Apparently the King of Beers would like to eliminate all craft beer and continue to offer rebates to distributors who do not distribute craft beer. The tiny space given to craft beer is common and routinely accepted among most of us craft beer lovers. I mean, the big three beer producers still sell to the masses, and stores must turn a profit, but what would make the king so worried as to try and use government regulations to rid the shelves of our beloved craft beer?
Watered down beer bashing aside, what are they worried about? Sure, since 2008 In-BEV dropped from 49% market share to 45%, and domestic brands like Bud have dropped a massive 5.7%. I guess the 173.6% craft beer increase in that same period scares them enough to go to extremes. Is the writing on the wall for big brands? Are beer drinkers really jumping ship and chasing the craft beer craze?
The numbers would say, “yes”! But, how is this happening when shelf-space in the stores so overwhelmingly catering to the mass produced beer? I don’t have the answers, and a lot of my friends still drink the mainstream lagers and ales. Personally, it’s subjective and to each their own, but I see craft beer as a great alternative to the other beer(s) sold everywhere.
To level the playing field and stop losing market share, the big beer-makers have started an initiative to limit the sales of craft beer in the stores. As reported in the Wall Street Journal…
The world’s largest brewer last month introduced a new incentive program that could offer some independent distributors in the U.S. annual reimbursements of as much as $1.5 million if 98% of the beers they sell are AB InBev brands, according to two distributors who requested confidentiality because they were asked not to discuss the plan. Distributors whose sales volumes are 95% made up of AB InBev brands would be eligible to have the brewer cover as much as half of their contractual marketing support for those brands, which includes retail promotion and display costs. AB InBev, which introduced the plan at a meeting of distributors in St. Louis, estimates participating distributors would receive an average annual benefit of $200,000 each.
I didn’t set out to write a controversial post about what beer is best, or what beer you should be drinking. Most of you who know me well – know I like a can of Bud about as much as a Nickelback song, but it’s not about me. All of us have our reasons for choosing the beer we drink. I just want to understand why the mass produced beer makers are resorting to culture-bashing ad campaigns, unscrupulous political persuasion, and overall dirty tactics when all they need to do is run their business, produce a good product, and move along. Unless, they know their beer is as bad as we do.
If you are part of the 11% of craft beer drinkers, you might consider all this nonsense. But I urge you to take note. Prohibition was bad for the country then, and this new form of selective prohibition is bad for consumer choice. I’m not saying we should demand shelf space, I’m simply saying we need to continue to support local craft beer makers, distributors, and retail shops selling it, and let the rest of the world watch the king struggle until he too decides to make beer the way it was before prohibition.
Before you send the hate mail and private messages…
- Don’t be butt-hurt that your beloved beer isn’t the stuff we all like.
- It’s my opinion, and the statistics are only there to justify what I am saying (mainly to the people who argue the finer points and tend to split hairs defending their “brand”).
- If you are a Nickelback fan – why are you even here?
- I’m a lover of beer and I will always drink a gift beer, I will always spend money on beer that I think/or know I will like, and I’m not a fan of big market beer (though I was once in college and I did experiment with a few cans of well known beer).
- Stop crying, I wasn’t picking a fight, and if you are that upset about me saying negative things about your beer, then you need to move along and find something else to read. However, I am impressed you read this far!