RBPMail 3.07, July 1997

Real Beer Page Mail (RBPMail) began as a modest update to craft-brew events on the WWW. It evolved into a news digest and sometimes editorial forum. We present its contents here much as they were emailed to subscribers. Often, links you will see are out of date, and businesses referred to may also be long gone.

In this issue:

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For nearly six months we've been co-publishing BEERWeek with The Celebrator Beer News. This valuable industry news digest is delivered every week with a compilation of digested breaking news, new product releases, events, openings and closings along with many novel reports and reporting found exclusively in BEERWeek. For the next three months, we will present world-wide headline articles from BEERWeek in RBPMail, sort of like an extended cable channel preview weekend. If beer is your avocation or profession, this is the resource for you. To clarify, RBPMail is the FREE news digest mailed monthly; BEERWeek is supported entirely by your subscription support and -- as the name implies -- never misses a Monday. Read on or subscribe at:

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Miller Brewing Co. was ordered by Brazilian antitrust regulators to divest itself of a joint venture with Cia. Cervejaria Brahma SA. This action signals difficulties ahead for further such ventures which have allowed multinational brewers to break into rapidly developing markets like Brazil. Brazil's Administrative Council of Economic Defense gave Miller two years to sell its 50% share in the joint venture, Miller Brewing Co. do Brasil, a company that produces and markets Miller Genuine Draft Beer. The Council indicated that consumers did not have the benefit of competition between the two brewing giants when they were part of a joint venture. The Council also felt that the JV meant that Philip Morris could effectively bypass construction in Brazil by not having to build a new, separate facility. This meant that Brazil lost out on investment it could have received had such construction taken place. The JV, launched two years ago, accounts for less than 1% of Brahma's total sales. There were indications of possible problems for other global brewing giants as well, The Council is expected to issue rulings on other Joint Ventures. Affected might be Carlsberg A/S, Denmark and Anheuser-Busch. Carlsberg is engaged in a JV with Brahma, and A-B with Brazil's second-largest brewer, Antarctica Paulista SA. (Source: Matt Moffett, Wall Street Journal. June 13, 1997)

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After having ordered Miller Brewing to divest itself of a joint venture with Cia. Cervejaria Brahma SA (BeerWeek, June 16), Anheuser-Busch Co., Inc. has been ordered to dissolve its joint venture with Antarctica Paulista SA, Brazil's second-largest brewer. While the ruling was not yet formal - it awaits one more vote before July 2 - the decision was said to be final. A-B and AP created the JV to distribute Budweiser in Brazil. According to Antarctica's attorney, the brewery intended to appeal the decision. (Reuter's, June 18)

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******* WEB WATCH *******



In commemoration of the handover of control in China, we present Crooked Island Ale from AmBrew's Hong Kong-based South China Brewery:


In the U.S., celebrate the 4th with patriot, Sam Adams.

Or the oldest continuous brewery in the U.S., D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc.


 July 1 was Canada Day, so check out the upstarts in Canada, eh?

And one of Canada's most excellent exports, Stephen Beaumont at:


If you loved the movie, Independence Day, you'll LOVE the Roswell influence over on the New Mexico Virtual Brew Pub's reviews. You gotta see it to believe it. The Truth Is Out There.

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********* REAL BEER PICKS **************


If you've ever considered opening your own brewing operation, check out International Brewpro, makers of Brew Your Own breweries and accessories. They allow you to set up the equipment and then have your customers do all the work. Sounds like a pretty good business plan to us.


Located just outside Sacramento, California, The Elk Grove Brewing Company is housed in a 1885-built structure, listed on state and national registries of historic buildings. The beers and food are equally historic, and the entertainment rocks nearly daily. Check them out at:


It's a brewpub in the making that's faced some adversity in opening. Their web site allows you to take a sneak preview at the real world site in San Francisco. You can find articles about the troubles they had obtaining permits and send your support at:


The Beer, Beverage & Food Labels; Six-pack and Four-pack Carriers; and Specialty -- Point of Sale source for professional brewers is now online. They've peaked our interest with a Cigar link that's under construction and pictures in front of a huge humidor the size of Rhode Island. A special no-prize for emailing the guy wearing the Real Beer Page shirt -- a very nice touch. Check them out at:

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Thanks to all who have been replying to our Quickie Surveys. We draw one winner each month for the prize of Michael Jackson's The Great Beers of Belgium distributed by Vanberg & DeWulf ( Here's this month's question:


We asked, "how many people do you forward RBPMail to each month?" and learned that over half of our readers forward it to one or more people each month (bless you), bringing our pass-along readership to over 95,000 readers/month.

