I quickly wrote this over at the beer blog's Facebook page* and thought it was clever enough to repeat:
With respect, the main point is being missed. The disassembling of the US craft beer market is itself the bursting of the bubble. The "big macro v. tiny craft" paradigm failed a long time as the BA's failed "crafty" campaign illustrated. Continuing to suggest that the path of craft is being validated ignores the greater underlying realities. Big craft bought into scale a long time ago. Craft as brand regardless of what's in the bottle is market reality. The brewery isn't being bought. A battle with craft is not being waged. Macro is buying brands and markets to use for other purposes. The rump BA will appear to be quaint soon. Then pointless.
Some interesting comments ensued. I suppose it is related to the posts about how craft will kill itself from a few years back but this is really another thing. Craft being killed off by macro simply eating it after paying billions for the opportunity. We are likely not at mid-meal yet but that's what's going on. What we haven't heard about yet, when you think of it, is how those brewers wanting to be bought but not getting offers are doing. You know, just because they are not worth buying doesn't make them any less the traitors to the cause... if you are into that whole "cause" thing. What I expect we do know, however, is the guys at Goose Island must be really pissed off unless they took a deferred part of their $39 million chump change payment in the form of percentage share of future brand growth as part of their deal. That stuff is brewed everywhere and sold everywhere now and someone is making buckets of cash.
*...which reminds me of a pet cat having a pet hampster.