|Koch speaks to the crowd|
There was also mention of the brewery bust of the 1990’s, when the fledgling-yet-flourishing craft industry suddenly crashed leaving a few scattered survivors as the majority of breweries went out of business. Is it an omen? A harbinger of doom? A sign the market is near a point of oversaturation? Koch says “no.” He attributes the crash to in-fighting; brewery owners, more business people than beer people, took a page from the macrobreweries’ playbook and, instead of supporting one another, attacked their craft brewing brethren. It was an issue of ego—they wanted to crush the so-called “competition,” become the sole craft beer proprietor. They didn’t realize diversity strengthens the whole industry; they played by the old school business model of undermining everybody in a similar trade. Macrobrewery execs simply sat back with fingers tented à la Mr. Burns and waited as their enemies self-destructed and swooped in to re-claim their valuable customers. This, among other reasons, is why beer geeks today become distraught when they hear of one craft brewer pursuing litigation against another—it brought down craft before, it can do it again. Lesson of the day: play nice or face extinction.
|Koch gives the spiel on Utopias|
|A barrel room full of very happy beer geeks|
|Avert they gaze, peasant! That's nearly $200 worth of beer.|
|Cask ales at Stoddard's|