1+ = 51%

none = 49%

1 = 21%

2 = 19%

Last's months Quickie Survey winner is Brian Zimmer. Zimmer's a Winner.

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******** Brewed Fresh For You! **********

The Real Beer Page announces a diverse group of brew websites to check out:

Bloomington Brewing

Brew Bus!

Bad Frog

Cooper's Brewery

Hales Ales

Lucky's Teeth

Molokai Brewing

Newlands Services


Routh Street, TX

Toronto Beer Fest

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A recent survey sponsored by Hiram Walker's "Defenders of the Malt" single-malt scotch campaign served up the following results: consumers of single-malt scotch are younger than blended scotch drinkers, are extremely knowledgeable about their beverage of choice, highly educated, love the romance and ritual of single malt history and more than 61% of single-malt scotch drinkers drink microbrews. They also enjoy cigars, bicycling, hiking, boating and travel. Their favorite movie is "Casablanca," and they prefer boxers over briefs

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South African President Nelson Mandela appointed a top businessman to reorganize the police force after recent revelations of demoralization and corruption, and to combat the crime wave now taking place in that country. Meyer Kahn has accepted a two-year contract as chief executive of the South African Police Services. He is the chairman of South African Breweries.

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San Miguel Corporation (SMC), the Philippines-based beverage, food and packaging group, and Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. (CCA) of Australia announced today that they have entered into definitive agreements to integrate their operations in the carbonated soft drink business through a stock swap valued at approximately US$2.7 billion. The deal involves swapping San Miguel's 70% equity in Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI) for a 25% stake in CCA, one of The Coca-Cola Company's largest anchor bottlers, and will make San Miguel, the Philippines' leading beverage, food and packaging company, the second largest shareholder of CCA after The Coca-Cola Company. The transaction greatly expands CCA's presence in Asia and makes it the largest Coca-Cola anchor bottler outside the United States with a consumer base of 450 million people.

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A current trend in Germany has Germans drinking more mineral water than beer. At least the per capita rate of consumption of mineral water has increased, while consumption of beer has fallen from a peak of 151 liters a head in 1976 to 132 in 1996. Mineral water, on the other hand, has grown from 12.5 liters a head in 1970 to 90 liters in 1996. In Germany, an average of 25 breweries closed in each of the past five years. Often, the grandchildren feel it is not hip to own and run a brewery; the grandparents keep it alive. Local breweries are doing all right, and big nationals are very healthy, but regional breweries are "falling like flies," according to a recent article by Andrew Gimson in the London Daily Telegraph. Factors affecting this downward trend in beer sales are stringent drunk driving laws and heavy taxation. More Germans, it seems, are buying beer in supermarkets by the can and staying home to drink.

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*********SPOTLIGHT ON MEXICO **********


Corona Extra, Corona Light and Modelo Especial were named "Hot Brands" by Impact Magazine because of posting double-digit growth rates for each of the past three years. Impact, a trade magazine, names top performing brands each year during the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Association's annual meeting. Mexico has been reported by the Institute for Brewing Studies to be the top beer exporting country to the U.S.A. Grupo Modelo beers account for 80% of all Mexican beer sold outside Mexico in 1996.


