I'm young, I brew beer, and I drink a lot of it too. Various misadventures will follow along with idle musings.

Drop me a line at freegamespeech@gmail.com if you have a question about anything I write or suggestions for a new post.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Why Blue Moon and Shocktop are Never Acceptable Choices


So there are 2,483 Craft or Micro breweries/brew pubs and 24 large non-craft breweries in the country.  Those thousands of craft breweries make up only 15 percent of the total gross beer sales in the country off-premise (supermarkets, liquor stores, etc).  The other 85 percent belongs to those large non-craft breweries, most of which are owned by two companies: Anheuser-Busch/In-Bev and MillerCoors. 

Now, craft beer is the only sector of the industry that actually generates growth every year, with the rest of the market shrinking by a percent or two annually.  As a result, the big 2 have been trying to find a way to get their grips into the craft market through a number of pursuits. Traditional big business measures such as abusive trademarking (see the lawsuit AB/In-Bev brought against Dogfish Head for their Punk'n Beer) and buying up companies (Rolling Rock and Goose Island to name a few) have proved ineffective against the fierce independence and devotion to quality that most craft brewers stake their name on.

Blue Moon and Shocktop were likely created in the wake of the failure of these strategies.  After all, if you can't force your way into a market then why not co-opt the spirit of that industry and re-brand your product similarly?

Just take a look at the packaging of a six pack of Blue Moon the next time you're in the beer aisle of your local grocery store.  It goes to absurd lengths to convey an air of craftsmanship and devotion to quality.  If you have any doubts, compare it to any normal or local craft beer six pack which will actually have a quality product and doesn't need to try as hard as a result.  Additionally, nowhere on the label of a bottle of Blue Moon will you discover that it is a product that is owned and created by MillerCoors.  Shocktop is likewise owned and produced by AB/In-Bev.

Why is this a big deal?  Well if you don't want beer that probably has some measure of filler like high fructose corn syrup or other highly processed ingredients then you're being misled by this label.  If your a craft junkie like myself, then your supporting companies that want to maintain what is essentially a trust like stranglehold on the market who really have no commitment to quality, just sales figures.   Finally, you're wasting money.  These brands are sold at Craft Beer prices when they should be sold at the same price point as bud heavy.

Save yourself the effort.  Even if you like wheat beers, any craft brewery worth its salt likely makes one and failing that there are always German Imports.

Stay local with your beer and you will assuredly stay happy, I promise you.

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