Yesterday, the Brewer’s Association decided to launch the #TakeCraftBack campaign, a crowdfunded effort with a fake goal of raising $213 billion to ‘buy out’ AB-Inbev. Serving mainly as a publicity stunt, the campaign doesn’t intend to actually collect a penny from anyone, unless
they get enough pledges to hit the $213 billion goal, and instead they grow their email list, and offer you free swag.
Yes, this is a serious press release that went out. Yes, THE Brewer’s Association is behind this. The not-for- profit group that’s funded by its members with its mission to help foster growth of independent craft breweries. This is what they’re doing with your money.
Sure, as a site we’re divided on how we feel about the craft beer buyouts by ‘big beer’, but to go this far just doesn’t make sense to any of us. What does this accomplish? Does the Brewer’s Association really think that craft beer drinkers aren’t aware of what was happening with buyouts? And, given everything happening in our country and around the world, do you really think that giving money for a fake campaign is a wise allocation of resources?
After reviewing the information in the press release, we found ourselves wondering; doesn’t the Brewer’s Association have anything better to do with their time and this money?
We decided, apparently no. Since it looks like they need help, we’re here to offer constructive and useful suggestions on what we think the Brewer’s Association should do with that $213 billion:
- Raise money for that diversity initiative since it apparently takes a year just to form a committee, and will take even longer to take action.
- Donate it here: http://safebars.org
- Fund collaborations between brewpubs and ride sharing initiatives instead of hand-wringing over responsible DUI laws.
- Start a grant program for brewers owned by people from marginalized groups, or even a scholarship for people from marginalized groups to go to classes or gain certification.
- An ad campaign demonstrating the ways craft breweries improve their local communities.
- Provide smaller breweries with tools they need to stand up against these bigger breweries. Suggestions include:
- How to make a strong presentation to a restaurant, bar, distributor, etc. to show why they should carry said breweries beer.
- How to better market themselves to the public.
- How to better balance their financials.
- And while we realize there are some tools on the BA website for members, the current info and tools are so basic and barely useful, that just updating what’s there is a better use of time and energy.
Oh, and we’re not alone in thinking this is just ridiculous:
How much do we need to raise to get every BA brewery a basic lab?
— Joel (@Brewkkake) October 16, 2017
Nobody. Nobody believes this. https://t.co/28a2LqFH6A
— Jason Notte (@Notteham) October 16, 2017
This whole crowdfunding gimmick is beneath you, @brewersassoc. Or should be. Fight them on the merits, not on shtick.
— Bill (@DCBeerBill) October 16, 2017
One thing is for sure: AB-InBev wasted no time exploiting this campaign to their benefit, proudly stating the contributions they are making to their communities and our country as a whole. Gemma Hart, VP of Communications for Anheuser-Busch, responded to the campaign
“We can take a joke!” she said on company’s behalf.
But “while the fake money for this campaign ‘piles’ up, we will keep focusing our donations on giving back to communities across our country. We’re proud of the more than 2.8 million cans of emergency drinking water we’ve donated in 2017 alone, with more than two million of those
cans going out the past month alone to Texas, Puerto Rico, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Northern California.
“As a company, with 18,000 U.S. employees and together with our craft partners [some 10 of them purchased over the last six years], we’ve given more than $13 million to worthy causes this year. That’s a campaign worth celebrating in my book!”
Listen, we’re not here supporting ‘big beer’. We’re never here to support big beer. But, right now, this campaign is making craft beer look like a bunch of idiots, and honestly we’re better than that.