Monday, July 10, 2017

WEEK 109--Craft in ASIA---to FOLLOW or to LEAD?

This is a somewhat leaning towards idealistic piece about craft scenario in Asia from a  Geek's "by-stander" point of view.

Here in Asia--people who are genuinely enthusiastic about investing time/ money/energy to either become a 100% craft-importer, run a full fledged craft beer bar/bottle shop are quite a rare breed--simply because there are other businesses that would likely bring faster return of investment- require lesser efforts in educating consumers or staff about the whole spectrum of what craft beer/mead is all about....
在亚洲,最普遍现象是,无论是欧美澳纽入口啤酒又或是有本土酿坊的城市,这三大类会是市场最通销啤酒,其一浅白易喝适合新人口味的pilsnerpale ale ,其二是不少人以为就是代表craft beer全貌的IPA,其三稍微“重口味”的stouts/porter
The fact is--craft beer/mead business is NOT for anyone/everyone- there's a certain level of enthusiasm/passion/beliefs needed for someone to want to dive into that black hole of running a craft business--and that's perfectly fine--we don't need just anyone or everyone to come running into craft businesses though end of the day--just like any other businesses--passion/beliefs alone won't be enough to make business sustainable--all businesses need MONEY to compliment any noble intentions or enthusiasm--and that's when things might get a little complicated here on....
Go to any cities in ASIA--and there's no surprises at all to find the 3 most commonly available beer styles would be:-
these 3 would probably be the best selling craft apart from the more commonly available Germans wit or Belgium ales.....

In a market inundated by MACRO offerings for decades--it's certainly not easy at all to run a craft business when majority who spend money on BEER still don't know there's a choice called craft beer, hence the question of :-
*do one set out to try and change the market drinking choices by introducing beer(or even mead) line up just as how the importer/owner( of bar/bottle shop) like/ wanted?
*play it safe--play it slow--go easy on the "difficulty level" of beer/mead line up--bring in those that would suits majority drinkers taste profile--build up the market share and be contented with the fact that it's sustainable craft
It's obviously NOT an easy choice--when one is putting in considerable amount of money/time/energy trying to build a craft business in a "minority" market, in any business analysis/forecast plan--the answer is obvious--a business need to first survive--make profits--be sustainable---then only one can talk about "idealistic ideas" of wanting to have awesome varieties of beer styles to "uplift" the taste profile / palate/appreciation level of drinkers. This is the cold hard truth of business and it shows in quite a many craft places over different cities across ASIA.

其实不只吉隆坡,对亚洲不同城市业者来说,如何选择也是个习题,是顺应市场绝大多数喝惯大厂啤酒消费者口味而只卖通销三大类? 还是说要本着引领市场口味而我行我素?当生意牵涉到金钱时间精力时,这个决定当然不是纸上谈兵那么简单。对啤迷来说,问题也凸显在这点,业者觉得市场不够成熟,新人朋友接受度不够,所以采取比较稳妥做法,尽量顺应市场口味。换个角度看,啤迷觉得如果业者不尝试引领市场口味选择,意味着新人们只能跟着业者脚步走,市场有什么就喝什么,碰上也是狂热啤迷的业者那还好,至少会有一些比较不同类别佳酿出现,如果遇到的只是稳妥做生意业者,那新人朋友大概只能三四年喝来喝去就那几支,或只能自己摸索前进了。
Is "going easy" on beer choices/line up a bad thing? From craft introduction point of view, the answer is NO--"easier beer choices" is actually good for craft to set foot in a minority market--it's good for newbies and it's good for business owners in terms of sustainability.
However--if we were to put the requirements higher--and purely from a GEEK'S point of view(i know--i hear you says why don't go open up your own)--then being safe and being contented with the same easy choices beer line up would equals to STAGNATION.

