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18-12-2014, 09:24
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Is there someone out there who is angry that Founders (http://allaboutbeer.com/founders-brewing-co-sells-partial-ownership-spanish-brewer-mahou-san-miguel/) has allowed San Miguel to buy a 30% share in their business? Is there anyone out there who is miffed a corporation that makes a series of beers best drank Arctic-cold on the beach in Malaga has bought 30% of Founders? Is there anyone out there who is chewing the craft beer carpet and frothing at the mouth with righteous self-importance?

I don’t doubt there is. If you boil down the geek into a fan and then envisage them as an individual you have actually met rather than relying on stereotypes; if you remember a fan of beer that you have met, an engaging man or woman, someone whose company is pleasing and pleasant until the subject that they are most interested in comes up for air — with others it might be football, steam trains, military uniforms, Komodo dragons or fracking but here we are talking about beer and it will be a subject that once aired becomes an obsession and a passion and a dressage to get them through the day — then you will have a photo-fit of the fan, of the person who might be angry that Founders has sold 30% of its business to Sam Miguel.

On the other hand, I wonder if those with a healthy interest in beer (or maybe even an unhealthy interest) are beginning to get used to such collaborations, beginning to see it as normal aspect of a business growing up; understanding that there is a need for an outfit such as Founders to get an injection of cash under the right conditions. Some fans, especially those who go dewy-eyed at the thought of exchanging a few words with a head brewer whilst bagging a one-off brewed with echinacea or whatever, might feel let down in the spirit of fan ownership, but I reckon the majority of people who drink Founders beers will continue to drink their beers.

For an intriguing aside to fan worship of brewers see Tomme Arthur’s column in November’s AAB.

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