Posted by: Michael | 22 December 2012

In which Tom Long of MCB deflects your attention

Edit: This post has been updated to refine some of my…shall we say…stronger turns of phrase. This debate needs cool heads to prevail, so I’ve tried to tone myself down a bit here – TBR

I’ve been covering the battle between authentic craft brewers and the multinationals for a few weeks now (see here, here, and here). Today, Tom Long, CEO of MillerCoors, fired his own volley via CNN (I originally picked this up from BeerPulse). So first, the straight story, then I’ll get to why this ought to have you seeing red like it does me.

Long essentially says that the “craft” brands owned by MCB (those quotation marks are mine, not his, as we would disagree on whether MCB’s holdings count as craft) are just as good as any covered by the Brewers Association definition of a craft beer. The core of his article comes at the end, when he writes

“As a large brewer, we do not view the emergence of craft beer as a threat, because we know that innovation is essential to the American beer industry. In fact, we appreciate the vital role craft beers play within our industry. And we believe it’s good for beer that there are more breweries and more brands available to American beer drinkers than at any other time in U.S. history.

We’re determined to continue to play a leading role in that innovation. And whatever style beer you might prefer, all we ask is that you judge us by the quality of the beer in the glass.”

Well, that’s all fine and dandy, Tom. But here’s what gets my goose: if you want drinkers to judge your beer by what’s in the glass, then put your own name on the bottle. Don’t hide behind another brand.



  1. You should visit Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. You’d probably think a little differently after.

  2. Bill, I’m curious – what about a visit to the brewery would make me change my mind about owning corporations putting their name on a product?

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