En sammenligning med hvad der tidligere er foregået i USA.
Apropos sidste uges “ballade” i forbindelse med BBB-garantimærket (Brygget på Bryggeriet af Bryggeren). Det er ofte sagt, at Danmark med forsinkelse gennemgår den “ølrevolution”, der har været i USA. At vi kan lære rigtig meget af, hvad der er foregået i USA.
Faldt over nedenstående på den amerikanske øl-historiker Maureen Ogle’s blog. Det drejer sig om Jim Koch, der i 1985 og 86 fik priser for hans kontraktbryggede øl ved Great American Beer Festival (som apropos netop lige nu foregår i Denver). Hvilket gav anledning til stor kritik af kontraktbrygning. Jim Koch’s Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams øl) – får nu i 2009 kontraktbrygget ca. 65% af øllet.
Tjah… historien gentager sig.
“What Revolution?” The Outtakes, Part 2 (Maureen Ogle)
The festival’s (GABF) focus on awards inadvertently sparked craft brewing’s first major internal conflict: The battle over contract brewing. The episode is worth a closer look because it, too, offers insight into the ways in which craft brewing reflects the contradictions and complexity of American culture.
The conflict over contracting began in 1985 when Jim Koch showed up at the festival. Koch, who had recently launched Sam Adams beer, walked away with a prize that year and the next. His fellow beermakers were not happy.
Why? Because Koch did not own or operate his own brewhouse. Instead, he rented brewing equipment (“contracted”) from a small regional brewery.
Koch’s decision to contract stemmed from his understanding of the financial equation before him: He himself had no training as a brewer. He started with limited funds, certainly not enough to buy or build a brewhouse. He knew that successful brewing depended in large part on expertise and quality equipment.
So he rented, rather than purchased, the talent and the brew vats, and spent his few dollars on quality ingredients and marketing.
His fellow craft brewers wanted none of it. Contract brewers, fumed one “real” brewer, were just “marketing people” “more interested in making a buck than in actually brewing quality beer.” The whole thing was “dishonest.”
“If I were running [the GABF],” complained the late Bert Grant of Yakima Brewing, I wouldn’t allow any contract brewers in the thing. You wouldn’t know Sam Adams from Iron City [a Pittsburgh brewing company] except for a little caramel malt.”
The critics spoke too soon. A few years later, craft brewing was populated by dozens of contract brewers (including the one who had accused contractors of being dishonest).
Fortsættelsen kan læses her: “What Revolution?” The Outtakes, Part 3 of 3 (Maureen Ogle))