Sanitas Brewing: Why craft beer belongs on top

Full transcription for this audio story can be found below.

Anchor: On Tuesday, Oct. 12, one of the world’s biggest brewers, Anheuser-Busch agreed to buy out rival SAB Miller for around $104 billion. This move towards consolidating large beer companies is an attempt to stay ahead in a time where many people are choosing independent breweries and craft beer over their larger counterparts. Chris Coyne, co-founder and head-brewer at Sanitas Brewing located on Frontier Avenue in Boulder, thinks that these larger companies are in the industry for the wrong reasons.

(“Brick House” by The Commodores plays in the background.)

Chris Coyne: You know I’m sure there are people there who have a lot of passion for their job, but I don’t think as a whole that organization is passionate about beer. Us small craft brewers, like that’s who we’re fighting. I don’t want you to not drink Avery or not drink New Belgium, I just want you to not drink Bud Light. You know, at the end of the day we all have to stay in business, we all have employees to pay, we all have taxes and bills and stuff that has to get paid, but beyond that real basic stuff that has to be accomplished by a business, craft breweries do it for the love, for the passion, for the art, not just for the bottom line. As an industry we have a really interesting relationship between all the breweries. We are, although direct competitors in a lot of senses, it’s an incredibly collaborative, familial, close-knit relationship between the breweries here. We share ideas, we share staff, if people run out of something, we’ll give it to them. That camaraderie and that familial nature not only makes us stronger individually but I think it makes the industry stronger and it makes us make better beer and it makes it tons of fun. I love it that we are such great friends even though we are by default sort of competitors. There’s that sort of collective win where if we’re all making great beer then we’re going to convert more people from drinking shitty beer.

Anchor: Sanitas assistant-brewer Mischa Samson thinks that the unique flavors of craft beer are what are contributing so much to their popularity.

Mischa Samson: You get so much more variety than just your Bud Light, your Coors Light, your Miller, you know? They all taste pretty similar honestly. It’s pretty remarkable what they can do making that much beer that similar all the time. There’s something to be said about that but there’s also something to be said about diversity and experimentation and trying new things.

(Sound of cheers/clinking beer glasses, audio song from the patio fades into the background.)

Anchor: This is Lauren Price reporting for Under the Flatirons.

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