The craft beer consolidation wave...

Thursday, 3 August 2017, 9:55 pm

Another craft brewery has been snapped up by one of the big brewing corporations.

This time Sapporo, Japan's fourth largest brewery, has bought San Francisco-based Anchor Steam for $85 million.

Now, Betaville tends to shy away from corporate commentary but on this particular topic this website may have some insight.

Why? Well, readers who know me well know that Betaville is a craft beer enthusiast that on weekends occasionally works in the tap room of a certain craft brewery in south London.

And so back to today's news. Sapporo's takeover of Anchor Steam - one of the pioneers of the American craft brewing scene - is just the latest move by one of the brewing giants on a craft brewer. SAB Miller, for example, snapped up London-based Meantime before the FTSE 100 company was gobbled up by Anheuser-Busch Inbev for £75 billion.

However, It's clear to Betaville that the quality of the beer produced by the craft breweries that are being consolidated by the larger breweries is nowhere near as good as the smaller upstarts, such as Howling Hops, Canopy, Gypsy Hill, Kernel, Brixton Brewery and Five Points.

And I suspect the likes of Meantime and Anchor Steam were making significantly better-tasting beers when they first set up decades ago.

The major brewing giants are trying to establish themselves in a new (ish), fast growing segment. But Betaville is not so sure craft beer consolidation wave is going to really work out for the big corporations. That's because by the time a craft bewery has got to a size that of it's interest to a global brewing group it's already lost its edge.....

[Disclaimer - the information on Betaville does not consitute any form of investment recommendation and is not intended to be relied upon by readers in making, or refraining from, any investment decisions].

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