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Old 04-01-2011, 03:34 PM   #111
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Yup it's such a tragey, more beer available in more stores

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Additionally, Goose Island beers will now be much easier to find. Aside from specialty grocer Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFMI ) , which has always kept a large inventory of craft beer on its shelves, and Walgreen (NYSE: WAG ) , which has recently started to take some initiative in this area, finding craft beer can be a challenge for many. Have you ever seen a wide selection of craft beer in superstores like Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) or even traditional grocery stores like Safeway (NYSE: SWY ) ? You can bet that Anheuser-Busch will make sure that its new brand gets shelf place in some of these large retailers.

Craft beer drinkers might not like drinking beer under the Anheuser-Busch umbrella, but we sure better get used to it. I don't believe Anheuser-Busch bought Goose Island to change its recipes and create a Bourbon County Stout Light, and both sides have said as much. Goose Island has created products that consumers here know and love -- any A-B tinkering with these products a la Leffe Blonde, is a much riskier proposition.
I mean Maureen pretty much summed up the same thing in her blog...
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Smart money says they opt for Door Number One. Why? Because ABIB isn’t looking for Bud knockoffs. It’s hunting for premium beers. (Remember those: the ones that yield more profit per bottle than Bud?) Why screw with the goose that’s laying the golden egg? (No pun intended until I realized that, heee heeeee!, I’d just made a pun!) (I’m not so good at puns.)

Leaving Goose Island alone to do what it does best is a win-win for ABIB: It earns profit and it can start loading GI products on its trucks and selling them in a larger territory than was available to GI when it was on its own.
I guess we can read whatever we want into something...I learned in Ministerial school a long time ago, we can use any text to back up our argument. If we are looking for proof of evil, we can find something to back that up...if we're looking for evidence of good, we can find it, in the very same passage.....

I guess the only answer will be to wait and see.....I think it's going to be a very boring wait.....'cause nothings gonna happen except we're going to continue to see more beers, craft or otherwise on the store shelves....which to me is a GOOD thing....Hopefully some of those diehard bud drinkers will be tempted to try more things...I doubt it, I think these are more to capitalize on OUR money, since they aren't getting much of it from us beer geeks with THEIR products...I don't think we're gonna see a lot of chelata drinkers rushing out to buy the 2011 bourbon county stout. I think this is more a case of "if you can't beat 'em (which they can't obviously since they are losing sales to craft breweries) join them, rather than "if you can't beat them, destroy them....

*shrug*
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:48 PM   #112
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I actually thought the Motley Fools treatment was pretty balanced. While acknowledging AB-InBev's bastardization of Leffe, they hypothesize that it wouldn't seem to make much sense for them to do the same to GI.

But they MAY be wrong. They and Maureen MAY be underestimating AB's ability and willingness to tradeoff "quality" dollars for "advertising" dollars and make that tradeoff pay. A dollar saved on the ingredients/process side and spent on the advertising side might just improve the bottom line while sacrificing the product. IF that's the case, and none of us knows whether it is or not, THEY WILL SACRIFICE QUALITY. One can argue all day long about AB-Inbev's production/quality, but there's no arguing, I think, that their real talents are in advertising/promotion.

We agree, Revvy, that it's going to be a while before we see the impact of a trend that's really in its infancy.

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Old 04-01-2011, 03:58 PM   #113
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I guess the thing to really wonder about is what do we want from the beer industry, not separating it into craft vs macro, the beer industry as a whole.

Some folks hate the idea of giving BMC money. But then some of those same folks hate it when a craft brewer becomes nationally successful, and brews more beer, has national distribution, and makes money ala Sam Adam's- we hate them too.

So what do we want, all craft brewers to brew under 100 or 1,000 barrels annually, and have a limited regional distribution, and some of them scrape to stay afloat. Or do we want more beer in the hands of more people?

Me, I want more beer in more stores so I, and other folks can enjoy it. I think we're beyond homogenization and the big guys crushing the little ones or whatever. I think the lid is off the cans of worms, I think there's too much beer out there now to ever have it go back to the way it was in the 80's when I could get Guinness, Double Diamond, and Sierra Nevada, if I was lucky.

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Old 04-01-2011, 04:59 PM   #114
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I think to criticize any commercial brewer, craft or macro, large or small, quality or dogpee, for pursuing profit is misplaced criticism. They are all COMMERCIAL brewers. They are in business to make money, all of them, and if they aren't they won't long BE in business. Within that commercial context, of course, there are any number of approaches to the business.

Let's all agree, at least, on the basic premise that there is nothing wrong with a business pursuing profit above all else. Regardless of a brewer's approach otherwise, if it's not profitable, it's not viable and it won't last. Profit must be foremost. That's what makes it a business, not a hobby.

Craft brewers can't sacrifice quality, beyond a certain point, because they can't compete with the bigs in the dogpee market. Their place is in quality beer. That's the only way THEY can be profitable, because if craft brewers were to sacrifice quality and attempt to compete in the dogpee market they'd perish.

It remains to be seen whether the dogpee brewers can (or will) compete in the quality market. I think they probably can, but won't. It doesn't suit their model.

Let's abandon the complaint about the pursuit of money and profit and grant that all, craft and macro, are in it for the money. At least we can all have the same starting point, then, regardless of how our arguments might subsequently diverge.

