"They want us to create more cool shit..." that they can have a monopoly in the marketplace and put all the other places making cool shit out of business.
I am extraordinarily disappointed. I will likely never drink another Elysian beer in Seattle (why would anyone, with all the choices?) Although the next time I find myself late at night in some strange city on business, I might just welcome seeing The Immortal on draft at a random Chili's by my Hotel.

That said, I was unaware of Goose Island being a AB now... I always found it irritating when I found a Chicago beer was taking up tap space in the PNW, but it all makes sense now.

Except there are thousands upon thousands of local, national and international independent breweries out there. Worrying about InBev somehow acquiring all of them would be like worrying that Sony will sign every band in existence and make everyone sound like Taylor Swift.
yeah, fuck that. you're in bed with the enemy of craft beers now, so take your fucking medicine. that would be no more support from the local beer loving community. but why the fuck would you care? you're fucking corporate now. and you know what they say about corporate beer....
Ah but it's even more "fun" than that. The reason you've seen Goose Island around is the reason those in the know are furious about this merger. When AB rolled into town with Goose Island they faced a problem: unknown IPA from out of state, sold by distributors not known for selling craft beers. Solution?

They fucking dumped it on the market. $65 a 1/2 barrel keg. HALF the going rate of a major-brewery IPA. Literally sold at a loss. And they did this because they could snuffle up tap handles with a cheap "new" brand and because they can take the hit for as long as it takes because they are the Evil Empire, while smaller brewers have to, you know, actually make money on their beers or die.

So that's the Big Deal. Not whether quality will suffer. Not whether people will lose their jobs. Not some ideal about 'sellouts vs The Righteous'. No. Those are all certainly problems, yes. But the real issue is what happens when AB uses 10 Barrel and Elysian as a regional club to exert monopolistic control over the PNW craft beer market.

Because playing dirty is what they do, and they just got themselves a shiny new toy to play with.
Loser Pale Ale - "Corporate Beer Still Sucks".

Never did think their beers were anything outstanding in their class, and I'm pretty sure their corporate beer will continue to suck...
@6 -- That is my gripe too.

I go to a *lot* of bars..... just to sample local neighborhood flavor etc, and what you say is true. Every goddamn bar in Seattle should have an IPA on tap. It is probably the top sold "style" of beer in this town. And I know of at least a couple bars where Goose Island is now the *only* IPA (especially if it only has 2-3 handles). It is no cheaper than the other handles, but apparently is, as you say, a strategic way to push out the locals.

So AB is currently doing that. And now they will be doing it with a locally-produced beer. Not good, but at least less shitty.

Bars can decide whether or not to put a beer on tap. If they're taking the lower prices and making money off of it, why is none of your blame going to them? They could refuse and put local beers on.
@9 -- I think there is enough blame to go around.

However: A small business, like a pub or restaurant, has a lot less flexibility in how it balances their books. Is "beer" their thing? Maybe, Maybe not. If they are more "craft cocktail" or food oriented, then why care if they are selling corporate beer? AB-InBev on the other hand are the ones with the size and network to flex their muscle.

As customers, we also have "some of the blame" if we are not making educated purchasing decisions. I accept some of that blame, since I had no idea until today that Goose Island was AB-InBev. I was also unaware of the 10-Barrel purchase.

I hate making fucking lists of beers to avoid for non-taste related reasons, but this is a low level war. A Cold-War perhaps. AB-InBev will probably never miss my $$$, but perhaps if I express enough disgust to my bartenders and servers about their tap choices, perhaps we can preserve our independent brewer culture.
@9 They could, but many won't. Because bars and restaurants run on thin margins. And if they can get kegs for half the price, hey, what a deal! The "Better Beer Bars" of town see right through that of course, and don't care much what kegs cost anyway. But they're the minority of bars out there, even in a great craft beer city like Seattle. The middle-level accounts, the ones that local brewers need to get on and rotate through. The small local restaurant with two taps. The nondescript sports bar in a strip mall. The corner store that only has so much shelf-space for beers. They're sorely tempted by cheap ass beer that fills the IPA/Wheat Beer/Whatever Slot in their lineup. So it hampers the growth of local brewers trying to get new accounts, expand, hire more people, produce more and different beers and generally make this the place to drink that it is.

Nobody local can sell kegs at a loss. AB-InBev can. At least until everyone else around here has been severely hurt in lost sales and accounts. And they have millions of dollars in their marketing budget. When they've grabbed enough of the market, they can start raising prices again while everyone else is staggering from growth that should have naturally happened but did not.

