Craft beer acquisitions by Big Beer conglomerates cause bad feelings, both with die hard fans and fellow craft brewers. In Colorado, the bad feelings of several acquisitions went so far as to cause a rift among brewers in the Colorado Brewers Guild. Some brewers branched off to form a new guild that wouldn’t carry any of these conflicting interests. Named Craft Beer Colorado, it consisted of 14 founding members, including Odell Brewing; New Belgium; Grimm Brothers Brewhouse; Oskar Blues Brewing; Left Hand Brewing; Wibby Brewing; Epic Brewing; TRVE Brewing; Renegade Brewing; Great Divide Brewing; Bristol Brewing of Colorado Springs; Mountain Sun Brewing of Boulder; and 4 Roses Brewing.
Well, according to this Denver Business Journal article, that rift was repaired inside the walls of the Great American Beer Festival, which seems like the perfect setting for a feud to end.
The boards of the two organizations still must ratify the agreement, but leaders ironed out their biggest differences and agreed that the $1.7 billion craft-beer community in Colorado must speak with one voice in the coming year, he said.
“We don’t have a lot of details. And it still needs to be ratified,” Wright said. “But craft beer in Colorado will have a single voice.”
However, one of the keys of the potential agreement is that only craft breweries by the Brewers Association definition will be part of the organization. So, a deal has been reached, but if Big Beer owns more than 25 percent of your business, you are not invited.