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Old 04-01-2011, 05:02 PM   #115
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People actually drink Goose Island? I personally have never seen anyone drinking, ordering or buying any. I have seen shopping carts that are "marked down/discount" filled with GI beer and I have passed on them myself. Maybe it is because it is an Illinois product and I am in WI? IDK.

Someone else pointed at Leinenkugel being owned by Miller. It is funny, I do not normally buy Leinenkugel beers either. Not because they are owned by Miller/Coors but because the beer is a step down from Sam Adams and is a stepping stone into the craft beer world, IMO.

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Old 04-01-2011, 05:05 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by Zamial View Post
People actually drink Goose Island? I personally have never seen anyone drinking, ordering or buying any. I have seen shopping carts that are "marked down/discount" filled with GI beer and I have passed on them myself. Maybe it is because it is an Illinois product and I am in WI? IDK.

Someone else pointed at Leinenkugel being owned by Miller. It is funny, I do not normally buy Leinenkugel beers either. Not because they are owned by Miller/Coors but because the beer is a step down from Sam Adams and is a stepping stone into the craft beer world, IMO.
I grew up in Wisconsin on Leinie's. It was always the "cheap stuff", like Hauenstein's. I've been amused in recent years as it's managed to scratch out some "Craft cachet" among some folks.
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Old 04-01-2011, 05:10 PM   #117
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I made the Leinenkugel comparison.
Not in terms of the beer quality but in terms of cutting a deal with Miller and maintaining that the brand would move forward and that production would remain in Chippewa Falls.

Goose Island has a similar deal. The difference is that GI has more brand value and has wording in place that make it more likely that the quality will remain. If that happens or not is debatable.

Like I said. I'm not afraid of AB ruining GI. If that happens, some other beer will take its place. I'm going to be skeptical when I start to see more GI products here in AZ. I'll wonder if their introduction on store shelves is warranted or if this is a powerplay by the machine. Mainstream and flagship beers have their place.... AB will use them like battering rams outside of Chicago.

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Old 04-01-2011, 05:45 PM   #118
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Mainstream and flagship beers have their place.... AB will use them like battering rams outside of Chicago.
I can see them trying this but the proof to me is in the discount bargin bins. Great beer does not normally end up in these...I can see the thought behind this move but I think that it is a great idea someplace in the AB think tank but if you go into a store to buy a 6er of craft beer, would you buy a GI to save a dollar? I know I would not.

This could be a shelf power play be forcing retailers to display more of their product. (Like they point out in Beer Wars. FYI Not trying to bring that movie up, they just show in great detail, what I am talking about.) But other than that I think it is going to be seen as white noise to the real craft beer drinkers...maybe I am wrong, time will tell.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:36 PM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilgarlic
I think to criticize any commercial brewer, craft or macro, large or small, quality or dogpee, for pursuing profit is misplaced criticism. They are all COMMERCIAL brewers. They are in business to make money, all of them, and if they aren't they won't long BE in business. Within that commercial context, of course, there are any number of approaches to the business.

Let's all agree, at least, on the basic premise that there is nothing wrong with a business pursuing profit above all else. Regardless of a brewer's approach otherwise, if it's not profitable, it's not viable and it won't last. Profit must be foremost. That's what makes it a business, not a hobby.

Craft brewers can't sacrifice quality, beyond a certain point, because they can't compete with the bigs in the dogpee market. Their place is in quality beer. That's the only way THEY can be profitable, because if craft brewers were to sacrifice quality and attempt to compete in the dogpee market they'd perish.

It remains to be seen whether the dogpee brewers can (or will) compete in the quality market. I think they probably can, but won't. It doesn't suit their model.

Let's abandon the complaint about the pursuit of money and profit and grant that all, craft and macro, are in it for the money. At least we can all have the same starting point, then, regardless of how our arguments might subsequently diverge.
That's a very valid point. Where I think the angst of craft beer drinkers stems from is the vast expanse between AB/InBev's desire for profit, to point of greed, and their passion, or lack of, for creating and producing craft beer. Personally I have never own a publicly traded, multinational brewery, so maybe I'm naive, but what I think most people reading these forums respect most is a healthy balance between needs and desires for profits and the passion and unwavering dedication to quality.

I really doubt anyone believes AB/InBEV is going to come in and water down the recipes they just paid a premium for. In fact I believe they will see a lot of success from the GI line for a long time to come. My fear is that this will actually bring quite a few new craft beer drinkers to the market andwhile that's a great thing, I'm sure many will go on to drinking newer and better beers, and if and when the number straying from their brand out numbers those making the switch to GI, and profits simmer or even loses occur, then their left with some nasty choices to make, like maybe cutting costs and thus starting they snowball of ruining a great brand of beer.

Again, these are my ultra hypothetical opinions and should be taken as such. The good news is no matter what happens to GI it was inevitable and whether good or bad, most of us will still be making our own beer which far superior in ever way. Well maybe its not as profitable, but who really cares about that anyway.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:46 PM   #120
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Goose Island had just appeared within the last year in my area. Pretty much exploded all over the place. I heard rumors they were going to be bought out. They have an interesting variety from Belgium to a really good Bourbon Barrel aged Imperial Stout. The first one I tried of theirs was the Bourbon Stout and it was $24 for a four pack. I'd guess it will be like all the other brewers that had been swallowed up. Less experimental with pull to their medium wheat beer attraction 312. Good thing is there's always new microbrews popping up.

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