American craft brewing trade group, The Brewers Association has launched a cheeky campaign to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev in a bid to highlight how many small brewers the multinational has snapped-up in recent years.
The not-for-profit organisation says: 'Over the past several years, "Big Beer" has been attempting to buy their way into the craft beer movement by acquiring small breweries at a rapid rate and using their acquisitions to invent craft brewing bona-fides.'
Big Beer creates an "illusion of choice", but we are presenting them with a reality check – and hopefully, at the end of the day, with a real cheque too
Now in a humorous twist it has launched a $213 billion crowdfunding campaign to turn the tables; thought to be the largest crowdfunding campaign ever. So far it has raised just under $2m from almost 6,000 backers. Pledges will only be collected after all $213 billion has been secured.
A statement to mark the launch from its fictional spokesman ‘Andy’, described as 'an avowed lover of craft beer', said: 'Since 2011, Anheuser-Busch InBev has quietly acquired 10 small and independent breweries, but they won’t tell you that on their packaging. Just try to name all 10 without Googling…exactly.
'Big Beer creates an "illusion of choice", but we are presenting them with a reality check – and hopefully, at the end of the day, with a real cheque too.'
AB InBev has certainly had a busy time of it of late, including the £79bn takeover of rival SAB Miller. It has also acquired breweries including London’s Camden Town Brewery in 2015, North Carolina-based Wicked Weed Brewing in May, and Australian brewer 4 Pines in September.
Andy added: 'Independent craft brewers refuse to be muscled out by Big Beer. And we are uniting on an unprecedented scale to take on Big Beer and their efforts to make it harder for beer drinkers to find their favourite independent craft beers at their favourite bars, liquor stores and restaurants.'