Posts Tagged ‘Greg Koch’

’09 Craft Brewers Convention Keynote

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Greg Koch of Stone Brewing left a comment on the post where I knocked on him saying that when he got the video of his speech up people could judge for themselves. While I still disagree with many of the things in Greg’s speech, and still dislike his judgements on consumers, I do have more respect for him. Like he says in the beginning, if two people in business agree then that’s one to many. I hope one day he may come around to accepting that his idea of exceptional isn’t everyone else’s, but I now better understand where he was coming from with his speech. Give his speech a watch, it’s about 46 min.

2009 Craft Brewer’s Convention Keynote from I Am A Craft Brewer on Vimeo.

A Clarification/Reaction/Appology

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

On April 30th I wrote an open letter to Greg Koch in which I accused him of being a “whiny jerk off” amongst other things. I’ll admit I was wrong in writing that letter the way I did. I have never met Greg and do not know what kind of person he is. That day Greg became the focus of all my annoyance with the craft beer industry and the beer snobs that follow it. I was wrong. I thought Greg would never read it and thought my vent would be good for a few laughs and some poking with sticks in his direction. Apparently I thought wrong though as Greg read it and even posted a link to it on his twitter today. While I’m sure Greg is a good guy if you know him personally I still stand by some of what I said and would like to clarify it in an attempt to address some of the comments I’ve received.

Mr Koch,

First off I apologize for the attributes I layered on you. I do not know you personally and had no right to characterize you as such. That being said please understand that the way you present yourself and your brewery is what has caused me to leap to these conclusions. I understand that part of it is simply how you market your beers. After all, I’ve grown up around Rogue who labels themselves as the beer that individualists drink. I get that it gives the product an air of being exclusive. My problem is that products and companies who characterize themselves in this manner annoy me to no end. I also understand that you were using mozzarella sticks and Kenny G in a humorous way, but in my mind that just pointed back to the problem I was trying to address. We’ve allowed and encouraged labels to be attached to craft beer that have made it more about the image then good beer. Also I don’t see how passion has anything to do with whetheror not someone can make a good product. I personally make beers I enjoy. Am I passionate about them? Well, I’m not sure I’d characterize it in that way. I just happen to make what I enjoy and am content with that. In my mind your version of passion conjurs the idea of being narrow minded about your own tastes.

To Everyone Else,

I’m not the Miller drinker I was describing. I have nothing against Miller, I just don’t happen to enjoy their beer. That Miller drinker I described happened to be a combination of two of my friends, both of whom are BMC drinkers. The one that likes Miller also happens to be my favorite drinking buddy. They do enjoy craft beer, but Miller High Life is just something they happen to enjoy more. Also my grandparents are Busch Lite drinkers. I don’t blame this on them being ignorant or dispassionate. They have both tried craft beer and usually try whatever homebrew I have and still prefer their Busch. They just happen to have different tastes. I don’t see how this makes them ignorant or dispassionate. The fact that I got comments about people being surprised that the person I described didn’t drink craft beer just goes to prove that we have attached ridiculous labels on craft beer drinkers.

Also when I talked about diversity I wasn’t refering to beer selection, but referring to the people that frequent craft beer pubs in Salem. Although I would rather go to these places and have a good local beer I find myself more often at local watering holes that serve BMC simply because the crowds are more diverse, and more fun IMHO. I’d rather kick back and relax without having to hear about Indy music, local foodie hotspots, and all those other silly things. I feel that craft beer has allowed itself to become so exclusive and snobbish that it is ridiculous. I still stand by my challenge to Greg and the rest of you. Rather then criticize others for their beer tastes buy them a Bud and have a conversation. Who knows, you may find a great friend, albeit one who drinks BMC.

Mr. Koch, Please Shut UP

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

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”.