The sale of Camden Town Brewery to the world's biggest drinks company, AB InBev, raised more than a few eyebrows in the beer world.
Plus a fair bit of anger, resentment, and throwing toys from the pram. That tends to happen when figures as high as £85 million are involved.
Here was one of the first of the new generation of London breweries, only five years old, selling out to the corporate big boys. Earlier in the year, Meantime, another mainstay of the London brewing scene, went the same way, pocketing an 'undisclosed' sum from SAB Miller.
Cue much gnashing of teeth, and bitchy asides from the keyboard warriors of Twitter. 'How could they do such a thing?!', 'This is the end of craft beer.' Blah, blah, blah
Has Camden Town Brewery ruined craft beer for everyone since AB InBev bought it? https://t.co/FDMM8HxYpd— greatfood (@Greatfoodtweet) January 7, 2016
What nonsense. The UK beer industry has undergone remarkable changes, certainly since we started HellHound Brewery in 2009. New breweries are popping up every day, and a generation of tech savvy aficionados follow their every move with an almost religious zeal.
I can only speak for myself, but I fell into the world of brewing beer quite by chance, and my plan was, and is, simple. To make and sell beer. See the key word there? 'Sell'.
Brewing is hard work. You get wet, constantly. Pumps stop working, suddenly. Filthy barrels have to be cleaned again and again. Pubs shut early (and have guard dogs protecting the casks you are hoping to collect). Great. Despite anything you might read in The Guardian, brewers don't just sit around working out what length of beard they might like to grow, or discuss the colouring on their latest neck tattoo. It is hard graft, guv.
At HellHound, we do not expect a large American drinks company to pull up outside and start offering us oodles of cash to sell up. We have spent the last few years, building up the brewery in an area where a pint of Woodfordes Wherry is seen as the height of sophistication. This has not been easy. But if our friends from across the water do show up, I would have a duty to consider it. I have children, that I would like to secure the future of. I have bills that I would like to settle. I have had one holiday in the last few years, another would be rather nice.
This is business, pure and simple. We are not all trustafarians. People get very attached to their favourite beer and breweries. They buy into the ethos and, understandingly, are hacked off when said brewery takes the corporate dollar.
If the beer changes, if the accountants at the global giants slightly adjust the recipe to gain that little big more bang for their buck, and you don't like it, don't drink it. Find something else. There is always something else.
Cry, moan, and write teary missives on Twitter and Facebook all that you like, your favourite beer may have sold out, but there is always another beer. This wasn't the case 10 years ago.