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Why Big Brewers Are Bad For Craft Beer: The Brew Masters Controversy…

Of course, a day or so after I stick my neck out for the big brewers saying they may have turned a corner, writer and television host Anthony Bourdain sent out a couple of bombshell tweets in which he seems to suggest that the Discovery Channel is either holding back or canceling production of the popular beer show Brew Masters due to pressure from its advertisers, namely the big brewers. Now I disdain reporting based solely on quixotic 140 character stabs but these were pretty disturbing allegations. Now MillerCoors has of course heavily invested in advertising on the program for its Blue Moon product, so it would be a curious thing for that company to be involved. But, as I noted, we have next to no information either way. So, of course, the blog and twitterspheres are up in arms, accepting the tweets as gospel, assuming Anheuser Busch InBev is behind the conspiracy, and telling me how wrong I’ve been. As with the Goose Island story, I’ll wait until we have some more information (which I am trying to get now) until we cast all our anti-big beer stones. I will say, however, that if the allegations prove true, it’s a pretty major form of dirty play by the big guys and I expect an absolutely massive backlash to follow, perhaps even from regular, everyday Bud guys and gals.

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7 thoughts on “Why Big Brewers Are Bad For Craft Beer: The Brew Masters Controversy…

  1. I don’t think there would be backlash from the average, mass-produced beer fan. I don’t think they were watching the show, or cared about the show. The people who will be up in arms are craft beer fans, most of who don’t buy the mass-produced stuff.

  2. This is where the shit hits the fan. I’m not saying I’m right but I’m not stepping down either. InBev is bad Bev, not just because I think “their beer is of bad quality” or whatever (which is my opinion also) but because of the lack of morality. We’ve all seen Beer Wars, and that was just the beginning. I almost hope they do pull Brewmasters, because it’s just one poke closer to pissing the entire beer world off.

    I love Bourdain and I’m glad he said something. I will probably write about this once I know more… but for now I’ll sit tight and watch them shoot themselves in the foot.

    As for business, I think that whatever Dogfish Head could have received for publicity has already been done. I saw dogfish head beers fly off the shelves only hours after the show premiered.

    Great Post! 🙂

  3. Interesting!

    I been brewing my own beer for a few years, and I would NEVER EVER! buy any beer from Bud or Coors (the big evil) looks like piss when I flush the toilet and probably tastes like piss too!


  4. No no no. The reason Brewmasters is cancelled is because Discovery was unhappy with the viewer ratings they were pulling with the show. They had expected the show to attract a larger number of viewers. The advertisers were probably unhappy with the numbers too and maybe decided that they wanted to pull out from the show.

    The problem with Brewmasters is that it didn’t make for exciting TV. The core audience is beer geeks. The best part of the show is when Sam went abroad looking for new and interesting ingredients. However, all of the brewing footage was frankly boring. Brewing is not a highly visual process and as such didn’t make for great TV. Sorry folks.

  5. I am a craft brew lover. I hate the watery crap foisted by the big brewers. That said, Brew Masters was an excruciatingly boring show. I watched it twice. The first time I was mildly interested. The second time it was like watching paint dry. I love Bourdain, but c’mon, you don’t need a conspiracy theory to explain cancellation of a crap show.

  6. I thought Brew Masters was pulled was that after five shows they could not get the sixth one together for external production reasons and that, frankly and as stated above, the feedback was not all that hot.

    Let us all pray that the lessons of marketplace rejection don’t get overwhelmed by the “Beer Wars” response.

  7. I think the show was pulled simply due to low ratings. I really don’t think the show had much appeal beyond the beer geek. Not much drama for a reality show…it would’ve been a big hit if DFH was like a month away from going under (my wishful thinking). But since DFH is a successful biz, what’s interesting about that in reality-TV land?

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