Yes--it's not easy at all to get brewers to want to sent their brew over to ASIA--especially those who gone big time hyped/ in demand---and it's a really time consuming/energy sapping/risk taking business to import/run a bar/bottle shop---but if we were to look at the very basics of market supply --in theory it would be craft importers/bar/bottle shop owners who would be the source of supply--meaning THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO CAN DECIDE WHAT TO SUPPLY HENCE LEAD THE MARKET-LEAD THE DRINKERS, because unless a drinker is buying on his own from overseas--drinkers can only buy from what's available locally, and if the operators don't lead--then who?

During a private bottle share recently here in KL, where we had some beers sourced thru own efforts, a friend who is more of a casual craft beer drinker said " if no one bring in these beers, then i will never know what is the different between awesome brew and a average brew--or say what's a NE style IPA..."

In ASIA--it's not realistic to wish or to compare with what our beer/mead friends who resides in US or EUROPE can get--the reality is such that when people in US can proudly says he or she don't drink IPA that's more than a week's old--we in ASIA can only dream of drinking that same IPA say maybe less than a month's old if one really seek for it on his/her own as it's very RARE(and don't really makes financial sense?) for ASIA importers to want to fly in fresh IPAs from US/EUROPE.

It's obvious ASIA cannot take US or EUROPE offerings /availability as yardstick--that's just too far fetch and not realistic--However, from a geek's point of view--trying to lead the market by introducing more varieties/ better brew would go a long way in elevating the taste profile/palate/appreciation level of drinkers here though it could be a case of 'easier said than done" in reality--the point is --if operators stays contented with the same old same old average/ mediocre line up or been going with the flow ( i.e. follow what easy beer drinkers wanted) for too long--perhaps it's time to see if a little varieties here and there would bring some surprises to the breaking of stagnation of both operators and drinkers palate? after all -is it not because of wanting to make a different that a craft business was chosen in the very beginning?

Sunday, June 25, 2017


在亚洲,绝大多数人不知道CRAFT BEER是什么,这是些在专卖吧/瓶子店或CRAFT相关社交媒体看到听到的情节。
Observing reactions from people who have not heard of craft beer or newly into trying some craft can be amusing at times--here's some FREQUENTLY UTTERED sentences/comments seen/heard on a daily basis either at craft beer bar/bottle shop or craft-related social media here in ASIA:-
1) Do you have something similar to XX brand(of MACRO BEER)?
This is quite a daily occurrences at any craft beer bar/bottle shop--somehow someone would just pop that question---which effectively saying "Don't give me anything strange or unfamiliar-- i want my familiar MACRO tasting BEER".
It's human nature to resist change --or it takes time to step out of comfort zone/accept new things--but hey--this is just beer( or maybe mead)--and it's so much more fun and delicious than your average BEER--there's no need to feel threatened or fear.
IN FACT--walking into a craft beer bar or bottle shop and asking for "something which taste like a MACRO BEER" is just like walking into a fresh fruits juices bar and keep asking if you could buy a factory made can/bottle of juice from the super market--it's obviously a scene of being at the right place but asking the wrong question.....
2) Give me the BEST beer/most Delicious beer
It's a common scene where someone walk into a restaurant and asked "what's the best dishes/ what's the most delicious food?" here in ASIA.
However--trying to apply the same logic when in a craft beer bar/bottle shop would not work--because with that many varieties of beer styles/taste profile--who is to say which beer is the BEST of the lot?
OK--there's so called top 100- top whatever chart listed out there on social media by beer rating websites-apps-magazines-experts and so on--if you a firm believer of others opinions about where a certain beer would place in a "top xx/xxx chart" then so be it--but the truth is--no one knows for sure which is the BEST beer.
Let's micro zoom a little here--on what might influence one's judgement about how a beer taste( to decide if it's a good one at that time of drinking)---let's take out the issue of whether it's good or bad brew--also take out the issue of how the beer might be handled logistic wise--let's just say it's a beer in good condition to drink--what might influence one's judgement about a certain beer is still quite a few:-
A) what are you looking for? or even crave for? a light beer? a heavier one? sweet one? bitter one? sour one?  
B) physical condition at time of drinking--fresh palate? tired already?
C) personal preference on beer taste profile influenced by food/fruits preferences..
Just imagine this scenario--you walk into a fruits stall full of all kinds of fruits--and you ask " which is the BEST?"--how to even compare apples with oranges? and while there's this saying that DURIAN( in particular the Malaysia species) is the KING of Fruits--how many of you out there would agree in unison?
3) This beer is so expensive/ so cheap
Let's agree on 1 thing first--that everyone view prices/value for money ( or not) very differently.
In ASIA--different major cities would have different taxes/policies in place by respective governments concerning alcoholic beverages including craft beer/mead --and the different ways of beers/mead being imported(officially sourced or grey imports)--hence it's obvious prices of same beer/mead from same brewery/meadery can have price differences.
BUT--even if there's no price differences caused by those mentioned above--assuming prices stays the same from Tokyo/Seoul to Beijing/Shanghai to Hong Kong/Taipei to Bangkok/KL/SG---THE FACT is there would always be some geeks who are willing to pay over the odds( say USD100 or above) just to secure some rare/hyped/hard to come by beers from US/Europe---while there would also be a bunch of people thinking to pay a few bucks more for a certain craft beer is just expensive/ not justifiable.....
The fact is--there's no need to think you have gotten a bargain by picking up some super cheap beers in a supermarket or such because unless you have checked the expiry dates/bottling/canning date/storage condition--you would not know if the beers still worth that few bucks you have just "gained"/spent.
As for geeks who chases after rare/hyped/hard to come by beers--the true value of that bottle is still about how it taste--it's not something to brag about or showcase as a shinny trophy.
4) Give me the STRONGEST tasting/ Highest ABV beer
Anyone asking for this would probably due to :-
A) thinking that the higher the ABV--the stronger a beer would be in taste profile--which obviously is wrong/misguided perception--the truth is some badly brewed beer can taste full of alcohol even at 4 or 5 % ABV--while some well made beers/mead can taste so "harmlessly smooth" at well over 10% or 20% ABV.
B) been watching too many badly made movies/drama series thinking that drinking beer is just to get DRUNK.( wake up--it's not cool)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

