In 2011 when AB Inbev bought Goose Island life forever changed for me. Before that time I would drink Bud or Coors, if that was all that was available. I compared it to stopping at McDonald's. Sometimes you just want something that’ll get the job done. I was very forgiving of macro breweries. They stayed on their side and they pretty much left craft beer alone, with the exception of Blue Moon and Shock top, but it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who made them.
Then the media started poking the tiger. Article after article about InBev’s market share shrinking. Documentaries exposing their business practices at grocery stores. We got cocky, so they played a card that they always had and were just waiting to use. As Don Corleone famously said “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse”, but instead of a horse’s head, it was just a lot of money.
Once Goose Island was purchased, as a craft beer drinker you had to pick sides. This went for them and all the other companies that defected shortly after. Either you were with them, or you were against them. It wasn’t as simple as that though. There were plenty of half assed ways that people were with them without actually saying they were with them. A lot of people made excuses for them. They said “the quality is still there, the same brewers are there and nothing has changed”. I say, who gives a fuck. These people are pulling what we call the Lando Calrissian. You sold us out to Vader and now you’re going to tell us you had no choice? You always have a choice. Vote with your dollar. Are you telling me you can’t avoid AB InBev products? Next you’re going to tell me that you can’t stop yourself from eating lead paint chips. Don’t be such a coward. Stand for something in your pathetic excuse for a life.
I have to give some credit to the Landos though. At least they’re honest. They are scummy dirt bags, but honest ones. You know who’s even worse? The people that just claim to they hate AB InBev. They won’t order a shitty Goose Island wheat beer (so brave), but when Bourbon County Brand Stout comes out they cream themselves like a 12 year old boy watching scrambled porn. Fuck you. I hope you waited in line for hours and scored some infected beer. We call these people “fucking liars”.
Next we have the shameless corporate shills. You’ll recognize them from the way they constantly repeat the same InBev talking points. They call you a hipster and complain that “you’re telling them what to drink”. You can try to debate them, but their eyes just glaze over and you can see them struggle to remember their script. If you want to change the subject, ask them what they like most about Trump and walk away after they start ranting about immigrants.
I could go on and on about the various ways people tell themselves it’s ok to support AB InBev, but I’m angry enough as it is. Quality seems to be the subject that comes up the most. You know what has great quality? A blood diamond. Just buy it. Who cares about the slave children that mined for it. If you loved a local dairy farm and kraft came along and bought it would you be ok with that?. Would you trust this soulless corporation to keep everything the way it was?
What if Alpo bought your local butcher shop? “Hey man, it’s ok. They make really good quality dog food. You don’t know how hard it is to make dog food man. Bro, it’s nearly impossible to make dog food on that scale and keep up the quality. You have got to give those guys props.”
I don’t blame these owners for selling to big beer though. I have a family I’m trying to support and I have two dogs that I love. If someone came along and said they would give me a billion dollars to throw one of my dogs into a wood chipper I’d have to think about. I wouldn’t do it, but I would definitely think about it. Now, I’m not saying brewery owners that sell out are heartless, but I am saying that it wouldn’t take a billion dollars to get their dog in that wood chipper. I would argue that some of them are driving around looking for people with wood chippers.
Lastly, I may be a douchebag, but I’m not a heartless one. There is one group of people I do feel sorry for. The people that work for craft breweries that are purchased by InBev. These men and women went to work for someone they felt had principles. For every single one of them it was more than just punching a clock. They went into this industry because they had a passion for beer and they wanted to have a job they loved. You might say that they should just leave, but who can just leave their job on a whim?
That is a big part of why I'm angry, but I’ll still be voting with my dollar. Fuck corporate beer. Fuck all the people that act like they love craft beer and stab the industry in the back the first chance they get. Last, but not least, fuck InBev for the barbaric practice of grinding innocent dogs into lifeless bloody ground meat, who does that?