Punk IPA Brew Dog beer will produce spirits

Craft beer sales are multiplying faster than yeast in a brewer’s fermentation tank. So the big brewers want in on the action: recent craft sales include Camden Town Brewery’s to AB InBev and Meantime’s to Asahi.

The sales will “ruin craft beer for everybody”, one columnist has opined, undermining quality and stifling choice. “Corporations with profits at heart will never be able to deliver quality,” said BrewDog’s James Watt this week. Really?

I don’t think so. True, the big brewers’ record on sticking to recipes or protecting jobs isn’t great - see Stella’s abv cuts or Heineken’s 2010 closure of the Newcastle Brown’s brewery - but craft beer is a different beast; it needs a lighter touch.

Its essence is choice. It’s about quenching Brits’ thirst for exciting new beers. They’ll move on if the sector becomes consolidated or just a few multinational-owned brands gain ubiquity, as they will if quality is compromised.

But big firms are helping craft brands grow while also giving exciting indies like BrewDog a point of difference - which Watt continues to exploit masterfully. That’s a good thing, isn’t it?