Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Who Killed Bambi?

At 1910 hours on 30 January, in his response to Melissa Cole's criticism of his views on the unfriendly British brewing scene as published in the beer book authored by Matt Allyn and Greg (Stone CEO) Koch, James Watt from Brewdog followed up some initial comments and an exchange with Kristy McCready of Molson Coors and Sharps head brewer Stuart Howe, thus:
I would rather quit beer than work for an evil multinational, faceless, generic corporation pedalling insipid liquid cardboard like MC.

Good luck with that. However, you should realise, that by working for them, you have zero craft beer credibility whatsoever. That must suck. I would almost be sorry for you if you were not so mean about BrewDog. Jealous? probably.

Still I guess for some people being paid well and comfortable beats putting absolutely everything on the line for something they believe in.

Oh and Mr Howe, as for the fact that we don't make great beer, how many World Beer Cup Gold Medals do you have? We have 2. Are you on the ratebeer top 100 list? Thought not. And we also don't work for Satan.
"Craft beer credibility"? Eh? What's that? James appears to know, and so presumably there's a list somewhere at Brewdog. If you want to know if you're credible, write to James, c/o 'Craft Beer', 15 Credibility Street.

Or maybe you shouldn't ask him. As sometimes happens, you turn over a few rocks, and things look different. Like the fact that under their old distribution deal in the US, their beers were distributed around New York by the same distributor as Budweiser's. Not the one brewed by cool and plucky Czechs, the other one. The evil, multinational, faceless, generic corporate one. These days Brewdog in the US is handled by Anchor Brewers & Distillers, but for all I know, they're still using AB-I's distributors. How many 'credibility points' would that cost them? If Molson Coors is Satan, what is AB-I? Come to that, what about the Big Four supermarkets? Are they on the credibility radar?

I know this whole idea of what 'craft beer' is bamboozles and annoys beer lovers as parts of the blogosphere struggle with trying to define it. But really, 'credibility'? We might as well just call it all beer and find something else shiny to look at. It really does smack of a bunch of indie kids comparing bands. Does being recognised by the ticker fanboys of Ratebeer and Beer Advocate mean anything? Maybe James can foresee the day when the fanboys turn on Brewdog and accuse them of selling out by becoming too big and popular. Somehow right now, they're pulling off a clever sleight-of-hand by making themselves seem like the small guy being picked on. Or maybe there's something to the idea that they're not all so cool and confident as they make out. I dunno. But in the future I might think twice about using craft beer as a term if there's some kind of unsavoury point-scoring baggage sitting behind it.


Cooking Lager said...

There is a beer world cup? Good God.

Martyn Cornell said...

Hey, Cookie, I thought you were dead.

James Partridge said...

'Who Killed Bambi?' is spot on, I was just thinking the other day that all of this reminds me more of Malcolm McLaren than The Lurkers and Eater...you know...'punk'.

Sid Boggle said...

Cookie! Where ya bin? (Geddit?) ;-)

Kristy said...

Kristy McCready from Molson Coors - excellent spelling that makes my cold, evil heart sing ;o)

Cooking Lager said...

Winding some other people up. But I like to pop back from time to time to wind beer geeks up.

Anonymous said...

Brewdog & chums as the Rebel Alliance! Stuart Howe as the Evil Emperor! Skyy vodka as the force!