How do you define independence?

The Independent Craft Brewers Association logo.
[/media-credit] The Independent Craft Brewers Association logo.

It’s no accident that I’ve been noticing the Independent Brewers seal a lot more lately. The Central Coast is full of beers sporting the label created less than two years ago in the midst of a raft of big breweries gobbling up some of the OG craft brewers. To jog your memory just over the past four years we’ve seen:

– Sapporo bought Anchor in 2017
– Heineken bought 50% of Lagunitas in 2017 (and laid off 100 employees last fall)
– Constellation Brands bought Ballast Point in 2015

France has its Vignerons Indépendents, England’s CAMRA, Italy’s Slow Food guide to local osterias, we’re going to need an umbrella symbol for them all soon. Of course, none of this is to say that craft beer is in any danger, small and local brewers continue to flourish exactly because they’re so unique and have such strong connections to their communities.


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