The Brew Site

The Session #56: Thanks to the big boys

Today being the first Friday of the month means that beer bloggers are participating in The Session, though given this month’s topic I do have to wonder just how many are participating—and how hard it may be for them to do so. Because the topic comes to us from The Tale of the Ale, and is titled, “Thanks to the big boys“:

Most of us that write about beer do so with the small independent brewery in mind. Often it is along the lines of Micro brew = Good and Macro brew, anything brewed by the large multinationals is evil and should be destroyed. Well I don’t agree with that, though there may be some that are a little evil….

Anyway I want people to pick a large brewery or corporation that owns a lot of breweries. There are many to chose from. Give thanks to them for something they have done. Maybe they produce a beer you do actually like. Maybe they do great things for the cause of beer in general even if their beer is bland and tasteless but enjoyed by millions every day.

I consider myself a beer geek, but not a beer snob, and unlike many beer geeks I know (who may not necessarily be snobs either), I’m not rabidly anti-macro—at least when it comes to the beer and the brewers. (The corporate entity is something else entirely, of course.) These brewers are tasked with an enormous, nigh-impossible job: ensuring that every single batch of their beer is flawless and consistent. Every batch, every time. To that end they are well-trained, well-educated, possess an enormity of brewing knowledge, and understand quality control to a level many of us don’t even consider.

I’m thankful to the macrobreweries for fostering this kind of obsessive, knowledgeable brewing environment and education—without which there surely wouldn’t be the thriving craft (or is that post-craft?) beer industry we have today. Or at the very least, it would still be decades behind where it is now.

If you have doubts, that’s okay. But consider this example: without Anheuser-Busch, Stone Brewing Brewmaster Mitch Steele most likely wouldn’t be Stone’s Brewmaster.