But I can certainly see the cause for concern by the little guys. Not every craft beer drinker is as discerning as me. A good friend of mine likes good beer, but his fridge is always stocked with Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada. I fell like most beer drinkers are the same way - who has the biggest display, best packaging, most familiar name, etc.
On the flip side, I've been buying Sam Adams BL regularly simply because it's the only decent beer I can find fresh in my area besides BMC and Yeungling. (Yeungling isn't bad, but to me Sam Adams BL is better.)
I don't mind buyouts, if the parent companies understand good beer. Look at Guinness, PU (though they're part of InBev now), Duvel, heck, even unskunked Heineken isn't bad. There are companies out there that care about making good beer, craft beer doesn't have the market cornered for quality beer. That being said, InBev I'm not a fan of, due to their seeming attitude toward craft beer.
I'm hoping buyouts increase the amount of good, fresh beer on my local shelves. For whatever reason, even in high turnover shops most craft beers are close to their drink by dates, or past them.
Word. And I don't think there's any need to defend your Sam Adams purchases.
I recently visited the US (DC and Virginia) and tried every lager I could find. Then I had a crappy lunch at a crappy chain who's only decent tap was Boston Lager. It was easily the most well-made, flavorful lager I had on the trip. I had better luck with the pale ales and IPA's, but a Firestone Walker something-or-other stood out as a favorite.
That original quote above makes me cringe. So this friend likes good beer but only keeps Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada in his fridge. This proves to me that he likes good beer, but maybe he also prefers to get the most for his money. And/or he's just not that interested in trying all the local beers, hoping he finds something he likes, hoping that he can afford it and hoping that the next time he buys it it'll be just as good.
I think it's great that there are so many small, local breweries and I'm not advocating buying from the big boys, but I think sometimes we need to take a step back and look at the big picture. Some breweries attract attention from investors for a reason. Being big or bought doesn't automatically make a beer bad (pats self on back for alliteration).