WEEK 107---Craft What Fun?

2013年底朋友鼓励抱着写玩玩心态开始“CRAFT IS ART” 部落客,到隔年写“顽啤主张”,有朋友问到底Craft魅力何在,可以让人如此着迷?来聊聊到底怎么回事。
It's been quite a while since this blog started, here's a little "looking back and forth":-
1) how it started?
About 5 years plus ago--going to the only dedicated craft beer bar in town--the drinkers would almost always full of either expat or foreign tourists, the percentage of local drinkers are quite small- that's when a friend suggested " why not try writing a blog about craft beer in Chinese?"
(*Malaysia as a muslim country--technically speaking it's only the Chinese with 20 plus % of population and Indians at about 5 plus% who are not bound by "prohibition laws" and can drink freely) 
Then again--since there are Chinese who don't read Chinese, as well for the benefits of some friends who are not Chinese--a Chinese + broken English blog was born in late 2013.
1) 怎么开始的?
56年前去本地唯一1craft beer专卖吧时,都是外国人居多,有朋友提议说为什么不写中文啤酒blog尝试推广?后来想到有不会看中文朋友,也不管半桶水英文,于是变成中英文双语版。
2) drinking craft---what is it all about?
it's still beer drinking--only and HUGE difference is Choices available.
Imagine this--all the MACRO BEER you been drinking so far is like eating Plain White Bread and nothing else.  Drinking craft is more like making bread into all sorts of delicacies -you could put on fresh vege or ham or eggs or add some fruit jam-peanut butter jelly- toast it- roast it---the possibilities quite endless...
2) craft 到底怎么一回事?
简单说,可以想像成以前喝的大厂啤酒都像是白面包,而喝craft beer就像是开始在全麦面包上做各种美味添加,涂上果酱-花生酱-蜜糖,变成三文治或烤土司等美味转身,听起来是不是美味多了?
3) what got you into the craft "black hole"?
10 years ago--anyone who chose to drink some "Macro-ish" German beer or Belgium beer here in KL is considered advance drinker ;) 
There's simply no supply of craft beer here until about 7,8 years ago when a small Belgium restaurant in Bangsar brought in beers like de la senne, st.martin,  Hopus, Duvel...that was probably the time when palate was open up somewhat. BUT the 2 beers that really gotten me was Rochefort 8, as well as a vintage 330ml Struise Black Damnation Mocha Bomb kindly shared by the owner, those 2 beers definitely impacted the palate in more ways possible at that time.
3) 什么情况下陷入浩瀚啤海的?
一直以来吉隆坡没有craft专卖店,当时会喝些德国啤酒就已很与众不同了,七八年前有一家比利时餐厅自己小量进口几个不同品牌比利时craft beer,那时算大概知道什么是不同啤酒美味层次,真正让人开窍的啤酒是餐厅主人分享私藏,一是Rochefort 8号,另一是已绝版Struise Mocha Bomb小支装,对那时候味蕾来说,这两支啤酒带来震撼是影响深刻的。

