Brewers behaving badly

Jason Kuznicki catches this story about microbrewers in California lobbying against a bill that would raise the value limit on the swag given away by beer companies from 25 cents to 5 dollars. They’re afraid that allowing Budweiser to give away more valuable stuff will eat into their sales:

“We don’t think California should give big companies the ability to grab even more of the market share, (when) they have most of the market anyway,” said Kellie Jacobs, president of Stockton’s Valley Brew, saying most microbreweries can’t afford to give away 25-cent items, let alone $5 swag.

Wah wah, cry me a river of IPA. If brewer’s can’t make beer good enough to overcome the appeal of macrobrewed yellow fizzy water and five dollar trinkets I don’t have any sympathy for them.

This isn’t the first time microbrewers have gone whining to the statehouse to fight the liberalization of alcohol laws. This past spring in Pennsylvania, Troegs and others opposed a proposal to increase the number of beers consumers could buy at retail from 12 to 18. Troegs objected because microbrewers don’t have the equipment to make 18-packs. And in California last year, microbrewers also opposed a new law that gave breweries the right to offer free tastings in bars and restaurants. They lost, but they succeeded in limiting how much free beer consumers can enjoy:

The new law allows beer tastings at bars and restaurants. It limits the amount to no more than 8 ounces per person a day and requires the beer to be served in a glass. Tastings cannot last more than an hour and there are also annual limits on the number of tastings a single manufacturer, importer or wholesaler can offer at a particular establishment.

It’s rare that I side with the big players over the microbreweries, but in these cases I wish a pox of brettanomyces upon their houses.


2 thoughts on “Brewers behaving badly”

  1. Seems like the micros don’t know who they’re marketing to. They’re not in competition for the Bud drinker, just like the French Laundry isn’t in competition with McDonalds.

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