Between swallowing up craft brewers with bags of money, locking out taps, closing off distribution loops & closing routes of access to raw materials, you’d think Big Beer couldn’t stoop any lower. But, like all beer produced by men in suits around a board table, new lows in the pursuit of market domination are the order of the day. Enter Diageo’s Guinness with a whole new low.
ON May 24th, American ‘independent brewer’ Two Roads Brewing will brew a collaboration beer with Guinness at the ironically named Open Gate Brewery at St. James’ Gate in Dublin.
On their blog, Two Roads announced:
Guinness & Co., based in Norwalk CT, and Two Roads Brewing Company, based in Stratford CT, today announce two small batch beers brewed in collaboration and to be released in May of 2017. The US version called “May the Road Rise” will be tapped at 3 p.m. on May 24 only in Two Roads’ tap room.
‘Big Beer collaborating with an Independent Brewer’ to produce a ‘small batch beer’ at one of the best Big Beer marketing ploys smacks of a sign of desperation to grab at the mediocre share of the market craft beer occupies.
Calling it exactly what it is, deception does no-one any favours. When there’s no competition & the macros have swallowed up craft brewers, what else can they blame the continued decline of their ‘legacy brands’ on? There comes a point where believing that consumers are educated enough to make an educated choice is inadequate, & the rules around food provenance needs to be extended to beer, which is already classified as falling under food legislation.
Changes such as mandatory listing of all ingredients, including chemicals needs to be listed on beers, as well as ‘craft beer’ being given the same legal & advertorial designation as artisanal foods, which McDonald’s fell afoul of with its McMór burger being called ‘artisanal’. Big Beer & global alcohol conglomerates have been given far too much leeway & money-backed lobby time which has resulted inan almost cartel-like approach towards consumers.
For too long in Ireland, the FSAI have been far too choosey in how they approach the laws they are tasked with upholding. They go after McDonalds for using ‘artisanal’, but won’t go after BigBeer for misrepresenting their beers as ‘craft beer’? It’s time they got off the fence, & stopped doffing the cap to St. James’ Gate. The fact it is our number one tourism destination on the Island does not mean Diageo should get a pass. Nor should the other macro producers. The rules need to be applied fairly & evenly. The consumer should not be hornswoggled because some civil servants can’t be objective.
Or does the FSAI believe rules are only there for the industry plebs or poorman players to be followed? I was invited to this event, which I am always grateful for being invited along to things. But as someone who firmly believes in consumer choice, & free-and-open market discovery being fairly operated as a freedom to succeed & fail in equal measure, I won’t be in attendance.
But, you can expect the usual crowd of beer bloggers who will turn up for any free beer occasion to attend, & load their social media with photos etc., & on their regular scheduled posts bleat on about the importance of ‘craft beer’ & its proliferation in the local market. Remember kids – many beer bloggers only blog for the free beers, to feel self important, & market their self righteousness to feed the aforementioned.
As for this hopped up opinionated asshole? I blog because I like to write, & share my views with people who care to give my alpha acid induced ramblings some time in their brains for entertainment, or otherwise. Free beer & self importance be damned.