The brewery has allowed Heineken to buy a portion of its business in order to fund the £40m build of a new brewery and visitor experience 'Beaverworld'. The new site is scheduled to be completed in autumn 2019, and will create 150 new jobs at the north London brewery.
Drinkers have reacted with mixed views to the announcement, while a number of breweries – including Cloudwater Brew Co and BrewDog – have announced their intention to pull out of the Beavertown Extravaganza Festival this September.
“We are not going to be attending Beavertown Extravaganza,” the Manchester brewery wrote on Twitter. “We hate to let any of our customers down. Come and share a beer with us at Leeds International, Indy Man Beer Con, or any of the other indie festivals or events we’re pouring at this year.”
Hey, folks. We have an announcement about Beavertown Extravaganza. pic.twitter.com/704x5ItbmX— Cloudwater Brew Co (@cloudwaterbrew) June 21, 2018
We will no longer be selling Beavertown beers or attending Beaver Ex. I wrote this piece in 2015 but it seems very relevant today too https://t.co/36Jn93MRI3— James Watt (@BrewDogJames) June 21, 2018
In the words of Ru Paul, we've made some decisions... and one of those is that we will no longer be selling Beavertown beer. We are gutted about this but we feel strongly that we need to be true to our principles & our support of independent beer: https://t.co/DX0tC19PgWpic.twitter.com/cizDuLOfwe— Hop Burns & Black (@hopburnsblack) June 21, 2018
Independent bottle shop Hop Burns & Black has also revealed it will no longer be selling Beavertown products after running down existing stock.
"Heineken does not have the health of the UK independent beer scene at heart,” it said. “Dressing up this move as good for the consumer is just spin – in reality this is simply helping Big Beer chip away at the UK independent beer scene."
Others, however, have praised the brewery for its success and expressed their excitement about the potential future growth the investment from Heineken could bring.
“I for one believe this is a great thing for @BeavertownBeer, their employees and the UK beer industry as a whole,” said David Holden. “Good luck to them.”
“Congratulations to the team at @BeavertownBeer,” added Steve Borthwick. “Never easy to raise significant capital like that! Hopefully you've struck the right deal and we'll be seeing more quality beer in more places soon!"
So the story of big brewing’s return to London by the back door continues with long-expected confirmation of Heineken buying stake (up to 49%?) of @BeavertownBeer Logan has worked hard building up that brewery, producing excellent beer, and any personal rewards are well-deserved.— Des de Moor (@desdemoor) June 21, 2018
Breaking News: Craft beer twitter in meltdown after Beavertown are revealed to be a for profit business and not the charity everyone once thought— Tom Bolland (@BoozyTom) June 21, 2018
“Wish Beavertown and staff nothing but the best, but this is right out of the playbook,” wrote Scottish beer writer Richard Taylor. “'Heineken at arm's length' 'recipes will not change' 'Logan remains in charge'.”
Mark Critchley, however, was less enthusiastic. “Absolutely pathetic, simple greed, no loyalty to faithful customer base,” he said. “I loved your beers that's me and sadly many more finished with Beavertown!”
“Goodbye Beavertown, it was nice knowing you,” added Guardian writer Tony Naylor.
Following the sale, the brewery's founder, Logan Plant and his wife will remain majority shareholders in the business. The exact stake that has been sold to Heineken, and the value of the deal, has not been disclosed.