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  1. #1
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    Cool-blue Rhythm What stops a Mass-Market 'beer' maker from making and undercutting micros?

    What stops Big-Beer from making quality beer? (Budweiser, Coors, etc)
    They have all the tools, equipment and knowledge.
    Sierra Nevada Brewing paved the way in craft brewing, and now might be considered by some as 'mainstream' or even Macro-brewer.

    When you really get down to it, a recipe for a good beer is (should be) repeatable.
    Why doesn't Anheuser et.al. hire craft brewers and make a shlt-ton of good beer and sell it at a much lower cost? It's feasible that they could.

    Market share perhaps? - they could never diversify as much as many styles exist??

    This aforementioned question lends itself to cannabis cultivation.
    Like craft beer there is 'craft pot' - in a degree that some would even argue is even greater (I wont)
    Cultivators spend years refining what they want to produce - they come up with different varieties - and weed connoisseurs regard the varieties much like a beer connoisseur . There is a true art/science to this cultivation.
    To some, a Batch of 'Pliny' to many would be like a batch of 'Bullrider' only released in SD and no longer available - but the BEST out there (or ever was).
    I grew, as many of you have brewed. we spent time on this.

    So, when MJ is legalized, will it remain 'craft' like beer?
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  2. #2
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    I bet budweiser outsells all the microbrews put together, including sierra.

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I bet budweiser outsells all the microbrews put together, including sierra.
    That may be a given (maybe) but not the topic
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  4. #4
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    They are trying, bluemoon, shocktop, etc..... The problem they have is people who are into craft beer know better.
    telling me to stay out of a former bombing range next to a dump while you build huge houses next to it? Screw you.-sandmangts

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    They are trying, bluemoon, shocktop, etc..... The problem they have is people who are into craft beer know better.
    Not sure I agree with that. The big brewries high master brewers and pay them well. The ingrediant quality and time to produce the craft brews are the biggest thing IMHO. The profit margin on the crafts is much smaller then on Bud Light let's say, so the value proposition is smaller. Like anything else, people pay for exclusivity. The big companies make money on selling in bulk.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurch98 View Post
    Not sure I agree with that. The big brewries high master brewers and pay them well. The ingrediant quality and time to produce the craft brews are the biggest thing IMHO. The profit margin on the crafts is much smaller then on Bud Light let's say, so the value proposition is smaller. Like anything else, people pay for exclusivity. The big companies make money on selling in bulk.
    I am not sure I understand why you disagree, both Blue moon and Shocktop were "craft breweries" before they were purchased by members of the big three.

    Coors is trying to play off that Blue Moon is still a craft brew even though it is owned by them. and gets all the benefits of being part of coors, distribution, bigger buying power, etc.

    But because it is owned by them I cannot accept that it is still a craft brewery.
    telling me to stay out of a former bombing range next to a dump while you build huge houses next to it? Screw you.-sandmangts

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    AB/InBev owns 32.2% of CBA (Craft Brewers Alliance) aka Redhook, Widmere Bros, and Kona. Basically, their approach is to just buy the brands that are already popular and exploit them. Less $$ spent on R&D and developing new styles, just buy what works.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll View Post
    What stops Big-Beer from making quality beer? (Budweiser, Coors, etc)
    I would guess $ - the total craft market is close to 10% of the entire beer market. To shave a bit of market of the craft beer market would be a lot of work. Such an incremental increase is probably not worth that much effort to the big players.

    BTW - they make quality beer - it just isn't beer you like drinking.
    I was gonna stop by and see you, but the Jehovas witnesses came by. When they left I started drinking. Voicemail from Paul

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    To answer your first question I think it's a business model issue. In theory, yes BMC could make at least "better" beer but from a business standpoint it probably doesn't make sense. They are making Ford Festivas not Ferraris.

    To answer your second question...what is your second question?

  10. #10
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    You will see a more craft-oriented effort in the near future from BMC. They are rapidly losing market share and they know fewer and fewer people are reaching for Bud and Coors these days.

    And it's definitely a business model issue. Making good beer is usually expensive, and doesn't fit into the business model of BMC. But losing market share will cause them to change their tactics, and they will inevitably start making better beer. That, or the bubble will pop and all the pseudo beer geeks will go back to drinking Bud.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bipolarbear View Post
    AB/InBev owns 32.2% of CBA (Craft Brewers Alliance) aka Redhook, Widmere Bros, and Kona. Basically, their approach is to just buy the brands that are already popular and exploit them. Less $$ spent on R&D and developing new styles, just buy what works.
    Exactly - branding.

    I also tend to think InBev's accountants get involved with the recipes and try to "make the same beer" with less expensive ingredients.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    To answer your second question...what is your second question?
    The second part was not a question - well maybe it is, but more along the lines of 'thinking out loud'.

