A couple of months ago, I noted how the Brewers Association committed the self-inflicted act to making no sense in a press release while at the same time reminding beer buyers that the competition made tasty beer at a lower price. As the market morphs away from the "one ring to rule them all" approach to whatever is meant by beer community and begins to spar with itself - begins to split into schisms that would make a dour Victorian Scots Presbyterian proud - we will see these sorts of things. Things like these which are not so much about how craft beer will kill itself as maybe a bit of how it will look on the way down:
⇒ I like the Beer Expert Goat and its pithy sayings. "IPA... Who Still Drinks It?" is not so much telling for me as begging the question whether people are now saying that... you know people I don't know in places I don't go.
⇒ This article give a firm backhanded compliment to low priced craft as, apparently, it's not expensive enough. Even though identified as being brewed by Firestone Walker, Shipyard or Unibroue it appears that being good value is a socio-cultural warning sign.
⇒ The can. Is there any weirder statement about how we may have reached the end of something than the announcement of a specially designed craft beer can? My favorite feature is the return of the big gulp opening that I believe we were blessed with maybe in 1996 and again in 2004 by big beer wanting to get an edge.
Don't worry. There is plenty of time still before the end truly comes. Big beer can still be relied upon to take on recycling old paint cans to make the news. Monks are still being flattered. And some brewers will actually remain committed to value and rejecting pretense.
But sooner or later, when the Beer Expert Goat approves the big gulp? Well, maybe that'll be a sign...