Thursday 15 April 2021

Class collaboration

Craft brewing is essentially a petty bourgeois movement. That is, small businesses competing against larger established companies. This regularly leads to tensions as small companies that grow turn into big companies themselves. 

The latest craft darlings to take a step beyond the pale are Cloudwater brewery, who have just done a big deal with Tesco's. This time it's been complicated by being linked to a smaller deal to stock collaborations with beer brand owners from oppressed groups. This has put a different spin on the inevitable twitter storm, but as far as I can see it's still basically business as usual. 

I was more interested in the collaborations, as the final twist is that Cloudwater aren't actually brewing the beers themselves, they're being made a Brewdog. This did get my mind boggling. What on earth does this mean? No doubt a lot of "collaborations" simply involve a recipe being emailed to a brewery, but does forwarding an email to a bigger brewery count as collaborating? Looking at Cloudwater's blog I see they also mention that their house yeast strain is used but as they've only been going seven years this also seemed a trifle irregular. Does the brewsheet just say "use US05" or is there more to it? Either way I really don't get that one either as if the yeast doesn't come out of a packet surely it only recently came from a culture collection? 

I didn't think I'd done any colabs myself, but I have had beer contract brewed and do a lot of contract brewing at the moment. Does this mean I have in fact done lots? Or does it only count if there's a press release calling it a collaboration? There's always more to learn about brewing but I suspect there is more to learn about marketing too. 

1 comment:

  1. I remember when beer wasn't complicated. If you liked it, you supped it and if you didn't, you didn't. End of.