We recently decided to return a LOT of beer back to Wicked Weed Brewing because of what we stand for - independent breweries and independent beer. Wicked Weed had just sent some of their most sought after beers to Tavour when the acquisition was announced. As a fan of well-made beer, returning it was not an easy decision to make. However, for Tavour, it was a choice as clear as day.
How to think about craft and independent beer hasn't always been as apparent as it is today. At the beginning of this buy-out trend a few years ago, we questioned if we should shun beer that we all liked just because the brand was sold. What is wrong with making the same great beer available to more people (better distribution) at lower prices? When 10 Barrel was bought, when Elysian was bought, and when Ballast Point was purchased we struggled with these questions.
Now we see the impact and understand the risk of losing independent breweries. At GABF 2016 we attended an important discussion on the importance of independent beer. We walked away from this discussion with clarity. Our decisions as a retailer needed to directly support what we think is best for our community in the long run. And for us, that meant promoting the ferocious innovation that happens at small batch breweries and in our friends’ garages across the country.
Everyone at Tavour, a group passionate and yes, picky about well-made beer is incredibly proud of our mission to make independent breweries successful. We welcome new members to our community with the idea that beer is a conduit for memorable experiences. This idea is only true if beer evolving - innovated and created by people who care. Beer communities like Tavour standing up and supporting independent breweries give creativity an opportunity against large conglomerate forces.
We know there is ample phenomenal beer made by independent breweries to keep our community thrilled. Every day at Tavour the most exciting moment, without fail, is when we open four of five beers to taste - yes, we all have the best job. We are constantly discovering small breweries that chose to take chances without compromising on quality, and make one amazing beer after another. Humbled at the number of amazing beers that our community of brewers is able to create for all of us, we wouldn't want to bet on any other way to keep the innovation in craft beer going.
When we were faced with the decision to sell from the last batch of "independently made" Wicked Weed Beer over returning it, we ultimately knew the right course of action. After spending well over a year working with Wicked Weed to get these amazing beers to our members, it wasn’t easy to give the beer up. And we loved everyone we worked with at Wicked Weed. They are all amazing people that made our community better and wish them nothing but the best. These personal connections also made our decision difficult.
But it was a clear choice. And we will continue to stand behind independent beer and brewers at all times.