…or is it? On Thursday of last week, it was announced that the MillerCoors company purchased a controlling interest in Saint Archer Brewing Co. This transaction was lamented far and wide across the internet and social media as the death of another from among the craft beer ranks. I have to say, I disagree. There was a great interview by the guys over at San Diego Beer Talk on Saturday in which they discussed this event at length with the head brewer at Twisted Manzanita Ales & Spirits. He suggested that this acquisition is actually not a bad thing, in that the beer is not necessarily changing. This was a business transaction, clear and simple. The most notable effect will Saint Archer having more resources to make and distribute their product.
While some people will argue against the principle of “giving their money” to a large conglomerate and boycott Saint Archer, I would suggest patience. Let the beer be the gauge of the success or failure of this venture. There are other examples of takeovers of craft breweries by bigger players that no one seems to be as up in arms about as the SA-MillerCoors tie up. For example, Laguinitas announced last week (busy week in the world of craft beer) that it entered into a joint partnership with Heiniken International. Now, Laguinitas is a massively successful brewery in its own right and this may be a reason no one saw this as a big deal, but it is the exact same type of business transaction and no one threw the same fit people seem to be throwing over Saint Archer being acquired.
All I am saying is, give it a chance. This might be a good thing, if you like their beer. If it means it will be more readily available and take more room in beer coolers away from the likes of Corona, Bud or, yes, even Coors, so be it. I say all the better for craft beer as a whole.