Last week, Bloomberg Businessweek came out with an article on The Plot to Destroy America’s Beer.
I quickly took the magazine from the pile and began to read, intrigued as it detailed the AB InBev takeover and destruction of many of the world’s historic beer companies. I took special interest on the cost cutting that CEO Carlos Brito did.
A few things came to mind almost immediately during and after the read.
The first was the declaration of Budweiser as America’s beer. Although that might have been true for the entire 20th century, that title was lost as soon as it was purchased by InBev. The article details why Americans don’t like a foreign-owned Anheuser-Busch. That alone should be enough to say, it no longer is America’s beer.
The second was the relative failure to mention craft beer in the article. In the six or so pages, the only mentions were a paragraph on AB InBev’s purchase of Goose Island and tiny graph showing the number of breweries in the United States in the past two centuries.
And I just shook my head at the article. As many of the European brands known to Americans were ruined in the past decade by InBev, so too is Budweiser. But that tiny graph shows what truly should be considered American beer.
The graph showed the decrease from more than 2,000 pre-Prohibition breweries to fewer than 80 in 1980 to now more than there were pre-Prohibition. That shows where American beer-drinking loyalties lie.
The article failed to mention that although Budweiser and overall beer sales were dropping since the merger, craft beer sales were on the way up.
The shift back to the neighborhood breweries and flavorful beers is happening, and although it was helped by the foreign purchase of Budweiser, it’s not the only factor.
Just like the foreign purchase of Budweiser isn’t the only reason its sales have shrunk.
Craft beer is gaining incredible traction throughout the country — and world — and to say America’s beer is dying is a travesty. In realty, it’s maturing.
Everyday, American’s are wising up, and taking many tastes of craft beer to heart and finding out there’s more to beer than just a light brown colored liquid.
They’re shifting what should be seen as America’s beer back to its rightful spot. The beer brewed by thousands of American’s daily.
Craft beer is America’s beer now, and it’s sad Bloomberg couldn’t catch on.
Editor’s Note: Interestingly enough, AB InBev has caught on, with the purchase of Goose Island, and this neat little experiment by Budweiser, Project 12.