Will Beer Be the Last Thing Made in America?

Mel, the Minnesota beer activist, is fond of Surly beer. She sent me an article about them that just appeared in the City Pages. The founder of the company is a man named Omar Ansari. Ansari’s family ran a company called Sparky Abrasives that went where all good American manufacturing eventually goes, elsewhere.

I liked this quote from him:

“I like to say I ran the company into the ground. But our company went the way of most American manufacturing. Americans don’t really make anything anymore except software, movies, a few medical devices, and beer.”

India is already eclipsing us in movies and it seems like software and medical devices can’t be far behind. This makes me wonder if beer will be the last thing left that is made in America.

Oh, and also heavy metal. We’ll keep making that too. That’s Surly head brewer Todd Haug in the picture, playing in his thrash band Powermad.



17 Responses to Will Beer Be the Last Thing Made in America?

  1. Dave Bonta says:

    Hey, I’ve heard of that band! Cool. But I’m afraid you make a pretty good point here.

  2. beeractivist says:

    On the bright side, there is a promising rise in American craft cheesemaking (not to be confused with Kraft cheese-food-making).

  3. Dave Bonta says:

    And weapons! We make way cool weapons.

  4. beeractivist says:

    And by that I know you didn’t mean: “shotgun!”

  5. Keith W. Not the other fellow says:

    Dog, I hope not. Making Kids is to much fun. All is lost without new “merican” born drinkers.

    And my weapons Mr Bonta, do you mean spud or mashmellow. (google it, ah, I do the google.)

  6. beeractivist says:

    I almost lost my head once when the back end of a spud rocket blew off and shot within an inch of my face. True sorry.

  7. The bottom line is JOBS. The U.S. lost 46,000 manufacturing jobs in August 2007. More significantly, the ongoing losses are taking a cumulative toll on communities throughout the country. We need to adequately enforce our trade laws, and hold countries like China accountable for illegal trading practices such as currency manipulation. Otherwise, we’ll continue to shed manufacturing jobs.

  8. beeractivist says:

    Steven: I agree that we need to keep China accountable for illegal and unethical labor practices. I also think we need to invest in education and job training here at home. And we need to rebuild the social safety nets that the Bushes have dismantled – things like health care and child care. We also need to stop giving money away to corporations and invest it in small businesses instead so that people losing manufacturing jobs, for example, can start their own businesses. I hear craft brewing is a good one to get into! Plus, it requires people with manufacturer skills like product designers, engineers, welders, plumbers and electricians.


  9. D sheridan says:


  10. Mel G says:

    D Sheridan is right on! That’s the last Bud for me is what I have been saying too.
    This Bud is for you used to be the slogan for Bud, now I feel we shouldn’t say that here in US. However, I am a BEER DRINKER, if I want an American beer, where in Missouri can I get one???? I should stress beer, not piss.

  11. ann says:

    What sucks is now the 3 top beer makers have sold out to overseas countries!

  12. I just saw this as I was looking for pics of powermad & that photo is NOT Todd…. it is Joel DuBay. Just thought you should get it right.

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