Utne Reader reports that your favorite artisan beer may be—dah dah DAH!—made by an evil corporate macrobrewer in disguise. And the practice is only likely to accelerate along with the popularity of soulful microbrews, whose complicated flavor profiles—or, hell, just plain old flavor of any sort—put them ahead of watery domestic megalagers.
Anheuser-Busch is test-marketing two organic brews, Wild Hops and Stone Mill Pale Ale, that are being promoted under the label of Green Valley Brewing Company. The name is essentially a pseudonym … and the beers are brewed in existing Anheuser-Busch facilities.
The big boys are also buying out talented microbrewers; this has happened, as the story reports, to Wisconsin’s own beloved Leinenkugel’s, which is owned by brewing giant Miller.
As an (over)consumer of high-quality beer, it’s hard to tell at this point whether Big Brewing’s entry into the world of high-flavor beers will mean a watering-down of great labels or a boost to the distribution of delicious brews. Only time—and constant vigilance through taste testing—will tell.