InBev warns wholesalers not to distribute craft, "show loyalty"

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Franch, Mar 30, 2012.

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  1. minnesotaryan

    minnesotaryan Initiate (0) Dec 27, 2010 Minnesota

    they really keep thinking up ways for me to never ever give them a dime, the list is so long and it keeps growing, good work inbev, you are really raising the asshat bar.
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  2. Beejay

    Beejay Poo-Bah (2,928) Dec 29, 2008 Virginia

    Hopefully if distributors drop craft brews, someone will be there to pick up the torch. And when they do they will meet my wallet.
  3. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,491) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Did they feel the same way back in '97 when August Busch III instituted the same sort of program with his "100 Percentage Share of Mind"? Justice Dept. Probes Anheuser-Busch's Sales Practices
    yemenmocha likes this.
  4. 2378GCGTG

    2378GCGTG Initiate (0) Dec 7, 2011 Texas

    This makes me want to go buy a bomber of every NOT inbev/BMC beer in my local bottle shop. And to Inbev, that whole thing about "lime a rita" having little resemblance to beer is true about your WHOLE product line, none of it resembles beer...

    And FUCK the three tier system too. It's amazing how many US laws reflect special interest rather than the desires of the American people, can't figure that one out...
  5. emannths

    emannths Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2007 Massachusetts's the 3-tier system that prevents ABI from threatening stronger action. Without it, ABI would almost certainly own the wholesalers its currently trying to influence.
  6. 2378GCGTG

    2378GCGTG Initiate (0) Dec 7, 2011 Texas

    The three tier system hurts craft beers WAY more than it hurts ABI. And whats more, state liquor regulation commissions are just as bad. For example (and I don't know everything about them) but the Texas alcoholic beverage commission is notorious for their crooked practices and regulations. The current system needs tweaking, and that includes the three tier system, in my opinion. The brewers should have the power to distribute their own product.
    EDIT: and if they did own the wholesalers, thats great, as long as other wholesalers can open up and sell craft beer exclusively. You're forgetting that distribution and product placement are big hurdles for craft breweries, and BMC don't have that problem because they throw hissy fits and push their weight around
  7. cevafm

    cevafm Initiate (0) Mar 30, 2008 Pennsylvania

    This would not affect me most likely, not sure about the rest of the country.

    If Penn and Gretz dropped craft brands, Origlio would most likely snap up a lot of them and I am sure Muller would try and get in on the action as well.

    There would always be Shangy's to pick up the slack as well. As a matter of fact, if the big AB houses dropped craft it would be a HUGE opportunity for the owner of Shangy's to really expand the business.

    And of course PBC self-distrubutes. I am sure that between the big 5 local craft beer companies they would come up with a way to distrubute their products.
  8. Jules11788

    Jules11788 Initiate (0) Feb 15, 2011 California

    I don't know if I could have said it any better. They have all the money they could ever need and they still can't get their act together and respond to the craft beer movement? In the marketing world we call that "Myopia", where you get so caught up in making the same old shit for so long that you don't realize the industry around you is evolving. And if you still don't make changes and adjust, you'll fail. I guess this is InBev's way of "adjusting" to the changing market. Just intimidate it into complacency...
  9. Retail1LO

    Retail1LO Initiate (0) May 4, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Or throw money at the problem and buy your competition out. Why deviate from what you're doing when you can just absorb other brewers that already have a clue and know what they're doing. sucks all the way around.
  10. Jules11788

    Jules11788 Initiate (0) Feb 15, 2011 California

    Lose/Lose indeed sir
  11. Crackerroll

    Crackerroll Initiate (0) Jan 16, 2011 Missouri

    Did who feel that way? AB employees? I doubt they cared. I wasn't speaking for them but for myself. Inbev buying AB has really helped our access to more, better beer. The stranglehold of loyalty has been broken. Cheers.
  12. HomeBrewed

    HomeBrewed Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2006 Minnesota

  13. Stockfan42

    Stockfan42 Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2009 Massachusetts

    I cant believe I've missed this. This is absurd.


    BOO InBev!
  14. Henamonster

    Henamonster Initiate (51) Feb 2, 2007 California

    Post and re-post, that's probably the best thing we can do at the moment. The more the word gets out, the more people will cry foul.
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  15. beerguy2784

    beerguy2784 Initiate (0) Apr 4, 2012

    ...but they bought Goose Island, so they are the savior of the dieing craft beer world :rolling_eyes: Oh wait, the big guys are struggling while craft breweries are seeing huge growth...

