The takeover of a tiny Oregon brewery last week by Anheuser-Busch InBev, in some years from now may seem as a turning point. Or maybe we won't remember it at all. But right now, it feels like the Day the Music Died - the day when craft brewing took the inevitable step from the adolescent innocence of selfless idealism to the maturity of just another bottom-line business.
The moment came, fittingly enough, with the posting of an Internet video showing the owners of 10 Barrel Brewing, in Bend, Ore., gleefully announcing that they had sold their 8-year-old brewery to ABI. This was not the first small brewery to be gobbled up by the international conglomerate. ABI purchased Goose Island Brewery in 2011, and Blue Point Brewing Co. last February.
While there was some passing protest about those sales among the breweries' fans, it hardly matched the outrage sparked by the 10 Barrel purchase. On Facebook and Twitter, the owners were called turncoats who'd "sold out" to the "Great Beer Satan." ... more ... even more