I find the debate between those who like big US craft beer but hate big macro beer always a bit odd. For me, neither now speak to anything but industrial scale production even if twenty years ago the owners of big craft breweries were something more like revolutionaries at a cottage industry level. And highly skilled industrial production at that. The Goose Island sale to AB-InBev is the trigger for today's strange outrage as Andy points out. But what's the categorical difference with the fairly silly news received earlier this year - except that it's just another blip on the same continuum of beery bigness?
In the BA's craft brewer definition, the term "small" now refers to any independent brewery that produces up to 6 million barrels of traditional beer. The previous definition capped production at 2 million barrels. The changed definition is currently in effect and can be reviewed on the BA website, BrewersAssociation.org. The change to the bylaws went into effect December 20, 2010.
Ten days or so ago I asked "What's The Difference Between Cheap and Good Beer?" and suggested it would be nice to know what it would take to add a few more quality ingredients to move a beer that is not the greatest into the conversation. Today, I ask the opposite. What happens if AB-InBev keeps Goose Island beers at the same quality but lowers the price? Would they be any less craft if that were to happen? Not really opposites all that much when you think about it.