The AB-InBev “Why Don’t They Like Us” Tour Continues
As a repercussion of AB-InBev purchasing up regional craft breweries over the past two years, many fans have taken a righteous stand, and have turned their backs on the companies that have traded their independence for global beverage domination. Parallel to fan backlash, bars and independent retailers are choosing wisely and opting out of carrying and promoting corporate owned craft brands.
As we read the third cookie cutter article outlining how 10 Barrel, Golden Road and Breckenridge figureheads are “fighting back” against the backlash of their former fan base, we have to wonder, how many more times will the same article be written? We’re guessing at least a half dozen more times.
In under two weeks, The Denver Post, The Denver Business Journal and Westword have all covered how tough it is being a great brewery, with tons of resources that’s no longer getting local love and street cred. Lots more of the “nothing has changed” meme is being spewed.
In these articles, we’ve learned that the corporate giant is organizing a dog and pony show (why the long face), in which they are prancing out these figureheads to beer bars in what I’d like to call the “Why don’t they like us?” tour. I say the corporate giant is behind this, as I would hope these newly minted millionaires would be satisfied with the business decision they recently made, and didn’t decide to go on this PR tour on their own. I don’t recall Ben & Jerry scrambling for street cred after selling to Unilever. Dr. Dre didn’t go back to Compton and pander to the homies after selling Beats to Apple for a few billion. Frankly, this is downright embarrassing to watch.
We know it’s tough having 12 handles at the local ball park. One can only imagine how tough it is to dominate every airport eatery with “craft beer.” Seeing end caps at every grocery store in America has to take a toll on one’s soul after a while. Listen guys, it’s going to be ok. The wounded heart takes time to heal, but believe me, it will.
Looking closer regarding them “fighting back”, it seems they are not content with being an international conglomerate that may make decent to good beer. They want to blend in with their respective communities, be part of the local guilds they were recently kicked out of, and receive the invitations to the festivals they are no longer being included in. The whole purpose of local craft guilds and craft only festivals are to band together and protect themselves against the aggressive, predatory practices of the big guys. Essentially, the wolves are scratching their heads as to why the lambs aren’t inviting them over for tea.
The issue isn’t whether or not these recently purchased breweries are making good beer or not, it’s about affiliation and intention. There is bloodshed at the retail level right now, and it’s at the hands of AB-InBev. I’m not clear why love and admiration of such a small fraction of beer drinkers is so important to these people in the big scheme of things. Whatever the reason is, it’s pathetic.
Here’s my advice to you teary eyed millionaires. Find a nice vacation home and spend time with your families. Get a golf instructor and get some golf lessons. Let your brewers do the best they can, maybe they will win a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival or World Beer cup, that will cheer you up! Most importantly, please go away with what little dignity is left after this insanely planned out campaign that seems to be flooding the online Denver rags, this isn’t how rich people are supposed to act.
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August 29, 2016 @ 3:26 pm
People who are saying this article is about craft beer snobbery are entitled to their opinions, of course. Their shitty, ignorant, corporate dick-sucking opinions.
This isn’t all about the idea of “art” or “loyalty to the idea of craft brewing” as it is the idea of predatory, largely foreign conglomerates trying to eat up all of the room on the shelves and taps so that they can ace real craft beer out without a fair fight. If our three tier distribution system in this country actually worked as planned (or were abolished in favor of something superior), all of this wouldn’t be an issue. I, for one, will not willingly give my money to a company that won’t compete on the brewing level, instead opting to bully their way into my fridge. If that’s what you anti-snob snobs want, go ahead. But at least understand what’s at stake here, ffs.
August 26, 2016 @ 7:04 pm
Oh hooray, yet another angry rant from an entitled beer snob that thinks every brewery should be making beer for the sole reason of lighting up his special snowflake eyes. It’s only real beer if it was made in a garage by your old college roommate, Steve.
August 26, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
That was a great article!
Thank you for putting what we believe into the perfect words.
August 26, 2016 @ 8:10 am
Your post wasn’t really addressing this – but my opinion on your question: “I’m not clear why love and admiration of such a small fraction of beer drinkers is so important to these people in the big scheme of things. Whatever the reason is, it’s pathetic.”
They’re buying craft beer labels so they can have a suite of products to distribute/discount to retailers – buy Bud/ShockTop/insert local craft beer label they own. They can promote them all as a suite and offer incentives, etc.
The value of those brands is that they appear to be local craft breweries and not Bud Light or Shocktop so they need to defend their ‘authenticity.’
The numbers are on the wall in terms of % of money spent on beer and % of craft beer drank by the millenial generation compared to previous ones. That’s 30-40 more years where craft beer will continue to cut into “macro” sales. They see the market shrinking, especially 20+ years from now, and they’re buying their way into the future of beer sales.
In 20 years many of the people who decided to drink High Life cases for the rest of their life are going to be aging out of drinking. They have spent billions creating that brand loyalty and it’s disintegrating right in front of their eyes.
It’s already 20% of $ spent on beer. No big company is going to ignore that.
I’m with you in spirit just thought I’d address why they are trying to still “fit in.” Cheers.
August 26, 2016 @ 7:30 am
Here is a photo of the ball park bar you reference:
August 25, 2016 @ 3:05 pm
Good on them. I won’t touch anything InBev has their hands on. Lost my job of 27,years( worked at a brewery in Canada) because of those scumbags. Carlos Brillo( the axe man) I hope you choke on it
August 25, 2016 @ 1:19 pm
Keep shunning them. They made their beds lined with million dollar bills. Poor them.
August 25, 2016 @ 12:32 pm
You forgot about the article from Serious Eats as well…http://www.seriouseats.com/2016/08/craft-brewery-acquisition-pros-and-cons.html