Boycotting Craft Beer

Beer Smack by | May 2011 | Issue #52

Boycotts in the beer world seem to be all the rage these days; however, it appears that some of those doing the boycotting are doing so with blind passion—boycott first, think later. And it’s no surprise that recent boycott trends target the big breweries of the world and anyone who deals with them.

Imagine if we took that stance here in Massachusetts and boycotted, say, Anheuser-Busch InBev and anyone doing business with them. Immediately, that would cut out one of the largest distributors in the region, whose core portfolio is A-B InBev products. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the largest craft beer distributors, too. A boycott would remove accessibility to literally thousands of craft beer brands from the US and abroad, limiting much of what BeerAdvocate does. We’re talking everything from enjoying craft beer at a bar to hosting our beer fests. And, because we’d be boycotting these breweries by association, we wouldn’t be able to publish many of the ads in this here mag. The repercussions would affect countless industry people and consumers.

It’s just not that simple, as our brothers and sisters at Free the Hops recently discovered when they called for a statewide boycott of A-B InBev products and over a dozen distributors in its network during their fight to turn the Brewery Modernization Act into Alabama law. Though the boycott was short lived, it was extremely controversial, as it boycotted scores of craft beer brands distributed by the network.

So, along these lines, our question to all of you this month is: Should consumers punish companies that deal with large breweries, even if these same companies support craft beer, too?

Send us your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you.

Respect Beer.