It’s with a heavy heart we announce that we’re not going to attend the Beavertown Extravaganza this year, despite our initial acceptance of the invite. While it’s been a huge ambition to attend the festival since its inception, we do feel the ownership move by Heineken massively compromises what we understand Extravaganza’s purpose to be. We’ve recently very publicly called out how we’ve been dumped out of two groups of bars by tap purchasing by the big guys, and it’d be hypocritical of us to then support an event that ultimately supports those same big breweries who control the vast majority of our industry, ultimately our potential livelihoods.
As we’re a day off launching our annual beer festival in our brewery, we’ve reflected on the work its taken to get here again this year and the help we’ve had from our friends, customers, neighbours, suppliers, other breweries and the industry as a whole. We also reflected on how it came about. We visited, drank with and got to know the Beavertown crew. They came to our first Hagstravaganza, and we even employed one of their returning Paddies! The whole concept of HAGSTRAVAGANZA (and even the name!!) is heavily influenced by what Beavertown created. We felt that every country should have a beer festival like it and if no one else was doing it here, then we’d create the Irish version. But the concept is to provide a platform in Ireland for great international craft breweries who otherwise wouldn’t get to Ireland and for Irish beer fans to taste their beers. It’s a pedestal, an opportunity and a shop window. But most of all its an exercise in collective ambition, to show off what craft breweries can do, that Macro beer could never achieve.
It’s a breakeven event. It could be very easy to make it profitable with a big brewery backing us, but where’s the purpose in that? Thats why we’ve taken the same stance with events in the Open Gate Brewery in the past and we hope our beer community understand why.
We wish the guys at Beavertown the very best, it’s a small industry and we all do need to look out for each other. We’ll ideally be doing something else soon for the small but vocal and thirsty White Hag fanbase in the UK, and we look forward to seeing you soon.
The White Hag Crew.