10 Barrel was sold to ABInbev and there’s been more wailing and gnashing of teeth than I would expect. Heck, even I’ll admit that my cynical first reaction was that this was the act of a startup internet company: make a splash then sell out as soon as you can.
Which is not only silly, it’s pretty disrespectful to the work that everyone at 10 Barrel does. 10 Barrel is a known entity in a pretty competitive market and that’s impressive, even if you aren’t incredibly fond of their beer.
Everything I’ve heard about ABInbev’s acquisition of Goose Island, for example, has been pretty positive from the Goose Island people. Customers have claimed that the quality of their mainstay beers has dropped but I don’t know if that’s actually true or if it’s sour grapes. People can be awfully fickle and I don’t have enough experience drinking Goose Island’s products before and after to say.
I do have some experience with 10 Barrel’s stuff and it was fair-to-middlin’. If that maintains, great-hell, it might even get better. If it declines, unfortunate. But there’s no way to tell until they actually make product.
In addition, I don’t see this as evidence that ABInbev is going to ‘take over the world’. They already have. If this is 10 Barrel’s attempt to run with Widmer, Deschutes and Full Sail then let them have at it. If the beer truly suffers then we probably won’t drink it.
It’s not like we don’t have options.