It is no secret of my love of the craft beer revolution in the U.S.. In the past I’ve been rightfully accused of being harsh with Irish craft brewers for being too placid about macros coming in to eat their lunch before they’ve even finished making it. Irish Craft Brewers in the last two years have in my mind made the fastest global jump in quality & ingenuity of any craft beer scene. And I’ve made no secret either of both my admiration & my happiness. But, this week pride was added to that list. We (Ireland), beat the Americans to the chase. And that I believe now provides a unique opportunity to take the fight to macro on a scale never before seen in craft beer.
On October 3rd 2016, Irish Craft Brewers came together to launch the ‘Independent Irish Craft Beer‘ logo.
At the time it was released, I was hugely encouraged by this act of defiant camaraderie. Sure, it could be viewed as ‘just a symbol’. But, it was one that was badly needed to stick two fingers up at Big Beer to let them know they were not shutting down our market or closing out the independent breweries without a fight.
Yesterday, the U.S. Brewer’s Association released the news of their own symbol, or ‘seal’:
Just like the Irish Craft Brewer’s Association, they too want to have Independent Craft Brewer’s to adopt the seal on their beers. In the U.K., the Indie Craft Brewers too have their own seal/symbol:
Given the strength of availability prevalence of independent brands within the Irish Market, & the growing relationship between Irish, U.S., & U.K. craft brewers & distributors, there is at the very least a common ground & common point that I believe could pave the way for a global rebellion against macro producers to let them know that they may have the money, but there is strength in numbers when it comes to protecting against monopolisation of distribution channels, shelf space & more importantly, tap space while being able to work together globally to help given consumers a more informed choice.
All it now needs is some wise heads, some good beer & some discussion. At best, the rebellion truly kicks off. At worst, we end up with another ‘United Craft Brewers‘, which in the end made a few people look incredibly silly with the prematurity of their announcement, & the defection of one founding member brewery into the pockets of BigBeer.
IMAGE courtesy of Stone World Bistro & Gardens