A Conflict of No Importance

The craft-beer business may have peaked. After a few decades of seemingly unending growth, a shake out has begun. The 101 North Brewing Company, after seven years, is the latest to cease operations. The brewery, located in Petaluma California a short drive up the road from Lagunitas (now 100% owned by Heineken) was too big to survive on its taproom alone and too small to leverage itself into the major beer distributors or taverns already crowded with craft-beer taps. Other brewers are scaling back and closing their brewpubs. Even Widmer Brothers, with the financial backing of Anheuser-Busch/InBev, has shuttered their restaurant. Those that have not already sold out to the giant beer manufacturers are in for a struggle.
Meanwhile, multi-national companies have lawyered up, fighting over accusations of false advertising and corporate espionage, stealing the secret recipes of the other’s beer-like products. (Anheuser-Busch once sold something they called “Bud Dry,” promoting its appeal as having no aftertaste!)

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