#TakeCraftBack Shines Light on Big Beer Problems

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the international beverage conglomerate, has made no secret of its goal to purchase a wide range of independent U.S. craft brewers. Anheuser first purchased Goose Island in 2011, and nine more have followed, with the most recent being Wicked Weed in North Carolina. It’s clear that Anheuser does not want to miss out on the incredible revenue opportunities that craft beer has created, but the small and independent craft beer community is becoming increasingly concerned about Big Beer’s entry into the craft beer market. In response, some clever members of the craft beer community have launched the #TakeCraftBack campaign complete with a website and crowdfunding goals. The website, www.takecraftback.com, asks visitors to “Help us raise the $213 billion we need to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev,” and goes on to explain, “America’s independent craft breweries turned the beer industry upside down. That’s why Anheuser-Busch InBev and its Big Beer cronies are buying us up left and right. Taking our independence – and your freedom of choice – away. But we won’t be muscled out. We’re launching the largest crowdfunding effort in history to turn the beer industry upside down again!” Despite the seemingly impossible nature of the campaign – the site itself even cracks the joke, “It’s only impossible if you really think about it” – more than 10,000 independent beer backers have already raised more than $3,000,000! As TakeCraftBack points out, that’s “roughly 0.001408507 percent of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s market value. Which makes you realize just how big the behemoth really is. Which is big. Really big. But we’re independent! Really independent! And we’re taking craft beer back from the Big Beer corporation, 0.001408507 percent at a time!”     Despite the humor, the #TakeCraftBack campaign hits on some very important points about the role of craft beer in the economy and general society. Last year along, craft brewers contributed nearly $70 billion to the U.S economy! Craft beer is also responsible for more than 450,000 full-time equivalent jobs, which is an essential step toward revitalizing neighborhoods. #TakeCraftBack reminds us that craft beer is about creative freedom, values, innovation, passion, and local roots. Big Beer can’t take that away!