    I never buy Inbev and I tell my friends that do why I don't and why they shouldn't. I don't care if that makes me a snob, AB-Inbev is evil and I won't give them a dime.
    happy4hoppybeer and SammyJaxxxx like this.
  16. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey

    Doing the right thing does not make you a snob.
    Aexoonge likes this.
  17. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,964) May 19, 2005 Colorado
    Society Trader

    I see this as the washout that came after the AB takeover by InBev. To cover their purchase ABInBev sold the Busch Gardens and sliced the crap out of their distribution network, which was ironically the prize InBev was going after. Now, their distribution sucks (at least from my viewpoint at the store level); they don't know what the hell they're doing, their drivers are new (and lost) and rotation has slipped big time. Add that to the crappy Shock Top, Blue Whatever they're putting out. Blekh! :flushed:
  18. Providence

    Providence Champion (803) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I hope everyone who is complaining about this is also not planning to buy Goose Island BCS any time in the foreseeable future.

    Complaining about this and then drinking any product owned by InBev is all kinds of hypocrticial.
  19. Danielbt

    Danielbt Initiate (0) May 4, 2012 Texas

    This seems very similar to what got Intel's peepee slapped by the DOJ and earned AMD a billion dollar payday.

    In other words, anti-competitive practices.
  20. wallpaperbag

    wallpaperbag Initiate (0) Nov 17, 2008 Alabama

    This seems like a good sign. It proves that craft beer is finally pushing shit beer out of the market at a notable rate for the first time (that I am aware of). I say let the big guys keep struggling to stay on top; in the end it is the consumers' descision and apparently the consumers are speaking pretty loudly. I don't really understand the complaints about things like this, or the supply of highly acclaimed craft beer not meeting demand, etc., because these are all indicators of a winning battle against the macros. All you gotta do is keep on drinkin' the good stuff.
  21. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Initiate (0) Mar 1, 2009 California

    I'm still buying BCBS year round 4-packs...(if it happens) but that will be all.
  22. pieman25

    pieman25 Initiate (0) Oct 16, 2010 Canada (ON)

    I think it needs to be said, AB-Inbev still has a CONSIDERABLE share of the US beer market - Craft breweries to my knowledge still only have about %5 of the market collectively. To those who are saying that craft beer is pushing the crap off the shelves, they still have a LONG way to go.
  23. beerguy2784

    beerguy2784 Initiate (0) Apr 4, 2012

    I think that in terms of volume, the big guys have a lot more more than 95%, but in terms of revenue, craft has 5%.
  24. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,491) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    If by "Big Guys" you mean A-B and MC, together they have a little over 75% of the US beer market by volume (46.9% and 28.4%, respectively). Craft (as defined by the Brewers Association) has 5.7% by volume and 9.1% by dollars.
    beerguy2784 likes this.
  25. Stockfan42

    Stockfan42 Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2009 Massachusetts

    I wont be buying any GI beers. Now, if someone else buys them...thats another story.

    I got an 09 BCS Im gunna eventually drink, but I also bought that a long time ago.

    I actually like a bunch of the beers they produce... I just ain't going to buy them.
  26. CircusBoy

    CircusBoy Initiate (0) Mar 10, 2008 Ohio

  27. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,902) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    90's I worked parttime in bev industry and I saw a lot of sketchy stuff. They would make offers too good to be true if a retailer would stop selling a particular micro. They would take it upon themselves to rearrange stuff on the shelves, both in coolers and not, so that their stuff had better position and the micros were almost hidden. They HATED the micros movement even then.
    happy4hoppybeer likes this.
  28. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,491) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    The only distribute the Monster Energy Drink through their wholesale network (and only for on-premise accounts, IIRC). A-B does not OWN the brand. If you're going to avoid the brands distributed by AB houses, you're going to miss out on a lot of great craft beers, too. Its dependent on the local distributor's contracts, but in my area that would include Anchor, Ithaca, Victory, Stoudt's and Firestone-Walker.
  29. pieman25

    pieman25 Initiate (0) Oct 16, 2010 Canada (ON)

    okay, so I wasn't quite on with exact numbers, but the point is still pretty valid - even if they ARE losing ground, they individually have way more of the market than the craft brewers have collectively. Of course, nobody was contesting that.
  30. rawlus

    rawlus Initiate (83) Sep 1, 2010 Massachusetts

    ^ this
  31. neophilus

    neophilus Initiate (0) Apr 4, 2009 Massachusetts

    InBev spends millions of dollars lobbying politicians who write the laws that restrict craft brewers from distributing their own beer, forcing them to use a small number of distributors whose primary business interest is in distributing for InBev. That is not capitalism.
  32. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,491) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Must not be paying off for them then, since more than half the states allow some form of self-distribution (Brewers Association - Self Distribution States) and many of the laws have come with the last few decades of the craft era. A-B is well aware of it, since they take advantage of these laws in the some states and they own outright about a dozen of their wholesalers.