4) what fun being a geek?
Geeks at times are seen as "alien subject" by some other drinkers--simply because they are seen to be either too picky about beer or trying to make something as simple as beer drinking into complicated rocket science?
In truth the joy of being a geek is the same as say a foodie, it's all about finding and enjoying different taste profile, in this case, either a beer or a mead, and that is all geeks wanted, nothing too complicated really. 
and if you don't realized, being a geek in ASIA can be not much fun--painful even at times--simply because we lives so far apart from Europe/US where lots of awesome beer/mead originated from and hardly get any consistent or fresh enough supply.
4) 啤迷乐趣是什么?
5) what so fun drinking craft?
first and foremost--it's different--though it's still beer--the varieties of taste profile one could get out of a craft beer (or mead) is so so much different from gulping your usual BUD or Tiger or Carlsberg or Tsingdao or Chang....
secondly- drinking beer can become something one could "taste"--the term tasting session no longer belongs to just whisky or wine--with craft beer you really can enjoy better with a tasting session- drink less taste more.
IF you are into or have friends who are very into certain sports or hobbies, say photography, cooking, rock climbing, writing or whatever--the joy is the same when you share and appreciate good craft beer/mead.
5) Craft乐趣是什么?
6) does it make any difference---when majority drinkers just simply buy BEER and gulp it down?
It's a fact that MACRO BEER is the market leaders in terms of volume and easy access to getting it--but craft is here, craft is a CHOICE, and a much much better one (ok, fxxk some awful brew claiming to be craft)--people just need to open up their eyes and mind and give some varieties of craft a few tries before even trying to decide or judge if craft is worthy sip or to your liking.
craft in ASIA is still at early developing stage--if the US market took about 20 odd years to gain a strong foothold in the beer market while trying to fend off all kinds of tactics from MACRO--ASIA might need that long a time to get craft moving in the right direction--one step at the time--so long as craft community moves--the craft movement will move in tune...
6) 绝大多数人都随便买随便喝大厂啤酒,啤迷摇旗呐喊有用吗?
Craft主要靠口口相传,如何让更多人知道啤酒不是只有大厂品牌,craft beer才是更美味多变化选择不是短期内就能看到成效的事。美国的craft革命用了20年左右才有如今占整体啤酒市场销量10多巴仙成绩,亚洲肯定需要时间,而且搞不好比美国更长时间才能让更多消费者开始意识到喝啤酒时其实有更多美味选择。
7) why write when the market is dominated by MACRO still?
when this blog started--or subsequently when the local Chinese newspaper Guangming Sunday feature section invited to start a craft column--the thought is the same--it's to share thoughts about craft--though maybe it would be nice to be able to earn money while writing/sharing like J.K.Rowling or some big time blogger but i guess that's not happening/not gonna happen :)
end of the day--if anyone who read this blog/newspaper column or say someone met in person got interested with craft and went on to explore more--i guess that would be reasons enough to keep writing/sharing...(though i won't mind IF someone like to donate millions to the account and say go on be a full time craft writer or go and publish a book or something : )
7) 大局是那样,还有什么好写的?
无论是最初写部落客或“顽啤主张”,都没什么伟大理想抱负,只抱分享心态,想到什么就写什么,要说有谁看了会对craft beer产生兴趣,或觉得原来长大以来以为认识的大厂啤酒并不是啤酒全部真相,那就够了。

