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DanB

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Re: Another Faux Craft Beer from MillerCoors

by DanB » Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:22 pm

Corporate parentage should be a non-issue. If you buy a Blancpain watch you won't see Swatch Group on the box. A Bugatti sure won't have Volkswagen stamped on it anywhere. And a bottle of Dom Pérignon won't be any less or more drinkable if it had LVMH on the label. The guys who make this Colorado brew might be every bit as schooled in, and dedicated to their craft as the most diligent microbrewer on a side street in Denver. Sure they get help with financing and accounting. I'm sure most microbrewers would be jealous of their parent's deep pockets. But in the end if it's a quality product made with artisanal/craft instincts at a fair price and managed at arm's length by some corporate, I as a consumer am all for it. This "ethical" argument is rubbish in my view. It's not like Coors tortures ponies or makes pygmaes work 24 hour shifts brewing their swill.

As someone who is not an über beer geek, and not emotionally involved in this David and Goliath epic of us versus them, I find it a bit of a turn-off when the small guys try to make an Orwellian Goldstein out of the major brewers. I mean, they're just big companies with a shite product 99% of the time. If you make something better at a fair price, you're gonna find a reasonable level of success. If they are copying you, look at it as a success story.
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Re: Another Faux Craft Beer from MillerCoors

by Roger A. Baylor » Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:02 pm

It's probably true that unless you spend two decades fighting against market dominance by corporate behemoths that make low common denominator bilge water and sell it by means of techniques learned from the late Dr. Goebbels, you can't really know how it feels.

But, because there's far more to life than low common denominator anything, I wouldn't have it any other way than to continue fighting it.
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Re: Another Faux Craft Beer from MillerCoors

by Rob Coffey » Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:30 pm

Another side to all this. IMO, every time the big breweries do this, they are cutting into their brand. BMC have primarily sold based on advertising. Craft drinkers arent [generally] brand loyal, so the more people BMC push into craft beers (even by weird labeling means) leads to more drinkers that arent brand loyal. You try Blue Moon, or whatever, and like it and now you went to try other wits. And suddenly you are drinking a wide range of beer brands.

Maybe a new trend of brand loyalty will come about when craft beer gets big enough, but I dont see any sign of it happening yet. The big boys are trying to get a piece of the only growing part of the beer market, but it only hurts them more in the long run.

This is why I think B&M have never made a huge effort in the craft market (Coors has with Blue Moon). They keep fiddling around with it but never make a huge push. Heck, even Blue Moon doesnt have a multimillion dollar ad campaign around it. I think they realize craft would just cannibalize their own sales while destroying brand loyalty. They hoped it would be a fad and go away on its own. I think they now realize that isnt going to happen. But, I dont think there is a long term answer for them other than to grab a part of that market and hope to survive.

Edit: this is all from an outsider watching closely the last decade or so. YMMV
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Deb Hall

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Re: Another Faux Craft Beer from MillerCoors

by Deb Hall » Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:06 pm

Todd Antz wrote:None of the mega breweries ever put their names on the beers they brew as a "craft brand". For some reason the seem ashamed to put their name on them. Blue Moon was always "Blue Moon Brewing Company" Anheuser names their "breweries" right after the name of the beer (Hop Hound Brewing, Blue Dog Brewing, etc). While it is deceptive, its been pointed out that this has happened for years with other products in the alcohol industry. I've personally never understood why they wouldn't just put their name somewhere on the label. If you are known for making a cheap a$$ whiskey, but can crank out something respectable, and sometimes amazing (Heaven Hill is the king of this) then be proud and put your name somewhere on the label. Just because a bottle of Bernheim Wheat has Distilled and bottled by Heaven Hill on it wouldn't scare me away, but they won't put their name on it at all. As it is, I look at a label now, and wonder exactly how Bardstown Kentucky manages to fit 50+ distilleries in such a small geographic area.


Todd,

There is one legitimate business reason for this, which is part of the history ( Bourbon's been doing this since way before prohibition). Historically these brands have been bought and sold within the industry to other companies on a regular basis. Keeping each "Brand" as bottled at it's own location allows it to move seemlessly to a new company- no change to bottle/ advertising/etc as most of the time the plant facilities stay the same. Us One Bourbon brand I researched had belonged to 6 different companies over the years. Obviously not the only reason, but an important factor.

