Jordan knocks one out of the park in his column for Canada's Sun newspaper chain by cutting to the chase about the "meaning" of craft beer. Forget about it:
Let me suggest something to you: “Craft beer” has served its purpose as an idea and we need to move past it. We’re meant to believe, for instance, that Shock Top is evil because it’s pretending to be “craft beer.” As a consumer, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether the beer you’re buying passes some test of ideological purity. Ascribing moral qualities to a beverage is nonsensical; there’s no such thing as an evil milkshake.
No wonder the struggle to figure out what the work might mean beyond branding. There is no meaning! Interesting, this is very much the position in June 2007 when I posted about the meaning of "craft beer" likely for the first time. Probably for the first time as it is only about that point in time that it is truly ascendant as compared to the more rational "micro". You will see that I am talking about a post Lew had written on what is now the "crafty" nonsense. His post attracted 74 comments. Remember, too, that this is just two years after the 2005 merger of the Association of Brewers and the Brewers’ Association of America to form the US Brewers Association, before the board of the new organization could exert such control on the discourse as it does now. It was also in mid-2005 that the Ontario Small Brewers Association changed its name right about when Google first notices the term. It's all recent history that's been already getting foggy, from a point in time when the public had not really even been introduced to the term. Click on that last link. Graphs don't lie.
So, after seven years or so of being foisted upon us, of being round pegged into a square hole, of being pulled this way and that in the great cause of more money... maybe it's simply time to say goodbye to it. Because there is, in fact, no such thing as an evil milkshake.