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Home | News | Craft Brewers | David tweaks Goliath

David tweaks Goliath

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Meet Andy: a still from the crowdfunding video pitch

US craft brewers look to acquire AB InBev. Kind of.

The global consolidation of the brewing industry has taken a shock turn this month with America’s craft brewing community launching a crowdfunding campaign to acquire Anheuser-Busch InBev.

The Brewers Association, the non-profit trade body representing US craft brewers, is seeking US $213 billion in pledges so that it can acquire ABI. Details are available on its website, www.takecraftback.com

Of course, actually acquiring ABI isn’t the point – it’s about raising awareness amongst beer drinkers of ABI and other multinational brewers continuing acquisitions of American craft brewers. For ABI this spending spree began in 2011 when it acquired Goose Island in Chicago but has accelerated from 2014 so that it now owns at least 10 craft brewers in the United States.

The crowdfunding website’s pitchman Alex (editor’s note: rather, Andy) makes the pint in entertaining humorous fashion about what the BA terms the ‘illusion of choice.’

“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.”

Which the website acknowledges isn’t likely. When pledging anywhere from $5 up to $100, donors check a disclaimer that says, “I agree that we’ll be in touch if somehow, miraculously, against every odd, the $213 billion crowdfunding goal is reached. (We don’t expect to be in touch.) No credit card needed. We trust you’re 21 or over.”

ABI’s financiers need not lose any sleep at this stage. As of today the campaign has edged past the US $3 million mark with pledges of support from 9,518 beer drinkers.

NOTES: The BA’s hashtags for the campaign are #TakeCraftBack and #IndependentBeer.

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