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Re: Another Faux Craft Beer from MillerCoors

by Matthew D » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:42 pm

DanB wrote:Corporate parentage should be a non-issue. If you buy a Blancpain watch you won't see Swatch Group on the box. A Bugatti sure won't have Volkswagen stamped on it anywhere. And a bottle of Dom Pérignon won't be any less or more drinkable if it had LVMH on the label. The guys who make this Colorado brew might be every bit as schooled in, and dedicated to their craft as the most diligent microbrewer on a side street in Denver. Sure they get help with financing and accounting. I'm sure most microbrewers would be jealous of their parent's deep pockets. But in the end if it's a quality product made with artisanal/craft instincts at a fair price and managed at arm's length by some corporate, I as a consumer am all for it. This "ethical" argument is rubbish in my view. It's not like Coors tortures ponies or makes pygmaes work 24 hour shifts brewing their swill.

As someone who is not an über beer geek, and not emotionally involved in this David and Goliath epic of us versus them, I find it a bit of a turn-off when the small guys try to make an Orwellian Goldstein out of the major brewers. I mean, they're just big companies with a shite product 99% of the time. If you make something better at a fair price, you're gonna find a reasonable level of success. If they are copying you, look at it as a success story.


Your argument hinges on a particular definition of fair.
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Re: Another Faux Craft Beer from MillerCoors

by Joel Halblieb » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:49 pm

"Stop blaming the big brewers for playing the game by the rules that the government has set up."

Did you catch the part in Beer Wars where there was a huge bash for governement folks by one of the big two? How much money does Miller/Coors and AB spend on political lobbying? I am just saying the big guys have a large say in how any beverage law is written concerning their business. If you think not you are fooling yourself.

BBC does indeed make the Sheltowee line of beers for Liquor Barn alone. Never tried to hide it never will. If you check the rate beer tasty suds sites you will find all of them list those beers under the Bluegrass Brewing Name.

Hell maybe breweries need to start adding "Mis en bouteille au Brasserie" to swell consumer confidence.
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Re: Another Faux Craft Beer from MillerCoors

by Chris M » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:40 pm

This whole thread is just the usual "Big business is bad and has unfair influence.. the little guy always gets screwed" that seems to make up half the threads on this board.

Does big business sell consumers what they want, or do consumers buy what big business tells them to?

Which came first.. the chicken or the egg?

I find it amusing that small companies complain about the power big companies have to keep them small while at the same time saying how they would never want to be big. It all smacks of the usual jealousy to me.

The only person who has any power at all is the consumer. People can chose to buy or not buy whatever they want.

BTW - the Dogfish is doing pretty darn well and doing so while staying a small, "family run" business and the lady pushing the caffeinated beer will not get my sympathy. Talk about somebody working the bad side of the marketplace. Luckily the FDA is finally starting to get involved with that whole line of products.

One addictive substance in my drink isn't enough? How about we throw a little nicotine in there for good measure. Get all three of them in one easy to use form.

Now find me a way to mainline em and I'll be all set. ?!?!?!

Talk about feeding the market what it wants. She spent the entire documentary decrying the very business model she so desperately seeks to emulate.

Weird that she was chosen to spotlight.
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Re: Another Faux Craft Beer from MillerCoors

by Roger A. Baylor » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:49 pm

Chris M wrote:This whole thread is just the usual "Big business is bad and has unfair influence.. the little guy always gets screwed" that seems to make up half the threads on this board.


Like my fellow Hoosier J Mellencamp once observed, "You gotta stand for something -- or you're gonna fall for anything."

That's a fair assessment of mass consumer culture in any day and age. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to stoking my jealousy. :shock:
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Re: Another Faux Craft Beer from MillerCoors

by Robin Garr » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:50 pm

Chris M wrote:... seems to make up half the threads on this board

Want to count 'em and report back. I'd suggest the ratio may be closer to 1 in 100 on actual analysis. It's a valid issue, though. Plenty of cities our size don't offer much of an indie option to chains. Do any of us really want to see that here?
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Re: Another Faux Craft Beer from MillerCoors

by Chris M » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:21 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Chris M wrote:... seems to make up half the threads on this board

Want to count 'em and report back. I'd suggest the ratio may be closer to 1 in 100 on actual analysis. It's a valid issue, though. Plenty of cities our size don't offer much of an indie option to chains. Do any of us really want to see that here?


I was being flippant with the number, and no, I don't want to see a world of mega chains... but I also don't want to see a world without mega chains.

They serve a purpose. They feed/water the masses with the blandness they crave and do so in a cost efficient manner. Those cost efficiencies benefit all businesses.

Not everyone is a beer/wine/food enthusiast. People WANT Cheddar's. They WANT Budweiser.

Nothing wrong with that, or with giving them what they want.

