Reading Boak & Bailey's post this morning got me thinking about something I heard about the other day..
Big takeovers by multinationals of breweries is one thing, but the other side of the coin is big breweries taking over distribution rights for other breweries. This is something that's happening in the UK right now. A lot was said when Brewdog became the sole distributor for Mikkeller beer in the UK, and it now seems that they're now the sole distributors for Stone beer too.
The thing I heard though was that James Clay have given up the selling of Goose Island and the distribution of such beers has gone to Green King. This will no doubt have it's good and bad points..
On the one hand it's good that Green king are going to be able to use their money and influence to get Goose Island beers into the hands of consumers who have probably never tried them. And probably for much cheaper too.
The downside of this though is that distribution will be on the big scale, i.e. if you want to buy Goose Island beer for your shop you're probably going to have to buy a pallet of it. That means that about 99.9% of small independent beer shops will no longer be able to buy Goose Island beer.
The thing I'm most sad about personally is they've cut down the range of beers to Honkers, 312 wheat and the IPA. This means no more Matilda, no Pepe Nero, no more specials, and probably most damning of all - NO MORE BOURBON COUNTY STOUT!
If this means that I'll have to go the supermarket to get some Goose Island I guess it's not that big a deal. At the end of the day, we won't be able to stock it at Beer Ritz, but that does free up space for a new brewery!