It was announced yesterday that the music magazine and online publication, Pitchfork, is entering into a partnership with, among others, the founder of a particular beer blog to launch a new website about beer — because, you know, there aren’t enough of those, and national publications have completely ignored the uber hot American trend of craft beer and brewing.
In the press release, run both by Pitchfork and the beer blog as a news story, it is revealed that the new site is named after a fall month and that it is giving you “A New Way to Fall For Beer” — because the old way of falling for beer is so passé. According to the release, the site will “cut through the noise” around craft beer and help to educate you with beer reviews and nostalgia for……Big Beer brands — yes, the new “craft beer” blog is open about its indifference to Big Beer and has already published very pro-macro content.
The announcement actually goes beyond indifference to multinational conglomerate beer manufacturers, and just flat out tells you, oh by the way, AB InBev is one of our partners in this new venture. Well, the true partner is ZX Ventures, a creative incubator backed by AB InBev—the same one you know for purchasing Northern Brewer last year—but that seems like a bit of a moot point.
What is glaring about this “news” is the fact that a (another) so-called craft beer blog has its hands all in the ABI rice pot. Now, the biggest beer company in the world has on its side one of the hipsteriest pontificators in the American beer world, who, as a warning, is the Great American Snooze Fest on audio—seriously, that podcast download should come with a Zyppah*.
Another beer writer and editor, who is deserving of respect for his acumen with statistics and baseball, is also listed as a conspirator to Budweiser’s new beard. My best guess is that AB InBev went on a search for a burned-out, beer-writing dream team. There’s a guy to add fancy words to drab copy about drab beer, there’s a guy to do some creative accounting that softens the news of sinking market share and there’s an online magazine, whose readership all still need to be converted from PBR, to distribute it all.
The new site scaled up about 20 new posts all at once, so maybe more analysis and reporting on it will be done here after they’ve had the chance to add some adjunct and develop a commoditized style.
You may be thinking that it’s a shame we’ve arrived at this point in the movement already, that a bunch of so-called elders of craft beer fandom have decided that it’s time to play nice (fatten pockets). But remember, they’ve been doing this thing for sooooo long. They think that because the movement has done so well, and that because breweries and the number of breweries are growing and that the white whales of old now breed like salmon on ale mail websites, that craft beer is mainstream. They don’t think it matters anymore. The lines are all grey, and: what the hell, if craft brewers are cashing in, why can’t I?
If you’re looking for that message, if you like your content providers of the I’ve moved on variety and if you’re looking for content that has to be approved by the likes of ZX Ventures, you’ll be disappointed doing your reading here. This is still the blog that is of, by and for the beer lovers, and that sentiment, put forth by the editor of this CRAFT BEER blog, shall not perish from the Internet as long as he lives.
That reminds me. I should probably stop the competitive analysis I was doing of that beer podcast**.
*Edited for sensitivity reasons.
**Reference to insensitive copy prior to edit.