    When Cannabis becomes fully legal (well, in the sense that beer is fully legal - gotta be 18 or 21 or yada-yada) it will open the market to 'bigger/high-tech' manufacturers with big AD budgets -
    Is it Marlboro et. al. ? They might... trying to capitalize on the growing losses of tobacco every year.
    Or will 'big-biotech' take a look?

    I personally think that someone will, naturally do that. And Genuine Craft cultivators are nervous. In fact, many would rather risk it instead if cannabis becoming legal and will vote against measures - simply because they are afraid their market-share and thus livelihood will decrease. Places like Mendocino County (and others in the Emerald Triangle - Trinity and Humboldt) actually count on Cannabis to keep their counties going. I mention Mendocino first, because they seem the most open /honest about it.

    A Couple Articles - (not that I that this would happen - but then I have no reason why it wouldn't):
    Why pot growers turned against Prop. 19 | California Watch
    AllGov - News - Marijuana Growers Voted against Legalization

    Now, the outsider/ignorant is naturally going to assume: "All these growers are just scared because their drugs that they grow are going to be taken into a more regulated and taxed way - and they wont enjoy their free profit".
    In my opinion this couldn't be further from the truth. The guys (families) that cultivate Cannabis, don't enjoy a luxury/worry-free life for the most part. They do well enough, some just 'get by'. They are not in mansions.
    The Illegal grows (ok they're all illegal but I hope you get me) - the 'Natty-Ice' in our forests get lumped into what these guys work very hard at. That stuff is not sold to connoisseurs in California (or connoisseurs in general)- It's shipped across the country to new york or wherever people have nothing. Sure good Bud is out there but at a very high price-tag.

    OK Sorry for the ramble, - My opinion, is that like craft brew, people that know will still be buying from the craft-cultivator - at a lower price for us, but the cultivator will see more in the long end without so many middle men jacking the price up.

    If you don't see this is a good analog, that's fine - I don't see it being perfect either - but I think it's close, when you figure in prohibition etc.

    So, I'll leave you with this video and you can see the love and dedication to 'CRAFT'


    Though - most of us would like to get away from 'Medical' in the name (though it is very medicinal) - it's a hurdle/stumbling block - admittedly

    FFD to:
    @ 4:00 for some serious outdoor
    @ 7:50 Harvest
    Last edited by highdelll; 08-13-2012 at 09:08 PM.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  13. #13
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    One other constraint that goes along with the business model is the fact that the bigger brewers are publicly traded. That makes margins and earnings even more important as they have a direct impact on stock prices. As earnings drop, so does the forward multiple of your earnings to support your stock price.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll View Post

    Now, the outsider/ignorant is naturally going to assume: "All these growers are just scared because their drugs that they grow are going to be taken into a more regulated and taxed way - and they wont enjoy their free profit".
    In my opinion this couldn't be further from the truth. The guys (families) that cultivate Cannabis, don't enjoy a luxury/worry-free life for the most part. They do well enough, some just 'get by'. They are not in mansions.
    The current situation in CA post 215 is a dream scenario for growers, that's why they don't want it to change. They rake in top dollar (yes, there may be a glut of product out there from time to time, but still) and they have their 215 get out of jail free card in their back pocket when they need it. If most of them really cared about the "craft" they would push to have it straight up legalized, not this quasi legal situation we have now that is a total joke. CA voters were fed this line about people with chronic illnesses needing their medicine blah, blah, blah. Total B.S. I can drive over to at least a hand full of places right now, tell a "Doctor" I get headaches from time to time, pay $50 and walk out with my card. Total joke. I lived in Humboldt County for 5 years, had friends that grew and observed many others that did as well. There is as much greed in the weed game as there is in Wall Street. Don't kid yourself. Yes, many of them deal with stress and don't live in mansions. On the other hand I'm not aware of too many jobs that allow you to take bong rips all day.

    Personally, I would vote to legalize it fully but I don't think even CA is ready for that yet. I think at some point you could see something closer to the wine industry (more of an agricultural model) but I think we're a ways off.

    Edit: I'll just add that there is no doubt in my mind that there are a lot of really skilled growers out there who's approach to their craft is similar to a brew master or a viticulturist.
    Last edited by Carl Hungus; 08-14-2012 at 10:30 AM.

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    On the original question, I think people who want Miller / Bud will simply buy Miller / Bud. When those companies attempt a microbrew style of beer, their normal drinkers still won't touch it, and those of us that might be willing to try it know where it comes from and therefore won't buy it.

    As for the other, I've tried growing it a few times and failed dramatically. Would be happy to see it legalized though, for what the opinion is worth.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    ...There is as much greed in the weed game as there is in Wall Street. Don't kid yourself. Yes, many of them deal with stress and don't live in mansions. On the other hand I'm not aware of too many jobs that allow you to take bong rips all day.

    Personally, I would vote to legalize it fully but I don't think even CA is ready for that yet. I think at some point you could see something closer to the wine industry (more of an agricultural model) but I think we're a ways off.

