So this post on struggling Mexican microbreweries from fellow Missoula beer drinker Grizzly Growler got me thinking about corporations. He quotes from an AP story:
In the United States, craft beers account for about 5 percent of the volume of beer sold, and 1,600 brewers operate all over the country. Multinational giant Anheuser-Busch InBev enjoys a nearly 49 percent share of the U.S. beer market, while MillerCoors LLC, a joint venture of SABMiller PLC and Molson Coors Brewing Co., is number two, with about 30 percent of U.S. market share.
I know plenty of alterna/punk type people who will rail against giant corporations for days. And then they buy a case of Miller. I’m by no means innocent of this myself: when a pint of microbrew is $4 at the bar, and a pint of PBR is $2.50, my wallet forces me to choose an option I don’t like.
But lately, I’ve been trying to drink smaller amounts of better beer. Quality, not quantity. My goal is not to get schwasted (at least, not as much as it was my freshman year) but to sip and enjoy. I like microbreweries and taprooms because with Montana’s 3 pint limit, they encourage us to slow down and taste it.
When you drink a microbrew, you’re often supporting a small local business that keeps money within the community, instead of filling the coffers of a mega-corp that gushes cheap corn-syrup piss. I like anything that fights against the fast-paced, wasteful, often impersonal mainstream American corporate culture that says “cheap is better” and “more is better.”
Isn’t that what all the anti-authoritarian, anti-consumerist, anti-corporate culture folks should want? I realize that this is a group of people that also tends to be broke and heavy drinkers. (I have a whole lot of personal evidence for this, so don’t even try to argue with me there.) I’m not about to tell people to quit getting drunk, but maybe to examine their habits and cut back on the crap stuff.
I don’t buy my clothes from box stores and I bicycle instead of giving over my paycheck to oil companies. So why should my drinking habits be any different?