I have mixed feelings about these top-dollar prices. On the one hand, it is a sign that beer is taking a step up in the hierarchy of beverages. As Jim Koch says, we should be proud of our beer. On the other hand, once a beer moves into the realm of beverages that only investment bankers can afford, it seems to be losing its roots.While the quotation is not exactly a statement set out in full context by Kasper, I think that a brewer like Koch saying that we should be proud of our beer is leaning a wee bit to the rich end of the scale as many of the beers in his Sam Adams line (which I would consider comparable to much of the moderately priced, decent quality Saranac brand) may well simply have not kept up with the challenge of excellent we see in much US craft brewing. Too much focus seems to being spent on projects like the quest for that immortal "strongest beer in the world" claim, a goal which seems a lot to me like winning an undergrad over drinking challenge. I mean I really don't give a rat's behind about which is the strongest single malt Scotch.
No, I fear I see the exemplification of a move, in my sometime humble opinion, from craft to kraphtt - that state of branding whereby a macro seeks to claim cottage industry quality or a former cottage brewer hasn't kept up with the Joneses yet continues to claim the space right next to them. If that is the best argument to be made for jacking up craft beer prices, it is pretty sad if anyone really buys into it. I may be proud of our dairy farmers and having a cash crop is all fine and dandy but I am not planning on paying ten bucks a litre for milk anytime soon.
While I think Stan may yet work out better arguments for accepting higher priced beer, I don't accept Lew's table full of lawyers conspicuously consuming justification having seen in my legal career the quality of justifications that go into unzipping a law firm's "marketing" accounts at holiday time. But at least it is better (if more sadly realistic) than a bland claim to pride.