Thursday, September 10, 2015

On The Problem of Selling Out



When it came out earlier this week that a Bay Area favorite was selling out to a gigantic multi-national corporation, I was disappointed.

If you haven't heard, the Petaluma-based craft brewery Laguinitas has entered into a partnership with Heineken International.

Even as Hipsters, we can see both sides of this deal.

First, a previously small-time local brewery that makes some impressive beer has struck a deal that will bring them into the spotlight around the world. In that way, you can see this as a big thing for craft brewing.

On the other hand, however, Laguinitas can be seen as the latest in a long line of sell outs. And that is most likely how this will be spun around the craft beer world, especially after they raised a stink with Sierra Nevada earlier this year and already made everyone sketchy on them.

When I heard about their latest deal, I was instantly disappointed, and joined in on the Twitter rant to express my displeasure (because I'm that guy).

The story immediately made me feel like I was right back in the high school/early college days. In those days, I was obsessed with obscure music. In high school it was the ska music out of my native Orange County that was bumping out of the headphones on my bright yellow Walkman, and in college it gradually shifted to whiny emo music blasting from the earbuds on my iPod Nano.

Those were the days.

Back then, I would completely jump off the bandwagon of a band I liked simply because they decided to sign a big record deal, or decided to start pushing their music to the radio. I labeled them as sell outs, and moved on to the next big thing that no one had ever heard of.

This Laguinitas deal brought me right back to that same feeling, but now that I'm 33 years old, I'm able to take a little bit more time to pause and reflect on what this is all about.

Why would I think it's lame for a small time operation that I like to make a move that helps them strike it big? Wouldn't I want them to succeed on a larger scale?

And, of course, the even bigger question is: Wouldn't I sell out if I had the opportunity? If EWTN or the Catholic Channel shot me an email asking if Sarah and I wanted to take our tiny little podcast and turn it into a great big radio show where we had to talk about how every should sign up for a subscription to the National Catholic Register, wouldn't I do it?

The answer is probably yes...no, the answer is definitely yes.

So, shouldn't I cool my Catholic Hipster jets and cut Laguinitas (and all those bands that I used to love) some slack?

Yeah, I probably should.

Now, you'll have to excuse me...I'm going to crack open a Laguinitas Day Time Ale, put on some Yellowcard, and dream a little dream of the Catholic Hipster Radio Show (Presented by the National Catholic Register).

What do you think?

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