Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sam Adams, Craft Brewer

By now, you should have heard that the Brewers Association has changed their definition of "craft brewer", by increasing the maximum barrels produced from 2 million barrels per year, to 6 million.  This change directly influences Boston Brewing Company, in the next few years, they will surpass the 2 million barrel mark.

To me, it really doesn't mean that much.  I want good beer to be produced as much as they can, and it is just a status.  What I think it does mean, is that there is a respect for Boston Brewing Company, and what it has done for the craft brewing industry.  Sure, Sam Calagione and his Brew Masters television show has forced his way onto mainstream cable tv- I have had many friends call me about the show- but it is DogFish Head centered.  Sam Adams beers are continually being drank by macro swillers, even my father-in-law drinks Boston Lager, it took me forever to convince him that it was a craft beer.

I would feel confident that Sam Adams is the number one brewery gateway beer that leads macro drinkers to the craft world.  I have been fortune to see it happen with not only my father-in-law, but also many of my friends.

So, hear is to you Boston Beer Company, for all that you do.  May you continue to be a craft brewer the rest of your days (may they be many).

And if you would like to read the news release that was sent out by the Brewers Association, it can be found here.


  1. I think this also a way to keep "showing" that the craft beer market is increasing. You pull BB out of the craft numbers, and they drop a huge amount (yeah, no surprise there). There is also a tax differential associated with this. I am not positive if that is affected by making this change. Currently, the 2 million barrel marks a change in the tax for the brewery by the federal government. This may just be a way for the BA to campaign to raise the bar on that tax from 2 million up to the 5 million. Sort of keeping things consistent. Plus, they want what is best for the craft brewers out there.

    I think that there are a few breweries that are coming close to the 2 million right behind BB as well. Off the top of my head, I would say DFH (I would guess they are riding the wave right now), Sierra Nevada, New Belgium (maybe?), Brewer's Alliance (Goose Island, Redhook, Widmer, Kona). They want to keep these guys in the ballpark away from the BMC crew.

  2. @barrroomhero- I am not sure how close Sierra Nevada is to eclipsing the 2 million barrel mark; although due to Boston Brewing almost surpassing it(they are expected to shortly), I wouldn't think SN are close enough to effect something like this.

    I didn't think about the tax purposes, thanks for introducing me to that train of thought

  3. I read an article on it a few days ago. I don't think Sierra Nevada is anywhere close (they're at 800,000 I think?)

    Found it, it also discusses the tax purposes:


  4. @John Parker- thanks, I was looking for Sierra Nevada's numbers, but after scouring google, I was left empty

  5. I was pretty sure that they weren't there right now, but figured it would be coming up. 10 years isn't really too far off I don't believe, especially with the capitol improvements that they would need to make. That could actually jump even faster if the craft beer movement gains even more momentum (something I am not willing to dismiss out of hand at all).

    Either way, interesting decision for sure.

    On another topic, does it seem like BB has been working harder to get back to their "craft beer" roots than in the past? The barrel room series, the longshot series, and even the Infinium collab. Hell, even the introduction of Noble Pils has me thinking that they are working hard to STAY in the craft section. This more than anything makes this a strong decision by BA.