Does it matter who makes the beer you buy? 2012 (Poll Closed)

  • Peter Fitzwel - 8 years ago

    I support locally brewed craft beer, as it is generally fresh. During a purchase, one must assume that the distributor of a non-local, yet favored craft beer has properly handled the product. I for one hesitate purchasing a Westvleteren XII Brick as there is no means to determine whether it has been properly handled. There is an extraordinary amount of time & distance between Europe, and the West Coast of the United States. Certainly time enough to allow shipping errors. +100F trucks traveling the Interstate system further negates any purchase by yours truly of any non-local premium priced beers. And yes, I am a homebrewer and damn proud of it.

  • Rob - 8 years ago

    Just one more quick comment. These answer options are leading and don't even match the question. Poorly written and punishing to anyone that dare vote NO. That was pointed out best by previous commenter Sally... Sally had the best comment of all comments!

    Sally - 1 week ago

    The poll questions really lack internal and external validity (meaning they don't really ask what they think they are asking, and therefore the data they obtain is spurious). Specifically, how does "buying locally" relate to someone who loves craft beer and does not patronize macrobreweries, but loves craft beer from across the country? How does one weigh or value the importance to the consumer of drinking a great craft brew that is distributed by a company that relies upon a distribution company that serves Bud/Miller/Coors to stay afloat? I live in Colorado, so Coors is a "local" brewery for me, how is this accounted for in the question? One could actually drink Coors beer exclusively, be intentionally buying "locally produced" beer, and truthfully answer "yes" to the above question...but this answer doesn't correspond at all to what you think the question is asking. In addition, the questions are leading with inherent judgements made explicit in their tone and wording. It is clear to the reader which are the "desired" responses, which further skews the data. Any information gained from this poll is, I'm sorry to say, biased and not worth very much.

  • Rob - 8 years ago

    Only 5% would buy from big brands? Liars. The only reason you guys said that is because the big brands generally don't make good beer. So it was easy to convince yourselves how evil the big companies are and pick one of the other choices.

    If you would not buy Goose Island beers because of their ownership, sorry I called you a liar. Everybody else, go change your answer. And that's just one example.

  • Deadrooster - 8 years ago

    Jimmy, I'm fine with the Macros buying a brewery and enabling that beer to get to me faster and in more quantity as long as it stays unchanged, but that doesnt stop the squeezing as mentioned by the author. The squeezing is what prevents more craft brew from being available. I am a long time homebrewer who has fantasies about starting my own brewing business. However, upon researching all the distribution laws and tactics, this author hits the nail on the head with the biggest problem for micro/craft breweries. The distribution laws are outdated prohibition era regulations that make no sense in todays market and the distributors are owned by the big brewers. Furthermore, the ability for craft brewers to get on the shelves and taps of bars and restaurants is very difficult. If you truly believe in the craft brewing industry, you have to think beyond yourself. Yes the big brewers have made a few good beers more available to you, but at what cost? How many other good brews will you never know about because they dont sell out?
    The key to it all is allowing breweries to self distribute. Not only would it allow them to firmly control where their beer is available and where it is not, but it would also drastically reduce the cost. There is an entire layer of profit margins and taxes in there that is not necessary. Why can a brewery sell beer to you, but not to a bar? There is no logic.

  • Jimmy - 8 years ago

    I'm all for the local craft brewer, but traveling around the country trying locally produced beer that is not distributed to my state is not an option. Waiting for a major company to take over the brand and help share the beer is fine by me. As long as the brewery is left alone to craft their beer according to their own standards.

  • Leonard - 8 years ago

    No megacorp beers for me, thank you. The sort of bottom line at all costs approach sucks and I won't support it.

  • Erik Gustafson - 8 years ago

    This article assumes that once a big beer corporation owns a smaller, independent brewery, that independent brewery no longer makes quality beer. If the proceeds go to Anheuser Busch or Coors, as long as the "independent" beer I'm drinking is still delicious and made by that company, do I have a right to complain? I love Deschutes, Rogue, and Sierra Nevada brews. If they own themselves or are owned by a bigger corporation, as long as they continue to make good beers, I will support them.

  • McGee - 8 years ago

    Love the great Michigan craft beers! But who can pass up a 3 Floyd's, Dogfish head, Southern Tier, Rogue, Stone,...