Monday, June 5, 2017

WEEK 105---you have CHOICES when it comes to beer

This is a fairly simple piece --it came out of a casual chat with someone about craft beer, during MBCC beer week  here in craft desert KL:-
"what is it about craft beer? what so special that people would fly all the way to Copenhagen just for beer? are you guys nuts?"
Obviously the guy who commented is not a beer geek--well perhaps not even a craft beer drinker but a curiosity drinker--and he is absolutely right to voiced out those questions.
You see--the world of beer is split into 2--there's the commonly available everyone knows MACRO BEER, and then there's craft beer( though i would say it's going to be 3 or already split into 3 with the role of MACRO-CRAFT coming into play) ---hence it's normal majority of BEER drinkers don't understand how and why geeks behave or go huhhhhuaaa about beer.

"what so different about the world of craft"--the curiosity drinker guy asked.
The biggest differences of course is CHOICES--there are so many choices with craft beer that it's like walking into a candy store or XMAS gifts shop.
 的确,喝啤酒这件事本质上是可以很简单的,就算来到craft beer的世界,也可以是简单事情,要说其中最大差别的话,应该说在于怎么喝,喝什么。

"OK--choices--but is that to say you guys turning what used to be straight forward friends gathering-chit chatting drinking session into some complicated -smart ass beer sniffing -gourmet studying session?"
That is also quite understandable--of course geeks can be a bunch of weirdos who sniff beer as if they are tasting wine/whiskey--take photos of bottles like they are taking pictures of some rock stars or the finest art collectibles--all those make geeks look somewhat strange--to many a beer is just a beer--there's no need really to make things complicated than necessary.

Are beer geeks really that different from say guys who are crazy about photography? or say people who are into seeking out good food? or say people who love mountain climbing?

The answer is simple---what  beer geeks really wanted is to be able to seek out and appreciate high quality brew --and to achieve that geeks are prepared to do more be it to fly out, to pay a bit more than average drinkers would for MACRO BEER, to study a bit about beer styles and taste profile and so on---It's all about passion and interest level---all in the name of taste.
没错,啤酒原本就是被诠释为直截了当的轻松型酒精饮料,这是大厂啤酒一直为大家塑造的印象,也是消费者一直以来的理解。换个角度看,在craft beer世界裡,喝啤酒可以有更多其他层面享受。

如果一个饮客一路来只认识大厂啤酒,会这样想不出奇,因为对不少人来说,喝啤酒就只是为了跟朋友或亲人开心集聚,喝什么口味啤酒根本不重要,气氛和亲友间交流才是重点。所以,当一个那么"简单质朴"的大厂啤酒世界概念被强调不同风格口味啤酒享受的craft beer改变後,啤酒世界没选择不用选择的局面就已被打破。

"so craft has got choices-different flavour profile--but why should i drink craft?"
It's not a must for everyone who drink MACRO to turn over and drink craft--it's still personal choices what you would prefer to drink or where to drink---the 1 big reason maybe that since no matter if one is drinking MACRO or craft--it's still alcoholic drink which the body needs working to dissolve the alcohol, in that case, why not give your palate a nicer tasting beer than the dull and same same?
'what so different drinking a MACRO BEER or a craft?"
there's many technical aspects to go into details--perhaps think of it this way---it's like the differences of drinking a pack of frozen orange juice bought from convenience store as compared to a glass of freshly squeezed juice with 3 oranges? 

