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TPFHere we are, heading into the Holidays for 2016, and Facebook coughs up something I posted in this blog, just over two years ago: “Budweiser Vs. The Craft Beer Culture: The Long, Slow Decline of The King of Beers“. I hadn’t read it again since I first posted it and…it wasn’t bad. Said what I meant to say and, yes, it was long but not as insanely long as a lot of posts here. It got me thinking that I haven’t revisited our Belgian/Brazilian “friends” for a while. So I checked.

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Lost Cabin Beer Company, Rapid City, SD

According to Forbes Magazine, over the past five years, while craft brewing sales rose by 14% (2016 projection, 17% over 2015), the total sales of mass-producer brands like BudMilleerCoorsPabst declined by over 28%. AB/InBev, the parent company of ALL THREE of the top domestic brands (the “BudMillerCoors” segment of that watery continuum) projects a 2016 decline in revenues of 11%, following a 2015 decline of 10%.

My explanation for this slow-rolling death of the AB/InBev Collective, that I’ve been repeating since the first time I wrote it, in a Facebook response in 2010, is this, lifted wholesale from the post linked to above:

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Yazoo Brewing, Nashville, TN

To the Budweiser VP who stated rather definitively, at the first sales convention after AB acquired Goose Island Brewing (dutifully reported by Goose staffers who were required to attend), that “we cannot allow the paradigm to change…“, let me restate the obvious: the paradigm has already changed. It changed, in fact, when this VP was in middle school and there is absolutely nothing that AB/InBev can do to counter it.  That “paradigm” he spoke of was that young drinkers, coming of age for choosing beers, traditionally had Bud and maybe five other domestic beers, all of the same style, to choose from. It was all they saw in their parents’ fridges and they saw those handful of beers as what the word “beer” means. That has all changed and, here in 2014, craft beer now accounts for 14% – and climbing! – of all domestic beer sales.”

And this, from a 2014 post called, “The Programming of The American Drinker“…

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Stumptown Ales, Davis, WA

Today, we have successive waves of people turning 21 who never saw BudMillerCoorsPabst in their refrigerators; never had the discussion, in middle school, on the relative merits of Bud vs. Old Style vs. Schlitz. These young men and women were raised, in fact, knowing that beer can actually be wildly and gloriously flavorful and diverse; knowing they have Real Choices, instead of pretending to taste differences in almost identical beers or picking one because you like the artwork or their ties to a favorite sports team or celebrity. I’ve predicted that, within twenty years – barring some major stroke in the mega-brewers’ relentless campaign to discredit, displace, hinder, and ridicule craft brewing – we will see BudCoorsMillerPabst, and all the rest of the cynical mega-beers reduced to a quaint curiosity niche; the last gasp of the phony “beer as manhood” crowd and the surviving pockets of hard-cases who equate real beer made by real Americans as “frou-frou nonsense”. Real Men, these days, drink Dogfish and Deschutes and Three Floyds and Stone and Rahr and Cigar City and Pelican and Strange and Selkirk Abbey and Jolly Pumpkin…and there is no way to stop this fundamental change.

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Free State Brewing, Lawrence, KS

I’ve asked this over and over and over again and, as we head into the holidays ’16, I’m doing it again: PLEASE, if you have not tried the rising tide of craft brewed Lagers and Pilsners that are being made in literally every state in this country, now, at least think of bringing a six-pack or growler of one of them to your family’s holiday functions. There are a number of truly great beers of this style that are widely available: Victory Brewing “Prima Pils”, North Coast “Scrimshaw”, Stone “Wussy”, Full Sail “Session” Lager, Anchor California Lager, New Belgium “SkinnyDip”, Boulevard “KC Pils”, and dozens and dozens more. Don’t even tell your Bud-addicted friends/fams what it is. Pour it into a glass and hand it to them with a jaunty “Cheers!“. They’ll never know from the color. Most look exactly like Bud or Coors in the glass. They won’t get Bitter Beer Face when they drink it because brewers who make Lager/Pils respect the style. I’ve pulled this half a dozen times on friends who claim they “don’t like craft beer” and now those friends can’t make that claim, anymore.

