In brewing news:
This seems to be a growing trend for the big boys. Every couple months you are hearing about a craft brewery selling out to one of the big breweries. Other than the big guy getting bigger I don’t have a lot of opinion on this topic. Depending on how much control they allow their new acquisition to have over their day to day business will decide whether this is a good or bad deal for the consumer. It seems to reason that if they were making a good, successful product before the buy out it would be in the best interest of all involved to have a hands off approach going forward.
For quite some time the mega brewers have been losing market share to craft breweries. Over the past few years that change has gotten exponentially larger. Despite how small of a dent craft brewing is in the grand scheme of barrels produced it is making the biggest producers take notice. One of the biggest problems that is beginning to surface for craft brewers is that the mega brewers are buying hop crops years in advance. This is an area where having a superior product doesn’t matter because the average craft brewer doesn’t have deep enough pockets to compete. This also has direct impacts on home brewers as it causes the price of hops in general to go up. However, if you are making a dozen batches each year you probably won’t notice it much. I think that will make this trend continue to grow and possibly have some long term negative consequences for craft brewing and home brewing as well. Just more reason to begin growing your own hops.
I’m sure that this is a topic that will resurface often and I’ll do my best to keep up to date with it so you can make an informed decision when you are standing in the beer aisle.