In the aftermath of our decision to cancel our attendance at Beavertown Extravaganza, we would like to offer a long form explanation as to why we feel it necessary to take strong action in response to Heineken’s acquisition of an undisclosed share of up to 49% in Beavertown Brewery.
We are not against growth within the craft beer industry, nor, as some have pointed out, against taking investment to fund this growth. We have ourselves been in this position in 2013, where we chose to take investment from BrewDog’s Development Fund to help us move our brewery out of our basement and into a proper, functioning site. We bought back these shares in 2015 and have since remained a family owned independent brewery. You can read more about this decision, how it played out, and the reasons behind that in this blog post.
We are big fans of Beavertown; they have done a lot of good for craft beer and we have enjoyed taking part in events with them, including their Extravaganza last year. We understand their need to grow but are really disappointed with their choice of partner. We feel Heineken does not have the craft beer industry’s health at heart in this acquisition; they have been accused of using underhand tactics making it difficult for small breweries to compete (see Cloudwater’s blog here). Their actions and values are not aligned with ours or any other modern craft breweries we know. For this reason, we feel ethically unable to supply our beer to a festival that is in turn, helping to progress a company with these values. We are also disappointed with the lack of transparency around the deal, which has fundamentally changed the nature of the event for all its participants, leading to us, and other breweries having to make very difficult decision regarding attendance.
We are truly sorry to all ticket holders who might be disappointed not to see our beer at Beavertown Extravaganza. It was an incredibly difficult decision. However, staying quiet and sitting on the fence will make others believe these actions are OK, when they really are not. As suggested in our original statement, we hope to organise something special for those who feel let down.
Tom, Dave and Team BBNo.