Even the big brewers are fans, so why is craft beer’s glass half-full?

The Times 25 September 2017

When is a craft beer not a craft beer? It is a question troubling some drinkers after large multinational drinks companies started to buy up their favourite craft breweries. Carlsberg’s acquisition of London Fields brewery, for example, followed AB Inbev scooping up Camden Town and a series of other acquisitions that have left the remaining independent brewers cautious about their future.

James Morgan, 37, boss of Truman’s Brewery, fears the multinationals could be about to change the market dramatically. “Although it feels like it might be a micro, cherry-picking strategy, I suspect for a company the size of Inbev it’s more about a macro, of ‘let’s take back control of this market by deliberately subverting the economics of it’. Otherwise, I’m not sure they would spend hundreds of millions of pounds.”

The boom in craft beer was made possible by a generous tax relief scheme for small brewers and the price that premium craft beer commands thanks to its surging popularity. “If either or both of those were to change, you would…

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