Its not Happening, Its Happened – the Majors are in the Craft Business as the Craft Business Becomes Big

An already continuing theme on this blog, but one that I think is interesting. Major Breweries going craft. I’ll term it Big Craft Beer.





(Molson Coors’ Six Pints Specialty Beer Company – Don’t know if specialty is the right word this day and age)

A recent article from the Toronto Star discusses this trend which includes Molson Coors’ ownership of Creemore Springs and Granville Island (Six Pints), as well as Inbev’s purchase of Chicago’s local favourite: Goose Island. In addition, New Brunswick’s own Moosehead Breweries has acquired Brampton based Hop City Brewing; however, I’m not going to put Moosehead into the Molson/Inbev category as it itself is an independent Canadian owned brewery.

Some may be concerned by this trend, and sure it is a little disappointing to learn that some of those local breweries aren’t so local anymore. However, keep in mind that the big brewers are, in large part, maintaining the integrity of the brews. In addition, its not trivial that ownership by the majors is making these beers more accessible to a wider audience.

Look, its no secret that the craft beer industry is growing fast, with new breweries popping up every day. The fact that major breweries are buying in is not some disingenuous attempt to appear legit; its about hedging and making money. The fact is, the majors are very well positioned in the business and are therefore natural participants in its growth and progression. There’s no doubt that the “buy local” and personal nature of craft beer is going to make sure that independent craft beers continue to succeed. And I like that. Just know that the major breweries are going to make sure they get their piece.

Now what makes an independent sell to a major? I’m guessing there are financial reasons for that as well.

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Categories: Beer Business


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