Good Beer Hunting
About This Show
In the midst of a sea-change, you don't just build a boat. You make the wave. Good Beer Hunting is how industry strategist, writer, and photographer Michael Kiser is crafting the story of beer around the world — not from the outside looking in, rather, from the center of the movement. GBH is the chronicle of the most compelling people, places and products he encounters on his travels. In addition to the website, the podcast is devoted to using craft beer as a bridge between other types of businesses, craft-oriented cultures, and what we eat and drink. Interviews with brewers, aficionados, and makers of all types with one thing in common — a fascination with what's happening in craft beer. Recorded at GBH Studios in Chicago, Illinois. Join him on the hunt.
Most Recent Episode
EP-131 Luke Dickinson of Wicked Weed Brewing
3 days ago
We’re a little over two months since Wicked Weed, one of the nation’s most popular and ambitious sour beer producers, was acquired by Ab Inbev in a sale that set the beer world on edge, and indeed, seemed to push many people over that edge. It galvanized craft beer’s hardcore base against AB Inbev, while others started reconsidering the future of craft beer, its definitions and divisions, and even the future of their own breweries and customers.
Since then, Ab Inbev itself seems to get a bit on edge with the release of the Brewers Association “independence” seal, which was reportedly int he works for over two years, but the timing of its release seemed to add fuel to the fire of an imminent crisis point between BA-defined craft brewers and those who had passed over the threshold into just being brewers of craft beer.
In response, AB Inbev’s High end group, which is a portfolio populated by those acquired craft brewers, many of whom have maintained their posts, are now part of a strategic and creative leadership team for AB Inbev. They created a somewhat impromptu video response to the BA encouraging them to think about the overall healthy of the beer category, which is indeed shrinking, as a result of increased competition from wine and spirits. Unity was their call, rather than division, which depending on your scale, priorities, and opinion of AB Inbev, is either prescient or absurd.
Needless to say, it’s been a wild couple of months for craft beer. This barely scratches the surface, really. But relevant to today’s guest, that’s more than enough content for what makes this interview both timely and interesting to me.
Today I’m talking to Luke Dickinson of Wicked Weed. Luke is the less exposed, less publicized brother of Walt Dickinson. This starts as a story of siblings, Luke being the quiet one who was initially inspired to start a brewing career base don his time at Dogfish Head, and Walt being the more entrepreneurial type who saw Luke’s vision for what was meant to be a nano brewery on paper, and consistently found opportunities to finance and scale the concept for Wicked Weed into the force it is now, including the sale to AB Inbev, alongside the Guthys, a very successful business family they’ve known since they were children.
Talking to Luke, the story of Wicked Weed comes to light as a sort of humble concept that created its own vortex of growth and a series of can’t-say-no kind of opportunities. It’s a story