Five years ago, the warehouse of Woodland beverage distributor V. Santoni & Co. was stocked with fewer than 300 varieties of beer. Today the company’s inventory contains 1,800 brews, a change that reflects the exploding number of mostly small companies making craft beer. Link.
I guess I’m kind of surprised that the big brewers haven’t lobbied for more restrictions on craft brewers. That, after all, would be consistent with much of big business’ history in the United States: Lobby legislatures in the name of some noble purpose that has nothing (absolutely nothing!) to do with the big business’ economic self-interest. Those noble purposes typically revolve around children. “Do it for the children!” is, I think, the single-most used rationale by people who want to push their self-interested agenda. In this case, I gotta believe there are a dozen ways to spin the craft beer explosion into a problem, especially in light of the small brewers’ tendency to use outlandish names and labels to promote sales. “Too much craft beer is irresponsibly marketed, resulting in harm to families. Restrict it for the sake of the kids!”