Trouble-Brewing-WalmartIn yet another example of non-craft players attempting to horn in on the craft beer revolution, Wal-Mart is introducing a series of beers under the moniker Trouble Brewing. Ironically, I guess the “Trouble” portion of the name stems from the fact that there’s no brewery by that name in The US. I would imagine brewing in a facility which doesn’t even exist could be quite problematic indeed.

Living in San Diego, I think it’s a given there aren’t too many of us looking at chains like Wal-Mart for their latest bottle releases or up-to-the-minute news on what’s happening with their barrel programs. For the most part, this probably doesn’t matter to any of us because I don’t think local brewers (or consumers) have to worry about a Wal-Mart tasting room opening up here in town any time soon. Lol, what would such a thing even look like???

All the same, it is worth pointing out for the sake of discussion. Apparently their “brewing process” consisted of issuing a notice to their suppliers that they were interested in sourcing an IPA, a pale ale, an amber ale and a Belgian-style ale, because,“those were the top four best-selling craft styles at the time.”, according to Teresa Budd, a senior buyer for Wal-Mart’s adult beverage team.

Sure sounds like a craft beer collaboration of epic proportions to me…

With kitschy names like “Cat’s Away IPA” and “After Party Pale Ale”, I suppose the garden-variety Wal-Mart shopper could be easily duped into thinking they’re getting a shot at the latest and greatest, heretofore unknown craft beer. Especially given the fact there’s no indication on the label as to where the beer actually comes from.

According to an article found in The Bulletin,

“The applicant listed on filings for the four beers with the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is ‘Winery Exchange, Inc.,’ now known as WX Brands, which ‘develops exclusive brands of wine, beer and spirits for retailers around the world,’ according to its website. The brewery address given on the TTB documents is Genesee Brewing’s business office.”

Lol, you remember Genesee, right? From your college days when your funds were sketchy and your malt beverage choice was governed by the affordable quantity and not the malt bill or hop variety? Or maybe that was just me…

Again, I don’t think there’s a craft brewer out there who will be sweating Wal-Mart’s non-existent brewery eating into their local market share but to me, it is always slightly off-putting when I see some conglomerate attempting to glaum onto the hard work put in by others.

That said, I see a tasting in the near future because I’m dying of curiosity.

Stay tuned for that 😀

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