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Good for Mike and co, and I think it will be good for the beers based on how Emerson's have been going.

But, the question no one seems to be asking, is how many more breweries will Lion buy? I can understand their position that they're missing out on an ever-increasing slice of the pie with the growth of the craft beer industry, and buying an existing craft brewery (or two) who already have credibility with the punters is a far better way to get in on it than inventing your own bogus brands (Crafty Beggars, Hancocks etc). But how many more will they buy? At what point does it become anti-competitive? I don't know, I'm excited about being able to get a Port Road Pils with my dinner where before I could only hope for a Hop Rocker at best, but I'm still slightly sceptical about the long-term trend that may be emerging here.

My thoughts exactly.

Also I imagine the domestic profits from Emersons and Panhead are petty cash for Lion, but if they buy out enough craft breweries they could quickly get a monopoly on the export side of things leaving the little guys doomed to never break out of the NZ market.

If you look at who owns Lion then you see its all about global market domination.

Happy for Mike and still saddened that another craft brewery is now owned by a soulless mega corp but hopefully the beers quaility stay up there.

I think you are right about the long term trend... lets see what happens around town next. Seems when they start exporing the Red flag goes up some where.

I'll say this.....
The sale of these breweries has caused a ruckus, with Craft beer fans and homebrewers. People are quick to shoot down these types of deals. I understand the skepticism, given what happened to monteiths and macs etc. but given the recent progresss of emersons, the places you can buy emersons pilsner is amazing nowadays, so it can work, provided the guys still run teh creative arm of the business. which is exactly how it will be run.

Its great for mike and the team, to get that sort of $$$ sale and still have good job security.
I think Emersons Pilsner brewing has been moved to the Speights site, given what a couple of people are saying, which a few people are miffed about, but thats just growth, and popularity.

Lion and the other big players seem to have learnt their lesson, where they buy these breweries, and change what is essentially a winning formula. the removal of rying to cut costs, is good.

given the hops varieties, and amounts required for this beer. the only concern I have is a change of recipe to cut costs of hops, as its a highly hopped brew. Othe than that It'll be business as usual for the panhead guys i reckon.

Yeah was in at Richmond fresh choice over the weekend picking up a few brews, just as I was telling the better half about the sale we overheard another couple discussing it - they were pretty dark about it.

My perception so far is that perhaps there's a bit of a split between brewers and general craft beer fans, most of the brewers I've talked to (home or otherwise) are stoked for them and excited to see Panhead more widely available - it's certainly awesome to have the option of Emersons in so many pubs now.

More general craft beer fans seem a bit more split - my brother-in-law lives up in Wellington and apparently there's a fair amount of discontent among craft beer fans up that way.

Same conversations going on in the US & UK with the buy up of well love brands... Just part of normal industry life-cycles although perhaps an interesting case study as the craft beer industry is very much nested within the wider beer industry. 

Fair enough.

the talk about Ballast Point in America was pretty dark as well. So it tends to take the same lines as the Panhead line of thinking.

Fun thing is I had an Emmersons 1812 on tap a few weeks but... and it wasn't 1812, not even close.

Tasted more like DB draft.

I put it down to cleaner in the tap and will try it again another time when I get the nerve up.

My skepticism isn't towards the Panhead or Emersons deals themselves, good on them for building great brands and reaping the rewards, they deserve it. It's the unknown of what Lion's bigger plans are that concern me, I'd hate for our beloved craft beer industry here in NZ to be negatively impacted in any way. Having said that my concerns could be complete paranoia, look at the whisky industry, corporate interference has done amazing things there. From bringing single malts from the darkest corners of Scotland to the rest of the world to even re-opening once closed down distilleries. I guess we'll see what happens in due course.

Yeah totally agreed, also funnily enough I picked up an 1812 while at fresh choice and it wasn't good - was a month past best before date when I went back to have a look at the bottle tho... Someone else recently mentioned they'd had a crap one too - hopefully not a trend!

Another though I had about this the other night was how much of the craft beer movement is simply because finally we can get great beer vs the locally sourced/produced element. I personally value both but what if the big three truly produced a wide range of top quality beer - what portion of the market would care or pause for thought between an export-hopbomb vs say a garage project? I suspect there will always be a strong appreciation of craft in the market going forward but if you could get actually great beer, widely available perhaps a touch cheaper (volume driven) would you care? Maybe the nay sayer, stay local brigade are what will ensure the craft industry survives as we know it?

Maybe I'm paranoid to haha

the problem isn't whether Pan head continues to make good beer or not, it is Lions exclusive distribution policy. through incentives such as cash, discounts and free beer systems lion contract bars to exclusive have its tap and/or bottle beer. as lion increase its craft offering it will make it more tempting for bars and restaurants to do a deal with the devil. this obviously limits taps space for smaller breweries.

Well the Panhead that was on tap at GABS was simply sensational.  Weedeater and Supercharger where simply bloody stunning beers.   Way way better then so many "Special" GABS beers,   I hear what Bazza is saying but I tend to drink in free houses anyway.   I would like to see more craft bottles in the non free houses as well, but I guess they are tied in.

Emerson's had Red Ten on tap and also Bird Dog IPA, first time I have ever had BD on tap, nice.

The Emersons Special releases etc. are as good as they've ever been.

I think a few people are startingto mention that Bookbinder/Pilsner is not what it once was.

I actuallyhad a bookie the otherday, and it was still a nicetasting beer, but it is different to what it was previously, mainly a bit thinner than it was.

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