Reflections on today's State Department Investment Hearing
Another Race to the Bottom

Hopping Mad

We wrote last year of the foreign multinational takeover of Budweiser, that staple of American working class life, and how trade pacts have limited efforts to encourage the local beer movement.

Now, the fallout from beer nationalism is rearing its head in the ongoing Gates Gate scandal, where the president has invited Henry Louis Gates and Sgt. Crowley to "have a beer at the White House" and settle their differences. Reports the WSJ:

Late Wednesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs hinted the presidential cooler will likely be stocked with what he understood to be the two guests' own personal favorites -- Red Stripe and Blue Moon.

"The president will drink Bud Light," Mr. Gibbs added.

The problem is that all three beers are products of foreign companies. Red Stripe is brewed by London-based Diageo PLC. Blue Moon is sold by a joint venture in which London-based SABMiller has a majority stake.

And Bud Light? It is made by Anheuser-Busch -- which is now known as Anseuser-Busch InBev NV after getting bought last year by a giant Belgian-Brazilian company.

Among rival brewers, the news fell flat. "We would hope they would pick a family-owned, American beer to lubricate the conversation," said Bill Manley, a spokesman for the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., a California-based brewer that happens to be family-owned.

Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Co., which brews Samuel Adams, decried "the foreign domination of something so basic and important to our culture as beer."

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