There was some big news yesterday, with Mountain Goat announcing Asahi (aka one of the big boys) were taking a 100% stake in their business. As with all big decisions, there is an argument for each side, and this is no different, with no shortage of punters willing to express their opinion on the matter.
“The bastards have sold out!”
Being small, independent businesses is something the craft beer industry has prided itself on. According to many on the internet forums, they’ve now eroded this identity by joining a big company, especially being one of the craft beer leaders in this country. Sold their soul to the devil, if you will, and let the big companies buy up the competition. As a result, we can expect the parent company to make changes to process or product which may impact the quality and/or breadth of the beer produced in order to keep the bottom line looking healthy.
“They deserve the great financial reward for years of hard toil”
I know shit all about brewing, but I do know it’s a huge effort for minimal reward, especially to produce a quantity which can be sold commercially. So fair play to them, some say, in not only producing the beer but building the brand and followers, they have finally earned a reward that matches the effort they’ve exerted.
They’re both fair and valid arguments. For me, every man deserves their just desserts, so I sit the later category. I also feel safer in the knowledge that there’s already an operating rhythm there with Asahi contract brewing some Goat beer. This, I hope, means the purchase will not disrupt the company too much, so they’ll be able to maintain their brand, including those impressive seasonal releases. I hope. Time will tell. But, unlike some, I don’t mind that I’ll be giving my coin to the big boys – so long as the beer remains at a high quality, than I have no issue.