Now its taking me along time to realise why i got so worked up until i read a post today saying
"Sad to see what some see as the craft world descending into polarised hate , a bit like US politics"
And suddenly it all fell into place. The World is not Black and White (Insert Babylon 5 reference Here : It was the First TV show i saw where the world in depth was shades of grey)
Theres no doubt in my mind Big Buisness on the whole is not a Force for good, Tesco's squeezes farmers, and undercuts local grocers, Amazon undercuts everyone and massively avoids paying taxes, Facebook spy's on us all. Big Beer squeezes out using unfair practices the smaller breweries, and drives toward bland beer. Not going to get any argument from me their.
But its not as simple as that , we all accept the how much the Convenience of Supermarkets of Amazon or the advantages that Facebook bring against their spying we choose what shade of grey we are happy with
Now Beer is no different. We need to choose what we are personally happy with. But some people don't want us to have that choice they want to make it Black or White. Last week Beavertown was White and Great today they are Black and Evil.
This first reared its head in UKCBF where i was told in clear terms that if beavertown sold a share to big business it was no longer craft and could not be discussed their. So first off we have long have arguments over what is craft but i refuse to accept that everything being equal something is craft if its funded with 40M of Dads money, or 40M of Private Equity , but not if its 40M of a different breweries money. But lets avoid that old argument. My problem is one day its good the next day its evil. Black or White
Once again i got frustrated, this time when Cloudwater pulled out of Beavertown Extravaganza.
Beavertown are running a invite only festival, they invited Cloudwater (amongst others) who accepted, thus allowing Beavertown to advertise that Cloudwater were attending. With out this permission they could not have advertised Cloudwater . So one day Cloudwater were happy Beavertown were white and ok, but the next day Beavertown were evil and they were forced to pull out of the festival. Black or White
Nothing about the festival had changed. Cloudwater just decided that Beavertown were no longer white so went back on their agreement, not just with Beavertown. But to all those people they allowed Beavertown to tell they were going.
They effectively want to remove the shades of grey, they us to decide that either Beavertown is good or Beavertown is bad. Their can be no middle ground. Black or White
So will Heineken investment be Good or Bad, If it results in Gamma Ray in bars that only carried mass lagers, that widens choice and i would see that as wholy good, if it results in Bars not gettign Beavertowns specials without selling Heineken Lager that would be wholey bad, Now life isnt link that , its not Black or White, its Shades of Grey so only Time will tell, and while i suspect it could be more bad than good, i would rather wait and see than jump to any snap conclusions. The World is not Black or White.
But the world is not Black or White i believe its possible to dislike someones position, while at the same time respecting that everyone has the right to make their own decisions. Be that Me shopping with Amazon cause its just convenient , or Beavertown deciding that Heineken offered them their best option for growth. Respecting that position doesn't mean you need to work with them going forward, but respecting those that you would probably have called your friends last week (white) isn't dropping them them this week as they made a different decision than you (black). The World is not Black or White. So i want to say thanks to all those Brewers who are still going to the Extraveganza, and im particularity grateful to Wylam and Northern Monk who have Said exactly why they don't think we should have to choose Black or White