Yesterday the interwebs exploded with righteous anger and fury with the knee-jerk reaction to 10 Barrel Brewing being bought by Lex Luthor.
Wait, they were bought by ABInBev. Craft beer fans might cheer LexCorp more at this point though. Because, we love to hate the big business beers.
We have been on this merry-go-round before. First with Goose Island, then with Blue Point of New York. The now predictable Tweets and Talking Points about being disappointed, selling-out, drinking local all reared their heads.
Here is where I stand (as of today, because I am willing to listen to rational and reasoned arguments):
You can be sad/angry/pick an emoticon about the sale. And you can have legitimate reasons why, but remember that if you were a passionate fan of their beer and loved the brew team then you have to at the least listen to why the owners sold. 10 Barrel made a video explaining why. Watch it.
Never, and I mean never, boycott a beer just because that brewery was sold. That is cutting off your nose to spite your face. And you will be doing a LOT of boycotting because ownership changes are going to happen. We went and are still going through a phase of small and local growth everywhere. Eventually, breweries will become bigger. Some may no longer be owned by the founders. Judge the beer and brewery on its merits. If neither measure up to what you want in a brewery, then move on.
Local does not equal great. And what is local? If the people who work at the 10 Barrel locations live in the community and the beer is brewed in the community and the ingredients are sourced as usual, you are going to tell me that it is not local? A brewery could be next door but bought their equipment in Germany, hired a brewer from outside the state and get all their ingredients from thousands of miles away and be considered local? Oh and they can brew crappy beer but that’s A-OK as long as they don’t mention Bud-Miller-Coors?
I have a sneaking suspicion that people are less angry at the breweries who sell then fearful of not knowing why ABInBev is buying. Are their reasons nefarious or is it strictly business. And that uncertainty fuels anger.
All I ask is for people to make a reasoned decision and not think that ABInBev is forcing us into an Age of Ultron.