Anheuser-Busch Wants Local Seattle Breweries to Tap-Out
Is Anheuser-Busch that afraid of the craft beer uprising? Really guys, if you feel threatened – improve your brew recipe or just be the tasteless brew that makes you, well…. YOU! In my opinion, there will always be 3 kinds of brew drinkers: The Craft Brew Drinker, The American Lager Slammer, and The Fruity Beer (?) Sippers. No offense intended. Hey AB, do you really have to try to cut deals with local Seattle music venues to keep microbrews out? You already HAVE the “American Lager Slammers,” leave well enough alone!
The Seattle Music Venue in Question
Showbox, a local Seattle music bar, was hosting the rock band Overkill in October of 2015. The allegation in question was being investigated by two undercover officers for the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board.
What they found did seem to put Anheuser-Busch in a questionable position, leaving local microbreweries and Ricky Ricardo saying, “Anheuser-Busch…you got some ‘splainin to do!”
The allegation was, “Small brewer accused Anheuser-Busch InBev of cutting a deal with the music venue to gain exclusive access to its bar, thus cutting off small competitors from a lucrative market.*”
The proof was in the taps.
The brews on-tap that night were:
- A Goose Island from Chicago
- 10 Barrel from Bend
- Elysian from down the street
- Bud and Bud Light
A rather unassuming selection to the average beer drinking onlooker, but to Craft Beer aficionados – BUSTED! While Goose Island, 10 Barrel and Elysian have kept their own names and handles, they are today wholly or partly owned by Anheuser-Busch*.
But that was not all they discovered.
The investigators counted 15 brews and hard ciders, either on tap or in bottles, that were either partly or wholly owned by Anheuser-Busch.
Average Beer & True Craft Brew Should Not Mix
Yeah, no big deal. Your venue is offering libations from only one brewery’s product line. Not illegal. Go ahead, do your thang but do it with some dignity. The state is charging that Anheuser-Busch, through a 3rd-party distributor, entered into sponsorship contract with Showbox and 2 other venues to achieve a monopoly position. This is NOT OK!
Not surprisingly, Anheuser-Busch denied any culpability at an informal hearing last week, therefore – the case will be heard by an administrative judge in the near future.
Anheuser-Busch has been fined $150,000. Shame on you Anheuser-Busch, shame.
“But you won’t hear from the messenger,
Don’t wanna know bout something that you don’t understand,
You got no fear of the underdog,
That’s why you will not survive!” ~ Spoon
FYI: We will NOT be scent-matching a Busch.