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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Why Brands Matter

Falling down on the job here.  Two posts at All About Beer to note.  The first one concerns the importance of brands.
Let’s try a thought experiment. I’ll offer the name of a brewery and you notice the first few things that spring to mind. Ready? Sierra Nevada. Unless you’re really not into beer—and then, why are you reading this?—something should have popped into your head. OK, here’s another: Dogfish Head. Or here, try this juicy one: Lagunitas.

We have strangely complex relationships with breweries. The mention of a name produces a tangle of impressions, memories, opinions, prejudices and emotions. Unlike many product companies—soap makers, snack food companies, pharmaceutical firms—breweries inspire feelings. You’ve had a lot more meaningful experiences with a beer in your hand than, say, doing laundry.
The second tied into the first, springing up when owners sold Elsyian to AB InBev.  What kind of challenges to a brand do new owners pose?  Especially when part of your brand is "corporate beer sucks?"
It’s hard enough for small breweries to make the leap from beloved little-guy to corporate property without suffering some brand damage. For Elysian, a brewery where the brand relied heavily on that small, outsider status, the leap will be a good deal higher.
Read 'em if you missed 'em.


  1. I find it in a way amusing that a company that branded themselves directly with "corporate beer sucks" ends up selling to their "supposed" prime sworn enemy. What happened to gumption or your word? Personally I don't generally care what, where or who makes beer as long as it has quality to it. Hypocrisy of that caliber does stink of a gutless whore though.

  2. I think AB/InBev would argue Budweiser and Ellysian/10 Barrel are simply brands in their portfolio and are free to market as they see fit. People looking to point out the hypocrisy are missing the fact that this is business and they're in the business of slinging beer. For Budweiser, they need to appeal to the anti-craft beer crowd, while 10 barrel and Elysian need to cater to craft beer folks. Pretty simple.