I guess you have to start somewhere right?
On Monday, The Brewers Association (BA), the not-for-profit organization that represents America’s small and independent brewers, announced the craft brewing community’s intent to “Take Craft Back from Big Beer.” The #TakeCraftBack campaign—launched at TakeCraftBack.com—seeks to crowdsource the funds to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev, the international conglomerate that has been busy acquiring small breweries across the country.
This has been going on for years. In 2017 Anheuser-Busch InBev announced it had acquired Wicked Weed Brewing for their “High End” portfolio which is their collection of smaller brewers owned and operated in some capacity by AB InBev. Wicked Weed, the hip Asheville, North Carolina brewery famous for its creative sours and wild ales, became the 10th craft brewery to join ABI’s High End — Chicago’s Goose Island Brewing being the first in 2011.
“Beer lovers — I’m not the one saying it, you just have to go on the internet — were pissed,” says Julia Herz, craft beer program director at the Brewers Association. “That was the tipping point for me, and that was the [sale] that got more press than all of them.”
“The Take Craft Back” campaign features a not-yet-superstar, Andy—an avowed lover of craft beer—who has stated that his affinity for craft beer makes him highly qualified to serve as a campaign spokesperson.
“Since 2011, Anheuser-Busch InBev has quietly acquired 10 small and independent breweries, but they won’t tell you that on their packaging,” said Andy. “Just try to name all 10 without Googling…exactly. Big Beer creates an ‘illusion of choice,’ but we are presenting them with a reality check—and hopefully, at the end of the day, with a real check too.
“Independent craft brewers refuse to be muscled out by Big Beer,” Andy continued, “And we are uniting on an unprecedented scale to take on Big Beer and their efforts to make it harder for beer drinkers to find their favorite independent craft beers at their favorite bars, liquor stores and restaurants.”
Anheuser-Busch InBev, which is worth an eye-popping $213 billion, represents the biggest—and the most powerful—of Big Beer, so Take Craft Back aims to make them an offer they can’t refuse.
For full details on the campaign and how to contribute, visit TakeCraftBack.com. Pledges will only be collected after all $213 billion has been secured. Until then, free swag will be distributed to all contributors and perhaps a few toasts will be raised along the way.
Beer lovers everywhere can spread the word with hashtags #TakeCraftBack and #IndependentBeer.