February 12, 2013

Big Beer vs Small Beer

One Possible Future
Via LG&M, may I direct your attention to a fascinating article on the state of competition between the super-mega-conglomerate beer makers and the army of craft breweries.

The vast majority of the American beer market is in the hands of just two players: Anheuser-Busch who has about 47% of the market and MillerCoors which has 30%. The Justice department has sued to prevent Anheuser-Busch from buying up Mexico's Modelo, the marker of Corona and other brands, which who give them another 6% of the market. Over 50% of the market in the hands of A-B would be a total disaster. My God, Bud Light Lime. Total crap product sold to the public with boobs and sappy horse commercials. Plus, the bigger they get the more they can set prices, which means we all pay more for the bad beer.

But small craft breweries, employing a novel tactic called "brewing good beer" are growing rapidly. They should make up 10% of the market in a couple of years. So big beer is doing all they can to crush small beer, represented in the story by Boston Beer Company, the biggest of the small. Big beer is creating brands that look like micro-brews, like Shock Top and Blue Moon, but ain't. They are using their distribution muscle to push small breweries off the shelves of your local connivance store. They are just going to buy out the little guys.

The fight for beer worth drinking is on! We shall fight them in the corporate boardrooms! We will fight them in the courtrooms! We shall fight them in the brewpubs! I shall will do my part (sip). Will you?

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