Lots of people on here are up in arms about AB InBev and their involvement with the site.
But do those same people have the same ‘principles’ when banking, buying food, buying cars or electrical goods. Do we all use the local shop and garage, book our holidays with a local firm or prefer to use the ‘big boys’ when it’s cheaper?
I would love to only purchase local products from local people, but it’s not like that in ‘the real world’.
In Croatia big beer:
-kept the beer choices stagnant, killing off most beers other than pale lagers and n/a’s, introducing only radlers. the most “experimental” beers were red lagers. up until craft showed up.
-once craft beers showed up a brewery here registered the Croatian translation of “craft beer” (“zanatsko pivo”) and uses it for its cheapest 2l plastic bottle brand
-that same brewery pushed at some point their “craft” line - implicitly saying the beers are craft, muddying the distinction between craft and industrial for the average Joe. the labels mocked craft beers claiming that they are all bitter basically. the beers they put out were shit too.
-another “international” first made some steps towards craft & homebrewers, kinda sorta, then when a single guy left the brewery for another, maybe some other internal changes - they started doing a huge marketing campaign which they tried to make viral aimed at mocking beer geeks and people who drink something different. they also tried to present their “nonpasteurized” and “black & tan” lagers as “craft”.
-the biggest one on one hand now does homebrewing classes and “competitions”, at one side friendly towards beer geeks. they’ve also made a micro next door where they make slightly more experimental beers which they don’t officially call “craft” - but their salespeople sure do. Their salespeople also kick craft beer off of taps using macro methods (basically offering money / paraphernalia etc.) and so limit an already narrow market to actual craft brewers.
So in the end the industry is destroying the very term craft beer, trying to present it as something negative to the populace, does marketing campaigns to mock it and uses faux-craft to push it off taps.
How is that helping craft beer? On one hand - some people might try their fake craft and move towards actual craft. On the other hand - everything I’ve written above.
I can’t answer for others but I am part of a local credit union; I shop at a local grocery store, and try to source my car and electronics purchase from reputable companies. However, with the latter 2, it’s not a fair comparison. You can’t buy a locally made phone or a locally made car. All you can do is not reward bad business practices cough Volkswagen cough as much as possible. With beer, we do have that choice.
Almost none of them seem to do it 100%, even if it comes to their views on “big beer”.
In one of the local beer groups I’m a member of on Facebook, someone went off on Devils Backbone (or some other brewery) for “selling out” and that this person would never give a single penny to one of the mega corps in any way, shape or form and would avoid any businesses that take their money. I had to point out that the distributor of a number of his favorite beers was owned by one of these mega corps, and that he was indirectly giving them money. Also, the beer he drunk at baseball and football games was most likely there only because a mega corp had the contract for the stadium/arena, even if it was true craft beer so he was still giving them money. There’s also the number of sponsorships that they have all across the spectrum, so their “dirty” money is in a lot more than he ever would expect it to be in.
I understand he was probably only talking about direct purchases of beer from “sellout” breweries, but I often hear similar absolutist statements made by others. However, this type of virtue signaling has serious cache with the hardcore beer nerds.
While a lot of what you say sounds pretty terrible, this one strikes me as incredibly important in this conversation: The registration of “zanatsko pivo” actually getting an approved registration.
I know many governments around the world allow all sorts of stupid stuff to get registered or trademarked, but I would think that being able to register the Croatian translation of “craft beer" could have probably undercut the craft movement more than many of your other bullet points. Perhaps not that the small breweries would call themselves that, but that that big company can for their own beers. Hard to get out from under that kind of marketing ability.
The above is a nirvana fallacy because you cannot do perfect doesn’t exclude you from doing your best.
As for RB specifically I am not interested in doing admin work for free currently because I do not agree with the goals and it is a free choice of labour. As for rating currently, it is also on hold I do not have to peruse a hobby if I do not enjoy it. I don’t feel like I have an obligation to RB and I don’t feel like this stance is hypocritical.
As for life elsewhere, I do try to put in a minimum in terms of the food that I buy etc. but yes I am not perfect but there is no reason for nihilism here.
People can buy all the AB-InBev they want but there is nothing wrong with pointing out their business practices or your views on them.
I’m sure there are people here that actually do walk the walk when it comes to their consumption-related choices, and (I mean this without a drop of sarcasm) good for them. A good lot of them ultimately won’t, though; a lot of those that will leave RB because of the sale will probably keep in touch with people via Facebook, which hardly has an outstanding ethical history.
I, personally, don’t give a shit because I’m here to rate beer. I hope that lots of other people are also here to keep doing the same.
The craft scene in Croatia is defining themselves “small & independent breweries” partly because of that. They will do their best to protect their products. “Zanatsko pivo” was out of the picture and “craft” while popular is a foreign word and can’t be defined with 100% certainty - and is being diluted heavily. Very few mass media articles (by very few authors) pass that mention craft without some fake industrial “craft” being listed as such.