HOUSTON (FOX 26) - You'll find a lot of craft beers on tap at The Hay Merchant in Montrose. You won't find any Karbach beer though— not since the sale.
“A super painful decision. It was a very painful decision. I'm good friends with the guys from Karbach. I've had a relationship with these guys going back the better part of a decade.” says owner Kevin Floyd.
A few days ago Karbach announced the sale and promised nothing would change.
“They wanted us to keep doing what we were doing. They recognized what we do well. We make a lot of great beer and we do a lot of innovative things.” Says Karbach brew master Eric Warner.
But reaction from local consumers have been swift and negative. By late Friday afternoon, the Karbach Facebook page had almost 2,000 comments, and most of them were negative. Why all the hoopla?
If you look at your local beer cooler you might think there are a of of American beer makers, but looks can be deceiving. Eighty percent of all beer is made by just two companies: Anheuser-Busch and Miller Coors. Craft beer consumers insist their beers be made by small independent brewers and increasingly, made locally.
Scott Birdwell's DeFalcos stores sell home brewing and wine making supplies. He says local sales will probably drop.
“It very likely will have an effect locally and I think the consumers will say ' I like this beer' and they'll move on to the next one because there are a lot of choices," Bridwell said.
He says lots of local craft brewers have sprung up recently. Several more restaurants and bars are planning to drop the Karbach line, but that's locally. With the distribution marketing muscle of a beer giant behind them, the folks at Karbach might not even notice.