Are you sure that pint in your hands is craft, beer lovers? Wicked Weed, 10 Barrel, Elysian, and several other craft breweries have been bought out by Big Beer over the past few years, causing an uproar from the craft beer community. Now, it appears that enough is enough. Independent brewers are fed up and fighting back through the latest crowdfunding movement Take Craft Back. The largest crowdfunding campaign effort the beer community has seen yet--and the world, for that matter--Take Craft Back seeks to raise $213 billion to buy out Anheuser-Busch InBev. You heard that right, the craft brewing community is seeking to buy out the largest beer conglomerate in the world.
AB InBev has been acquiring small and independent craft breweries throughout the country. This is not because they love craft beer, but because they love the profits from loyal beer drinkers. While we all love profits, in the craft beer world, it's not all about the money. As TakeCraftBack puts it,
"When you think of craft beer, you don't think about a publicly traded company worth $213 billion, for whom the bottom line is everything. Independent craft brewers aren't like Big Beer. We're not numbers people. We're more driven by people and our principles than by profit. We're pretty sure we have a calculator somewhere, but we're not sure where. We're beer people. Brewing beer our way, for our community, is all we want to do."
The Brewers Association--the not-for-profit trade association--launched the #TakeCraftBack campaign to gain pledges of support to take over Big Beer. While the hefty price tag of AB InBev's worth of $213 billion is an offer they won't be able to refuse, buying out the conglomerate isn't the ultimate goal.
The Brewers Association strives to raise awareness on the serious issue of Big Beer buying out craft U.S. breweries, with the humorous rallying that only comes from the craft brewing community. Take a look.
There are a lot of Daves--I mean Steves--out there in the beer industry showing up to work not because of the money. Let's face it, you don't make much working in beer production, but because they have a love for craft beer, that is what makes producing independent craft beer worth it.
This new campaign from the Brewers Association is about that love and has culminated in the largest crowdfunding effort yet. Keeping craft 'craft', the association that represents more than 4,000 US brewery members and 46,000 American Homebrewers Association members wants to protect the sanctity of the industry and keep good beer made from local brewers on store shelves.
Small and independent craft breweries bring forth a sense of community and pride in local brands. They give the people choice as a consumer apart from Budweiser and Coors, and brew up some of the best damn beers Big Beer doesn't have the time to try and match. That's why Big Beer buys up the market rather than enter it with their own recipes.
In an effort to keep the sense of community and quality in craft beer, Take Craft Back is raising funds to shed light on the subject. They have already put $2 million into the "metaphorical bank" that won't be drawn out unless they reach their bid. That's right, pledges will only be taken if they reach their goal. Even if they don't, free swag will be given to contributors as they raise all hell in awareness.
This isn't the first step the Brewer's Association has taken to raise awareness. Earlier this year they launched a craft beer logo that would distinguish craft products from Big Beer. Big Beer fails to identify itself as such in their acquisitions, fooling people into believing they are drinking an authentic craft brand. Like Goose Island. Some might believe they are drinking craft, but Goose Island has been an AB InBev brand since 2011.
Even Texas' fast growing Karbach Brewing Co. is now an AB InBev name. With more acquisitions likely to come, the Brewers Association is taking a stance. They are taking craft back. To find out more about the Brewers Association's Take Craft Back campaign or to pledge a donation, head on over to TakeCraftBack.com.