There has been an age long battle between authentic craft beer and commercial beer, but we are leading the charge for authentic beer and focusing on the importance of the independent small batch brews.
We are likely all purchasers of beer box hampers and support the idea of championing independently brewed beers like we do in our beer hampers, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish which craft beers are authentic, as opposed to conglomerate owned. A memorable example of one such ‘crafty’ beer which merged the two was Camden Town Brewery who were bought for £85m to the giant corporation AB InBev in 2015 - the largest alcohol manufacturer in the world. This left them with an identity crisis as they were no longer an authentic, independent brewery but rather part of an unpersonalised large business whose focus was on profits, as opposed to quality and the overall drinking experience.
One easy and quick way to tell if they are authentic is to look out for the Assured Independent British Craft Brewer logo on the can or bottle! However, there are many ways to assure you are buying from authentic breweries, another example is checking on companies house. QWERTY Beer Box does this on our customers behalf as part of our selection process, ensuring you can trust what you’re drinking is true independent British craft beer.
The battle between localised and conglomerate owned craft beer has a notable difference in the honesty and quality of their ingredients. Due to the scale conglomerate businesses operate on they are able to invest a much larger budget into marketing and advertising than smaller, more authentic breweries. Their reach is much larger, but the product is not necessarily better! Typically, conglomerate owned breweries are produced on a mass scale, as a way to improve cost effectiveness and increase their profit margin. Therefore, they reduce the quality of their ingredients and sometimes switch to rice or corn, (instead of barley), which lessens the flavour intensely and significantly reduces the cost of production.
The monotone and even flavourless taste of conglomerate owned craft beers can make it difficult to distinguish between different companies and their beers. Instead, they all merge into only a larger, a pale ale, or an IPA category. However, with localised and assured independent brewers, like our own independent Devon, Bristol, and Cotswold brewers, who where possible use the best sourced ingredients, even if it reduces their cost effectiveness, brew in small batches allowing them to make note of all the flavours and the quality to produce a craft beer even they love and appreciate. The different flavours become so distinct and prominent, QWERTY Beer Box included a tasting sheet so you can better understand the flavours you are tasting when you’re experiencing an authentic craft beer.
If you look at the QWERTY Beer Box cycle image the focus on quality and improvement that authentic small businesses have is clear. They select the beers personally through taste testing beers from local breweries in the regions they explore and collect customer feedback to ensure their selection is always improving! You can see Quinn and Niki in the pictures visiting the brewers themselves!
The experience that accompanies buying authentic and genuine craft beers is incomparable with the experience you get from buying conglomerate beers in supermarkets. The true craft beer breweries are small and local, and you can even meet the very people who brewed your beer! Even in this COVID-19 pandemic you can continue this privilege through online tasting sessions, where you taste local crackers and meet the brewers! We think this creates a better community for all and definitely trumps the flavourless supermarkets beers available.
Keep supporting local, small, independent businesses! Your help is invaluable and needed now more than ever.