The news that Ruddles Best has replaced Greene King IPA as the 99p per pint beer of choice in Wetherspoons pubs is a dreadful thing for lovers of microbreweries and an unreal coup for Greene King.
The brewers are said to have been worried that "given our obsessive attention to quality and the consistently high level of investment we have made in building IPA’s brand equity, we are understandably concerned about anything that might undermine this", yet they are apparently not worried that a beer which "is a well known cask brand full of flavour and character but with a relatively low abv. It is a great value, quality beer with a fine heritage and wide appeal.” might suffer the same negativity.
No, the truth is that Greene King IPA will be joined in the top two best selling cask ales in the country by its stablemate. Greene King are on an absolute winner here and will increase their share of the market even more.
This may initially be to the detriment of other larger breweries, but they will think of ways to fight back and the micros will lose out.
I'm beginning to wonder if a spoons is just for festival times and best avoided otherwise.