Mexican beer exports totaled $52.8 million in April, 66.6 percent higher than April 1996, according to INEGI, the national statistics institute. In the first four months of 1997, Grupo Modelo and FEMSA posted export sales of $149.9 million, up 31.6% compared to same period 1996. (Reuters, June 16)


Beer will be shipped early this month from the Mexican brewery belonging to American Craft Brewing International, Ltd. The brewery, located in Tecate, is Mexico's only independent brewery. The beer, "Mexicali," will be distributed in the northern Mexican state of Baja California by the brewery itself. It will be distributed in the USA by AmBrew USA the distribution subsidiary of AmCraft. According to a company official, the brewery started production at capacity, 15,000 barrels a year. AmBrew also owns a craft brewery in Hong Kong, South China Brewery, and a joint venture in Ireland, Celtic Brew. The Mexican brewery is the company's largest.


Labatt USA announces that Dos Equis beers, Amber Lager and Special Lager, are being rolled out on draft around the U.S.A., the only Mexican beers to be so offered. Labatt USA imports Dos Equis from Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma.

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The Craft Beer Institute announced the dates for its 1997 Real Ale Festival, an event dedicated to British-style cask-conditioned ales. Dates are November 7-9; venue for the Festival will be Chicago's newest brewpub, Riverwest Brewing Company, at 925 West Chicago Avenue. There will be three public tastings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Champion beers from the last fourteen years of the Great British Beer Festival will be available (those that are still being produced). The festival's British bar will offer the largest selection of British champions ever assembled in the U.S. The centerpiece of the festival will be the National Cask Ale Competition, selecting the best cask-conditioned beers made in America. Entries may only be served from casks. Finally, the festival will spotlight homebrewers in a competition of homebrewed real ales. Entries can be submitted in soda kegs and served through handpumps. Contact Ray Daniels, 773-665-1300.

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No, beer writer/guru Fred Eckhardt has not been in jail! Hair of the Dog Brewing has released its barley wine, Fred (named in honor of Eckhardt). Oregon Brew Crew's Bob McCracken tells BEERWeek that "Fred" is available on draft at Higgins, Horsebrass and Caswell. The golden/tan beer, according to McCracken, reminds him of a Belgian scotch ale.

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California's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is taking a look at Anheuser-Busch's current promotion, ostensibly a rewards program for the consumer. The $21 million promotion, "Buy the Beer, Get the Gear," offers merchandise ranging from coasters to pool tables for Bud Points. The merchandise is featured in a booklet available free where A-B product is sold. Products can be redeemed when the customer turns in the points as indicated on bottle caps. This is the first "rewards program" of its type for beer, according to an article by James B. Arndorfer in the June 16 Ad Age. The California Small Brewers Association has issued a formal letter of protest to the agency, on the grounds that the promotion violated the state's prohibition on "distributing free goods as an inducement to increase alcoholic beverage consumption." Ken Byers, chief counsel of the ABC, commented that there was an investigation going on. If the promotion is found to violate California state laws, the ABC could seek a court order to cease and desist. Questions concerning this issue should be directed to the ABC's Business Practices Unit at 916-263-6845.

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A California court has ordered a temporary halt to Anheuser-Busch's multi-million dollar "Buy the Beer, Get the Gear" promotion, according to a Reuter's news report. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control requested the court order after allegations were made challenging the legality of the promotion. This is the first step necessary to get a permanent injunction to stop the promotion.

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Leinenkugel's Original will be available on all domestic American Airlines flights originating at O'Hare International Airport, beginning July 1. Earlier this year, AA debuted its first local beer on flights originating in Texas. In a related story, Leinenkugels has also announced the development of a brewpub in Arizona, a popular destination for winterbirds from the heartland who were raised on Leinies.

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Chilean brewery Cerveceras Unidas announced net profits for 1997 could rise to about $70 million from $43.4 million in 1996, according to Vice President Tomas Furst. First quarter profits rose dramatically, up 38% over first quarter 1996. CU accounts for 90% of Chile's domestic beer consumption. It also has a controlling stake in a winery, a Pepsi bottling and distribution joint venture with Argentinean firm Baesa, and other beer investments in Argentine provinces, Santa Fe and Salta. CU also owns 67% of Karlovacka Pivovara, a major brewery in Croatia (see BeerWeek June 9).

