Over the past few years, many craft-beer enthusiasts have watched in horror as big beer conglomerates gobble up high-performing craft breweries. AB InBev, who owns brands such as Budwiser, Bud Light, Corona and Stella Artois, also owns ten (previously) craft breweries including Goose Island, Elysian and Wicked Weed.
While, on the surface, it may seem that the slow and meticulous acquisition of high-performing craft beer brands is fairly innocuous and simply standard business practice, the results may be catastrophic to the craft beer industry.
Ultimately, the more power conglomerates can consolidate, the greater their ability to quash competition through starvation and attrition. As beer conglomerates continue to cement their buying power, the more opportunity they have to restrict the sale of raw ingredients to smaller brands. If they demand a producer sells to only them, they’re likely to get their way as it would take many thousands of small craft-brew accounts to make up for revenue lost in losing AB InBev.
They are also able to pressure retailers, restaurants and a like to promote their products more heavily, often at the expense of smaller brands. They can negotiate their way into control of the taps and the shelf space, creating significant issues in selling a heavily regulated product such as alcohol.
Related: “Stay here, sell beer” – AB InBev
Well, the craft beer community, lead by the Brewers Association, has had enough. It’s fighting back and using AB InBev’s own tricks against it. It’s crowdfunding the money to buy AB InBev and stop its money-hungry behavior once and for all. And it will ONLY COST $213 BILLION!
For real. This is a campaign with the aim of earning enough money to buy AB InBev. And while that’s highly unlikely, it’s low risk. See the money you pledge will only be collected in the event that all $213 billion dollars sought are pledged. And in making the pledge, you can score some branded gear.
While the likelihood of this getting off the ground is minimal, at the time of writing this article, the campaign has already raised over $700,000. So, if you’re sick of AB InBev and the other conglomerates throwing their weight around, here’s your chance to put your money where your mouth is.
So There You Have It
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