The Brew Site

American Macro Week 2: Not the Big Three you think

When I write "American Macro", it’s generally understood that it refers to (beers brewed by) the American Macro Brewers, otherwise known as the "Big Three" (though my no means restricted to them): Anheuser-Busch, Miller, and Coors. (It also refers to the general style of "Macro Lager" that they tend to brew.)

Once upon a time those were all American companies, but with the takeover of A-B by InBev last year, none of those Big Three are American-owned anymore. (AB-InBev is Belgian, and MillerCoors is, respectively, SABMiller which is South African and MolsonCoors which is Canadian.)

Which begs the question: what does "American Macro" mean now, and does it even have relevance anymore?

The new "Big Three" of American-owned breweries are Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams), Yuengling, and Sierra Nevada Brewing. (Pabst is a contract brewer/marketing company that doesn’t own any breweries, instead contracting with Miller to produce their beers.)

None of these three are considered "macro" brewers, certainly not on the scale that the others produce, but then, it depends on your perspective. Compared to a small brewpub that might produce only a couple thousand barrels per year, Sam Adams could well be considered "macro".

Could the "new American Macro" be Boston Lager, or Yuengling Traditional, or Sierra Nevada Pale Ale? Why or why not?

Something to think about. For the purposes of this week, though, I’ll be mostly sticking to the genre of "fizzy yellow beer" we all know and love.