The recent sale of SABMiller to AB InBev has created a global mammoth that makes a third of the beer sold in the world - including brands like Budweiser, Stella Artois, Grolsch, Peroni and Fosters. But many beer drinkers are moving away from the big names - and opting for locally brewed craft beers. Elena Casas reports.
The beers on tap at this London pub haven't travelled far - they're brewed right here on site. Each tipple is the handiwork of master brewer Sam Dickison. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MASTER BREWER, SAM DICKISON, SAYING: 'The beer ferments right here for four to six days after we've added the yeast - this one here is just ready to drink' The small scale process means Sam has lots of room to experiment. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MASTER BREWER, SAM DICKISON, SAYING: "Cocoa nibs which I have roasted in the kitchen. I put raspberry puree into a wheat beer before, and that turned out really nice.' The pub's customers agree - the new flavours are flying out of the pumps. They want choice - something the recent 68 billion pound merger of the world's two biggest beer conglomerates, SABMiller and AB InBev, may well reduce in the mass market. BGC Partners Market Strategist, Mike Ingram. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BGC PARTNERS, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: 'I really question whether this deal is good for consumers - you're creating what some have called the OPEC of beer, it will have enormous global market share.' Craft beer's share is growing fast, though - by around 15 per cent a year in the UK. Dan Hills runs three micro brewing pubs - he says the trend for local brews has won over a much wider public. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MICROBREWER, DAN HILLS, SAYING: 'The market has grown enormously because so many more people are trying it. I think that's come from having so many accessible products, which are paving the way to the wider range.' The popularity of craft helped beer sales rise in Britain last year, for the first time in a decade - meaning it could also help stave off last orders for Britain's struggling pub industry.