While it’s understandable that people were disappointed with yesterday’s announcement that AB InBev have acquired Camden Town Brewery, the craft beer zealots were out in force on Twitter, putting the HELL into Hells.
Following the announcement, Camden’s owner Jasper Cuppaidge held a Q and A, with the award for idiot of the day going to @who smugly asked “what’s the going rate for a soul these days?” Classy. The management of Brewdog Camden didn’t cover themselves in glory either, posting this video soon after the announcement. They can be forgiven however, as they’re only following the example set by James Watt, who was naturally quick to announce that all Camden Town Brewery products were being immediately pulled from Brewdog’s bars (James didn’t respond to my tweet suggesting they keep the remaining stock of Camden’s beers on and donate the proceeds from their sale to charity. Not very “punk” I suppose.) In what was fast becoming a car crash of an afternoon on Twitter, whoever manages Truman Beer‘s Twitter account also found decorum to be in short supply when they deemed this to be an appropriate question to put to Jasper (their previous one, while equally to the point, was infinitely more interesting).
I don’t know Jasper but I know people who do and they speak well of him, and I do know some Camden Town Brewery employees, investors and fans, and consider them to be friends. It is they who I feel for and it is they who should be most miffed as they ponder the future, not some pissed off “punk” who’s now boycotting his previously favourite beer. It does seem disingenuous of Camden to forge a reputation as a proudly independent craft brewery, actively co-opting the support of bloggers, fans and investors to then eschew that same ethos the moment a multi-national such as AB InBev comes calling. Then again, who would’t take the opportunity to secure their family’s future after years of graft? I just wish transparency wasn’t so hard to come by in beer, but that’s no doubt naive. It’s a business, after all.
“The brewery started because we couldn’t find a lager we loved in London. Drinkers are getting smarter and they can tell the difference between a beer made by a multi-national brewery and a smaller one. With lager we wanted to brew a high-quality beer, inspired by ones we’ve drunk in Germany, and show that lager isn’t a tasteless, fizzy beer.”
Above quote from Camden Town Brewery’s website, at the time of writing.