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A Pastor Took Out an Ad to Shame Craft Beer — and a Local Bar Used It to Become the ‘Best Beer Bar in Texas’

 

When Pastor Todd Barker of Canyon, Texas took out a prominent newspaper ad in October 2016 that began with the words, “Craft beer is the devil’s craft,” it was a very on-brand decision. Barker is a Baptist teetotaler, and countering the evils of alcohol is a centerpiece of his ministry, and the Canyon News covered bar openings. What he likely didn’t anticipate was that the newly opened local watering hole he was targeting, the Imperial Taproom, would honor his printed ad as a coupon valued at $1 — and that this would lead the small community to embrace the bar with a vigor they might not have shown otherwise.

 

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2 hours ago, China said:

A Pastor Took Out an Ad to Shame Craft Beer — and a Local Bar Used It to Become the ‘Best Beer Bar in Texas’

 

When Pastor Todd Barker of Canyon, Texas took out a prominent newspaper ad in October 2016 that began with the words, “Craft beer is the devil’s craft,” it was a very on-brand decision. Barker is a Baptist teetotaler, and countering the evils of alcohol is a centerpiece of his ministry, and the Canyon News covered bar openings. What he likely didn’t anticipate was that the newly opened local watering hole he was targeting, the Imperial Taproom, would honor his printed ad as a coupon valued at $1 — and that this would lead the small community to embrace the bar with a vigor they might not have shown otherwise.

 

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"Devil's Craft" sounds like an awesome name for a beer or brewery.

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  • 1 month later...

Break Up Budweiser

 

And Molson Coors too. The beer industry needs trustbusting.
 

Countless industries have consolidated over the past few decades, but the number of companies brewing beer in the U.S. grew from about 100 in 1987 to more than 8,000 today. The democratization of beer, the story goes, happened because of a state-by-state regulatory system that clamped down on monopoly power in an industry where anyone with a little cash and a love for beer could join.

 

To most beer drinkers, small businesses have triumphed. Bars teem with interesting ales and stouts, and retail beer aisles seem as diverse as ever.

 

But the reality is not what it appears to be. Call it the illusion of choice—or the illusion of competition. Beer drinkers might see plenty of options, but in the multibillion-dollar beer industry, Big Beer companies, and distributors that are beholden to their power, use an unseen network of influence to restrain new, independent brewers and recapture profits that were lost in the craft boom.

 

Today, two powerful brewers continue to dominate the American beer market. Combined, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Molson Coors (called MillerCoors until this year) sell around 65 percent of all beer in the U.S. That’s about as powerful a duopoly as exists in American industry—but it’s still less than what it was 15 years ago, when 80 percent of the industry sat in the hands of the two big brewers. Myriad factors contributed to the duopoly’s slump, perhaps in particular the rise of independent craft breweries, which now account for around 12 percent of the industry.

 

Despite the popularity of craft beer, the two global beer titans have managed to maintain their grip on the industry largely by influencing how beer is distributed and what is found on store shelves. Almost 90 percent of beer sold in most places in America is handled by distributors whose primary customer is one of the two big brewers, giving AB InBev and Molson Coors outsize control over which beers appear on bar taps and in retail coolers. Meanwhile, the two companies have purchased about 20 smaller “craft” beer brands—brands that then fill taps and shelves where independent brews might otherwise appear.

 

The pandemic has bludgeoned the beer industry overall. As of May, sales at craft breweries were down 30 percent—nearly identical to the 32 percent drop in sales AB InBev reported for April. The difference: AB InBev says it is dealing with the shortfall by cutting its investor dividends, which were nearly $1 billion last year, and freezing corporate travel and facility renovations. Meanwhile, craft brewers report feeling anxious about their future and, in some cases, preparing to close for good.

 

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The big beer companies have gotten slick with their purchase of craft breweries. 

 

The good think is that probably 90% of the craft beer I drink comes from local places. Union, Denizens, Flying Dog, Peabody Heights, DC Brau, 7 Locks, Jailbreak, Heavy Seas, Port City... 

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  • 1 month later...

Aluminum can shortage threatens Minnesota's craft brewers

 

In his dream to become a craft brewer, Tom Berg never thought he’d have to worry much about the lowly aluminum can.

 

That is, finding cans to package — and sell — the signature craft beer produced at Falling Knife Brewing Co., the northeast Minneapolis brewery and taproom that Berg opened with two buddies last year.

 

Cans were in short supply across the country even before the COVID-19 outbreak this spring, but as bars, restaurants and taprooms shuttered and Minnesotans hunkered down to sip some suds, a mad scramble for aluminum has resulted.

 

this “The bigger breweries have a tendency to hoard stuff; they’re probably sitting on pallets and pallets of cans,” Berg explained. “We kind of buy to order, because we don’t have the warehouse space. If we can’t find any cans, we’re totally up the river.”

 

While it’s likely consumers can still find their favorite brew at the store or taproom, the aluminum supply chain shortfall could have a profound long-term effect on Minnesota’s beloved craft brewing industry. At least one brewery has closed because of economic fallout from the pandemic, said Lauren Bennett McGinty, executive director of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild.

 

Put simply, if brewers can’t package and sell their product — whether in cans, bottles, kegs or pints at the taproom — their business is in peril. In some cases this spring, brewers had to dump perfectly good beer down the drain because there was no way to sell it.

 

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