Big beer is coming
It’s normally not my beat to raise the alarm bells or to talk about serious international news, but the real journalists are so busy covering the election, terrorists and the new season of Dancing With the Stars that they’ve all but ignored the one story that could actually change life as we know it.
There’s a power grab afoot that could put over one third of the world’s beer market in the hands of one company! That’s an awful lot of power to rest with one company and one CEO. We’re talking about control over the price of beer and, what’s even more frightening, the availability and distribution of beer throughout the world!
In one of the five biggest corporate deals ever, a company called AB InBev is acquiring another company called SAB Miller. What that means in English is that Bud is buying Miller and now controls the biggest chunk of the beer market all over the world. If you like beer, and who doesn’t, this can’t be good news.
That’s right, Anheuser Busch and Miller, whose best sellers Bud Light and Miller Lite compete for No. 1 slot in the tasteless swill segment of the beer market, will now control for over 200 separate brands of beer internationally. That’s like giving the company that makes gas station corn dogs control of the world’s food supply. The horror!
If your first thought was “They can’t mess with me, I drink Coors,” not so fast. Despite what the commercials tell you, these guys own Coors they’ll make it out of Denver tap water if they want to. In fact if you drink Michelob, Hamm’s or Henry Wienhard’s; they collect your money every time you buy a beer as well.
Maybe you think you can escape them by sticking with the small regional brands like a Leinenkugel or something from the Elysian Brewing Company, nope they’ve already been swallowed up in the Budweiser/Miller tidal wave. Perhaps you prefer to spend more on something with a wedge of fruit in it like a Blue Moon, a Shock Top or a Corona…just more of the backwash from the buy out my friends!
If you thought a Bud Lime seemed a lot like a Corona with a lime, there’s probably a good reason for that, much like “Left Twixt and Right Twixt”; they own both recipes.
As I write this I’m sitting in my apartment in Italy drinking a cold Peroni and my three Euro are going to end up in the Budweiser/Miller bank account. If you drink beer you can’t escape these guys! In China they’ll sell you a GouGuang, in Peru they’ll provide a six-pack of Cusquena, and in Botswana they’ll pull you a cold pint of St Louis on draught. …well, it might not always be cold.
This is truly an international conspiracy; they own Beck’s in Germany and even Foster’s in Australia (it’s Australian for Budweiser, mate). Believe it or not there is a brewery in Swaziland where they make Sibebe beer and these clowns own it!
My concern is that when one company gains such a substantial share of the market the incentive to worry about the quality and taste of their products goes away. If you doubt that try to remember the last time you really savored the flavor of a Big Mac.
Big Oil meant expensive gas, Big “Pharma” means grandpa can’t afford his medication and now Big Beer is upon us! Not only will they be selling us nasty beer, they’ll be overcharging us for it….well, over charging you for it. I only drink two kinds of beer, overpriced independent microbrews and free. I’ll drink any beer you pay for, even a uni-brew from Big Beer, but I’ll snobbishly resent it.
Remember, a Bud Light by any other name is still tasteless swill and is probably the leading cause of the increased popularity of the man-bun and dudes wearing scarfs. There are no facts to support that last part but this is an election year, facts are optional.
So where do our presidential candidates stand on this critical issue? Mr. Trump drinks only the finest champagne ,and Mrs. Clinton isn’t allowed to mix alcohol with her medication so neither has taken a strong position yet.
So what can everyday middle class people do in the face of this international corporate conspiracy? I have one word for you my friends; whiskey. Shoot it or sip it, either way you won’t care about Big Beer anymore!
Rick Seley is an award-winning humor columnist. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.