  • wilson - 8 years ago

    The best reason to buy local beer is the same reason as buying or using other local businesses -- to support small business. However, if you don't like the beer or product, it's pointless to buy it.

  • Bob Schneider - 8 years ago

    I buy good beer. I buy good beer made by people and breweries I like. I try as many beers as I can afford. And if I can't, I drink the good beer I make at home.

  • Chad'z Beer Reviews - 8 years ago

    I'm sick of this notion that local = quality or "the most local it is, the better it is". That's just asinine. "Local" has become a buzzword used by trendy restaurants, foodies and politicians. Simply slap the word "local" on anything and all of a sudden it becomes not only fashionable, but altruistic! How many times have you been to a restaruant where the menu says something to extent of "locally grown" or "locally raised", etc. That's fine, but in a blind taste test I'll be 99 out of 100 people couldn't differentiate between local beef and that shipped in from across the country.

    It's the same thing with beer. What does "local" have to do with "do you care who makes your beer?"? It doesn't REALLY matter who makes my beer as long as they're making beer I like. Where I live we have some good brewpubs, but no one is making anything on a consistent basis that is making my eyeballs pop out every time I see it. Frankly I'd much rather have a Founders or a Three Floyds but according to this poll that's frowned upon because they're not "local" to me. Of course if you live in Indiana or Michigan than they are. I guess people like me are supposed to drink the mediocre stuff that is made nearby lest we have to forfeit our hipster card.

    C'mon, stop turning beer into lowest-common-denominator political economics which isn't based in reality to begin with. You hate AB-InBev because they're an evil corporation? Fine, understandable. But that local microbrewery is a corporation as well - why aren't they evil. Because they're small? Fair enough. But don't you want them to grow? Yes. So if they take off and become a huge corporation at what annual revenue generated amount do they become evil?

    When it comes to beer it's not the size of the brewery or the "quality" of their products that matter, it's the PERCEIVED intention. But unless you're the owner or a member of the board of directors of Brewery X, there's no way for you to KNOW what their intentions are. All you can go by is their marketing and of course rumors. You can go by their product, which you may love, but when you find out it's made with Hop Extrat (cough cough Pliny, Heady Topper) does your whole world come crashing down like you just found out there's no Santa Claus?

    My philosophy: Drink what you like but be open to trying new things. Also, taste is subjective - only an idiot thinks what makes a good beer good is a matter of fact. The sorority girl that thinks Bud Lite is delicious is 100% right just as much as anyone who's ever swooned over Westvleteren 12.

  • Steve - 8 years ago

    I am lucky to be in Chicago that has seen a spike in craft brewers. Granted a few have put out some marginal beers, but for the most part I have been pleased with my local selection. When I travel I always look for local brews on the menu. Support for local brewers is important, keeps jobs and money in your community.

  • Jon - 8 years ago

    I am avid for supporting local but what if local just isn't getting it right or doesn't have enough options. For example, how many lagers can you get in the state of Indiana compared to say Wisconsin? Not total fare but you should get the point. Very few breweries in my local venue will venture out to make lagers because time seems to be money. That is not the essence of craft beer. Craft beer is crafted with thought and respect for the drinker (hopefully).
    I would love to see something in this poll next time of "I am a homebrewer but still try craft beer either locally or regionally or nationally for comparison purposes." I personally will always want to try a new beer that I haven't tried and if I didn't I would have ran out of the local well long ago. Plus, some of my go to beers were around before the craft beer scene started to blow up here in Indiana.

  • Dale - 8 years ago

    Polls like this have a huge selection bias because everyone that would say 'no' never saw the article!

  • Ken Carman - 8 years ago

    While I DO believe in buying local, I enjoy supporting, and experiencing, beer from all over: especially the US. Plus, I have NO interest in JUST buying local because that supports high selective legislation bought and paid for by big brew that limits craft beer brewers. In Florida it's 22oz and growlers they've decided to ban, here in Tennessee, for a while, it was higher abv. Even now it has to be sold in liquor stores. The purpose of this legislation is to favor big brew over small in a way most effective for where it is put into place, and it is put into place by pols with big brew bucks in their pockets.

    I simply could never support anything like that, plus I think buying more aggressive, creative, brews helps motivate others to head in that direction. We need to put the years of damn near only one type of lager available very far behind us.