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Crooked Fence Brewing, Eagle, ID

This is how we go about reducing this avaricious, thuggish, bean-countin’ company of people, for whom the entire idea of “beer” is nothing more a word attached to a sales figure on a ledger sheet, to the insignificant, marginal operation it so richly deserves to be. We don’t need roving gangs of feral lawyers or a Sicilian hit squad. All we really need to do it to expose those who presently cling to these phony brands out of some warped sense of nostalgia or the ancient image of American manhood – the cowboy-construction worker- dockhand delusion of manliness that BudMillerCoors has been selling in TV and print ads for 75 years – to the indisputable fact that beer made carefully, in smaller batches, tastes better. Beer made with actual passion and respect for the styles produced and a genuine desire to please your community and culture is always better that something just produced to please stockholders.

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Societe Brewing, San Diego,CA

My holiday wish for you – even aside from my hope that you have the greatest single Christmas/New Year’s experience of your life, now that the fast-approaching Darkness that will descend upon all of American on January 20th grows ever nearer – is that you pull this little switcheroo on just ONE friend or family member who sneers at and ridicules your craft beer preference. Don’t get me wrong: I’d prefer you rent a banquet hall and pull it on about 350 people. But one is a great start. Convince one Bud-addict that they can drink craft beer and find a seat at the Cool Kids’ table and they’ll convince one and that person will convince another and, pretty soon, we got us a revolution and BudMillerCoorsPabst gets to weep into their Red Solo cups and wonder what hit ’em.

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My Neighborhood Brewery: Engine House No. 9, Tacoma, WA

And the main reason you should do this? The ONLY brand out of those four that I’ve lumped into the deliberately-dismissive “BudMillerCoorsPabst” that is still American owned…is Pabst. Support your own economy, not that of Belgium and Brazil, the home countries of Bud, Miller, and Coors. Keep your dollars here, working for you and your Mom and every other American you know and love. Support American Small Business…because 98% of all craftbrewers are tiny operations; 80% of that 98 with less than ten employees. As you spread the message of “Drink Local”, “Small Business Saturday”, “American Made”, “Locally Sourced” and the grassroots entrepreneurism that drives your local economy, those jobs created increase, your city thrives, and you just simply drink better beer. How anybody can walk past a business owned and operated by their neighbor or co-worker or friend or family member and choose to toss their dollars down the suck-hole of corporate greed and Lower Quality is beyond me. For self-image? Craft brewing has TONS of that. Climb aboard, if Coolness is your motivation! Patriotism? Would YOU have bought British beer during the Revolutionary War? Would you look at your neighbor, standing there with a six-pack of beer he made in his hands and say, “No, thanks, neighbor! I think I’ll go hand my bucks to some bean-countin’ suit from Leuven, Belgium, for a beer that tastes like piss, compared to yours.

Lets. BURY. BudwesierNOW, starting right now today, and hammer on it all the way through the holidays. This is a company that has put THOUSANDS of Americans out of work, during its shameless 130 year history. They DO NOT deserve your dollars, your preferences, or your loyalty.

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9 thoughts on “Why YOU Should Reject Budweiser…and Why America Should

