Bad news local beer lovers, London’s beer landscape is under threat as multinational brewers target the capital, according to the founder of London Beer City.
Will Hawkes says the recent purchase of London Fields by Carlsberg and AB InBev’s plans to expand its Goose Island bar estate in the city demonstrates that big brewers are after the craft beer market.
‘There’s no doubt that, having finally woken up to the possibilities of craft beer, the big brewers are keen to swallow it whole’, said Hawkes. ‘If drinkers are not careful, they could soon find themselves with a few big companies controlling the market.’
London Beer City, the capital’s original beer festival, aims to fly the flag for quality London-brewed beer, but also those made elsewhere in the UK and oversees. This year’s festival from 3-13 August will see over 100 events in total, including the 40th Great British Beer Festival, whose presence in this first week of August inspired London Beer City.
‘We wanted to take the energy of GBBF and spread it around the city,’ added Hawkes.
London has over 100 breweries, from Fullers down to tiny Temple Brew House.
‘London now has more breweries than any other city in Europe, and standards are constantly rising,’ said Hawkes. ‘In 2006, thanks to consolidation and avaricious big brewers, we were down to fewer than 10. That’s why it’s really important to nurture and protect this diversity.’
Let’s hope the multinationals leave room for the little guys…