  • Dennis Mooney - 8 years ago

    I always try to buy locally first and then look for other craft beers brewed in the USA. As for Goose Island and Terrapin, they make good beer but I know I can drink beer as good from small independent brewers so I avoid their beer.

    Having lived in the UK I've seen what the big guys can do when they buy the craft companies- they force the small guys off the taps at your local drinking spot and before you know it there is no choice left but "craft beer" made by the big guys. Then quality suffers.

    In the UK the craft beer association called CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) was successful in turning this around and now local beer is again flourishing.

    Not to be defeated the big guys spent millions targeting younger drinkers with low cost low taste lagers and again the small batch real ale brewers are suffering. So round two requires the knowledgeable public to stand up and be counted.

    As CAMRA used to say "there is nothing wrong with adding carbon dioxide to beer because it is a natural by-product of the brewing process but I dont put shit on my bacon and thats a natural by-product of pigs"

  • Steve - 8 years ago

    I agree with Mike. I drink beers I like, not brewery names. I do not necessarily like all the beers brewed by one brewery or hate all the beers brewed by another, be it a Multinational or a small micro

  • Mike - 8 years ago

    "drink what you like" If you refuse to try beers from breweries like Goose Island and Terrapin just because AB-INBEV and SAB-Miller own stake in the breweries then I say your foolish and missing out of some great beers.

  • Bobbyearl - 8 years ago

    I drink CCB and 7venth sun b/c it is local. I support my local economy and more imortantly my community. Local breweries tend to do more for their locales than brew beer. They bring tourists, sponsor events, and educate people on the areas local culture whatever it might be. I love trying other craft beers from around the country and I try and support the local beer economy when I travel by drinking the local fare. Wether it is J. Wakefield or Funky Buddha in S. Florida, Terrapin in Athens, GA, or Choc in Oklahoma. Drink local does not always mean only your brewery it means the brewery where you are. Joey Redner and his "family" of employees have created a culture in Tampa that includes the local beer drinkers too. People who live in Tampa feel like CCB is "their" beer company and I think that says a lot about business willing to invest in that sort of business model. I think many craft brewers around the country are doing the same thing, and I think it is AWESOME. That is why I support local.

  • BeerQwest - 8 years ago

    If you voted yes. Follow @BeerQwest. We're working on something for you.

  • Kim - 8 years ago

    I agree with the folks that suggest you conflated two issues. Yes it does matter to me who makes my beer. And it matters to me that breweries don't try to deceive their customers. I care more about the breweries business practices than I do that they're local. Everyone has to be from someplace that's "local." Do they mitigate for their environmental footprint? Pay a living wage? Share equity with their workers? Support their communities?...Local and ethical are not the same thing.

  • mac merritt - 8 years ago

    My body won't even accept a miller product!!

  • Frank Lindeman - 8 years ago

    I agree that some of the international brewers do make certain beers that are good tasting though most of their flagship beers are not included. I find myself not purchasing their beer due in large part to the comparison of better beers available in the local craft market. To a lesser degree, I defer purchase due to their business practices of squeezing out the little guy and limiting entry into the market through their distributorship and dealings with retailers. While its business, it doesn't mean I have to play along and help them in their quest to be bigger. I don't begrudge them, I simply don't buy from them.

  • Eamon Doherty - 8 years ago

    I avoid the big three brewers at all costs. I support local and national craft brewers. I do not really care where it is brewed as long as it suits my style needs at the current time. I perfer Two-Hearted Ale over any other brew but it is not always available here in Lakeland, FL.

    A lot of consumers still consider Sam Adams a craft brew and it is not. Sam Adams has not brewed a nationally available beer that was of consistent quality in a number of years.

  • MaTiBi - 8 years ago

    I don't care who makes my beer as long as its consistently good.

  • MaTiBi - 8 years ago

    Beerlover makes a good point. I am in the industry. Would you be concerned if you found out FX Matt (aka Saranac)brewed your beer? It's very possible they did...

  • Alex - 8 years ago

    Most of what I drink is my own homebrew. The rest is usually craft. But at the end of the day, I drink what suits my fancy at the time, and let the beer speak for itself, rather than who makes it. I have no problem buying macro beers (lager or otherwise) from time to time. I don't do it often, but I have no shame or guilt doing so.

