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I once asked the Global Corporate MD whether they were going to buy a lager brand. His response was that they might buy a lager brand if they didn't have to buy the Breweries as well. The Marketing suits in London didn't understand and didn't want the complications of actually running a brewery. Guinness was strictly a legacy brand to be automated as much as possible. Production was a non-core activity to be outsourced wherever possible. Diageo is a brand management business.
Index of Frank's Diaries
I never bought the idea that bottled Guinness had to be eliminated from the portfolio. Many corporate brands incorporate niche products which boost the credibility of the brand without interfering with the overall marketing process.
Diageo tried to pretend that it was a small conern wich diverted resources, except it couldn't have done. It may have represented a fraction of the output (3 - 4% as I remember) but, iven the volume of Guinness, that would small percentage would have kept a small brewery and bottling line running very happily.
But, as you say, it came at a time when they were trying to get out of the grubby business of making beer entirely, so it probably felt like a first step on a road to that goal.
And given that they're now trying to re-invent themselves as a craft provider, they could try re-making the actual good stuff
keep to the Fen Causeway
All of the other commercial knock-offs were of no particular value to a beer drinker cos they were all much the same thing. Even the Nigerian Guinness isn't as -cough- distinctive as it used to be.
There's no definition of a craft beer (a major weakness in the whole idea), so it doesn't need to be in a micro-brewery. A small corner of St James would have done fine. And 3% of Guinness output is only small potatoes if you compare it with the rest of Guinness, to any other brewery that's a career.
keep to the Fen Causeway
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