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16-05-2015, 07:16
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http://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/breakfast_news_nuggets_waffle_diner_672.pngThere’s one big story in the UK this week: the takeover of London’s Meantime by international brewing company SAB Miller.→ Background reading:*When Nick Miller, formerly of SAB Miller (but no relation…), joined Meantime as CEO back in 2011 the gossiping began: was this the beginning of a slow takeover? Martyn ‘Zythophile’ Cornell warned against such assumptions (https://zythophile.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/what-it-means-now-its-miller-time-at-meantime/) (12/07/2011) but the rumours persisted. In 2013, Melissa Cole called it (http://letmetellyouaboutbeer.co.uk/index.php/why-craft-beer-cant-work-as-a-definition-in-uk/)*(25/11/2013), and repeated that call again in January when we asked, in the wake of AB-InBev’s takeover of US brewery Elysian, ‘how long can it be before we see the same thing happen in the UK? (http://boakandbailey.com/2015/01/great-craft-beer-swindle/)‘
→ In response to yesterday’s news, Pete Brown wrote*a lengthy piece defending Meantime against criticism that it had ‘sold out’ (http://petebrown.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/why-sabmillers-acquisition-of-meantime.html):
One of the more moronic memes in all the comments online goes along the lines of “Well, I never drank their beers anyway because they’re bland/they’re keg/they’re lagers [delete as applicable depending on how much of a prick you really are] so this changes nothing.” As if every craft brewer has to be experimenting with too many hops, a saison yeast, black malts and pinot barrels.
→ Meantime’s own Alastair Hook made a statement*on the company’s own blog (http://www.meantimebrewing.com/raising-the-bar):
I see the term ‘Craft’ disappearing within ten years as the brewing world recalibrates itself and aligns itself with a passion for great beer made well. ‘Craft’ could disappear as it reforms and redefines what is the new world of beer, a world that provides choice to an inspired and responsive consumer.
→ And there was further commentary from Roger Protz (http://protzonbeer.co.uk/comments/2015/05/15/global-giant-in-grab-for-meantime) (‘The sale of Meantime could mark a seismic shift in British brewing.’) and*Jeff ‘Stonch’ Bell (http://stonch.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/sab-miller-buys-meantime.html)*(‘If it was craft yesterday, it’s craft today.’).

* * *→ In other news, pub company Enterprise Inns has announced a major restructuring in the wake of changes to the landscape*following a successful campaign by anti-pubco campaigners, as reported by James Wallin for the* (http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Operators/Enterprise-Inns/Enterprise-outlines-five-year-plan)Morning Advertiser (http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Operators/Enterprise-Inns/Enterprise-outlines-five-year-plan).*In short, the company intends to shift away from traditional tenanted pubs and towards a managed estate.
→ Will those who invest in BrewDog actually make any money? As reported by*Drinks Business,*All Street, a firm which specialises in assessing crowd-funding schemes, says, no, probably not (http://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2015/05/brewdog-investors-will-struggle-to-make-a-return/). (This opinion has more weight than what is ‘reckoned’ by people who have (a) beef with BrewDog and (b) no specialist knowledge or experience.)
→*Bryan D. Roth has been considering ‘The Personalization of Beer (https://thisiswhyimdrunk.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/the-personalization-of-beer/)‘ — that is, consumers tinkering with finished beers*using gadgets, additives and other methods. Some brewers consider this kind of thing an affront but Roth argues otherwise:
[The]*onset of individualized opportunities and*new ways to enjoy a beer is a logical step for a maturing consumer base. At one point or other in many product cycles, people want control.
→ All last week, the Beer Nut’s regular tasting notes focused on Poland and the whole series is worth a read, and is also worth filing for later reference:*Wotcha Łódź! (http://thebeernut.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/wotcha-odz.html) | Pillar to Post (http://thebeernut.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/pillar-to-post.html) | Baltic Cruise (http://thebeernut.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/baltic-cruise.html) | Meeting Cornelius (http://thebeernut.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/meeting-cornelius.html) | Post-industrial Brewing (http://thebeernut.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/post-industrial-brewing.html).
→ And, finally, after our post about the Eagle Tavern earlier in the week (http://boakandbailey.com/2015/05/notable-pubs-1-the-eagle-tavern-london/), this Tweet from the novelist and historian Lee Jackson couldn’t fail to catch our eye:

Eagle Tavern had 'circuitous pathways, corkscrew fashion, down which adventurous public travelled in chairs w considerable velocity' 1820s
— Lee Jackson (@VictorianLondon) May 15, 2015 (https://twitter.com/VictorianLondon/status/599153387171651584)

News, Nuggets & Longreads 16/05/2015 (http://boakandbailey.com/2015/05/news-nuggets-longreads-16052015/) from Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog - Over-thinking beer, pubs and the meaning of craft since 2007 (http://boakandbailey.com)

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