  • Sally - 8 years ago

    The poll questions really lack internal and external validity (meaning they don't really ask what they think they are asking, and therefore the data they obtain is spurious). Specifically, how does "buying locally" relate to someone who loves craft beer and does not patronize macrobreweries, but loves craft beer from across the country? How does one weigh or value the importance to the consumer of drinking a great craft brew that is distributed by a company that relies upon a distribution company that serves Bud/Miller/Coors to stay afloat? I live in Colorado, so Coors is a "local" brewery for me, how is this accounted for in the question? One could actually drink Coors beer exclusively, be intentionally buying "locally produced" beer, and truthfully answer "yes" to the above question...but this answer doesn't correspond at all to what you think the question is asking. In addition, the questions are leading with inherent judgements made explicit in their tone and wording. It is clear to the reader which are the "desired" responses, which further skews the data. Any information gained from this poll is, I'm sorry to say, biased and not worth very much.

  • Adam - 8 years ago

    I feel both yes options apply to me.
    It's very difficult to stay current on who owns who and even find this information in the first place. I do my best to know this and avoid beers (or any product) made by companies owned by huge multinational corporations. With the growing number of local and small business options, I'd rather support them and don't want to add to the economic disparity from those small businesses and huge corporations. It's not logical to support companies that most of the profits go to a small group of people probably no where near you (maybe even in another country), yet you want your local and state economies to improve. I'd rather my local community get more of the money I pay for their products than contributing to national marketing campaigns, political actions I don't support, and executives' lavish lifestyles and incomes that exceed the operating budgets of many towns in the US.

  • Paul - 8 years ago

    I've been working in the Craft Beer industry for the better part of a decade. Seeing the sales increases and the awareness of the drinking public is amazing, but there is still more to do. One thing I'd like to see change is the use of the word Domestic when it comes to the big brands. It gives the appearance that Bud/Miller/Coors are still American owned companies. It would be awesome if Domestic could apply to locally owned craft breweries, but the most likely situation would be the abolishment of the word. Start separating beers by Type (Ale/Lager) and then by Style (Pale Ale/Pilsner). This is in the hands of the grocer or bar/restaurant manager. And the small stores and drinking establishments are on the front lines.
    The independently owned retailers have the ability to say how their shelves are arranged. The locally owned bar makes the tap list. Chain restaurants and Supermarket grocery stores have contracts or buying relationships that are mandated. Some do let the manager have a few taps or shelf facings to "play with", which is a welcome increasing trend. Still the true power is in the consumer.
    A customer can write, email or call a manager, district manager or corporate office to ask for a brand. That same customer can decide to only shop/drink where local beer is sold instead of falling victim to only what is offered. The power is the dollar spent. In the beer market you can see the effect the small business owner can have on big business, when it's supported by the customer's choice.

  • Craig Koch - 8 years ago

    For the most part I only drink beer that I have brewed, but I like to try other styles from small brewers in order to find out whether I would want to brew that style so I will buy beer. If I travel I like to drink what is local. If all that is available is miller or bud, I'll pass and not drink at all. If I'm going to damage some brain and liver cells I want to make it worth while.

  • EchoTony - 8 years ago


    Thanks to you, I make my own beer. While I do enjoy Stone and the like (local, lucky me), I prefer my own handy work. Relax, enjoy a homebrew!

  • Chris - 8 years ago

    The size of the brewery, or it's parent company do not matter to me so much as how they treat their customers, the market as a whole and the craft beer community. If it is know that you will use any means necessary to sell your product, including litigation and bullying of the distributors and store owners, I will take my business elsewhere. There's too many other good deserving breweries out there!!

  • Andy - 8 years ago

    I haven't bought beer in years! Right now I have an IPA, stout, and a brown ale on tap. 30 gallons of brew that are delicious! If I want more, I have the equipment, grain, hops and yeast to make any style I want! That my friends is freedom!

  • Jeff - 8 years ago

    I enjoy craft beer, support local breweries and US craft breweries - to me craft is that certain number that craft breweries are allowed to make w/o being considered macro . I'm in the Boston area, and when I want go beyond the New England craft borders, I purchase craft beers from the fine states that make it, mainly CA, CO, DE, etc. those who know what companies exist in these areas, know who I'm referring to. The Big Breweries don't concern me at all, I just look the way. There's just way to many craft breweries to pass up in New England alone, but there's the people out there that just go with the status quo, and that's sad. Think about all the advertising dollars that most craft breweries don't spend verses what the Big Breweries do. To all those craft breweries out there, keep up the great work.

