4. “Sellout” culture
Stone Brewing IPA didn’t stop being good just because you can purchase it at an Airport bar just like Portugal, The Man doesn’t suck suddenly because they had a #1 single. Yet there’s a strong, vocal hipster demographic eating up small-release beers that taste like ice cream and acting like any brewery that existed before they turned 21 is irrelevant. Or worse, total sellouts.
On the other end, the minute a brewery sees a modicum of success, former fans cry foul. Just because a brewery has expanded its distribution to a wider audience or opened a larger production facility doesn’t mean that the founders have suddenly become corporate shills. It means your neighborhood brewery that you loved 5 minutes prior is becoming successful and bringing better beer to more people. If that’s selling out, maybe it’s a good thing.
This has, mind you, been the case for a long time: One old-school brewer from the ’80s once told us that they were labeled sellouts the minute they stopped delivering each and every keg to local bars by bike. But there’s become a louder contingent of people crying foul thanks to advances in hashtag culture and a fear that big beer’s got a hand in any expansion. So yeah, just because a brewery has longevity or success doesn’t mean that Big Beer’s pulling the strings. It’s total bullshit, and needs to stop.