Massachusetts-based beer retailer to drop ‘Crafty’ brands from shelves

no crap beer logo square(Belmont, MA) – On Saturday, Massachusetts’ Craft Beer Cellar, a beer-focused retail shop, shared a link to an article on its Facebook page related to the Craft vs. Crafty debate and in doing so, also announced that it would be dropping a number of so-called ‘crafty’ brands.

“Cut the crap; some brands you will no longer see at Craft Beer Cellar!”

Craft Beer Cellar chose to stop carrying Goose Island after A-B InBev purchased the company in 2011 and will be dropping the following brands: Magic Hat, Narragansett, Pyramid, MacTarnahan’s, Butte Creek and Mendocino. For one reason or another, these brands do not fit the Brewers Association’s criteria for being craft breweries.

According to the company’s philosophy statement on, it doesn’t carry BMC or any of the Craft Brew Alliance brands either.

“Our focus is GREAT BEER, not swill, not crappy lagers, whose ingredients are intended to lighten the quality and would make most brewers cringe. We don’t carry Bud, Miller or Coors (BMC), or anything from these companies. Budweiser is now owned by AB-InBev, and yes, it’s the same company that owns Stella Artois, Leffe, Hoegarden, etc. They also have a majority stake in companies like Red Hook and Widmer, who you will also NOT find in our stores.” (It’s actually a minority stake but large enough to disqualify CBA from the BA’s craft definition).

The approach has proven to be successful for Craft Beer Cellar so far to the extent that the company is looking for franchisees. It was founded in 2010.

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12 thoughts on “Massachusetts-based beer retailer to drop ‘Crafty’ brands from shelves

  1. Pingback: Anonymous

  2. Sounds pretty ridiculous to me…WIdmer is still a fine brand, Magic Hat while not one of my favorites has long history in the Craft sector. Goose Island still puts out great Belgian/Flemish type sours as well. So by being associated even a little to IBV is a reason to dump on them, by increasing their distributorship and allowing more people to enjoy their offerings is such a horrific act?
    Great, such wonderful stewards of beer you are.

  3. I can understand their position but, in my opinion, there hasn’t been any proof that AB-InBev has affected the quality of Goose Island beer. I think the next logical step is for AB-InBev and BMC to start purchasing other Craft Brewers. I hope that doesn’t happen but as long as the quality of the beer remains the same it is probably inevitable.

  4. dont forget to drop woodchuck, now owned by magners!
    Also, it will be a shame to not carry hill farmstead if the opportunity ever presents itself as many of their fine ipas use dextrose in them. Part of me respects the values you are trying to use, but most of your beer comes from Craft, the largest bud house in mass right? I am sure the stuff rolls off trucks that say Budweiser on them all the time….

  5. They’re drawing a distinction (as the Brewers Association does) in intent behind use of adjuncts. (Not saying what is right or wrong, just clarifying).

  6. @San Diego Beer Guy – “Craft” in Massachusetts usually means Craft Brewers Guild, which is not a Bud house. Craft Brewers Alliance, on the other hand, is a Bud specialty portfolio that includes Widmer and Red Hook.

    As for the subject of this article, did they ever carry any of these breweries? The times I’ve been there I never saw any of these brands, so I’m not sure that this was a decision to get rid of them, but more one to draw attention to the fact that they don’t carry them in the first place. Widmer and Red Hook both make great beer. Without Magic Hat, I don’t think as many people would be into craft beer as there are today.

  7. @ Bob – Craft Brewers Guild of Massachusetts was acquired by L. Knife & Son Companies in 2002, a company which also owns distributors in twelve other states. L. Knife distributes Budweiser in Massachusetts via both their eponymous distributor and Seaboard Products.

    We all have to draw the line somewhere. Streetcar has never purchased any of the “crafty” brands mentioned by Craft Beer Cellar in their statement, though it is all but entirely necessary to purchase from Craft Brewers Guild, as they currently have exclusive distribution on B. United, Shelton Brothers, Twelve Percent, and Noble Union Imports, just to name a handful. While there are plenty of great breweries otherwise distributed in Massachusetts, it would be a major headache for any retailer who decided to eliminate all Craft Brewers Guild products from their store.

  8. Did we just return to high school? I’ve never heard of businesses acting like this. Do they carry Chinese imports?

  9. I remember buying narragansett summer there a year or so back. Also as to Adam Nason on January 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm said:
    They’re drawing a distinction (as the Brewers Association does) in intent behind use of adjuncts. (Not saying what is right or wrong, just clarifying).

    the article they refer to as beers they will not carry any more, or if they get the chance. Yeungling is mentioned because they use corn. they do not use corn to save money, its more expensive than barley. they use corn because when the brewery opened (1829) 2 row european malts were not available to them, only american 6 row which has a higher protein content. they used the corn as a way to balance the protein and brew a beer closer to what they had in europe with the available ingredients. Wow shame on them for not changing their 100+ year old recipe when those malts became regularly available to them.

    What pissed me off the most was their response to someones tweet who basically said they did not think about who made the beer, just that it tasted good. Craft beer cellar’s response was to the effect that they will do that thinking for us.

  10. Adjunct brewing has nothing to do with quality or being cheap. Many “Craft” brewers can and do use these ingredients with great care and skill to make style specific beers. Just because you don’t like the style does not mean it’s crap.You cannot tell a beer drinker what to like or why it’s bad because you say so.That’s a definition of a beer snob.

  11. Pingback: Narragansett president on why contract brewing plays an important industry role | BeerPulse

  12. What a bunch of bull. @Bob, CBA (Kona, Redhook, Widmer) is NOT a Bud speciality portfolio. CBA is independent and A-B is a minority shareholder with no creative control. A-B is, however, key to CBA’s distribution. It is utterly ridiculous that the Brewers Association doesn’t list them as a craft brewer. Combined (Redhook, Kona, Widmer) production is half what Boston’s is. Because Boston is headed over 2 million barrel production BA changed their rules (now 6M can you believe)! Meanwhile Craft Beer Cellars won’t sell CBA! Bet they still sell Boston. Well Craft Beer Cellars can go to hell. I won’t buy from them again.

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