I “like” New Belgium Brewing on Facebook. Today I was browsing my wall and saw a picture that they posted today of some new (enormous) tanks that they are installing. I’m a weirdo and I like to read the comments to try and get a pulse of what people are thinking. New Belgium beer is not distributed in PA or most of the east coast so there is a strong desire by those who have had it before to get it shipped where they cannot get it now.
I ran across the post below. The names and faces have been blacked out to protect the innocent.
I don’t get it. What’s the problem with a microbrewery getting big? Is it the fear that they will become what we have come to hate? Is it a fear that what was once special, is not so anymore? I would argue that the bigger a microbrewery gets the better for everyone. The have greater power on the distributes (stupid three tier system) and bring craft brewing closer to the general public.
Isn’t the goal of any business to grow? I think we have become so used to finding these little breweries and claiming that we found them, they are special, they are ours. In New Belgium’s case, Fat Tire used to be something that was a rare gem. Something special. In the places that New Belgium distributes, I would say that Fat Tire is a standard beer. Very good, but not the “something special” that it used to be. As our tastes evolve and new styles are brewed, the beers that founded the breweries we love don’t hold the water they used to. Admit it, if you saw someone holding a Fat Tire or a BrewDog End of the World, which beer would you get more excited about? My example is a bit exaggerated, but it does hold water.
I think most craft beer drinkers are looking to find solid beer, but also something new and different. Does getting big take away from the specialness that we hold so dear?