A twitter conversation put me in a bit of a social bind. I am sure you can help me out. It was triggered by a link to an ad for a job with a national craft brewer that included, among other things, these responsibilities:
• Responsible for finding those opportunities that allow for our brand story to be heard with both intimacy and depth.
• This person will be responsible for both creating experiences at events that are PR worthy as well as working with our PR firm to leverage local activities surrounding these events.
• Above being a presence at events, we’re looking for someone to help nurture and grow our relationships with local bike shops, non-profit organizations, communities and fellow beer enthusiasts.
Social bind? The thing is I pursued the idea though a discussion with Win Bassett without immediately being aware that was in his wheelhouse, discussing stuff he in part does for work. Which meant it was a bit unfair or insensitive of me. But he did deflect my waggery with this interesting point: "[I]n my opinion, craft concerns only the brewing beer part." I am a sensitive man. I was thinking about discomforting Win... in the wee hours as American all night sports AM radio gave me the updates as it faded in and out with the ionospheric waves... as the autumn wind rattled the branches against the house...
Then I realized what an excellent point it was.
See, we rattle on about "craft" as it is a thing when it is a process. Zak was on a panel just this past weekend - Tandy, too. But which bit of the whole process is the crafting? Does one really care about whether someone has to make events happen so that they are PR worthy or locally leveraged? For that matter, do we care about anything outside the brew house? Sure, we all may know that twist off caps are not craft but is there anything else? Clear glass bottles? To be honest, I am a bit off Rogue since I heard of the employment issues but... are there "craft" approaches to employee-employer relationships? Similarly, I see no connection between macro national craft like Sam Adams and nano brewers like Community Beer Works - but is scale really an indicator of craft? What about the scale, employment policies or other elements of suppliers? The trucking firms? The distributors and keg suppliers? And if the brew house is pure as a child's prayer but all else is dark Satanic mills, do you care? Do you inquire? Do you turn a blind eye? If craft is good how broadly must its goodness flow?