一些人喝啤酒只为热闹或跟亲友聚聚,喝什么不重要,只是,看到大多数人完全不知道有craft beer美味多样化选择存在是件让啤迷揪心的事。的确,每个人口味看法不同,有人觉得喝大厂啤酒就很爽了,可是,对啤迷来说,打个比喻,酿得很好的craft就像是用3粒优质橙榨成的一杯果汁,更原汁原味新鲜好喝。跟超市卖的包装果汁是有一定区别的,既然有那样的美味选择,为什么不要?

"what so good or important to know what craft is?"
Let's maybe put it this way---knowing how to appreciate craft would bring about many different flavours for varieties of palate enjoyment.
Only those who gave themselves a chance to get to know craft better--as well know how to respect an alcoholic brew--would have the chance to appreciate the multitude of joy craft could bring.
或许这样说,懂得欣赏craft beer会带来很多意想不到的不同风味味蕾享受(虽然偶尔也有喝到难喝酿品受罪时候),也会比较懂得怎么去面对酒精,只有给机会自己口味选择,尊重酒精酿品的人,才有机会享受不同类别啤酒所带来乐趣。

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

WEEK 104--the MUTATION of craft to MACRO-CRAFT

Yes--this is old old news already by the time it show up here.

五月第一个星期,很多不同城市啤迷都在议论美国酿坊wicked weed被国际大厂啤酒巨无霸AbinBev(曾烧大钱打广告讥讽craft啤迷只是装模作样一群)收购事件。
啤酒一直有不同的两个世界,一个是只注重卖三几个单调产品,以追求市场占有率盈利最大化为目标的MACRO BEER 
另一个是craft beer --小量酿造,注重不同类别风格口味的美味世界。
But it's still worth a shot to at least try to let people know that there's indeed a world split into 3 :-MACRO BEER, craft beer----and the mutation which is MACRO-CRAFT 

在出现千变万化不同类型风格口味啤酒选择craft之前,啤酒世界只有大家都熟悉的大厂啤酒(MACRO BEER),那是基本没口味类别选择的世界,长期那样淡出鸟来情况下,有人开始试着酿造自己想喝啤酒,于是craft慢慢从自酿自供变成现在的百花齐放。
In Asia--beer is obviously not a daily necessities--people would buy more other types of beverages than alcoholic ones--and if we zero in on craft beer segment--it's even much smaller.
With low awareness about craft beer--where generally people would only associate BEER as the whole and only truth they could think of when asked about beer--let's try and point out the differences:-
MACRO--multi national corporation giants--only focusing on a few famous brands-usually simple lager or pilsner and keep producing in mega volume--easy access is the key--flooding market is the aim- cutting down/out market competition is the means.
craft beer--thousands of small breweries--all sorts of beer styles/ varieties--flavour profile is the key--producing "what we could/ what we want" is the motto--fighting to be number 1 best selling beer in the market is NOT encourage by any means(though aiming to get rated as number 1 could/would be ;)
MACRO-CRAFT--the mutant born out of the marriage of MACRO and "once a craft" breweries--in other words--the MACRO-CRAFT are those craft breweries which for one reason or another decided to hold the hands of MACRO giants through a sell out deal.
了解craft文化的啤迷几乎都从喝MACRO BEER开始,因为那样,更能体会craft酿坊致力提供不同类别风格口味啤酒享受的努力,对只以三几个畅销品牌单调无趣啤酒抢市场的MACRO没好感。

so why would MACRO buy into a craft? and why would craft sell?
the reasons:-
MACRO needs to grow market share--and the only way to enter the craft market is by buying up existing craft breweries- what's better than using craft to fight craft?
craft sold out for MONEY( it could be for betterment of future growth-reaching out to more drinkers-retirement or maybe simply being naive--you name it- but end of the day it's MONEY- period)
跟不久前卖给同一家MACRO的上海拳击猫(BOXING CAT)一样,wicked weed卖的理由是因为可以凭借国际大公司的财力和分销网更好的发展。对出钱收购的MACRO来说,近年美国市场销售额下滑意味着必须做点什么制衡已经抢占啤酒市场十多巴仙的craft,既然自家品牌啤酒肯定不能跟那么多类别风格啤酒抗衡,那就来个以craftcraft,有什么有效过隔岸观火,利用原本同理念的酿坊打击自己打不过的敌人?

