HonestBrew has started a row with what they claim are faux craft beer peddlers, claiming global industry leaders "hide behind" craft beer names to "trick" beer lovers into thinking they're supporting local businesses.
The craft beer seller said multinational companies like AB InBev, a group they nickname "Blandy", buy out local breweries like Camden Town and retailers like Beer Hawk to create a mirage of craft beer.
"This is about global players muscling in, dominating markets and steamrolling small businesses," HonestBrew said.
"They are doing the one thing they know how to do well: dominate the market, reduce consumer choice and maximise their own profits."
In the long term, HonestBrew said global breweries could push independently made craft beer out of the market.
HonestBrew also claimed AB InBev's Beer Hawk ripped off its canned beer packaging design, which it calls a Howler.
Beer Hawk responded, saying the company used the cardboard tube two years before HonestBrew when searching for a way to reduce delivery costs for small purchases.
"When HonestBrew started to send beer in a cardboard box two years after we’d done it, we didn’t even think about it, we don’t really think us using a cardboard tube is a story worthy of a press release."
Brew Hawk went on to describe the benefits of corporate ownership. The formerly independent company was acquired by AB InBev at the beginning of this year and has since been able to secure a warehouse five times as large as its previous space and employ twice as many people, resulting in 300 new beers added to its stock and a 30 per cent reduction in delivery charges.
"The change in our ownership hasn’t changed our values, nor has it changed how we obsess about the world’s best beers."