To quote Ray Davies.. "You gotta give the people what they want".
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Re: Another Faux Craft Beer from MillerCoors

by Rob Coffey » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:54 pm

Chris M wrote:The only person who has any power at all is the consumer. People can chose to buy or not buy whatever they want.


I wish those statements were true. Alas, they are not.
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Re: Another Faux Craft Beer from MillerCoors

by Steve H » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:08 am

Joel Halblieb wrote:"Stop blaming the big brewers for playing the game by the rules that the government has set up."

Did you catch the part in Beer Wars where there was a huge bash for governement folks by one of the big two? How much money does Miller/Coors and AB spend on political lobbying? I am just saying the big guys have a large say in how any beverage law is written concerning their business. If you think not you are fooling yourself.


I hadn't seen "Beer Wars" link before I posted.

Plus you misunderstand my point. The only reason that the "Big Two" can pay lot's of money and through big bashes to influence the government is because government manipulates the market. The original reason for almost all government market manipulations is for the ostensible reasons of protecting the little guy, e.g. the consumer.

Unfortunately, what ALWAYS happens is that the government agencies that over see the applicable regulations always end being subverted by the biggest players in the market that they oversee. This happens like clock work. This is how the government will almost always end up protecting vested and moneyed interests instead of promoting free competition. That's why many states are burdened with three tier marketing requirements, which ultimately do nothing to protect customers. But it does plenty to put money in the hands of cronies, who can then be funnel it back into politics and politicians pockets.

It's amusing that the more leftist among us are the same ones that complain about the big chains and the big companies that stifle competition. When ultimately, it is government power that lays foundation for these situations.

More government equals more corporatism. Simple.
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Re: Another Faux Craft Beer from MillerCoors

by Chris M » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:20 am

Rob Coffey wrote:
Chris M wrote:The only person who has any power at all is the consumer. People can chose to buy or not buy whatever they want.


I wish those statements were true. Alas, they are not.



I'd like to hear how you think those statements are not true. If it's legal and I can afford it.... I can buy (or not buy) whatever I want.

Heck... "legal" and "I can afford it" aren't insurmountable obstacles.

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Re: Another Faux Craft Beer from MillerCoors

by Chris M » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:26 am

Steve H wrote:
Joel Halblieb wrote:"Stop blaming the big brewers for playing the game by the rules that the government has set up."

Did you catch the part in Beer Wars where there was a huge bash for governement folks by one of the big two? How much money does Miller/Coors and AB spend on political lobbying? I am just saying the big guys have a large say in how any beverage law is written concerning their business. If you think not you are fooling yourself.


I hadn't seen "Beer Wars" link before I posted.

Plus you misunderstand my point. The only reason that the "Big Two" can pay lot's of money and through big bashes to influence the government is because government manipulates the market. The original reason for almost all government market manipulations is for the ostensible reasons of protecting the little guy, e.g. the consumer.

Unfortunately, what ALWAYS happens is that the government agencies that over see the applicable regulations always end being subverted by the biggest players in the market that they oversee. This happens like clock work. This is how the government will almost always end up protecting vested and moneyed interests instead of promoting free competition. That's why many states are burdened with three tier marketing requirements, which ultimately do nothing to protect customers. But it does plenty to put money in the hands of cronies, who can then be funnel it back into politics and politicians pockets.

It's amusing that the more leftist among us are the same ones that complain about the big chains and the big companies that stifle competition. When ultimately, it is government power that lays foundation for these situations.

More government equals more corporatism. Simple.


That's an interesting theory. Typically conservatives tout less government and more corporatism while liberals tout more government and less corporatism.

The big government = more corporatism theory would explain Bush Republicanism. Grow government so it can dictate the terms for large business.... fascinating.

I'll have to chew on that one for a while. Thanks.
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Re: Another Faux Craft Beer from MillerCoors

by Roger A. Baylor » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:12 am

Rob Coffey wrote:
Chris M wrote:The only person who has any power at all is the consumer. People can chose to buy or not buy whatever they want.


I wish those statements were true. Alas, they are not.


The reason why we have always tried to educate the beer consumer is because we must undo a lifetime of propaganda, whether overt or subliminal, that typically renders this notion of "free choice" rather quaint, to say the least. Anheuser Busch's greatest innovation had nothing to do with either the art or the science of brewing. It was the company's decision in the 1960's to try and expose every American irrespective of age to the word "Budweiser" ten times a day.

In such an atmosphere -- even before the technological breaththroughs of the last two decades -- can anyone posit the existence of genuinely "free" choice and maintain a straight face? By the time a youngster enters school, how many advertising images has he or she been exposed to?
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New Albany, Indiana
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