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.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?"
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.
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.