  • Chase - 8 years ago

    I definitely enjoy craft and import beers (most recently I tried Stone Enjoy By and LOVED it!). I appreciate the small guy brewer too (there's a small brewery close to the family lakehouse that I enjoy - nice folks). But, about half the beer I drink is Budweiser and I LIKE IT. I've always enjoyed Budweiser. I get that people like different beers from local breweries and want variety, but I don't get all the hate for the big three. It's beacause of them, as I see it, and their distributor networks, that I have a huge range of beer to choose from. (Full Disclosure: I am a 4 year employee of a Bud distributor.)

  • Damon - 8 years ago

    Most of the comments here seem to reflect how I feel about this poll. I buy beer based on the quality of the product, local or not. I DO NOT buy anything distributed by the big guys if I can help it.

  • john - 8 years ago

    These answer choices don't match the question. Or, there at least needs to be more answer choices.

    The question is "Does it matter to you who makes your beer". But then the choices seem like they're attempting to gauge how much you care about buying locally made beer (which is not reflected in the main question). Locally-made beer does not automatically = a small or large brewer, or a contract brewery, etc. Are you trying to gauge whether or not I care if a beer (that is seemingly craft/micro) is actually produced by a mass brewer? Or are you trying to gauge the % of my beer purchases that are local?

    For the record, yes it does matter to me who makes my beer. Do I care if the beer is local?- Not really. Do I buy from any brewery?-No.

  • wabrewer - 8 years ago

    I lasts avoid megabreweries, and now living in Belgium they so not import much.. So the local brews tend to be my choice.. Stateside I enjoyed many craft brews, buy still focused locally. Places like Louisiana when I lived there, there were no local options.. But being from Utah and Washington the choices are nearly endless...

  • beerlover - 8 years ago

    I think that the question that needs to be asked be does it matter to you if the beer you drink is contract brewed or not. I find the Number of "Breweries" that don't even make there own beer alarming and misleading. They Range in size from a very localized area too National brands. There are very good beers made by breweries of all sizes so I choose to discriminate on the basis of are they actually a brewery or just a marketing scheme.

  • Peter - 8 years ago

    I voted Yes, mostly. Small breweries do not all make great beer, nor do the big guns necessarily make bad beer. The proof is in the bottle (or better yet, can). AB/Inbev and the other mega-brewers will get by fine without my support, but the local micro-, nano-, and craft brewers really do need our monetary and moral support. Same with coffee. SBUX certainly does not need my support as much as the mom-and-pops that are local.

  • BeerPal - 8 years ago

    I don't have a problem with megaswill breweries. I have a problem with megaswill breweries trying to convince the consumer that they are making craft beer.

  • Ben - 8 years ago

    I'd love to say I only buy local, but there are some amazing Belgian beers that are made by big corporations. Duvel-Moortgat now owns Ommegang, Achouffe and De Koninck.

  • Courtney - 8 years ago

    I voted yes because I support locally whenever possible, and rarely reach for something regionally unless my options are limited; I try to let the beer speak for itself, and locally (typically) speaks the loudest

  • Lisa - 8 years ago

    It's worth pointing out that some of the huge brands still make good beer and that big does not have to equal terrible (even if it often does) - Carlsberg's Jacobsen line is always interesting. It would give the mega-brewers more credibility to follow that path.

    That said, I do prefer to buy from brewers I know, or to buy whatever is local when I'm traveling, but I don't like to dismiss things entirely because they might be distributed or owned by a 'bad guy' - provided the beer is still good.

  • Thomas Ale Johnson - 8 years ago

    I voted yes, because I always support local business if possible. Arizona is a tricky place though because the *full spectrum* of beer is (finally, just now) only beginning to be explored here. So I typically need to buy beers for the cellar from other states and other countries or brew them myself.

    It's changing fast here in AZ though. Big things are in the works by many small breweries.

  • Norm - 8 years ago

    I voted no, though I do avoid the brands of large corporations and love my locally produced beers (especially my own). The beer has to speak for itself.

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