In fairly stunning beer news this week, Anheuser-Busch InBev – the owners of Budweiser – have a deal in place to buyout SABMiller. Rivals Bud and Miller joining forces to take over the world?! Inconceivable!
InBev’s first few offers were rejected by Miller, but ultimately Miller couldn’t resist any longer when InBev’s buyout offer exceeded $100 billion. How does that affect us lowly beer drinkers? Probably not much for the time being. If the deal isn’t squashed by anti-trust sentiment, it likely won’t be official for at least a year.
If you’re like me, you already preferred craft beer over Bud or Miller. This mega-merger is just icing on the watered-down cake. But, if it’s more than just a preference for you, if you REALLY want to support craft breweries and avoid supporting “the man”, then you need to do some research. There are several craft breweries that are owned by InBev or SABMiller. Click on that link and you’ll see popular “craft” choices such as Goose Island, Magic Hat and Leinenkugel among others. So, sticking to your guns gets a little tricky. Drinking “American” beer doesn’t mean what it used to mean. If you are discerning about where your money is going, buying beer from a small local brewery is probably your safest bet. Or, screw ’em all and just brew your own! (With help from Dad Kingdom of course.)
Finally, here’s an interesting article from Fortune about craft breweries which are faced with the decision to “hold out or sell out”. Depending on their circumstances, I can’t blame some of them for taking the money that “big beer” offers. But, hopefully craft brewers will find innovative ways to support each other and help each other resist the temptation to sell their breweries.
Okay, one more thing. With Halloween coming soon, I can’t resist including this little gem from the interwebs: Craft-Beer Pairings for Halloween Candy. Enjoy.