10 Craft Beers That Aren't
7. Straub Brewing
Why it's not craft: Uses adjunct ingredients in its beer, not "traditional"
The craft beer guys really have something against the old-line Pennsylvania breweries.
We can understand Pittsburgh's Iron City making BeerAdvocate's "non-craft" list, as its cans of low-end lager have done little to convince people otherwise despite sticking around since 1861. We can even see why Wilkes-Barre's Lion Brewery made the list, as it's been around since 1905 but does a bunch of contract brewing work for Pabst.
But Straub? Really? It isn't distributed too far beyond its home in St. Mary's, Pa., and only travels about as far as Ohio. It gives drinking-age visitors to its Northwest Pennsylvania brewery free beers from the "Eternal Tap" in its brewery wall. Its lager recipe hasn't changed since the brewery was founded in 1872.
As former Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey once said, "Bud is Bud and light is light, but Straub is Pennsylvania." The Brewers Association disagrees for the same reason it disagrees with letting Yuengling into the club: There's corn it it.
Listen, way back in 2005 when the Association of Brewers and the Brewers' Association of America merged to form the Brewers Association and "promote and protect small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts," there were any number of ingredients available for craft brewers to use. Shockingly, for German immigrants such as Peter Straub settling in the U.S. in the late 1800s, plucking two-row malt from any spot on the globe and backing a truckload of bittering and aroma hops up to your brewkettle just weren't possible.
Instead, German brewers had to throw some corn into the mix just to counter the effects of American malt. That's improvisation and ingenuity that the Brewers Association claims to support, but take every opportunity to spit on if it didn't happen sometime after 1970. Unfortunately, it results only in the organization throwing shade at yet another of its members.