Weekend Reading #27

This week features articles on the that word again – “CRAFT” – and branding and what happens when a big guy buys a little guy …

I love lounging in bed on weekends and catching up on all my favourite beery reading. From blogs to articles from the American craft beer scene and the best local beer news, there’s excellent reading material out there so every Friday I’m posting a list of the articles and blogs that have excited me.

All About Beer | A Single Word: The Case for Beer

I don’t know if I am surprised or not by the continued spotlight on the word “craft” and what it means to the industry and/or what it represents about the industry to the outside world aka the consumer. This is a nice piece from John Hall, the editor of All About Beer Magazine, explaining why they have made a conscious effort to minimise their use of the word “craft” in the magazine. I like this piece, it feels like they are keeping it simple and inclusive rather than categorising and excluding.

“One word shouldn’t be a dividing point,”

John Hall, editor All About Beer Magazine

Stone & Wood Brewery | Being Good … Not Crafty!

More on the word “craft” but this time from a local Australian brewery perspective – namely Jamie, Brad and Ross who are the founders and owners of Stone & Wood Brewery. I think their words resonated with my own feelings on the topic the most; we can debate the parameters of “craft” all we like but in the end it’s about being genuine and honest. Tell us what you believe in, how you want to do business, what sort of beers you want to put out there and then go ahead and do it. Most importantly, do it well.

“At the end of the day though, it’s a description that needs to be earned, it can’t be self proclaimed”

All About Beer | Why Brands Matter

Thanks Steve Finny, Feral Brewing, for bringing this article to my attention via the wonderful world of Facebook. I have always liked reading about branding, I find it really fascinating and probably why I ended up doing an advertising degree. My greater love of booze is probably why I now have a degree in advertising that I don’t use.

“We have strangely complex relationships with brewery. The mention of a name produces a tangle of impressions, memories, prejudices and emotions.”

Branding is a funny one because when it’s so good you really believe, or at least you really want to believe, but there is a cynical part that resists buying into it.

When I think about branding and beer I think about Little Creatures and the reaction to Lion Nathan buying them. Some seemed to respond like an admittance of defeat, as though a friend of theirs had been inevitably captured by the enemy. Others seemed to feel like they had been betrayed, like their friend had been captured and tortured behind enemy lines. The reaction was far more interesting than the situation itself.

Draft | AB buys Elysian: A View from Seattle from the Rhine

On the subject of brands, feelings and breweries buying breweries, here is an article on the recent acquisition in the US. The end of the article sums things up nicely,

“Like any other business it depends on consumer choice”

How important is ownership? How significant is its impact on the final result?


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