VOSD Podcast: The Real Reason Breweries Sell Out
Jacob McKean, founder of San Diego craft brewery and coffee roaster Modern Times, joins co-hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts this week to talk about what’s really going on when big corporations buy small craft breweries.
In the carefully crafted messages that surface in the wake of corporate buyouts of craft breweries, several creative explanations for the sales have been floated to appease fretful indie beer fans.
Jacob McKean, founder of San Diego craft brewery and coffee roaster Modern Times, says anyone who says a sale is about more than money isn’t being straight. In a scathing blog post about the rising trend of corporate acquisitions of craft breweries and some of the rationale that follows, McKean pokes holes in some of the most popular claims.
“Here’s the truth: selling to a macro-brewer is the fastest, simplest way to turn equity in a craft brewery into cash. That’s the only reason to sell to them. Anyone who claims otherwise is full of shit.”
McKean joins co-hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts this week to talk more about the points he made. He said post-acquisition, the main goal of the corporations that buy small breweries is to suffer as little blowback as possible from the craft beer crowd and keep sales up. He said he hopes journalists will stop buying the spin and start scrutinizing big beer’s intention, because their entry into the craft beer market is dangerous to actual craft breweries that can’t compete with big beer business tactics.
“The one thing macro beer can do that small breweries can’t is lose money,” McKean said. “And that’s the weapon they’re deploying.”
Also on the podcast, Lewis makes good on a lost bet with Keatts, the duo talks about Measure K, the proposal that would change how city elections work and how the debate about it at Politifest will likely be one of the most heated, and they parse a claim by Measure C proponents about the amount of money the city can save by mothballing Qualcomm Stadium.
In this week’s #FaulconerWatch, Keatts and Lewis note that Mayor Kevin Faulconer got a letter signed by local business leaders asking him to oppose the proposed East Village stadium. The mayor, though, continues to stay mum on the matter.
Hero of the Week
The San Diego Opera gets a thumbs-up for its new Opera on the Tracks series that takes free shows to venues on and around the trolley lines and the organization’s continued work reshaping itself into an opera company that serves more people.
Goat of the Week
The city of Del Mar wants the North County Transit District to stop slamming folks with hefty fines for illegally crossing tracks to get to the beach. The city gets the goat this week for not actually dealing with the problem of accessing the beach. The city of Encinitas, for example, built its residents a nice underpass leading to Swami’s Beach.