By choosing to hold the hands of ABInBev - WW has chosen to become a CATEGORY of products under the wings of MACRO BEER -and by doing so -- contrary to what WW might think - they have also chosen to leave the craft community- yes, its only beer and friendship might stay - but the one thing WW might not realized when deciding to take the money and support from AbinBev is that the craft community is a wicked bunch - people in this community has got common belief that craft should remain craft - associating with MACRO is NOT. 

There are some who slam geeks for being a bunch of "cry babies" who cannot see others getting a handsome pay off for years of hard work to build up that craft brewery/brand name--No Doubt--it's the absolute rights of the owners to decide what to do next with their own business/brand/brewery--that part is clear--there's no doubt they can decide to sell out to whoever they like.

任何酿坊都可以决定抄小路走捷径,那是酿坊品牌主人的决定,那之后,啤迷也会决定那家酿坊的定位,不再会是craft,而是带讽刺意味的新名词-MACRO CRAFT

Also--there's no shame at all if a craft brewery declare openly that their aim is to be the number 1 best selling beer by volume in the craft market--or say to be a 100 million dollar business--there's nothing wrong to aim for that since craft beer is after all still business.
BUT--the moment a craft brewery took the short-cut of taking money from MACRO giants--that's where all the "complications" starts.

WHY CAN'T craft brewery merge/side with MACRO? is MACRO that evil? while a deal of MACRO buying into craft is generally perceived as nothing more than business--it is a big deal in many aspects (culturally-emotionally-and in the longer run market competition wise) to craft community and beer geeks, imagine these scenario:-
-ask yourself if it feels right to buy Messi if you are a Real Madrid fan? or buy C.Ronaldo if you a BARCA fan?

-if you love hand made/gourmet coffee--would you like Nescafe/Starbucks to own your favourite beans company to "make better coffee" more accessible to drinkers?

-if you love food--and you just heard McDonalds bought your favourite gourmet burger shop--so as to help grow the gourmet burger market?

It's true craft beer is a business hence every breweries/brewers can't run away from the harsh test of business competition/pressures of making a business sustainable/profitable--BUT--what makes craft business a little special is the unspoken community spirits--the craft culture--most geeks understand the common languages of craft--tying up close with MACRO giant's money/power is NOT one of them.
it is clear MACRO-CRAFT is aiming at newbies- people who would try craft beer for the first time--the ignorant, the "beer is just BEER- who cares who owns what" crowd.

By acquiring craft and making good use of them to fight the fight MACRO could not enter with their own beers--it is a "smart move" since they are capitalizing on the IGNORANCE of most drinkers who either don't know what are the differences between craft and MACRO--or just simply don't give a fxxk of who owns what.
In a small way--saying beer is only BEER or "i just drink--it's too complicated to understand craft beer" or " do i need to know who owns what to decide which beer to drink?" is a little similar to we earth people upon hearing about Global Warming or when maybe London- New York or Bangkok might completely disappear from the horizon--it's something which many would brush aside as "none of my concern- too complicated to understand--too distance from my daily routine".

to say the need to protect craft community from the clutches of MACRO is almost like trying to save planet earth is a little far fetch- but if we take a closer look at what JEAN of CANTILLON posted on FB both on 2nd APRIL & 10th MAY about rejecting 1 time craft turned MACRO-CRAFT Birra Del Bogo and how giants killed off competition and hence the closing down of lambic breweries in and around Brussels some 40 years ago--then maybe it's not that far fetch....( here's screen-shot of both posting--for more detail please check Cantillon FB)