If you’re a fan of craft beer, it’s impossible not to notice the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” mentality that has taken hold among big brewers. Mega beer corporations are snatching up acclaimed “craft” breweries faster than purists can say “sell out”; that includes Goose Island (acquired by InBev in 2011), Blue Point (2014), and just this year, big names like Seattle’s Elysian; Los Angeles’ Golden Road; San Diego’s Ballast Point; Colorado’s Breckenridge Brewery; Petaluma’s Lagunitas; and now, London’s Camden Town Brewery.
James Watt, co-founder of Scotland’s ever-controversial BrewDog, posted a #HotTake on independence in the beer world and the recent rash of craft-brewery acquisitions. Watt argues, “Outgoing founders always say nothing will change. Except Everything Does. And the reality is they are powerless to stop any changes.” About beer behemoths like AB-InBev, he says,
The brewer goes on to establish the hashtag #IndependenceOrDeath, and argues that making great beer requires “the lack of [an] overbearing parent company.”
BrewDog is serious about not giving its support to what it considers sell-out craft breweries. It’s so serious, in fact, that the BrewDog bar in Camden just took Camden Town Brewery beers off its menu. The battle lines have been drawn.