There are two famous Koch’s in the brewing world, neither related, and both are the most whiny jerk offs in the brewing industry. Today’s post is dedicated to just one of the though, Greg Koch of Stone Brewing. He has annoyed me to the point that I’m writing this open letter that I will never send.
Dear Mr. Greg “it’s Bud’s fault” Koch
Over the last couple months your name has been pinging all over the radar, and I think it’s gone to your head. You seem to be espousing this view that craft brewers are the schiz, and anyone who doesn’t think so has obviously had a lobotomy. I find this view offensive, silly, and just plain high school cliquish. Please allow me to explain.
Prior to the expansion of your head I only knew you as the CEO of Stone. A brewery that made good beer, but thought much more of itself then most people I know thought of them. Then shortly before Beer Wars was released your name started popping up everywhere, and it was no longer attached to Stone all the time. You were your own person, Greg Koch and not Greg Koch of Stone Brewing. This was no big deal to me as you were an important member of the panel who was there to give a poorly made Micheal Moore style documentary some street cred. But anyone with even a peanut size brain could see that the only thing that movie was made to do was trash everyone except micro brewers, and talk about how great people like you are.
My opinion of you didn’t drop after the movie since that was obviously the direction it was headed. I would have prefered if you tried to bring some level headed discussion to the panel, but I can’t get everything. Then you gave your speech at the Craft Brewers Conference in Boston and shot yourself in the foot. You characterized the people who drink BMC as “dispassionate consumers”, “Wusses”, and said that people who enjoy “fizzy yellow beer” are the kind of people who like mozzarella sticks, white bread, instant coffee, and Kenny G. Really Greg? Do you really think less of someone because they don’t eat gourmet food, drink craft beer, patronize Starbucks, or listen to Count Basie. It takes either a brave man, or a small man to judge a person based on their tastes and habits of consumption.
Let me characterize someone for you. Picture a person sitting in a local cafe. They have a Mac Book in front of them, an iPod on the table, and designer clothes. This person likes to view themselves as a foodie and only eats at the trendy spots in town. They spend their free time listening to local indie music simply because it’s local, and therefore better then anything else. Is this the kind of passionate person that you want drinking craft beer? If so then that’s interesting because the person I described drinks Miller High Life. They won’t touch white bread, instant coffee or listen to Kenny G. But what does what they drink, wear, or eat have to do with what kind of person they are? Why should a pub owner aim for what you call the “passionate consumers” that fit your mold and not be welcoming of all good people?
I’m tired of pubs that cater to your mold. I wish someday to see more pubs with the same diversity you see at the local bar. The way you guys have marketed yourselves is hurting the craft beer industry, but you like the trendy people with money to burn on $5 pints and $3 dollar bombers. Why should someone as passionate as Greg Koch market his beer towards Joe Schmoe? No wonder many blue collar people view craft beer as a white collar drink and prefer to stick to BMC. The big brands are all to happy to tell them we like you the way you are, why should you have to change.
Hopefully brewers like you will wake up one day and realize that not everyone who doesn’t fit your mold is a stupid person unworthy of your time. Hopefully one day you guys will let the consumer decide what they want to drink without getting on your soapbox to tell them they are wrong. Hopefully one day you really will make beer simply because it’s your passion like you say, and not because you have to stick it to the man and those dispassionate consumers. I dare you to walk into a pub and buy a round of Bud for all those “fizzy yellow beer drinkers”.