What would cause the largest brewing company in the world to get involved with home brewing, the smallest level of brewing? The purchase was made by AB-InBev's capitalist ventures arm, ZX Ventures, which looks to purchase disruptive or innovative start-up companies. So, is Northern Brewer disruptive to them or innovative?? How could this possibly benefit Northern Brewer? Or home brewers for that?! How will this affect smaller home brew supply shops?
In a statement, Northern Brewer claims that nothing, including management, will change for their company after the purchase. Too good to be true? No one knows yet. Since 2011, AB-InBev has purchased nine U.S. craft breweries (not to mention SAB Miller just a few months ago): Goose Island, Blue Point Brewing, 10 Barrel Brewing, Elysian Brewing, Golden Road Brewing, Breckenridge Brewing, Four Peaks Brewing, Devil's Backbone Brewing, and most recently Karbach Brewing Co. Is AB-InBev finally starting to listen to beer drinkers and get a head of the curve on craft beer trends with the purchase of Northern Brewer? Or are they just trying to muffle the sound?
I had a lot of questions and so decided to go pick the brain of my local home brew supply store owner, Don Story! Don owns Brew Story in Estero, FL and opened his doors three years ago but his love for craft beer started long before that. I happily purchase all of my home brewing supplies from Don and occasionally bring in some of my better tasting home brews for him to try out! He's got great prices, is conveniently located just a few miles from my house, and is very knowledgeable on craft beer. Brew Story is also home to our local chapter of the Southwest Florida Brew Crafters.
Check out his thoughts on this purchase as I sit down with him at his place of brewsness!
Let me know your thoughts on this acquisition!