There seems to be a never ending pursuit amongst most independent craft breweries to get bigger, mainly motivated by the need for investors to see a return.
This is understandable, but this is most often (with some notable exceptions such as Verdant & Deya to name two), accompanied by a decline in quality and an increased tendency to play it safe.
The worry is that after the great promise of the craft beer revolution to overturn the mediocrity of the big beer brands, it will leave us with only slightly better beer than we had previously, all wrapped in the Emperor’s new clothes of ‘craft’ beer language.
Hopefully there will always be smaller breweries coming through, prepared to push the boundaries of beer, but when you see the large corporate breweries offering ridiculous free stock deals on their 'craft' beer brands post lockdown, it further squeezes the space for smaller breweries to exist and hence reduces choice for the beer drinker.
I hear all the arguments about these beers being a gateway into the craft beer world but I suspect most consumers won’t understand what all the fuss is about.