UPDATE: Clipper City Brewing founder clarifies comments regarding gypsy brewers
(Halethorpe, MD) – Clipper City Brewing (Heavy Seas Beer) Founder and Managing General Partner, Hugh Sisson, recently penned an editorial in Beer Advocate Magazine on the changing landscape of craft brewers in the U.S.
On Tuesday, Evil Twin Brewing shared a piece of that article on Twitter, which reads, in part:
There’s also no doubt in my mind that 75 percent of the people on that list of [pending breweries] will fail. Or will find out that what they have is a very expensive hobby… [which] I don’t mean as a pejorative. “I can make 35 barrels of beer a month.” OK, well, I’m sorry, that’s not a business yet. And the gypsy brewers, as far as I’m concerned, are exactly the same thing. I know a couple of these folks — some of them have got some awesome beer. But to me, you’re not legit until you’ve got skin in the game, which means capital at risk.
Sisson has been a veteran of the beverage industry for over three decades now so he speaks from a position of experience. Nevertheless, some gypsy brewers took his comments personally as seen below. Notably, Stillwater Ales’ Brian Strumke, who lives in the Baltimore area near Clipper City, spoke up.
Unrelated, it was just announced this week that Clipper City is undergoing an expansion to bring annual working capacity up over 80,000 barrels.
Agree or disagree with Sisson’s sentiments regarding breweries-in-planning and gypsy brewers?