  1. Pingback: Professor Good Ales » Post Topic » Why YOU Should Reject Budweiser…and Why America Should

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong, Troy, but people don’t generally go to a party and say “Hey, get me a Bud!” (or Coors or Pabst, etc.) They say, “Get me a beer!” Similarly, if the host at said party approaches them, do they say, “Would you like a Budweiser? Coors? Miller?” No, they usually say, “Wanna beer?” If they say they want a Bud, I tell them I don’t serve Bud, Miller, or Coors and ask if they’d like something else, a situation which has happened TWICE, to me, in 25 years. People don’t usually specify when they’re being offered FREE beer, unless they’re dicks. I try not to invite dicks to my parties. Absent that specific request, I feel NO obligation to A) cater to what their taste in beers is, or B) ask them if a craft beer is okay. I’m providing the beer, so they can drink what I buy or do without. If they want to bring their own beer, they can drink shit-beers. I’m not buying them. There is no post in this blog that begins with MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. I’ve searched the blog and there is no post that begins that way. Here’s the difference, though, and if it doesn’t satisfy you, you’re not going to be satisfied because I DO treat beer and wine differently, even if nobody thinks I should, and I have NO intention of changing that. Your highly-suspect statement that my party guests are seeking “the Bud or Miller they are expecting (and wanting!) to drink“suggests that I entertain people who don’t already know that I write about craft beer, that I’m an absolute and unrepentant snob about anything having to do with corporate brewing and Anheuser Busch specifically, and that they don’t already know that they’re coming to a party where no shit adjunct Pilsners will be served. I’m not 25 years old, TROY. I don’t throw parties at which you might find 50 – 75 strangers who don’t already know a bit about me and my tastes. Even when I was 25, I didn’t invite hordes of strangers into my home. And when I go to parties, I ASK if they have craft beer and if they say no, I POLITELY decline any offers of beer. NOT ONE person upon whom I have done the “switcheroo” ever came out and said they wanted a particular kind of beer. I DO, SOMETIMES, check on their tastes in advance of them being at my home. If they do ask for Bud or Miller, I just SUGGEST something similar. I do NOT just slip it to ’em, if I KNOW they want crap beers. If they don’t specify, I’m free to serve what I like.

    As for the “wine blogger”, I wasn’t trolling anybody. If you had bothered to READ the post, you’d know that it was not a blogger. It was a winery and it’s their FACEBOOK page. Wineries are fair game. When they do great things, I lead the cheering. When they do stupid shit, I get to call them on it, especially when they do it IN PUBLIC. I didn’t TROLL anybody. I commented at length and made sense, which is NOT what “trolling” is.”Trolling” is just saying any shit that will start a fight, except now, for people like you, trolling is anybody saying anything, logic be damned, which contradicts or finds fault with someone’s words or actions. I’m not playing along with that asinine definition. I own what I say in this blog and people have to give me a DAMNED GOOD reason to retract ANYTHING. You have failed miserably at that, both in each separate argument and at your irrational attempt to link the two posts. You don’t LIKE what I said? That’s your choice. It doesn’t obligate me to do anything, except think about what you wrote, which I did. You didn’t make a compelling argument and didn’t make sense. That’s on YOU. Read the blog, don’t read the blog, it’s fine with me either way. But DO NOT imagine that charging in here with a lame, irrational argument is going to change anything I wrote. Far more articulate people than you have tried and they failed, too. The posts stand as written.

