At the end of 2015, the world’s largest brewery purchased one of London’s most successful breweries, outraging fans and putting an end to its claim to “craft’ status.
For the last five years AB InBev has quietly supported the brewery in a number of ways, building them a new £30m brewery in 2017 and greatly expanding their distribution. But in other ways the mega-brewer left Camden Town, its leadership, staff and creative directions, largely alone.
Now The Grocer is reporting that the global brewer is poised to fully absorb the Camden Town Brewery into its larger operations, effectively putting an end to its last vestige of “semi-independence.”
It’s a sad but not totally unexpected turn for the UK brewery, which was founded by Jasper Cuppaidge, an Australian who found himself unexpectedly stuck in London, where he discovered craft beer and launched Camden Town Brewery in 2010.
By 2015 Camden Town had become the second most popular craft brewery in the UK, right behind Scottish brewer, BrewDog. And that was the same year that Cuppaidge sold the London-based brewery to AB InBev for £85m.
Now a letter sent to Camden’s on and off-trade customers has revealed that AB InBev will soon be absorbing the brewery into it overall operations in what is being described as a big shakeup.
In the letter to customers CEO Adam Keary wrote…
“Starting in January 2021, Camden Town Brewery will become fully integrated with the UK AB InBev business, Budweiser Brewing Group. We will unify the two businesses, bringing the best of both and ultimately creating one bigger and better partner for you and all of our other customers.”
“We will unify the two businesses, bringing the best of both and ultimately creating one bigger and better partner for you and all of our other customers.”
Founder Jasper Cuppaidge will step back from the business into a consultant role (read: see ya), while CEO Adam Keary will leave in March after managing the transition into the parent’s UK division.
The integration, which is expected to be a two phase process, seeks to simplify the business and eradicate duplication and a number of roles at Camden Town’s executive, finance and sales teams, are being scrutinized by AB InBev.
Functions are expected to be moved and run centrally from the London headquarters of Budweiser Brewing Group, the UK arm of the brewing giant.
Paula Lindenberg, president of Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, said in a statement that the move was part of a long-term strategy …
“The integration presents some great opportunities for the Camden beer team as they now transfer into Budweiser Brewing Group and will have access to both local and global opportunities at AB InBev. We believe that our teams complement each other and that our ambition is the same.”
“We love the Camden Town brand and ethos, and we do not want to change this, but to see it continue to grow.”