Who you calling peripheral?

We always knew we weren’t going to be mainstream, but we think we have to take issue with the label “peripheral” that two business school professors applied to a category of beers that includes craft beer stalwart Sierra Nevada. In their post on the HBR blog, the professors measure consumers’ perceptions of beer brands based on distinctiveness (how much it stands out) and centrality (how well-known it is).

Their aim was to demonstrate how much of the beer world AB InBev will dominate if its acquisition of SABMiller goes through. The answer is that it will own most of the beers that are well-known, both in the distinctive and nondistinctive categories. No surprise there.

What also shouldn’t be surprising, but is still striking, is that the only non-lagers in the chart they published are Guinness, Blue Moon, Newcastle, and Sierra Nevada. And Sierra is the only craft beer of the bunch.

So we’re definitely entering a category that’s a niche, and a small one at that. That’s alright. We’re comfortable with being different. But peripheral? Like we’re fringe? On the outer edge (maybe even edgy)? Yeah, we can be that. Don’t worry HBR guys. We’re cool.

Beers by Hootie & Hanson

Our thing at Fairfield Craft Ales is brewing music-inspired beers. We name every brew after a song. But look at this article in Food & Wine magazine. Some brewers are teaming up with musicians and actors for beer projects. There’s “MmmHops” by one of the guys who used to be in Hanson and there’s Hootie’s Homegrown Ale (guess who’s–or should I say hoo’s–behind that). 

Listen, rock and roll guys, we’re up for this kind of arrangement. Keith Richards, you’re here in Fairfield county. How about a little Brown Sugar?