Hopinions 64 “Regulation”

We’re live from our new recording home this week – Dave’s Beer Cupboard – as we dig into the world of regulation in the drinks industry.

Beers | Abbeydale ‘Heathen’ & ‘Nelson Sauvin DIPA’, Fallen ‘Double Barrelled Chew Chew (Red Wine Edition) & ‘Branch Line’, Eden River Brew Co ‘Ragnar Rasperry’ & ‘Li Jing Lemon’ & Emmanuales ‘Last Supper’

Hopinions | Does the beer industry need The Portman Group?

Links | Formal Shark Portman podcast | Licensed Trade Charity


Many thanks to Laura from Abbeydale, Linda from Eden River, Paul from Fallen and Nick from Emmanuales for sending us beers to try on this show for free, this didn’t influence our thoughts.


  1. Rob Cheshire

    Hi Gents,

    I am a long-time listener to the show, and I enjoy occasionally interacting with you on Untappd, as we plot our own beery adventures!

    I feel like I need to take issue with your recent comments about the Beavertown/Heineken rumours. (I know that it is merely speculation at the moment!)

    Whilst I wouldn’t dream of criticising the owners, if they decide to sell-out to a macro (they have worked hard to build their business, and are entitled to cash-in on their efforts), I don’t see how this is anything other than bad news for fans of the craft beer sector in the UK?

    There is no doubt that the craft beer scene is severely inconvenient for the macros, and they would happily turn the clock back a decade if they could. The cost of the ingredients, and the amount of effort required to produce and distribute small runs of many different beers, is the exact opposite of what their business model requires.

    Macros will continue to flex their power in terms of Government lobbying, access to tap handles, and annexing of ingredients (like ABInbev buying the entire South African hop sector in 2017!) None of this is in the interests of the craft beer sector as a whole.

    The overall beer sector sales have been in decline for some time, with all of the growth coming in the craft area, at the expense of the macros. The recent acquisitions by the macros have clearly been reluctant “if you can’t beat them, join them” style moves.

    Whilst craft still represents only perhaps 10-15% of overall beer sales, I have seen several articles published in the US-press suggesting that it would only need a few further percentage points of swing from macro to craft, before the whole macro production and distribution model starts to come crashing down.

    As it happens, Beavertown are already more macro than craft in many people’s eyes anyway. They brew the same core range of relatively unimaginative beers (admittedly, with an occasional more interesting beer like Bloody ‘El). This would fit far better into Heineken’s portfolio than Cloudwater, Verdant or Wylam, who are much more creative and hardly ever brew the same beer twice these days.

    If Beavertown do sell-out, I will file them along with Camden, Brixton, London Fields, Lagunitias, Goose Island etc. as brands to be actively avoided, unless I find myself in a pub where there are no independent craft beer options available.

    Keep up the great show Guys. You are doing the Lord’s work!

    Best Regards,


    • steve

      Thanks for taking the time to post a detailed reply Rob, we’ll definitely pick this up on episode 65! Cheers & thanks for your support, Steve

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