    Edit: I'll just add that there is no doubt in my mind that there are a lot of really skilled growers out there who's approach to their craft is similar to a brew master or a viticulturist.
    I hear ya Carl- The growers in 215-ish states enjoy some comfort - provided that they have care-giver license - and are allowed to grow XXX amount of plants.
    The real truth is that it is still 'underground' in the mainstream. Busts are poppin up like clockwork right now (aug of this writing).

    I think that the transition to legalization and setting up business licensees / taxing procedures is the biggest worry - in that period of change (a couple years?) that can really hurt.

    If I was a smart cultivator (who presumably wants to stay in biz), I would not only be saving my ass off, but also possibly aligning with other cultivators - figuring partnerships etc.
    eh, what do I know right?

    **Warning advocacy content - Answered only because poise/stated**

    On the flippancy of MediMJ on many people's viewpoint, I can agree - but only to the outward ignorant perspective.
    Yes, people get a card for something as innocuous as 'headaches' - many get relief from simple 'ailments' from cannabis - and sure, some use it as an 'excuse' to go buy pot.- Which has harmed no one ever (and does tons of beneficial shlt) because they'd rather smoke a J than pop a pill.
    To that, I say, what is your take on beer (not directed @ Carl) for any 'ailment'?
    If the roles were reversed right now, man it'd be tough to pass that.
    Last edited by highdelll; 08-14-2012 at 11:15 PM.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll View Post
    To that, I say, what is your take on beer (not directed @ Carl) for any 'ailment'?
    If the roles were reversed right now, man it'd be tough to pass that.
    I drink beer to soothe my ailment for a delicious beverage! But seriously, I have no idea why pot is illegal, and I'm pretty well-versed in physiology.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino View Post
    I drink beer to soothe my ailment for a delicious beverage! But seriously, I have no idea why pot is illegal, and I'm pretty well-versed in physiology.
    Yeah, pretty much this. I don't drink alcohol to cure any ailments. I like the way it tastes but I have no doubt it's worse for you than pot from a physical standpoint. There was a period in my life when I was high pretty much every day and after I stepped away from it I realized that the big negative with pot was what it did to me socially. It made me way too introverted and too much of a hermit. So if anything alcohol is a social ailment. I go to the brewery, have a couple beers and shoot the sh!t with strangers where as if I was baked I'd be in the corner staring at my phone or something.

  19. #19
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    They are trying in both direct and indirect ways. The 2 big companies buy and takeover small craft breweries or create their own "craft brewery" brands, as well as use their own brands to introduce craft style beers.

    A great documentary on this subject (though it's already dated at about 2 years old) is Beer Wars. It shows how the distribution system is broken and manipulated by the big companies.

    Links:
    CraftBeer.com | Infographic
    Beer Wars Movie
    The Not So Professional Beer Blog: Budweiser's Project 12 Small Batch Beers
    CraftBeer.com | Celebrating the Best of American Beer

  20. #20
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    The big three don't sell their standard swill at a resonable price, why would they sell "micro" at a resonable price. For instance Budweiser had their American Ale which wasn't that bad (kind of at a Sam Adams level) but since it sold for the same price and the real craft brewers it wasn't really worth purchasing.

    And then there is of course supporting small businesses and local jobs over corprate profits that at this point aren't even American companies anymore. As an Oregonian and Pacific NW resident I would much rather spend my money supporting local breweries that source their ingredients locally and provide jobs then send my money out of the state/region.
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  21. #21
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    Plus, where would I go to get my growler filled?????????????????
    telling me to stay out of a former bombing range next to a dump while you build huge houses next to it? Screw you.-sandmangts

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Whisperer View Post
    The big three don't sell their standard swill at a resonable price, why would they sell "micro" at a resonable price. For instance Budweiser had their American Ale which wasn't that bad (kind of at a Sam Adams level) but since it sold for the same price and the real craft brewers it wasn't really worth purchasing.
    That's about what I was thinking. Even if one of the big corporations decided to brew a micro, it would sell it for at or near the same price as legit craft breweries. It's not like there's that much price difference to work with, and it's not like masses of craft drinkers are going to switch over to Bud Micro because it's a dollar cheaper.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeWE View Post
    ... it's not like masses of craft drinkers are going to switch over to Bud Micro because it's a dollar cheaper.
    pose this:
    How many would not switch even if it was better - and at the same price
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  24. #24
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    "IF" it was better..... I think I would at least try it to judge that for myself.
    telling me to stay out of a former bombing range next to a dump while you build huge houses next to it? Screw you.-sandmangts

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll View Post
    pose this:
    How many would not switch even if it was better - and at the same price
    What is better? It's all a matter of preference. A lot of personal preference is as much psychological as it is pure taste. Just like everything else, people like the image of drinking that local craft brew as much as the reality. And a Bud craft brew doesn't live up to that image.

    In other words, a lot of beer snobs and craft brew drinkers would skip it, regardless of taste, for the simple fact that it's a Bud or Coors.

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