The term GOAT is an acronym for “Greatest of All Time.” And while GOAT discussions are held regarding a variety of topics, the area of sports is frequently one that is deliberated and these conversations about which sports are the greatest are frequently held in sports bars. For example: the greatest football player of all time, the greatest basketball team, the best golfer, etc. Mathematicians or statisticians might create algorisms that, in their opinion, prove who is the greatest. As you can guess, such analyses do little more than throw gas on the fire, but it is always fun to engage in the conversations.
Now that the first quarter of the year is in the books, pundits and others are debating the myriad of reasons why sales in the beer industry have declined. Someone in the industry might tell you sales are down as a result of “Corn Gate,” the ingredient battle between AB and MC. Honestly, if this is what we are now arguing about, the beer industry is in trouble!
Perhaps the term GOAT in the beer industry should not apply to a particular brand or brewery, but rather the term GOAT should be known as the Greatest of Any Time? In other words, where are today’s industry leaders and who are they?
Many leaders of the past, including Pete Coors and Jim Koch are on the back side of their careers and Bill Hackett just retired. The leadership void between the two industry giants, AB and MC is now quite evident. It seems obvious that there are no new leaders stepping up to replace these storied industry giants. But, perhaps, one could make the case that the industry no longer needs such leaders to develop and protect it because the industry is so diversified.
The usual adage purports that those currently exhibiting success are the next generation of leaders. Perhaps the recent industry articles on Tito’s Vodka illustrate this truth. Tito’s continues on its sales rampage, taking no hostages nor deviating from their core marketing.
Perhaps it would be difficult to follow in the footsteps of a leader whose company has negative growth. Some will support this supposition and see no need for leaders like as Pete or even August III with the current industry diversification of creative products and segments.
One can argue that now, not in the past or the future, the beer industry really needs true and strong leadership. The industry needs those who will look past “Corn Gate” and speak directly and forcefully to the real issues and problems. GOAT = Greatest of Any Time but now would be as good a time as ANY for leadership.