    A-B claims to have "more than 500" wholesalers (same link as above) and the NBWA claims there are 3,300 licensed distributors in the US.
  33. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    Voters(beer advocates?) vote for/support politicians who are lobbied with millions of InBev$$ to support laws that restrict craft brewers from distributing their own beer, forcing them to use a small number of distributors whose primary business interest is in distributing for InBev. That is democracy.

    Is it capitalism? Yes. . . somewhat/it depends (have I covered all my bases?).
    Capitalism has many forms, none of them have ever been 'pure' unfettered capitalism (which has evils within just like socialism etc. . . ).

    Arguably, this scenario is a reflection on our nation's history of sacrificing freedom for security: think of the children!, social safety nets v. economic freedom/liberty . . . there was a massive change even after prohibition was overcome. . . the states were/are free pursuant to the 21st amendment to regulate alcohol in the most discriminatory ways in reality, bolstered by the expansive Commerce Clause after FDR's court packing plan, subsequent rise of MADD, our addiction to regulation etc. . . the perfect storm).
  34. neophilus

    neophilus Initiate (0) Apr 4, 2009 Massachusetts

    There may be several thousand licensed distributors across the whole country but how many operate in the same regions? I would bet most areas only have 2-3 primary beer distributors. Its not like beer distributors in California are delivering beer in Ohio.
  35. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    I don't follow how it "must not be paying off". . . even in the states that there is some form of self-distribution, I do not believe it allows the same freedoms that InBev enjoys. How many smaller breweries, if any, have greater self distribution rights than Inbev in those states?

    And the simple fact that half the states do not allow for it, is a boon for the big boys. . . much less your acknowledgement about their ownership of wholesalers in other states. Therefore, I think it is paying off. The market share numbers would seem to corroborate such a belief.
  36. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,491) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Check the link - many of the states which do allow S-D, put a size limit on the breweries that can choose that form of distribution, or they have a separate "microbrewery" license that allows it, etc. So, yeah, in those states the craft breweries (and, obviously, brewpubs) have more "freedom" than A-B as far as distribution goes.

    In the other states, without a limit, 100m bbl. A-B or the local 10k bbl. brewery can either choose to S-D or not. One is not "more free" than the other the way I read the laws.
  37. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    BMC market share much higher in every state than craft, to some degree, because of these laws. Still seems to be paying off.
  38. cpinto6

    cpinto6 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2010 Georgia

    Market share numbers on food/drink rarely have something to do with that. The avg person prefers a "tasteless, crappy" piece of chicken over an indian chicken dish that has bold flavor for example. BMC is beer for the masses so it will always have a huge market share. The less palates you offend the more customers you have.
  39. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,491) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    "Some degree" is the operable word, of course. The history of post-Repeal brewing industry is a pretty complicated one and to point to either the right to or banning of self-distribute in some states, or even to the 3 Tier System in general omits many other, more important (in my view, anyway) factors in the current dominance of 2 companies with 75% of the market.

    A-B, with 2-3% of the market immediately after Repeal, and the other 700 odd breweries that re-opened dealt with the same laws. Most fell by the wayside in the next 50 years, many of which were once much larger than Miller and Coors. Whatever advantages the system gave the survivors AB and MC were certainly there for those other breweries. Lots of A-B and Miller houses were once primarily local and regional brand distributors that initially picked up AB's Budweiser or Miller High Life as one more premium brand to carry.

    Part of the biggest problem with current 3 Tier Laws is that they were specifically written to favor the "small guy" (the mom 'n' pop local distributor) over the "big guy" (the large regional or national brewers like AB and MC). 75 years later, the mom 'n' pop's have been gobbled up by a number of huge multi-state conglomerates than own multiple distributorships and many of the craft breweries are much smaller businesses than the wholesalers.

    The entire "S-D" and "3 Tier System" arguments tend to be strawmen. Ask Jim Koch or Ken Grossman if they'd rather set up their own 50 state trucking and warehousing system or were they happy, both in the beginning and now, to have their brands riding along on a truck emblazoned with a Miller or Coors logo?

    Take a look at the majority of craft breweries in those 50% of the states that allow self-distribution. How many S-D? Very few. Self-distribution (which I agree should be a legal option in every state for this reason) is helpful for a new brewery establishing a local market so they'll have a proven sales record and market. As soon as they can, most will then go with indie distributors or AB or MC houses - rather than continue to S-D.

    The problem with the craft geeksters desire to "get rid of the 3 tier system" is they seldom have any idea what to replace it with. A-B, in particular, would be very happy to get rid of it - because they could afford run and operate many of their now independent wholesale operations.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  40. CraftBeerTastic

    CraftBeerTastic Initiate (0) Jun 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Good to know. I usually stop by this place on my way to Dewey. Always has a great selection - and will probably only get better now that AB Inbev products are out.
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