AB InBev Buys Minority Shares in RateBeer.com: Craft Beer Brands Ask to Be Removed From Site

by Alexander Frane on Jun 12, 2017 in Beer

Global conglomerate Anheuser-Busch InBev is well known for acquiring beer companies, including multiple craft breweries, as well as its #1 competitor, SABMiller, in a $100 billion dollar transaction. There is a growing concern in the beer community that ABI is growing too large and risks becoming a monopoly. For those that share the concern, the news that ABI now has minority stake in RateBeer.com, a popular beer review site, offers little comfort. It might be especially concerning considering the relative anonymity in which the purchase happened.

Good Beer Hunting was the first to report the news after clever sleuthing on their part uncovered information about the purchase in March of 2017. Writers at GBH found the LinkedIn profile of a product manager at ZX Ventures, a subsidiary of ABI, who was supposedly involved in a merger with Rate Beer. Though the Executive Director, Joe Tucker, originally declined to comment on the merger, it appears that the transaction began in early 2016. However, stakeholders were not made aware of the exact nature of the purchase, only that a “big investor” was interested. They only recently found out in a press release on Friday, June 2, 2017.
 
Tucker assured Good Beer Hunting that the purchase would have no effect on the ratings on the site. “RateBeer is acting independently,” Tucker told writers at GBH. “We’ve always acted independently. The value of our scores is based on our independence. We’ll continue to operate in the same way.” He described the purchase of stake by ZX as beneficial to Rate Beer, saying  it would help the company “keep pace with technology and keep pace with the growth of the community.” Likewise, a representative for ZX said that Ab InBev’s interest in Rate Beer was purely “Insight into consumer trends”, saying, “It’s a better understanding of the beer consumer, and the beer markets globally. That’s really going to help us kind of keep our finger on the pulse.”
 
However, not everyone seems placated by the statements made by Rate Beer and ZX/AB InBev. Sam Calagione, founder and president of Dogfish Head Brewery out of Delaware, has publicly requested that all Dogfish Head beers be removed from Rate Beer network. “We believe this is a direct violation of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics and a blatant conflict of interest.” Calagione wrote. Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn similarly has requested removal from the site, writing that,  “AB doesn't buy companies to be "bros" - there is always a strategic initiative at play. Buying up beer rating sites, the nation's largest homebrewing site*, and acquiring other grassroots companies is definitely part of a larger strategic initiative.”
 
It’s unclear whether more breweries will follow suit and ask to be removed from the site. If they do, Rate Beer may not be as pleased with the transaction as it seems now to be.
 
*link provided by The Drink Nation
 
Photo via Flickr user Image Catalog
Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Shiner Beer Donates $100,000 to Hurricane Irma Relief

Shiner Beer Donates $100,000 to Hurricane Irma Relief

As hurricanes continue to devastate the US some breweries are helping out, including most recently The Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Sep 19, 2017
Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest 2017 in New York City

Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest 2017 in New York City

Here are some great party plans and place to keep in mind for this year's Oktoberfest in New York City....read more ›

by Kerry Jepsen Sep 19, 2017
You Can Get Drunk on Popcorn Now, If You Really Want To

You Can Get Drunk on Popcorn Now, If You Really Want To

A U.K. based company is making alcohol-infused popcorn at 5% ABV, if you really feel compelled to get drunk off your movie snack....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Sep 12, 2017
SPONSORED
New York City's Best Local Fall Beers

New York City's Best Local Fall Beers

Here in the Big Apple, there are tons of local breweries pumping out exciting brews for all seasons, and we are definitely excited to present our fall...read more ›

by Kerry Jepsen Sep 12, 2017
A Washington Distillery Makes Pickle Vodka and We're Into It

A Washington Distillery Makes Pickle Vodka and We're Into It

Blue Spirits Distilling has created a 120-proof, pickle flavored vodka that is just begging to be poured into your next Bloody Mary....read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Sep 12, 2017
You Can Now Drink Red Wine Out of a Forty, Just in Time for Fall

You Can Now Drink Red Wine Out of a Forty, Just in Time for Fall

If you're mourning the end of rose-in-a-forty season, don't worry: Forty Ounce Wines is now producing its first red wine in a forty, just in time for ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Sep 11, 2017
Here's Where You'll Be Drinking in New York City This Fall

Here's Where You'll Be Drinking in New York City This Fall

New York City is a big place, and what better way to fill that space than with a constant rotation of new ideas, new tricks, and new perspectives? Of ...read more ›

by Kerry Jepsen Sep 6, 2017
Lagunitas Brewing Co. Has Launched a Cannabis Beer

Lagunitas Brewing Co. Has Launched a Cannabis Beer

Working with CannaCraft Inc., a cannabis-extract manufacturing facility in nearby Santa Rosa, Lagunitas created the SuperCritical Ale, flavored with t...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Sep 6, 2017
Carnival Cruise Lines has Opened the First Brewery at Sea

Carnival Cruise Lines has Opened the First Brewery at Sea

The Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines has hopped aboard the microbrewing trend with the founding of RedFrog Brewery, the first ever craft brewery on a...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Sep 6, 2017
Things No One Asked For: The Guzzle Buddy Beer Bottle Glass

Things No One Asked For: The Guzzle Buddy Beer Bottle Glass

One company is making glasses you can screw right into the top of your beer bottle....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Sep 6, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close