Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries

February 6, 2012

Beer Diary:

International Month Again?

Love you some Belgian and German brews, but make sure you know how they got here.
by Eddie Glick

I like my beer like my women: pale, strong, full-bodied, and extremely bitter.
Contact Eddie»
Hello faithful readers. How’re your beer holes? Hopefully wide yet discriminating. I’m excited because it’s February, and you know what that means: it’s International Month at! During this (normally) coldest of Midwest months we (and by “we” I mean “I,” since everyone in the office here got laid off around the holidays) take a look at brews imported from outside the great United Ss of A.

International Month is one of my favorite months because ever since I made my transformation from clueless beer philistine to enlightened beer dork I’ve loved Belgian and German beers. Some of the best beers in the world come from those parts—like Duvel, Aventinus, Tripel Karmeliet, and Unertl—and sometimes it seems I could explore the beer cultures there for years and still only barely scratch the surface.

But, I would be remiss not to give you fair warning before you run over to your nearest watering hole and order up the first Belgian or German offering you see. Unfortunately most of the beers you come across in bars and restaurants here in the States come our way through a corporation you may have heard of: InBev, now known as AB-InBev, since their hostile takeover of Anheuser-Busch a few years back. And, again unfortunately, this brewing “concern” is not good for the continued brewing and selling of quality beer on the continent. InBev pulls shit like buying farmhouse breweries, shutting them down, and moving production to their gigantic brewing facilities; treating their workers like chattel; employing shady marketing tactics; and just engaging in general assholery.

So below is a very incomplete list of beers owned and imported by InBev. Because AB has such a stranglehold on distribution in virtually every state in the country, you’ll see these brands a lot. Some of them are decent, drinkable brews, but most of them are complete crap, especially if they are a few months (or more) old, which is all too common with European imports.

And even though this brewery is right here in the Midwest, it can’t hurt to remind everyone that Goose Island is now owned by AB-InBev.

Now that that unpleasantness is out of the way, on to International Month!