I just had to share this article from Alex Beam of the Boston Globe. Not only is it well written, witty and entertaining, it certainly does address the issues weighing on everyone’s minds in regards to Belgian-based InBev’s almost final acquisition of our (formerly) all-American brewer, Anheuser-Busch.
I’d like to note that the author’s opinions do not necessarily reflect my own, as despite many of my coworkers’ disgust, I like Stella. To be honest, I like Sam Adams and Sea World too.
Check it out:
“Assuming that toothless US regulators rubber-stamp the deal, Belgium-based beer conglomerate InBev will soon be taking over America’s largest brewer, St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch. I know what you are thinking: How will this $52 billion takeover affect me?
As a public service, I will sift through the deal’s most pressing concerns in question-and-answer format.
Q. With Anheuser-Busch in the hands of the Belgians, with Miller owned by South Africans, and with the red-blooded, flag-waving, homophobic Coors family beer now half-owned by (gasp) Canadians – will Americans still have access to bad beer?
A. Not to worry. Americans will enjoy continued access to thin, watery brew, even during the delicate InBev-Busch consolidation period, when bootlicking Busch executives try to figure out which of Belgium’s three national languages – Dutch, French, or Walloon – they should bother learning.
It is important to note that InBev already makes plenty of bad beer on its own. Stella Artois, originally brewed for dipping the Belgian national dish, french fries, is the Budweiser of Belgium. Here is an even-handed Stella review from the website ratebeer.com: ‘Ugh, how plain. . . . Generic aromas and flavors of light malt, weak hops, and a hint of yeast (if you manage to get some that isn’t skunky). The palate is the same as Coke’s. Don’t buy it. Please.’
Q. The Belgians have said they will dump ‘noncore’ assets of the new company to pay off debt. Could the plodding, overbred Clydesdales be heading for the glue factory?A. It’s more likely the interlopers will dump A-B’s ‘fun’ parks, including notorious mammalian prison camps such as SeaWorld. Why would Anheuser abandon its trademark, slow-paced ‘image’ advertising, in which August Busch IV stares into the camera and assures the viewer . . . something. I wouldn’t know. Whenever his face comes on the TV, I head for the kitchen to yank an Anchor Steam porter out of the refrigerator.
Q. With billions of kegs of US beer now under foreign control, should Congress and the Bush administration consider filling the Strategic Beer Reserve?A. Unless Americans learn to conserve our precious beer resources, for instance by drinking tasteless, low-octane ‘light’ swill, the SBR – empty since Prohibition – may have to be reactivated. In the past, Chicagoans have been receptive to the idea of draining Lake Michigan and refilling it with healthy American bock.
Q. What about other national security implications? Before they accepted InBev’s massive payoff, the Anheuser directors raised the specter of Americans drinking . . . Cuban beer.A. It is true that InBev owns several Cuban labels that would probably find an eager audience in Castroist enclaves like Brattleboro and Northampton. But as long as right-wing loons control South Florida electoral politics, the prospect of seeing Bucanero at your local Bertucci’s is about as remote as Hugo Chavez throwing out the first ball at the World Series.
Q. Before the deal was struck, President-presumptive Barack Obama declared that ‘it would be a shame if Bud is foreign owned. I think we should be able to find an American company that is interested in purchasing Anheuser-Busch if in fact Anheuser-Busch feels that it’s necessary to sell.’ Is it possible that Obama was making a vacuous, pandering proclamation in the crucial swing state of Missouri?A. President-presumptive Obama is a new kind of politician who practices an entirely new brand of politics. It is unthinkable that he would toss off a witless sound bite for a quick headline or for short-term political gain.
Q. Did you watch CNBC’s mindless advertorial ‘American Originals: Budweiser’ last week? Was that some kind of joke? Were they not aware that Budweiser was being brewed in Central Europe in the 18th century, roughly a hundred years before the piratical Adolphus Busch stole the name?A. ‘Czech Originals: Budweiser’ doesn’t sound like a ratings hit in the making. Outside of Prague, that is.
Q. In writing a column about beer, it wouldn’t be like you not to take a cheap shot at the Boston Beer Co.’s flagship Sam Adams brand, even though its founder and brewmaster Jim Koch has been unfailingly gracious in the face of your previous attacks.A. I’m glad there is still an American-owned company making bad beer. But Jim can’t do it all by himself.”
[techtags:ANHEUSER BUSCH, INBEV, BUD, COORS, MILLER, BUDWEISER]