They're like the Alien - they won't leave the ship!
They've huge advertising budgets and dominate distribution. And they think they can just say they're craft beer and be that. So now, in yet another predatory move, Corporate Beer is looking to co-opt craft beer's ownership of seasonal brands.
Corporate Beer's strategy was examined in a recent article written by Emily Bryson York for the Chicago Tribune. "As total beer sales continue to slip, seasonal beers are getting serious attention from some of the nation's largest brewers," Ms. York writes, and she suggests that the big brewers are again looking towards craft beer for the answer:
Seasonal beer sales, measured as a segment of craft beer sales, have posted dollar sales increases of 15 to 26 percent for each of the last three years, according to SymphonyIRI, a Chicago-based market research firm. Seasonal beer rang up $245 million in grocery, liquor and convenience store sales for the year ended March 18, up 18 percent from the year-earlier period.
Craft beer seasonals come across as vital and new and appeal to the craft beer buyer's quest for freshness. And since seasonals are all limited runs, they're on shelves for a shorter period of time, which affects consumer behavior . . . The craft beer drinker thinks "I should get in on this before it disappears."
Craft beer seasonals are as different from one another as craft brewers are from each other. Seasonals are unique to each brewer and speak to the brand. A spring release from Dogfish Head says as much about the Mid-Atlantic as a seasonal from Seattle's Two Beers says about the Pacific Northwest.
Seasonal releases continue to grow in volume and sales in the craft beer industry, and Big Beer desperately wants in on the action. Ms. York explains Corporate Beer's growing interest:
Blue Moon sells four seasonal variety packs every year, which historically have consisted of four beers, one of them a limited-time seasonal offering. For 2012, the brewer is including two seasonal offerings in each pack.
AmericanCraftBeer.com understands that when Corporate Beer sees success, they will always want in and can overpower the public with mega-spending and subterfuge. But the public is no longer so easily fooled, and Corporate Beer just doesn't get it . . .
IT'S NOT WHAT CRAFT BEER IS DOING; IT'S THE QUALITY OF WHAT THEY'RE BREWING!
Try making decent beer.