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In a move that apparently caught Anheuser-Busch officials off guard, executives at Miller Brewing prepared to sign a major pact with Fox Broadcasting to spend up to $300 million on prime-time and sports programming over the next four years, according to a front page article by Chuck Ross in the June 16 Ad Age This triples what Miller had been spending annually on Fox. Both parties benefit: Fox from the revenue, Miller, from additional exposure to its most coveted demographic segment -- young males. Miller had pulled its ads from MTV when there were protests about running ads for alcohol on a station whose main target was the young (BeerWeek, January 12; June 2). It was not clear if Miller was devoting more funds overall to TV advertising or channeling most of its budget to Fox. Miller will have exclusivity to Major League Baseball broadcast on Fox; the 2-minute warning for NFL games on Fox will be called "Miller Time." The Miller/Fox deal is set to go through 2000. According to the article, an A-B executive stated that the deal had not been offered to them first.

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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D., Wash. D.C.) has proposed a bill in the House of Representatives to double federal tax on beer and triple it on wine. Norton, originally active in the Clinton first term administration, proposed the bill June 24 reportedly in an attempt to curtail teenage drinking, and, allegedly, as an antidote to beer industry proposals to roll back a 1991 tax increase. Tax on a 12-oz. can of beer, now five cents, would double. The four-cent tax on a glass of table wine would triple. (Tax on a 1.4 oz. glass of hard liquor is 12 cents.) Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco were on record as being in support of the bill. (See BeerWeek, June 2)

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OPINION: by Tom Dalldorf

Consider for a moment that this tax increase would have the greatest impact on more expensive specialty beer and fine wine, usually not the first choice of the underage drinker. And consider the logic behind severely penalizing an industry with higher taxes to prevent young people from buying the products that are already illegal. We urge everyone in the industry to write Congresswoman Norton and their own Representatives on this issue today. (Tom Dalldorf is Editor of BeerWeek and Publisher of Celebrator Beer News.)

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******* BEERWEEK HEADLINES *******

The following are news headlines and features from the last month.

BEERWeek of June 2 - 9, 1997

 * French Firm Tries To Block Guinness/Grand Met Deal

 * I Don't Want My MTV Beer Ads!

 * Social Drinking Under Attack by Legislators

 * Gordon Biersch Launches Lagers in 6-packs

 * Mendocino Brewing Up Red Tail for Kegs

 * Red Tail Float: Keg Goes Down the River

 * Eye of the Hawk Label Wins Award

 * Jagerettes Sue Over Sexual Harassment Charges

* Pete's New Ad Agency: Black Rocket!

* Bud Ads are Busch League: Auggie IV to Star

* Byron Burch Honored by HWBTA

* Promotions at Boston Beer Co.

* Alaskan Brewing Comes to SF Bay Area

* Another BOP Goes Micro

* GABF Deadline for Breweries

* Call for Papers for Craft Brewers Conference

* Boston Beer Gets Recycling Award

BEERWeek of June 9 - 16, 1997

 * Boston Beer Company's Koch Alerts Shareholders

 * Real Ale Consultancy

 * AmBrew's Mexican Beer Is in Production

 * Molson Has Good Financial Turn-Around

 * San Miguel: The Pause that Refreshes?

 * Portland Readies for 10th OBF

 * Ach du Lieber! Germans Tapering Off?!?

* Mendocino Label Receives International Award

* Chilean Brewery Invests in Croatian Brewery. Greater Kuna?

* Three "Hot" Brands for Grupo Modelo

* Friends, Romans, Beerlovers...

* Brewing Exec to Run South African Police

* How Do You Say, "Erin Go Bragh" in Gaelic?

* Oh, Another Rock Song/Brewing Industry Skandal

* Brewing Figure Dies

BEERWeek of June 16 - 23, 1997

 * Miller to Divest Joint Venture Stock in Brazil

 * Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy Continue to Get on Guinness' Case

 * A-B Figures Out Crafts are Competition

 * A Profile of Single Malt Scotch Drinkers: They Like Craft Beer

 * Pint Post Celebrates 10 Years

 * Real Ale Festival Scheduled for November in Chicago

* HWBTA President Walks 40 Miles After Heart Transplant

* Heineken's New Hires

* Ortlieb's New Old Henry

BEERWeek of June 23 - 30, 1997

 * A-B's New Give-away Promo Under Scrutiny by Calif. ABC

 * Chilean Brewing Giant to Nearly Double Profit in 1997?