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    • Troy, where does that post say the name winefolly? NOWHERE, that’s where. Winefolly’s posts are an open, public forum for responses and the dimwitted Madelaine Puckett presumed to speak for an entire community of wine writers, MANY of whom consider her a joke. I know this first-hand from responses I got to that post. If Madelaine wants a toney little forum for only those who agree with her every utterance, she can easily accomplish that by requiring authorization of upcoming comments. She caused ME, PERSONALLY, more of the same old trouble in dealing with the wine drinking and review-reading public by attempting to put words into my mouth. Here, from UrbanDictionary-dot-com, is the definition of”trolling”: “Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it’s the internet and, hey, you can.” That’s not what I did. I responded with a complaint containing solid, inarguable logic, gave concrete examples of where she fucked up, and called her on her presumption. I don’t care if you want to call that trolling. If somebody presumes to speak for me and those who do the same work I do, without our permission to do that or without consulting ANYBODY on whether she’s correct or not, that person DESERVES to get HAMMERED, and I elect me to do it. Six other wine writers contacted me and said, in various forms, “Who does this idiot think she is?” They all practice more civility than I do, and have more to lose, so I volunteered to be the one who complained. I don’t care if anybody didn’t like it. Wine folly, like all websites, has its core of acolytes. They didn’t like me addressing Madelaine that way. Too bad. They weren’t the ones Madelaine created problems for. I don’t care if you see a contradiction in what I wrote. I don’t. Yes, I’ve repeatedly said I want to “kill Budweiser”. I absolutely do. That does not mean that I think Steve Body or anybody else has the power to force AB to stop making beer. I assign a bit of intelligence to people who read The Pour Fool. I assume they know that “kill Budweiser” is not really, literally possible. As I’ve stated repeatedly, I want to see Bud relegated to an end-of-aisle curiosity in grocery stores, which is certainly an achievable goal. You can whine all you like that subbing a craft beer for a Bud is trickery. People who refuse to even taste craft beer because it’s too bitter or too strong SHOULD be poured a craft Pilsner and shown that the old Bud-inspired crap about “foofy beer” and “bitter beer” is a lie. I hope people do it. They SHOULD. The playing field in the American beer market is SO wildly unbalanced that extreme tactics are necessary to allow craft beer to compete on anything like equal footing with Bud. I intend to keep suggesting that people do that because I don’t like seeing small, independent business people shafted from every direction by AB, as happens every fucking day. You seem to have no problem at all with their subterfuges and slanders and lies, which have been going on for 100+ YEARS. Go cry to somebody else about my “contradiction” in slamming Bud and my tactics for stealing their customers. Every Bud drinker who’s weaned off that nasty shit is a small victory for mankind and American business and I’m delighted to have a part in it.

      You said ONE thing that’s dead-on: “My point to you is this: You’re obviously entitled to your opinion and to write whatever you please on your own blog.” YES, I fucking well am. I own the thing and I have no partners. And you entirely missed the POINT of what I wrote about wine folly. FIND ME where ANYTHING I wrote there or here was even remotely about anyone’s tastes and what they should drink. I had ONE unquestionable point in what I wrote and it wasn’t telling anybody to do anything: wine folly’s lint-headed owner overstepped her bounds in assigning meanings to words that OTHER PEOPLE wrote and refused to come clean about it. It would have been every bit as inexcusable to do that if I had done it. She doesn’t get to speak for me or Parker or Tanzer or anyone else but herself. If she had written “This is what I mean when I use these terms”, I would have had no comment. She didn’t. She said “This is what WINE WRITERS mean when they use these terms.OUT OF BOUNDS

        . I slapped her for it and I’ll do it again, if she repeats that sort of transgression.

        You have two choices, here: continue reading The Pour Fool for the information you found valuable and grit your teeth when you find something you just don’t like. If you catch me in something WRONG, let me have it. Aside from that, you can just never read it again and I already said that was fine with me. You didn’t, this time, no matter how much you believe you did. And DO NOT engage me in another one of these ill-prepared come-uppances. Anything else this messy and uninformed will be deleted immediately. I see NO contradictions at all in any of these instances because each situation addressed was different. I’m not at all responsible for your Navy career, your vision of genteel, utopian Washington, your sense of decorum, or your feelings that I have overstepped. The difference between me and Trump is that he is a total idiot and has NO actual knowledge of anything that’s not directly concerned with himself. I know a whoppin’ LOT about my subjects and I don’t pop off without a reason. I know two subjects VERY well; as well or better than 98% of the people who write about them: adult beverages and food. I don’t write about food but, if I did, you could take what I say to the bank. Outside of that, my opinions mean NOTHING more than the guy’s on the next keyboard. You want to think you’ve caught me out in some big contradiction, fine. Believe what you like. You didn’t, I’m not scolded, and nothing about what I write here is going to change, except that, after New Years, the posts will get shorter. As for the content, that remains the same until the day I die. Make your own decisions but don’t involve me again in your process. If you’re looking for some sort of contrition or retraction, there will be none forthcoming.

