I get emails periodically from "Brew Blog", which is this thing put out by Miller, and which I've made fun of in the past. But it seems with today's entry, that they're starting to get it a little bit. OK, well they're still trying to downplay the importance and significance of craft beer in the marketplace, with their focus on fragmentation in that segment of the industry. But they are noticing the great performance of that segment at the same time.
The thing that I wanted to comment on is their top ten list at the end of the article. These are the "top ten craft beers by velocity for the twelve weeks ending November tenth", which I take to mean that they have either sold the most or grown the most. But the thing is I don't really know what most of them are. In fact, I did some cursory research on the "Punk’n Harvest Pumpkin Ale" and I guess they mean Punk'n Ale from Four +, but it's hard to say. Hmmm...now I wonder how many in this list are of the "macro in craft's clothing" category, a la Blue Moon...
I have heard of New Glarus, and I know they're resepcted. Great Lakes Christmas Ale looks like it checks out. Capital Garten Brau is a little suspect - maybe it is from Capital Brewery in Middleton, WI? I can find info on a Tuckerman Headwall Alt... and it doesn't look that amazing... Anderson Valley makes a Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema (Cream Ale), which I guess is what they mean... Abita is well known. I guess they mean Squatters Captain Bastard's Oatmeal Stout - maybe they just didn't want to include the word Bastard in their blog? Wow, Great Lakes again - they must be growing their distribution network! Maybe I can get them here in CT!! And Acme I can get here, and I like a lot of their stuff (but I never had the Pale Ale, and it doesn't sound tempting).
So most of the list checks out, but some of the entries are hard to identify, and some are not really that highly regarded in the beer review community of BeerAdvocate (which is normally a pretty good barometer for quality).