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While many of us in the blogosphere are getting a bit tired of all this "what is craft?" stuff, a long foreseen development is, well, developing. Greene King is to open a £750,000 “innovation brewhouse” at its Bury St Edmunds brewery for experimenting with different craft beer styles.

"Now this isn't new" you'll hoot - and it isn't, as some other fairly large breweries have done so, not least of all, Thwaites and Brains, who have both produced excellent stuff from their breweries within breweries. But GK is much bigger and the very entrance of such a big brewer to the so called craft market may dilute (in the eyes of some at least) the value of the term even more than it already is. As the brewery will include a packaging plant, it seems clear they are aiming at the take home trade as well as the on trade and are looking to compete across all boundaries. Muddy waters are going to be even more muddy soon it seems.

One thing the big breweries do have is fully trained brewers with a huge back up from technical and laboratory boffins, sales and marketing. They are unlikely to produce dodgy beer and if they give the brewers their head, they'll take market share. A worry for some perhaps? While you may view this as a good or bad thing depending on your point of view, the setting up of this brewery is evidence at least that the big boys are sitting up and taking notice and as these things take time to procure and set up, they have clearly been sitting up and taking notice for quite some time.

Everyone else should too.
Set to open on 20 November and beer available from next year. Photo from GK's own website.