        And, Jerry…next time you feel the urge to unload on me, use your actual name. This was SADLY transparent.

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      • Jerry what? I totally do not understand your final comment.

        The Wine Folly post, and your response, to which I was (and still am) responding is the one about wine etiquette – the one where you felt necessary, inconceivably, to pick on her use of the word “monster” with an entire post about it here. As for your question “where does that post say the name winefolly?” come on, dude. Not only did you link the post here FROM winefolly, you directly quoted her in your post! If your intent was to elude anyone finding out, you shouldn’t have made it so easy to follow the trail from her post right to yours. Maybe it just bothers you that someone you think is so beneath you and your 98th percentile knowledge has the best-selling book on Amazon in the Wine & Spirits category.

        But before you misunderstand me to think winefolly is perfect, let me stop you – I don’t. In fact, I find it frequently plagued with errors ranging from simple grammatical or spelling errors, right through to patently wrong statements. I have not, however, ever felt necessary to crap all over them publicly. Do you do so simply to flex your muscles in the eye of their readers, or to try to intimidate the authors there into submission? I don’t know. It seems to me that wine writers, much like wine makers, would seek to be cooperative and collaborative, not confrontational and adversarial.

        The simple fact is this: You cannot decide which side of the MYOB fence you’re on. You want to blast other bloggers for offering some common etiquette guidelines, but then you want all your friends to drink the beer YOU want them to drink instead of leaving them alone to drink what they like. You say “It’s really none of your business how somebody else is drinking their wine. If you’re that easily offended, drink alone” but then insist it IS your business what’s in someone else’s beer glass, so much so that you advocate tricking them into drinking something else! In two separate posts on your own site, you champion first the right of people to drink what they want, then your right to insist they drink what you say they should! How deep must your cognitive dissonance go for you to hold these two positions?

        Yes, AB sucks, as does their beer. So much so that I’ve actively and intentionally NEVER bought any of their products with my own money. And yes I do have a problem with their tactics and lies. I loved the piece you wrote on Bryan Meredith, but that doesn’t keep me from noticing the diametrically opposed viewpoints you’re trying to simultaneously defend, nor does it save you from being called out for it.

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  3. This in no way affects your overall argument nor is it intended to, but in the interests of accuracy: The Miller and Coors brands and the beers formerly owned by the company MillerCoors in the US will now be owned by MolsonCoors after the ABInBev – SAB Miller merger is completed, so the MillerCoors part of BudMillerCoorsPabst will be U.S.-Canadian rather than Belgo-Brazilian.I think MolsonCoors is keeping the former MillerCoors’ Chicago headquarters.

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    • I’ve heard of the arrangement on this, Bill, but thanks for posting this and bringing it up. In the past two – three months, I’ve established a contact within AB/InBev’s upper management; someone who is, let’s just say, less than satisfied with the way the company does business and likes their income but not their bosses. According to this person, AB’s management made a strategic decision to establish MillerCoors as its own legal entity within the US and Canada in response to the deluge of negative press resulting from the fact that AB is no longer American-owned. Specifically, their network of distributors complained that some retailers were ghettoizing AB products into their Imported Beers sections in protest against the merger. As with everything AB/InBev does, this is a fairly transparent tactic designed to allow the company to once again use the phrase “American Made” without protest, even though the dollars will still be going to the corporate coffers in Belgium. Typical AB market-positioning bullshit, which I fervently hope nobody is dumb enough to fall for.

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    • Pabst Brewing Company announced November 13, 2014 that it had completed its sale to Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings, LLC. Blue Ribbon is a partnership between American beer entrepreneur Eugene Kashper and TSG Consumer Partners, a San Francisco–based private equity firm.

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