This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Craft Beer Needs More Shelf Space, Fewer Crybabies

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- The definition of craft beer is broader that it has ever been, but it still leaves out a handful of brewers who helped usher in the microbrew and craft beer movement.

Blame the rulemakers for that one.

Listen, we understand why a group like the Brewers Association craft beer industry group would want to exclude brands like Blue Moon, Shock Top, Leinenkugel's and Goose Island from the club. They're the wholly owned subsidiaries of Anheuser-Busch InBev  (BUD) and SABMiller/MolsonCoors joint venture MillerCoors. We realize that the Leinenkugel family's brewing tradition in Chippewa Falls, Wis., predates prohibition and that Goose Island put Chicago at the forefront of the craft beer movement, but being bought out by the big boys doesn't help either's case.

However, until just recently, the Brewers Association excluded brewers like Pottsville, Pa.-based D.G. Yuengling and Sons and New Ulm, Minn.-based August Schell and left beer drinkers scratching their heads over which beers qualified as craft beer and which beers didn't.

But BA changed its mind and its rules defining craft brewers -- which already flexed in 2010 to raise the production limit for small brewers from 2 million barrels to 6 million to accommodate Samuel Adams producer Boston Beer Company (SAM - Get Report). Back in February, the board decided to soften its stance against the use of rice and corn as adjuncts and whittled down the traditional pillar of its craft brewer definition.

So why are we having conversations with the Widmer Brothers about the exclusion of not only their brewery, but the entire Craft Brew Alliance including Redhook (which was a craft beer pioneer in 1981) and Kona Brewing? Why do we have to ask poor Brewers Association spokesman and overall good sport Paul Gatza why his organization continues shunning Rochester, N.Y.-based North American Breweries and its brands including Seattle-based Pyramid Breweries (founded in 1984) and Burlington, Vt.-based Magic Hat (1994)?

Because as the beer industry changes, breweries grow, business model evolve and rules change, it becomes increasingly obvious that a whole lot of the ironclad rules designed to protect craft beer years ago only make it look foolish today.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
BREW $13.46 -1.32%
BUD $123.49 1.30%
SAM $264.73 -1.00%
TAP $74.51 0.08%
YHOO $44.13 -0.69%


DOW 17,698.18 -77.94 -0.44%
S&P 500 2,059.69 -8.20 -0.40%
NASDAQ 4,880.2280 -20.6570 -0.42%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs