Why so nasty?
We expected the article to stimulate discussion, perhaps even controversy, and we weren't disappointed. But we were less prepared for a barrage of truly nasty, personal name-calling hurled our way. Simply because we dared speak critically of an aspect of the craft-beer world. In spite of our statement at the end of the article that no brewery people were involved or aware of the article in advance, we were even accused of being on the take. "Troll" was among the nicer epithets (one we'll no doubt see again).
Here's more of the bile from the comments section where the article was re-published.
Beer = sociability
Most beer is consumed in social settings where bonhomie and good times are the norm. Traditional beer advertising routinely celebrated this camaraderie. And generally speaking, back then, comments from one drinker to another about someone's beer choice-- if they were made at all-- were amusing and playful. Possibly because, before the internet, aggressive opinions on another guy's brand of beer, delivered face-to-face, could end in fisticuffs.
Same goes for "disingenuous." If the craft beer movement really is all about seeing that people can enjoy interesting, more flavorful beer, what difference does it make who brews it? Brands like Shock Top, Goose Island, and Blue Moon are good beers, and perceived as such in blind taste tests. Tarring and feathering them simply because of their corporate parentage-- as is customary in craft-drinker commentary-- is thoroughly disingenuous. Would Sierra Nevada suddenly cease to be good beer if Heineken purchased the company?
An inviting personality
Marketers rightly obsess about creating an inviting brand personality. What sense does it make to cultivate an insufferable, self-righteous, disingenuous persona? No matter how good the beer, a personality that annoys people can put a finite-- and unnecessary-- limit on craft growth. Maybe that's why two respected craft brewers* got in touch with us, and distanced themselves from the kind of criticism we experienced. No doubt they appreciate the wisdom behind this longtime Anheuser-Busch slogan, apt no matter the size of the brewery:
Why on earth would any craft lover want to add "insufferable attitude" to that remarkable list?