Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Those Sensitive Craft Beer Drinkers

Even if you didn't watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, you've probably heard that the craft beer community has its collective knickers in a twist over a Budweiser ad that poked fun at craft beer fans. In case you missed it, watch now...

Within just seconds of the ad running, social media lit up with outrage from insulted craft beer drinkers. "Outrageous," "insulting," along with other exclamations I can't print here, hit my Facebook and Twitter feeds. The indignation continues still. Seriously people, that's all it takes to offend you? Sure, they mocked (some) craft beer fans for their constant tasting and sipping and pontificating over beer. But don't we do the same to ourselves? Just a few days ago, this article on "The 19 Types Of Beer Snobs" was making the rounds. I can't count the number of my craft beer connections on Facebook who shared the article. I shared it myself. Why did we share it? Because to some extent it's true, and we can laugh at ourselves. Or can we?

Craft beer drinkers regularly poke fun, or worse, at Budweiser, and Bud drinkers. This time the advertising team at Anheuser Busch turned the tables and lobbed a zinger back. And frankly, I thought it was funny. To some extent, they are right. Beer, including craft beer, is for drinking. Shouldn't all brewers want to people to like their beer "for drinking, not dissecting"? Don't check in on Untappd, skip the note taking and photo shoots, and just enjoy it.

Budweiser's mocking example of a "pumpkin peach ale" was somewhat ironic as they recently purchased a craft brewery that actually makes such a beer. Or maybe it wasn't ironic, but another deliberate tweak at craft beer fans. If that's the case, it worked.

The "battle" between craft and factory beers will go on. There will always be people who prefer Bud over Flying Dog, Miller Lite over Stone. We won't change that. But we don't have to be so sensitive, and hypocritical, in the quest for converts.

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