Austin Beerworks has never been afraid to speak up about issues in the craft beer industry (or the beer industry at large) or call out the people involved.
Case in point: This weekend, the North Austin brewery tweeted to Austin City Limits Festival and said that calling Karbach Brewing the festival’s ‘craft beer sponsor’ "intentionally misleads ticket buyers and you should feel bad about it." Karbach, a Houston brewery, is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev after a late 2016 acquisition.
The tweet generated almost 550 likes and a KVUE story clarifying Austin Beerworks’ position. Co-founder Michael Graham, who wrote the tweet, said that he has no problem with Karbach being a sponsor of the fest — such sponsorships generally require large funds that smaller-sized breweries like Austin Beerworks cannot provide — and Karbach, at the end of the day, does make great beer.
It just doesn’t qualify as craft beer, according to the Brewers Association, the national organization that oversees craft brewing and represents the interests of craft brewers in the U.S. The Brewers Association defines craft beer as being made by "small, independent, and traditional" breweries, which Karbach isn’t any longer.
While some people don’t care about where their beer comes from, many others do, and it’s "false advertising" to say breweries like Karbach make craft beer, according to a new set of tweets Austin Beerworks sent out this afternoon. The tweet thread was sent as a follow-up to the discussion on social media the brewery had seen in reaction to the Sunday tweet.
(THREAD) Glad to see so much discussion about our message to @aclfestival, @karbachbrewing, and @abinbev. Itís an important topic that affects a lot of people. But there are a few things we want to make 100% clear:— Austin Beerworks (@AustinBeerworks) May 8, 2018