How important is it to maintain a title? Does it matter that some organization removes your title if you’re making good beer? The Brewers Association has stripped Founders Brewing of it’s designation as a “craft brewery.” The Brewers Association defines “craft” as follows:
Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships.
Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.
Founders sold a 30% share of it’s company to the Mahou San Miguel group of Spain. Founders has long been one of the top craft breweries. They are well known for their special releases such as their sought after KBS Stout and their recently release ReDANKulous. They sold long before the recent line of craft brewery sales including Elysian, Full Sail Brewing and Firestone Walker. Interestingly enough, Full Sail is still considered “craft” by the BA because they sold to a bank and not a brewery.
According to founders Dave Engbers and Jeremy Kosmicki, on the Strange Brews Podcast, they could care less about the title of “craft brewery”. The discussion about the buyout starts at about the 46min mark. Is Brewers Association an antiquated organization? What purpose do you think they serve?
Some quotes from the interview.
“Whats the difference between a bank and a brewery? I’d rather be in bed with a brewery.”
“If the BA doesn’t want to call us a craft brewer, shame on them.”
“I’m ready to be done with them….it used to called microbrew and now it’s called craft beer…whatever.”