And don't forget that they are a vertically integrated monopoly. From field, to keg, to truck, to glass. So all the underhanded tricks that distributors can get up to: pay to play, buying lines and handles at bars, kickbacks, buy two and 'oops one extra fell off the truck', here's an illegal amount of swag for you and your staff, hey want some Seahawks tickets too? All that stuff will now be used to sell a established, well known, formerly 'local' brand.

That's why people are pissed.


Totally fair; I didn't know about 10 Barrel until this week either. And this whole thing is shitty. In the end, quality will always be up against our demand for cheaper beer vs. bars/breweries want to make more money.

Hopefully our money can speak enough.
Chicagoan here. Goose Island has easily maintained their quality (and diversity) of brews since the in-bev acquisition. Plus the number of local craft brewers continues to escalate; the number of restaurants that's serving those brews continues to rise; and the number of dedicated beer stores in my neighborhood continues to rise (plus the fact that most local breweries are now easily found in chain stores...and I'm not just talking about GI).

Frankly, the craft beer bubble feels like it's going to burst in the next few years...or at least plateau...and I don't think it has anything to do with monopolies. It feels like everybody's quitting their day job to pursue the next great IPS. There's only so such bitter pine-iness the market can take.

Anyway, I know it sucks when hour favorite band/brand sells out to the big leagues....but there will still be thousands of varietals from which you can still get shit-canned on a Friday night. I wouldn't worry too much about this.
13, if you think that beer's purpose is to get you "shit canned on a friday night", you may as well stay out of any discussions regarding craft beer.
Craft beer tastes awesome, pairs well with food (and music), and yes, gets you shit canned. I fucking love craft beer, but I hate beer snobs who pretend like there's no alcohol in it.
@13, your response to @6 seems to amount to 'it sucks, but why worry since it's an industry to crash?' I like these small brewers, and I wanted more choice. I might have a can of cheap beer once in a while, but it's not going to be a corporate imposter and I'm going to pay attention and support Rueben's and the other 40 small brewers in Ballard. Thanks.
@14 FTW

Seriously 13 --- thousands of varietals to get shit-canned? Is that a Chicago thing?
@16, that's not what I meant, or intended. I just meant to say that I've been a huge fan of Goose Island for over ten years (way before in bev); and I had the same concerns being expressed in this thread. My concerns haven't materialized though, since Goose Island has maintained its quality and continues to put out innovative varietals. Put that together with the fact that (what seems like) every week a new brewer or brew pub is I understand Seattle's concerns, but I think they're unfounded.
Interesting to see that Dick Cantwell was in the minority. Hopefully this means he will take the cash and start a new brewery.
@18, that makes some sense. I'm more concerned about inbev dumping cheap beer and ruining the quality of beers I actually do like in Seattle. Elysian has a brew pub 3 blocks from my house, but I drive to Uber or Naked City for beer.
@6, etc

thank you. that is the doom-and-gloom scenario people should actually be bumming on.
as of last year there were over 2700 breweries in the US and over 200 of those were in Washington State. This is the way for InBev to start squeezing out the independent brewers. The privatization of the alcohol distribution industry has already hurt the small brewer. InBev can force anyone who carries bud (and face it, lots of folks want it) will need to carry their "specialty" brands. It take up tap space and it takes up shelf space. We will see a contraction of choice. We have been spoiled by the choice of good beer in just about every establishment around the Seattle, Portland area. Even the dive bars have at least a couple good taps. When I travel I realize just how good we have it. When you allow a major brewer/bottler/distributer to corner that much of the market that they have shown historically that they want to strangle competition, it doesn't end well.
So you bitches drink your fancy IPA's with no intention of getting drunk?

Sounds awesome.
IPA is passé. More stouts and sessions, please.
Foghorn nailed it @6 and @11.

For more than a decade, I tolerated my neighborhood brewery's mediocre food, the fact that they staffed their downtown branch with bartenders who never seem much into beer, even the fact that they *never* got involved in anything in the neighborhood. I live eight blocks from the original location and I sit every weekday at a desk one floor directly above Elysian Fields. I drink lots of craft beer. I doubt I'll ever spend another cent on Elysian. Fuck AB Inbev and Cantwell's "sales brand."
So it's all about money. Dear Elysian, fuck you.
@27 So how many years did it take you to figure that out??
If you were a 20 year business owner of over 200 employees with rising costs of healthcare and the hyper inflationary depression looming among us in this not so stable economy, you would sell your hard earned craft business as well. Why can't people just appreciate this company (who might I add have ALWAYS been a "corporation.") and be excited for the future of Elysian!
@29: There is no more Elysian as was previously known. It's just a brand; a name and an image that international megabrandconsolidator A-B Inbev can use to destroy competition.
So how many Millions of Dollars does Bisacca profit from this merger? Anyone know what they sold it for? Just curious never know when you might need buy a soul.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.