Spirt of Philadelphia First Friday 2017 Leaderboard

AB InBev Buys Minority Shares in RateBeer.com: Craft Beer Brands Ask to Be Removed From Site

by Alexander Frane on Jun 12, 2017 in Beer

Global conglomerate Anheuser-Busch InBev is well known for acquiring beer companies, including multiple craft breweries, as well as its #1 competitor, SABMiller, in a $100 billion dollar transaction. There is a growing concern in the beer community that ABI is growing too large and risks becoming a monopoly. For those that share the concern, the news that ABI now has minority stake in RateBeer.com, a popular beer review site, offers little comfort. It might be especially concerning considering the relative anonymity in which the purchase happened.

Good Beer Hunting was the first to report the news after clever sleuthing on their part uncovered information about the purchase in March of 2017. Writers at GBH found the LinkedIn profile of a product manager at ZX Ventures, a subsidiary of ABI, who was supposedly involved in a merger with Rate Beer. Though the Executive Director, Joe Tucker, originally declined to comment on the merger, it appears that the transaction began in early 2016. However, stakeholders were not made aware of the exact nature of the purchase, only that a “big investor” was interested. They only recently found out in a press release on Friday, June 2, 2017.
 
Tucker assured Good Beer Hunting that the purchase would have no effect on the ratings on the site. “RateBeer is acting independently,” Tucker told writers at GBH. “We’ve always acted independently. The value of our scores is based on our independence. We’ll continue to operate in the same way.” He described the purchase of stake by ZX as beneficial to Rate Beer, saying  it would help the company “keep pace with technology and keep pace with the growth of the community.” Likewise, a representative for ZX said that Ab InBev’s interest in Rate Beer was purely “Insight into consumer trends”, saying, “It’s a better understanding of the beer consumer, and the beer markets globally. That’s really going to help us kind of keep our finger on the pulse.”
 
However, not everyone seems placated by the statements made by Rate Beer and ZX/AB InBev. Sam Calagione, founder and president of Dogfish Head Brewery out of Delaware, has publicly requested that all Dogfish Head beers be removed from Rate Beer network. “We believe this is a direct violation of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics and a blatant conflict of interest.” Calagione wrote. Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn similarly has requested removal from the site, writing that,  “AB doesn't buy companies to be "bros" - there is always a strategic initiative at play. Buying up beer rating sites, the nation's largest homebrewing site*, and acquiring other grassroots companies is definitely part of a larger strategic initiative.”
 
It’s unclear whether more breweries will follow suit and ask to be removed from the site. If they do, Rate Beer may not be as pleased with the transaction as it seems now to be.
 
*link provided by The Drink Nation
 
Photo via Flickr user Image Catalog
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:
 
Drake's Dad Makes Fun of Him in New Ad for Virginia Black Whiskey

Drake's Dad Makes Fun of Him in New Ad for Virginia Black Whiskey

Dennis Graham, an R&B singer, very suave gentleman, and Drake's dad, stars in a new ad with his son to promote his new brand of whiskey, Virginia Blac...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Nov 21, 2017
Beer Stores and Boutiques in Philadelphia Open on Thanksgiving Day

Beer Stores and Boutiques in Philadelphia Open on Thanksgiving Day

Here's where to go for your last minute beer needs. ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 21, 2017
Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Whether it's for the holidays or you have a special birthday coming up, Philadelphia has some amazing options when it comes to event spaces. ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 6, 2017
SPONSORED
Skygarten Rectangle Ad
Art in the Age Has Reopened in Old City with a Bottle Shop and Tasting Room

Art in the Age Has Reopened in Old City with a Bottle Shop and Tasting Room

Art in the Age, which has been on North 3rd St. in Old City for more than a decade, has reopened after a massi...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 20, 2017
Philly's Best Happy Hours: Butcher Bar's Late Night 'Hoppy Meal' $10 Burger & Beer Combo

Philly's Best Happy Hours: Butcher Bar's Late Night 'Hoppy Meal' $10 Burger & Beer Combo

This time, we're shining the spotlight on Butcher Bar, which, in addition to a regular happy hour, features a ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 20, 2017
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Opens for the Season, November 24

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Opens for the Season, November 24

The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation has announced the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest will open for its 24th season on Friday, November 24 at 1 ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Nov 20, 2017
Bars Open on Thanksgiving 2017 in Philadelphia

Bars Open on Thanksgiving 2017 in Philadelphia

While the liquor stores may be closed, many bars in Philadelphia are kind enough to open their doors to all of us in need of some relaxation. ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Nov 15, 2017
Yards' New Brewery on Spring Garden is Now Open

Yards' New Brewery on Spring Garden is Now Open

Yards Brewing Co. has a brand new space at 5th & Spring Garden with a new taproom, an excellent local chef, and more, and is now open....read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 15, 2017
Get in Formation: A Beyonce-Themed Bar is Coming to Brooklyn

Get in Formation: A Beyonce-Themed Bar is Coming to Brooklyn

Starting on December 1, Brooklyn bar Leyenda will transform itself into a real-life Beyhive for the holidays in honor of Beyonce....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Nov 14, 2017
Deck Your Halls With These Whiskey-Filled Ornaments

Deck Your Halls With These Whiskey-Filled Ornaments

Forget the tinsel and string lights - the UK's Lakes Distillery has released a line of booze-filled ornaments just in time to make your holiday season...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Nov 14, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

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

Close