now when I leave the state I make sure to bring a few Gansetts with me to remind me of home. And anyone who has lived in Rhode Island, even for a little while, can recognize how powerful a combination that Del's and Gansett shandy is. The first month it hit shelves, it was sold out at every liquor store near me within a day or two of being stocked. It tastes okay, but the sense of cultural identity, that you're enjoying something that is so intrinsically tied to being a Rhode Islander, is what really sells it.

e: Its also worth pointing out that Gansett's brewing is done by Genesee.

ButterflyEffect  ·  1537 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The big thing about Gansett was that when you're partying to bands playing in basements, you want something that is easy to drink. And boy was that an easy to drink bear.

That's some great branding and marketing on their end. Everyone thought I was crazy when I said I'd never seen it in WNY before.

Genesee does a few different beers. Kind of like how FX Matt in Upstate NY brews a lot of Brooklyn products.

humanodon  ·  1537 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I buy it because it's $4.99 for a sixer of 16 oz. cans. I mean, that's cheaper than a 40, per ounce.

kleinbl00  ·  1537 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I remember when Pabst rolled out again. think it was 2002 or so; one of the goth clubs I frequented had ten cent PBR on tuesdays. Which was usually enough for people to buy a ten cent PBR, realize it was shit, and buy something else.

Still - it makes the point that the macrobrews aren't exactly quaking in their boots. If Rainier and Pabst are dominating the clubs and Weinhards, Widmer, Deschutes and Full Sail are fat'n'happy chunks of the supermarket shelves, then Rogue isn't about to take over the universe, you know?

It also proves the point that you aren't in Kansas.