It’s not April 1st, so we have to assume this latest anti-“Big Beer” campaign from the Brewers Association is a real thing. The trade association, which represents small and independent craft breweries, today announced that it had launched #TakeBackCraft campaign, a crowdfunding appeal to raise $213 billion dollars (yes, billion) to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Anheuser-Busch InBev has rankled the BA by purchasing formerly independent breweries such as Goose Island, Devil’s Backbone, Elysian, etc., over the past few years. The goal is ostensibly to take the craft breweries back by “making [AB] an offer they can’t refuse,” according to a press release. The BA goes on to say that this crowdfunding campaign will “take on the oppressive Big Beer machine before they can bleed the passion out of the independent craft brewing culture forever.” You can hear further rallying cries in this video the BA released to announce the launch.
So far, the campaign has raised more than $500,000; money will not actually be collected unless the campaign is fully funded … and we know what the odds are of that. Contributors will earn swag like T-shirts and koozies for donating at various levels, even if the campaign is not fully funded.
Here’s the hitch: The BA will not be able to raise $213 billion through crowdfunding (we will buy every American a beer if this prediction proves untrue). So, what is this campaign really about? It’s already successful in prompting American beer drinkers to discuss the ownership behind breweries, which is likely its true aim. When the BA announced its “certified independent craft” seal earlier this summer, it elicited mixed responses, but did serve to bring the topic of brewery ownership and independence to greater consciousness. The BA hopes that the more beer drinkers discuss brewery ownership, the more they’ll be choose small and independent producers. Of course, whether you want to put your hard-earned bills behind the campaign or just use them to buy more beer is your decision alone.