Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dogfish Head's expansion

Greetings readers. I have not written for a while and for that I either apologize, or say "you're welcome", depending on where in my fan-spectrum you are.

So this is fairly fascinating. Dogfish Head has been approved for their massive expansion, which seems like good news for them. More interesting to me is that the local neighborhood did not want them to move in (somewhat oddly, the development called "Cannery Village" was concerned about industrial zoning in their back yard). I think this is a common hurdle for breweries when laypeople associate breweries with factories or drunks*. According to this article, though, they were worried instead "over concerns about what could happen if Dogfish were sold". Apparently, DFH has even been "approached by national brewers" which gives some credence to the concern.  In this stage of craft beer in America, I find that to be very telling. I don't think Dogfish Head is likely to sell soon, especially right after investing in a huge expansion, but it does raise some questions when the big brewers are taking interest in something like Dogfish Head, and when their hypothetical sale could have hindered their growth as a successful independant brewery. The perennial question of how long they can continue to market themselves as "craft" when they're pumping out millions upon millions of barrels also remains to be answered. The lines continue to blur.

*I don't think these complaints would have gone too far though, since Sam C's father in law (you know, the guy who wrote him all those checks so he could get own a brewery in spite of years of profitless operation?) owns the local TV station that reports on the story as well as the business trust that owns the subdivision which was making the complaint against his brewery to begin with. So basically, Tom Draper is getting your fucking money either way.