Earlier this year we awarded Beavertown our first ever “Craft Beer Icon” award as part of our 2018 Independent Beer Awards.
“When it comes to contemporary British craft beer there are few breweries that have been as impactful and inspiring as Beavertown. The Tottenham-based brewery that began life in Logan Plant’s kitchen back in 2011 is now one of the UK’s most recognisable and celebrated modern beer icons.”
For countless beer lovers Beavertown offered a gateway to a new and exciting world of modern craft beer, punctuated by flavourful brews, subversive design and a potent rock ‘n’ roll approach to brewing that possessed both style and substance. The statement quoted above still rings true. However, with the announcement of Heineken acquiring a minority stake in Beavertown, the record has changed and, for many a staunch supporter, it’s time to say goodbye to Beavertown. Our continuing relationship with Beavertown is one which remains up for debate, and a discussion that we want our customers and suppliers to be a key part of.
First and foremost, we congratulate Logan and the entire Beavertown team past and present for what they have accomplished. To build an iconic brand from the ground up is no easy task. In fact, it is an incredibly difficult one which requires a degree of dedication that words can’t do justice. We wish Team Beaver the very best and believe that the increased availability of beers such as Gamma Ray and Neck Oil will court countless drinkers who will eventually grow into craft beer lovers such as ourselves.
Many an animated argument has been raised concerning Beavertown’s decision. After several hours deliberating amongst the team, we view Beaver’s announcement as an opportunity to inform rather than isolate people from the conversation. We believe that Beavertown will remain an influential brewery, and that a wide range of consumers will want access to their beers, whether online, in bottle shops, bars or supermarkets. Rather than make a decision for individuals before they even enter our online bottleshop, we want customers to be able to access Beavertown beers alongside a wide range of independent beer. We want to make sure we can introduce them to a myriad of exciting independent breweries, which we will continue to champion with the same passionate approach as we always have. Many may arrive looking for Beavertown, but they’ll leave with lots more.
We’ve previously criticised our competitors for situating independent brands beside those owned (partially or fully) by brewing companies such as AB InBev or Heineken, thus implying that they are one of the same. We still don’t agree with this approach and therefore we’re committed to clearly highlighting any beers and breweries that aren’t completely independent within product descriptions from this point forward. This will ensure customers have all the information they need to make an informed decision about what they buy.
This hasn’t been an easy decision and we want to continue to get the thoughts of our customers and suppliers going forward. As we grow as a company, so does our voice within the craft beer community, and the opportunity to inform customers about the breweries behind the beer. We want to play a part in shaping the future in a transparent way rather than becoming bystanders to the actions of big beer. If Beavertown continue to be the brewery we know and love then we’ll continue to stock them with the caveats mentioned above.
Team HB x
Full disclosure – Beavertown accounts for 5.2% of HonestBrew’s online sales, which is comparable to several other leading breweries we stock and places them within our top ten selling breweries.