Craft beers are super popular right now, but part of their appeal is that they aren’t part of the bigger beer companies. So what happens when those big companies buy the craft breweries?

MillerCoors has its own craft/import division named Tenth and Blake and it owns Wisconsin-based Leinenkugel and Oregon label Henry Weinhard. They’re hoping to build both into national brands. Anheuser-Busch InBev bought Chicago craft brewer Goose Island last year and they’re hoping to make it a national brand by selling one million barrels by 2015.

Good things about independently owned craft breweries:
• Represent local area
• Have personality
• They’re flexible and can be creative
• Willing to experiment on new brews and be “out there”
• Listen to regular people and engage with them

Perks of a craft brewery getting bought out:
• Small brands can get more distribution
• Gain national recognition
• Big budgets can help
• They’re making the big bucks

It seems like the big beer companies that are buying these craft beers are attempting to make the brand seem like it’s still independent (nice try guys), but if they’re getting distributed nationwide, they’re going to lose some (or all) of the things we love about them.

What do you think, is this for better, or for worse?