 * A-B "Out-Foxed" by Miller?

 * Miller Gets Free TV Time - On Court TV

 * American Craft Brewing International Shows Loss in April

 * Gordon Biersch Launches San Jose Brewery/Bottling Plant

 * Mexican April Exports Way Way Up Over 1996

* Judy Ashworth Sells Her Pub

* Guinness Supports Gaelic Games

* Miller Appeals to Regional Pride

* Beer Named After Portland, OR Beer Guru

* Shepherd Neame's Bishops Finger on Draught

* Berkeley - the Napa Valley of Beer?

* This Japanese Beer is a GAS!

* New Hires at Flatlanders

* New Brewer at Bison

* Odessa Has Been Heard From

BEERWeek of June 30 - July 7, 1997

 * Anti-Drink and Drive Legislation Getting Serious

 * Guinness/GrandMet Merger, Part Double Deux

 * A-B Ordered to Halt Calif. "Bud Gear" Giveaway

 * A-B Ordered to Discontinue Brazilian JV

 * Bass Coulda Been a Contenda

 * Canada's Brick Brewing Sales Way Up

 * Red Stripe Heir in Palomoney Suit

 * It's Still Bud - Isn't It?

 * Miller Responds to "Senfield Joke" Suit

* Pint Post Ceases Publication

* Pennsylvania Supports Its Breweries

* Wild Goose Helps Save the Bay Foundation

* Rogue's New Pub

* Heather Ale Honored in the Wee Homeland

* Japanese Karaoke Helium Story Just Hot Air?

* Leinie's Now on American Airlines

* "Searchers" Rejoice: Pilgrims Now in Bottles

* Dos Equis Only Mexican Beer Now on Draft

Each issue also includes:

* Openings

* New Publications

* New Releases

* New Events and Festivals Update

* Beer Events in the Next Two Weeks

* Beer Quote of the Week

BEERWeek is the subscription-based newsletter delivered by email each Monday for the industry professional or serious beer enthusiast who needs it regularly. To subscribe, go to and get it now.

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The AHA 1997 Great Lakes Homebrew Rendezvous is slated for July 17-19 at the Sheraton Cleveland City Centre Hotel, featuring an all-star speaker line-up as well as plenty of seminars, workshops and award winning homebrew. This year's Conference program will focus on the four building blocks of beer: water, malt, yeast and hops. Attendees can choose between beginner and advanced brewing labs, a Beginning Beer Evaluation Lab, and an informative discussion/tasting on classic British ales. The speaker line-up includes respected figures in the brewing industry, including Charlie Papazian and Michael Jackson. Attendees can attend the Homebrew Festival and Expo on Saturday, July 19th, and join the fun in the evening at Great Lakes Pub Crawl. Contact the AHA at (303) 447-0816 ext. 136; FAX (303) 447-2825

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Five Star Affiliates, producers of popular cleaning products for professional brewers, is launching new products for homebrewersat the AHA conference. Five Star is also a Gold Sponsor of the event. Stop by their booth or their web page at:

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In your pursuit of the freshest craft-brewed beers in the Great Lakes region, stop by Great Lakes Brewing Co., located at 2516 Market Street.


Experience two days of hands-on sessions and small workshops designed to give you the ultimate in practical knowledge -- how to run your brewpub more efficiently and profitably. Period. From people who have actually done it. Choose the workshops you like from tracks in Management, Restaurant, Brewery, and, for new market entrants, startups. Morning sessions will inlude general interest brewpub topics while the afternoon sessions are designed to let you customize your training to your specific needs. Organized by: BrewPub Magazine Media Sponsor: Celebrator Beer News (916) 758-4596

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In the last couple months we've covered editorially how Coors and Miller have jumped on a craft-beer backlash message. We've talked about A-B's deceptions in their overtures to the uninitiated entering the craft beer movement. And, I'll spend a couple of minutes here talking about the backlash within the class. Ultimately, what all these messages have in common is that the way the beer press and the beerigencia communicate what's going on in the craft movement is making a difference, for better and worse, for the segment.

