Find happy hours and drink specials anywhere you are

US Justice Department to Investigate AB-InBev After Complaints of the Company Pushing Craft Beer out of Distributors

by Alexander Frane on Oct 20, 2015 in Beer
US Justice Department to Investigate AB-InBev After Complaints of the Company Pushing Craft Beer out of Distributors

Craft brewers may have more to worry about from AB-InBev than its acquisition of SABMIller, as the US Justice Department investigates the company’s purchase of multiple distributors.

Last week, the beer world was shaken by the news that AB-InBev had reached an agreement with its rival company, SABMiller, to purchase the latter. The resulting merger would create a behemoth that controls more than 30% of the world’s beer sales. The announcement came on the heels of the purchase of the Canadian Mill Street Brewery, and the purchase of Elysian, from Seattle, earlier this year. What was less reported was the acquisition of wholesalers: five of them in three states, to be exact.

In the US, beer is moved from breweries to stores and bars by third party companies, known as wholesalers or distributors. In this three-tier-system, beer makers do not sell their beers directly, but rely on these wholesalers to do so. However, laws exist that allow beer makers to purchase wholesalers, as is the case with AB-InBev.

Now, the US Justice system is investigating complaints that AB-InBev is creating a market where it drives out craft competitors by controlling the wholesalers. Craft brewers are claiming that once a wholesaler is purchased by AB-InBev, they stop buying the craft product, or simply don’t work to move the product. Instead, AB-InBev offers only its own products, including the small amount of craft breweries it owns, such as Elysian, 10 Barrel, and Goose Island. The strategy makes sense, as recent years have seen a plateau in global beer sales, while craft beer sales continue to climb.

This strategy makes sense when combined with the purchase of SABMiller, as well—the acquisition would give the company access to the African and southeast Asian markets, while the purchase of wholesalers would allow it more control over the domestic markets. The Justice Department is just launching its investigation; until some evidence is revealed, we can but speculate. 

Photo via Flickr user dlofink


Tags: Beer
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:
 
Using Peas to Make Gin Might Lead to More Environmentally Friendly Spirits, Studies Show

Using Peas to Make Gin Might Lead to More Environmentally Friendly Spirits, Studies Show

Scientists may have discovered a more environmentally friendly way to make one of the world's most popular spi...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 23, 2019
Drink a Classic Cocktail for a Good Cause During Negroni Week, June 24-30

Drink a Classic Cocktail for a Good Cause During Negroni Week, June 24-30

Negroni Week 2019 is June 24-30, so drink this classic cocktail for a good cause....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jun 19, 2019
What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

If you're taking an Uber, Lyft, or cab and feel unsafe, there are steps you can take to protect yourself....read more ›

by Nina Starner Jun 19, 2019
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Store Rectangle
D.C.'s Best Wine Bars

D.C.'s Best Wine Bars

Whether you're a wino or a wine novice, DC is home to a number of wine bars perfect for casual sipping or for expanding your palate. ...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen May 29, 2019
Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

This time on Behind the Bar, we spoke to Kat Corbo of The Study, who recently won Speed Rack 2019....read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 15, 2019
Where to Drink Outside in D.C. During Summer 2019

Where to Drink Outside in D.C. During Summer 2019

Patio weather has arrived! Grab your friends, stake a spot at the bar and take advantage of these outdoor spots for drinking and dining. ...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen May 14, 2019
Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

In a huge move for the American craft beer community, Boston Beer and Dogfish Head have agreed to a merger valued at $300 million dollars. ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 10, 2019
Neighborhood Bar Crawl: Adams Morgan

Neighborhood Bar Crawl: Adams Morgan

Here are some of our top picks featuring awesome beverage choices in addition to serving up delicious eats - burgers, Korean, Japanese and more - all ...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Apr 17, 2019
A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A new, high-end blend of Jack Daniel's whiskey, known as Jack Daniel's No. 27 Gold, which was previously only ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 15, 2019
Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon has debuted an entirely new label design, has expanded to more states...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 3, 2019
SPONSORED
View all Articles

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

Close