Belgian wrote:Interesting. You presumably wouldn't serve spoiled eggs or milk to a customer, why beer?
Was just having some wonderfully fresh & bretty stuff at Folly brew pub;
I guess it helps if your beer is made 40 feet away & you answer for the entire quality control!
Well, that's kinda the point, isn't it? Always seems like three things are conflated in "craft beer" discussions:
(1) Craft = Flavorful
(2) Craft beer is independent/local
(3) Small is Beautiful
So, (1) seems to be assumed for all craft beer and denied to all corporate beer. Batch is corporate and flavorful. Ace Hill is presumably craft by (1) and bland.
The (2) independent thing lines up with your other priorities, not just beer purchasing. Lone Pine with a Big Mac or Lone Pine at, lets say, the Wren with a cheeseburger? That's the rub with the Cigar City/Oscar Blues/Fireman Capital thing. How big can still be "independent?" How big can still be "local?" Kinda a personal thing to design your own shibboleth for that.
I think (3) is pretty important. I think that was mostly the point of many Belgian brewers running their small faculties without much in terms of expansion. American breweries expand and grow as a culture. With that comes loss of control and some of the problems of (1) and (2). I think the small approach provides the most control over the beer and the most range of expression and experimentation.
For me, then, Batch's house beer fits (3) pretty well. Sure, it has oversight, but it also has a bigger pantry than most breweries and what seems to be brewer control over quality and flavor. That leads to (1), which leads to this discussion because it fails (2) very, very badly. Depends on your priorities. If they are mostly hands off on the design and keep the system pretty small and only at the pub, they can do (3) very well despite being (1) higher up.
And Folly is 100% not craft beer... it's small beer (in the sense of 3 - though hopefully it's flavorful and I cannot imagine it being more independent). Plus, Folly beer is out in accounts as far as Hamilton which are less easy to QC (you have to trust your publican to be honest in their feedback and only sell to trusted publicans). Same for bottles which should be QC'd hard before they ever leave Folly.
Anyway, my two cents. I should have probably become some kind of weird monk, maybe.