First, about the so-called backlash: Miller came out with its Macrobrew ads in a last-ditch effort to save a struggling brand -- it's no secret that the industrial beers have been suffering at the hands of and in direct proportion to imports and specialty beer growth in the U.S. for the last several years. With little to say about the brand, Miller chose to make a new enemy out of one that doesn't really exist for their core consumers -- microbrews. "It's time for beer to stop acting like wine" announces one headline quick to forget that Miller was once positioned as "The Champagne of Beer." The ads are seductively sexy, in a grungy way, and speak to the echo-boomers and sought-after generation x-ers who comprise the next decade's 21-29 year-old boom and bust years for industrial brewers. These are the years where per capita consumption makes a difference. And the Miller ads, occasionally referred to as penis ads (tanks the size of Rhode Island), bash microbrews as faddish, for flavored-water, wine loving and yuppie consumers. It's becoming a class thing for them.

So, let's consider why microbrews may become a class thing. After all, this is beer we're talking about. Specialty products of all kinds -- bread, pasta, cheese, ice cream, single malts, wines, cigars, etc. -- require consumers willing to experiment and learn. When a host presents such a product to guests, they must be prepared to respond to questions about the product due to the differentiated experience it delivers. Consuming these products may have the additional responsibility of knowledge. Informed comsumers benefit from this knowledge as well -- having a glass of an unsual beer provides gesture value suggesting the consumer's developed intellectual capital, just as a poetry book in a coffee house might raise the consumer's stock in some circles.

Anyone who has worked a blue collar job to finance their college education knows the kind of ribbings and ridicule that can come from possessing this intellectual capital. Whenever I made a mistake in the stockroom during my college years, I'd hear a rash of good-natured "college boy" comments, meant to bring me down a couple of notches and deflate the value of my capital -- perhaps rightly so, but that's another conversation. The point is, that intellectual capital can create a language or code that is difficult to decipher for those outside of that particular discipline. And these barriers can create resentment. I'm guessing that Miller's ad folks came across some of this in their focus group research to create their campaign -- if you don't have anything interesting to say about yourself, create an enemy.

Some of the micro and regional brewers have also jumped on the backlash band wagon lately. Portland Brewing company ads that are also on their web site at, poke fun of the "Beer Geek." They're pretty even-handed about whom they take shots at, though, as you'll see with their "Red Animal" ads. Gordon Biersch includes in it's new outdoor campaign, "Fruit Flavored Beers, Smoke Flavored Beers, How About Beer Flavored Beer?" Stroh's Henry Weinhardt's brand, Spaten and other imports are quickly aligning their messages to a legacy position. At the heart of all of these messages -- in addition to the legitimate claim and differentiation -- may be the slightly defensive position that stakes claims to life-before-the-fad.

The fact as we know it is that specialty beer is not a fad. Once you've upgraded your palate from industrial beer, it's difficult to return with the same zeal. Same with coffee, wine, etc. What's more, the beerigencia has quite a bit of consumer clout. According to some numbers that Anheuser Busch presented to beer media recently, 1% of the specialty beer consumers make up 25% of the segment sales. And this group also has a great deal of influence over the other 75% of the market. The same probably holds true with wine and single-malt scotches. That's why it's important for us to consider our actions and presentation in the next several years to sustain the growth of the segment.

The story being told by mainstream press (NY Times article in May), spun by industrial media budgets and learned from joe-six pack is that craft beer is the "ippy-bippy" stuff -- unaccessible, unusual and untested. We may be accessories in crime by the way we position the segment in our presentation. Rather than simply adding to our personal intellectual capital, let's add to the voices of the masses. Educate from passion rather than from position. Share the romance of the craft. Give something to those who don't know better...yet. Let them know it's beer, just better.