What’s your REAL beef with AB??
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You can drink what they’re selling you,—and the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. But if you persist, if you continue to dive deep, and you continue to drink that what you truly like—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.
From time to time talking in the shop someone will bring it up… it’s inevitable. It’s around us all the time, at every sporting event, every music fest. It’s a mainstay in advertising. It’s on TV, the radio, and it’s even in our social media. You’ll read tweets, see blog posts about AB InBev buying out another craft brewery and people getting up in arms about it. Look, I get it… it’s like big brother invading on our turf. I’m on your side, truly. More so than you’ll ever know. Day in day out, I fight representing beers simply because I appreciate the artisanship of the craft beer movement. Why fight? Not for the biggest payout, not because I get a kickbacks, and most certainly not to appease the craft beer community. I do what I do for enjoyment. Not to get street cred. Not for a pat on the back, but for the love of it.
In a perfect world, beer would stand on its own merit. People would drink what they like, not what TV or radio tells them to. And this goes twofold for the craft beer industry. People would be open to try new things. Not just what’s cool. Look, if we as craft beer enthusiast don’t want main stream beer to continue to tell us that the American adjunct lager is all that is beer, than we must also not fall victim to the hype train in the craft beer industry. Instead of looking for the rarest new ultra limited brew, why not try something that speaks to you? Instead of searching for a bottle of Cantillon, why not try the Kriek that it used to sit next to on the shelves before it became a rare gem? I’m not saying don’t seek out rare gems, but as a true fan we must find a way to do so, yet still hold on and support your favorite local beer despite what Ratebeer, BeerAdvocate or other media outlets tell you to like. My staff included.
Welcome to the valley of the real.
The reality is AB controls more than 52% of the words beer. (Once you factor in that they own portions of Crown Modelo, and Corona as well as many of the “others” listed as 13.9%)
If you’ve ever been in my shop when this topic is brought up, I always grab two beers, hold them up and say “If these were the only two beers in the world, This one (gesturing to you the beer in my left hand) would be all AB InBev. This other beer would be everyone else.” Then setting that beer down, I would show them the other beer and say “This beer would be mostly Miller-Coors and mainstream imports”. The 1,000 plus beers in my shop make up a small fragment of the beer market. From their view point, we’re (craft beer) invading on their market.
Unfortunately they are the gate keeper, they are holding all the keys, they have all the money, and they’ve built the framework we’re to operate in. Even if main stream beer only held 1% of the market, there’s one other thing. They control the bulk distribution of ALL the beer in the US. Anyone not aware of this truth is still plugged in. Some aren’t ready to let go. They are far too dependent on the current system and how it’s built up. Like it or not, it’s the truth. Don’t believe me, go to your local liquor store, wait for delivery day and watch the Budweiser or Miller truck pull up to deliver craft beer. Even if shops such as mine that don’t sell Bud or Coors, you will still see these trucks pull up. It happens everywhere. This is the true reality. When a huge semi pulls up with Bud logo on it, we get questions. This post is the answer. You want change? I ask that you shop local. Support local breweries. Frequent them directly, and do it often. Patronize shops bars and pubs such as mine over large conglomerates. Vote with your dollar. Every dollar you spend feeds or starves that what you love, or that what you hate. Remember, it can be a Pretty truth.