Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries

April 5, 2007

Beer Issues:

April Is Anti-A-B Month

Tell the King of Shit Beers where they can shove their swill all April long … and possibly longer.
by Eddie Glick

I like my beer like my women: pale, strong, full-bodied, and extremely bitter.
Contact Eddie»
No, A-B doesn’t stand for “ass-beer,” but it damn well should. I’m talking about one of craft beers most stalwart enemies: Anheuser-Busch, purveyors of shit beers brewed with rice and other horrid crap in the ditches of Missouri. I am formally declaring April Anti-Anheuser-Busch Month.

I’m sure you are already celebrating this great month in some way by the fact that you probably haven’t touched a Bud in years. And I’m sure you’ve long ago sent packing any friends, co-workers and spouses who dared imbibe that toilet water, whether in your presence or not. But there’s more you can do to resist the great machine of craft brew destruction. Read on.

Starting Out
Yeah, we already know you don’t drink Bud and the world’s shittiest beer, Bud Light. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s Busch and the infamous “blue smoothie,” Busch Light. Ugh. Also all the incarnations of Michelob (which comes in a NEW BOTTLE!): Golden Draft, Golden Draft Light, Amber Bock, Ultra. My stomach is roiling just typing those names out.

Then there’s this crappy web site created by A-B (no, we will not be providing a link) called Here’s To Beer, which they just had redone by their ad agency, DDB Chicago. You may have seen the original version, which was a fairly pedestrian glossary of beer ingredients and beer styles with a couple of those “Who would you have a beer with?” commercials. Leave it to Joe Buck to have a beer with his dad. His question to that question was probably, “You mean other than myself?” Christ.

Anyway, that entire site was originally conceived and bankrolled by A-B to get people to quit drinking the top shelf liquor and pay more attention to beer in general. Apparently, they were happy with the results, because now the revamped site’s focus is on the “social space” instead of the actual beer. Because, you know, A-B’s products aren’t really beer in the strictest—or loosest, for that matter—sense. Might as well distract consumers from your weaknesses. Also, the site just looks like ass.

So, in case you didn’t get the hint, never visit that site.

Next Steps
A-B has their grimy, rice-beer-stained fingers in a lot of other brands, too. A comprehensive list:

The faux craft beers:

• Jack’s Pumpkin Spice
• Winter Bourbon Cask Ale
• Spring Heat Spiced Wheat
• Beach Bum Blonde Ale
• Land Shark Lager (to be introduced spring 2007)
• Stone Mill Pale Ale
• Wild Hop Ale
• Redbridge

The following are also miscellaneous A-B products:

• Hurricane High Gravity Lager
• King Cobra Malt Liquor
• Anheuser World Lager
• Tequiza
• all flavors of Bacardi malternatives
• all flavors of Peels malternatives
• O’Douls N/A products
• Tilt, and energy beer along the lines of Sparks
• all flavors of Spykes

The following imports are distributed by A-B:

• Kirin Ichiban
• Harbin
• Tiger
• Grolsch
• Tsingtao

A-B owns a 50 percent stake in Grupo Modelo, which produces the following brands:

• Corona
• Corona Light
• Modelo Especial
• Modelo Light
• Victoria
• Negra Modelo
• Pacifico
• Estrella
• León
• Montejo

(The preceding list virtually guarantees you won’t be drinking any beer at a Mexican restaurant.)

Finally, the following is an incomplete list of brands owned by InBev, from which A-B acquired the U.S. distribution rights as of February 1, 2007:

• Bass
• Beck’s
• Boddington’s
• Bohemia
• Hoegaarden
• Franziskaner
• Labatt
• Leffe
• Lowenbrau
• Spaten
• Stella Artois

Download a printable no-drink list to keep in your wallet, purse, fanny pack, diaper bag, one of those rubber change holders shaped like a football, bowling ball bag or whatever you always have on you when you go drinkin’. If I’m missing any big ones, zap me an e-mail.

Go Hard Core
So, you want to take it up a notch, uh? Good for you. As the legendary Ash once said, “By God, we’ll give ’em what for.” When you walk into a bar with an A-B handle on one of the tappers, turn around and walk out. That’s right. Doesn’t matter if you’re meeting your long lost love or visiting a supposedly good beer bar, just show ’em your best side and leave. It’s a commonly known fact that A-B uses tactics that most reasonable people would label as “shady” to get bar and restaurant owners to give their shitty ass beer such prominence. They offer these places free kegs and other, well, we won’t call them “bribes” per se, but rewards, if you will, to unseat their competitors’ taps in lieu of their own. As you know, there are a finite number of tap spaces in the world, and not enough of them are occupied by craft brews. So if you happen upon one of these establishments that has sold its soul, then get the Hell out of there. And if you’re a real prick like me, you’ll tell the bartender exactly what you think of his or her piss dive on your way out.

Now it’s time to get cruel. It’ll hurt in the short term, but you’ll thank me when, sometime in the distant future, craft brews will be the norm in society, instead of “that strange, dark beer the pasty-skinned man with the Beer Dorks t-shirt is drinking in the corner.” If a better, more beer-enlightened future is what you want, then here’s the next step: ditch those craft brewers who have taken the 40 pieces of silver. We’re talking Portland’s Widmer Brothers, Washington’s Red Hook and (gleep!) our own Goose Island. All have accepted investments from A-B in exchange for their souls. I know, this is a cruel, cruel last step. I’m not saying these companies don’t still make good beer, but they are under the thumb of the enemy and, if you really want to do go all the way on this Anti-A-B thing, it’s got to be done—at least just for this month. No one said it would be easy. Hey, if it was, everyone would have integrity. Not just us Beer Dorks.

Drinkin’ And Thinkin’

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