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Sierra Nevada Boss Renews Calls for 'Transparency' From Big Brewers

LONDON, March 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

The head of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co has renewed calls for US big brewers to be more transparent over the craft beers they own, branding it an "ethical" issue.

In an exclusive interview with just-drinks, Ken Grossman, founder of the California-based craft brewer, spoke out over the frustration small brewers still feel as Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors do not include their names on craft-like brands such as Goose Island and Blue Moon. "It would be nice if there was a little bit more transparency in the marketplace," Grossman told just-drinks.

But, he added: "Consumers are getting smarter and smarter, and there are plenty now who know which brands are owned by which big breweries and that does affect some of their buying decisions.

"I think it's more of an ethical thing. You shouldn't necessarily hide behind who you are."

In an interview with just-drinks last month, MillerCoors' sales president Ed McBrien said he did not find the debate over what defines a craft beer "helpful". He said: "Ultimately, it's up to the consumer to decide if they like the beer and how they characterise it."

Grossman also said he believed there is a "lack of soul" in bigger operations, which, he argued, is the reason craft brewers are growing so strongly. Figures from the Brewers Association last week showed that US domestic craft beer volumes grew 18% in 2013

However, the Sierra Nevada founder acknowledged there was little that can be done about the issue. "We live in a capitalist society in America, it's a business practice that's legal and so be it."

Grossman said he had received "plenty of enquiries" over the years about selling up. But, he said: "I wouldn't sell out to reap a bunch of money and to some organisation that I'm maybe not that well aligned with."

He also revealed that the company is expecting to start exports to Japan, its first Asian market, later this year. 


Established in 1999, just-drinks is a leading online resource for the global beverage industry, publishing around 20 news articles, analysis features and insights every working day. Under the direction of managing editor Olly Wehring, its experienced team of journalists, consultants and analysts provide a unique and comprehensive blend of reports and interpretation of the beverage industry, including key events, trends, interviews and research that are delivered to over 92,000 business executives per month.

Through its web site, webinars and in-depth management briefings just-drinks offers insight into soft drinks, wine, beer, spirits and bottled water industry developments and supply-chain trends, brand and corporate strategies, CONSULT research platform, enterprise technologies such as PLM and ERP.

Furthermore, just-drinks supplies news on manufacturing developments and how the drinks industry is performing around the world.

For details of how just-drinks is helping decision makers make decisions, visit

For further information and images please contact John Newton, Public Relations at Aroq Limited on +44(0)1527-573-734, email [email protected]


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