From the HBD Archive
From: ingr!ingr!b11!mspe5!guy@uunet.UU.NET
Subject: Re: HANDS OFF Chezch Budvar!!
Date: 1992-03-10 16:34:21 GMT

Desmond Mottram writes:

> >From: synchro!chuck@uunet.UU.NET
> > Subject: Budvar
> >
> [Reprint of Camra article about AB buying shares in Czech Budvar deleted]
> >
> > Elsewhere in What's Brewing, they editorialize that the tone of the offer
> > sounds more like A-B wants 100% of Budvar, not just 30% as they claim.
> > Certainly some of the promises that A-B is making require more than 30%
> > control to guarantee. As you might expect, CAMRA is not in favor of a small
> > traditional brewery like Budvar being absorbed by a giant like A-B.
> >
> > While I agree on principle, I must admit that the idea of getting Budvar over
> > here is attractive.

> Take great care!! The whole point is that, time and time again, bitter
> experience shows that when a small traditional brewery gets absorbed by a
> giant, within a very short time there is no small brewery, and you can kiss
> goodbye to getting Czech Budvar anywhere - ever. If the small brewery made
> bad beer, perhaps no-one would mind too much, but in this case the beer they
> make is one of the finest in the world - it's a real aristocrat.

Exactly! With microbrewed beer rising in popularity (and with this year's
drop in sales of the brewing giants' "product") how long do you think it will
be before AB or Miller or Adolph Coors, etc. "wish to buy a stake in Anchor"
or Sam Adams or Sierra Nevada, to name just a few. The U.S. brewing giants
have the resources to buy up the competition and would rather do so than
compete directly. Too many bean counters telling them that real beer is a
"fad" or only a "niche" market.

> Promises mean nothing to these people, they will make them to keep others
> quiet and then break them, weeping crocodile tears of remorse, wringing
> their hands and pleading "economic necessity", "brewery surplus to
> requirements" or whatever cynical euphamism is the trend at the time.

Sadly, the ethics of too many big businesses.

> Many of us [in Camra] believe their real aim is to kill off a competitor.
> One who brews far better beer and who, rubbing salt into the wound, has in
> many countries the right to the Budwieser name (for the simple reason that
> the Czech brewery is older than the US one). If you think the AB has an
> altruistic wish to bring better beer to a wider audience, then you have had
> no experience of the ruthless practices of big breweries in this country
> and elsewhere. Your naaivity would be touching if it were not tragic. Far
> from supporting it, you should be backing a vociferous campaign to stop it.

I agree with Desmond here. I am against any of the big U.S. breweries
getting their hands on a brewery that puts out good quality real beer. Look
what they've done to their own beer!

> Think about it, if AB really cared for quality beer they would make it
> themselves, wouldn't they?

This is it in a nutshell. Time and again we have heard people describe
touring these megabreweries in awe of their sheer size and resources. They
easily have all of the tools necessary to produce real beer if they so desired.
But, remember people, you really want clear, piss-yellow, ultra-light rice and
corn beer! Their market researchers told them so. People who appreciate beer
true to its tradition do not exist in these people's minds! I understand that
Miller produces (produced?) an all-barley beer called "Miller Special Reserve".
My cousin works for Miller in Huntsville and he said (a year or two ago) that
they were test-marketing it in larger cities, with the closest to us being
Atlanta. I saw it advertised the last time I was in Boulder but, with all of
the known good beer around, I didn't get around to trying it. Anyway, I asked
my cousin recently if we were likely to see Miller Special Reserve in Huntsville
anytime soon. His reply? "We're more likely to see the new Ultra-light beer
they're coming out with". Progress man, progress.

- --
Guy McConnell (...uunet!ingr!b11!mspe5!guy)
"Gimme that 'Ray Charles' beer!"


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