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Thread: Bourbon BS

  1. #11
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999

    Re: Bourbon BS

    When ADI started its online forums, there were several efforts to define 'craft.' They eventually gave up. The only thing you can quantify for legal purposes is 'small producer.' Even the Brewers Association definition above contains a lot of bullshit. Define 'independent.' They exclude ownership by a larger brewer, but take Alltech Bluegrass Brewing. They're a small brewery owned by a billion dollar corporation. The parent company just doesn't happen to be in the beverage business.

  2. #12

    Re: Bourbon BS

    Quote Originally Posted by Beer&Bourbon View Post
    The bill that was introduced (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.3339:) changed the number of barrels that could be produced from 2 million to 6 million in order to be considered a "small producer". This is largely a matter of taxation since small producers pay less than their megaconglomerate counterparts.

    The Brewers Association considers crafts brewers as such: "An American craft brewer is defined as small and independent. Their annual production is 6 million barrels of beer or less and no more than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer." The small definition comes from the definition of a small producer.

    Where it gets fuzzier is when you consider Goose Island. Started as a craft brewery, expanded and then eventually purchased by AB/InBev. They're still producing one of the best bourbon barrel stouts (Bourbon County) with continued expansion of the product and new variants (Cherry Rye) that are also quite delicious. So you wouldn't consider this to be produced by a craft brewery, but would you classify this as a craft beer? Keep in mind that they use (fairly) traditional ingredients and innovative recipes to produce a high-quality delicious product. It frequently does better in blind taste tests than other craft beers. While I don't like people classifying Pyramid/Red Hook/Widmer/Shocktop as craft beers, I think you could make an exception for Bourbon County (as well as their Belgian line up).
    BCS and the belgian variants are the only beers still produced at the original chicago facility. All other goose island beers have been absorbed into the Bud productions facilities. BCS is a great beer but for those of us that were in the original BCS distribution area, it has become a unicorn. It used to be around on a normal basis. Now it comes out, places get a case and then it disappears.

    Not to mention many of the brewers/execs at GI have bolted in recent months. BCS is a great beer but Goose Island is no longer true craft. Same thing with Kona whom inbev bought.



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