BrewDog will no longer sell independent rival Camden Town Brewery after it was bought by beer giant AB InBev in protest against the growing influence of the big brewers on the craft beer sector.
The outspoken beer brand left Twitter fans in no uncertain terms of its feeling towards the move with a social media post shortly after the deal had been announced to the city. It showed a member of staff pulling the Camden Hells lager from its beer list before throwing the lettering on the floor alongside a post that read: No compromise. #Sorrynotsorry @CamdenBrewery @ABInBevNews.
— BrewDog Camden (@BrewDogCamden) December 21, 2015
BrewDog’s protest stems from the fact that it had agreed to sell the rival beer from the Camden Town Brewery as an act of unity with another craft brewer. And despite the obvious reasons as to why a craft brewer would sell to a larger rival, given how valuable that part of the market is, BrewDog’s stance is that its rival is selling out – AB InBev acquired Camden Town Brewery for an undisclosed sum.
James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog, further clarified his company’s stance with the tweet below.
— James Watt (@BrewDogJames) December 21, 2015
The issue highlights the dynamics at play in a beer market where growth is hard to come by unless it’s in the craft segment. Consequently, the larger firms like AB InBev have been snapping up these brands in an attempt to mine that demand, all the while downplaying their involvement so as not to deter drinkers who are keen to support smaller players. Some detractors have interpreted AB InBev’s aggressive acquisition of brewers such as Goose Island and its in-house faux craft beer Shock Top as an attempt to shut down strong competition from smaller, nimbler players.