Why don’t I hear more concern from craft beer drinkers about the recent purchase of Panhead by Lion? Are the warning signs from the US craft beer industry or even from history not being listened to?
This comment from Sam Calagione hopefully sums up what is happening
Q: What does growing consolidation mean for the craft beer movement?
A: Everyone needs to realize that right now in every bar in every state there are massive global breweries going in and trying to sell those bars kegs of beer that they are hoisting off as local craft beers from somewhere in America that are really being made and distributed and marketed by the world’s biggest breweries. If the consumer doesn’t vote with their pocketbook to prioritize indie craft, we risk losing the vibrancy and diversity of our industry because the little guys can’t compete at the price points that the big brewers are hoisting this so-called craft beer off on.
Please consider history as well
In 1923, the first New Zealand brewing giant, under the name of New Zealand Breweries (since renamed Lion), was born through the merger of ten major regional breweries (including all of their licensed hotels and tied independents) located in the major metropolitan areas of the country. Although exact figures are unavailable, it is probably safe to say this new company controlled well over half of the country’s beer production and distribution. In subsequent years Lion continued to grow, not through capital investment in new plants, but by buying additional regionals, closing some and bringing others into the corporate fold.
Is the follow article part of making things OK? Are Kirin/Lion/Emerson’s really just good guys after all? If so maybe some of the bars they have tied might be good enough to free up a tap to two so that the small independent brewers might be able to sell a little more beer? Seems a bit pointless helping small independent breweries to make beer when on the other hand they are blocked from the majority of the market through tied agreements.
But Emerson’s Brewery in Dunedin came to the rescue and last month secured an organic malt supply for the micro-brewery.
At the brewery’s 5000L brew house the inevitable spillage was about 5tons a year. (pretty sure this isn’t true, and if it is it won’t be long before Kirin come and sort it out)