One of the myths I take great pleasure in calling into question is that craft brewers, unlike their vicious fat cat competitors at MolsonCoors and ABInbev, are universally and at all times milquetoast “nice” guys with a non-stop collaborative spirit. That is not to say that craft brewers are not nice guys. I have never met a mean one. And that’s not to say there isn’t a lot of collaboration in the craft brew world–probably more than in any other business. But craft brewers are still businesspeople; and if you don’t take care of your business, you don’t get to keep selling beer.
This, I’m sure, is not all of them. And I don’t mean to imply by this post that this is a thing that somehow started in 2013 (after the bubble burst or after the craft brew world “matured” or what have you). This stuff has been going on for yeeeeeeaaaaaaaaarrrrrrssssss. But it’s worth keeping mind that this is happening a lot and it will continue to happen more and more as more brewers enter the market and search for brewery names and beer labels that have not been used before.