Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Modern Times Via London

Here is an excellent article on Modern Times from Brew Geekery, a London-based beer blog.  It is bizarre and amazing that a San Diego brewery, located five minutes from my house, is profiled by a London blogger after he drank one of its beers in a Manchester pub.   How Modern Times ended up with its beers in England is an archetypal craft beer tale.  BrewDog, the Scottish craft brewer with a global brand and chain of UK pubs, first ordered Modern Times' coffee, which sparked a conversation between the two breweries, which lead to Modern Times' cans in the BrewDog pubs.

Jacob McKean, Modern Times' founder and owner, has some interesting things to say in the article, including this about the recent wave of craft beer acquisitions by macro brewing conglomerates:
Are you concerned by the increasing number of craft beer breweries being acquired by the likes of AB InBev? And being based in California, what are your thoughts on the Department of Justice and the California Attorney General’s enquiries into allegations that AB InBev is buying up distributors with the intention of edging out smaller breweries?

I am not concerned. This is the same strategy they’ve pursued elsewhere (and is fairly common in other industries) and it doesn’t spell the end of the world. Frankly, I think they’re flailing, and I wouldn’t expect them to remain committed to any one strategy for long. I am very heartened by the investigations, but this has been an open and shut case for the last 50 years, so I’m also a little exasperated. Hopefully they will someday investigate the anti-competitive trade practices (i.e. bribes and dirty tricks to get on-tap) these companies employ routinely as well.
I agree with McKean.  The macros can't buy, dilute, diminish, and eliminate all the craft breweries.  Macros will continue to try to capture and convert the craft beer drinker, and in the process make some better beers.  But they won't stop quality craft brewers and consumer demand for good local beer.

 Jacob McKean has big plans for Modern Times, saying in the article:
I dream big. I see Modern Times becoming a global purveyor of incredible beverages that is synonymous with beautiful, otherworldly spaces and art. I think we can do that and actually become an even better version of ourselves, rather than a diluted version."   
San Diego has well over 100 breweries.  Modern Times is fast becoming a force in not only San Diego's brewing scene but the entire craft beer industry.

No comments: