Reader: It's Okay for Craft Brewers to Sell Out — But I Won't Buy Their Beer
Garrett Wales, Meg Gill and Todd Usry are talking beer.
The High End
There's a brewing controversy in the craft-beer industry over the consolidation of one-time independents. In an attempt to counter the backlash, three entrepreneurs who sold their breweries to Anheuser Busch InBev — Todd Usry of Breckenridge Brewery, Garrett Wales of 10 Barrel Brewing in Oregon and Meg Gill of California's Golden Road Brewing — have been talking about their decisions. Did it work? Says Sara:
Can't have your cake and eat it too!
They need to shut up and just collect their paychecks. They are complete sellouts and need to come to terms with that. I'd have a little respect for them if they just admitted, "Hey, we did it for the money." At least they'd be honest that way. Quit bitching and go spend that money....????
Yeah, they've sold out, but who cares? In the business world, selling-out is a well-respected exit strategy; it's one way that founders get their money out. It's okay.
That said, I don't drink their beer any more. Because they've sold out, they have access to a much larger audience, and what few dollars I have to spend on beer, I spend on brands that don't have the backing of a giant conglomerate. But what I don't do is begrudge these guys their success. They've worked harder than I seem to have the capacity to, and if that caught the eye of AB InBev, more power to them. They earned it.
What do you think of the sales?