Can we all put down the pitchforks and knives and be honest for a minute in this endless battle between microbreweries and the big boys that control 90% of the market? It’s fair to say that people only drink for two reasons: they either want to get drunk or they want to drink casually and enjoy the taste.
There, I said it. We were all thinking it, but no one wants to admit it because your marketing departments advise against telling this crucial truth.
To boil it down, the war could be ended if both sides would admit the following:
- Craft beer is for taste and casual drinking
- You cannot and should not be able to chug craft beer
- Mass produced beer is primarily for bulk consumption
- Mass produced sacrifices taste for price
Lets begin by breaking down the industry giants. No one thinks you beer is as good as you say it is. Plain and simple. When you put out commercials telling us your beer is “the champaign of beers,” I guarantee you convinced absolutely no one. People aren’t stupid because if they have functioning taste buds, they would never order a Miller High Life at a fancy event. If they did, they probably snuck in and aren’t supposed to be there.
Industry leaders need to go back to their roots and embrace it. If you aren’t going to change your formula for making beer, then don’t try to convince us its hip and flavorful. Most people buy your product because they know they are trading flavor for price. Changing your bottle design isn’t going to change the fact your beer still tastes like flavored water. And thats okay, because most people want to chug ten of them before walking into the football stadium. Own it.
Craft breweries need to stop pretending you can substitute their products for mass produced beer. No one wants to drink your mango-infused IPA beers during a baseball game. Moreover, college kids aren’t going to be buying $250 kegs of Irish ale for parties. Just stop trying to make it sound like that is what people want.
Craft brewing is an art form. It was a reaction to the big guys putting out virtually the same product for decades. Craft beers contain flavor, character and passion. Everyone understands this. This is why you sell it for a higher price at a lower quantity.
Americans enjoy both types of beers for different reasons. Your marketing efforts convince next to no one. Its time to embrace your product for what it is instead of trying to make it into something it was never meant to be in the first place.
Both microbreweries and the industry giants need to stay in the own lanes. People respect the difference both sides bring to the table. Furthermore, when you stay true to your roots, the local populace will continue to support you.