The reality behind "craft-beer abandoning Jim Koch"; Unique perspective from Monday's popular article

I agree with the general gist, even though I don't agree with all of the opinions nor do I think it's quite that simple.
Economics is a good point and I agree that it's crap to say they don't sell Sam Adams because it's mediocre, because there are a lot of mediocre beers in craft beer bars...but that doesn't mean profits are the only thing that figures into it. As mentioned in other posts, if I want to drink Sam Adams I can easily do that at home. If I go to a craft beer bar I'm looking for something that is either difficult to find, new to me or that I only want one of. Boston Lager is none of those. I'm wasting my time at a craft beer bar if I overpay for something that I can easily get at Jewel on my way home from work and I don't think that makes some kind of craft beer poser.

I've said before that breweries need to take multiple markets into account. Even within craft beer, you have multiple sub-markets. Sam Adams is wildly popular as far as casual craft beer is concerned yet they sit around wallowing in their complacency wondering why Boston Lager isn't in every bar in Boston even though they haven't done anything that I'm aware of (aside from the insanely expensive Utopias) to bust into the more cutting-edge craft beer market. Dammit Koch, invest in some fucking R&D! I feel like it's been so long since he has drank anything that he hasn't brewed that he's completely lost touch with the market. The fact that rarity is alluring notwithstanding, part of the reason that harder to find beers are better is because they are. There's a reason the wildly popular local breweries are small and that's because the larger you get, the more you lose control over the whole process. It's the same reason that bread from the little local bakery tastes better, or ice cream from the little mom-and-pop place is so creamy and delicious. When you make as much of an individual products as say Boston Lager or Goose Island 312, you give up a certain amount of what made it special and gain product consistency and national popularity.

Keep making Boston Lager, let that be the cash cow, but if you want to earn your cred back with the enthusiasts, give them something unique and special that's accessible (i.e. not ungodly expensive). I don't much care for the Goose Island standard line, but I love BCBS and the Belgian line (Matilda, Sofie, etc). Give me that from Sam Adams. Come up with something really innovative (more gingerbread and pumpkin beer won't cut it) and put some good marketing behind it. Make it in small batches so you can keep personal control over the quality. You can't just keep making the exact same beer year after year and then bitch about not being on top. It's fucking ignorant.

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