Friday, May 6, 2011

Was Brew Masters canceled due to Big Beer's threats?

Anthony Bourdain from the popular Travel Channel show accuses “big beer” via Twitter of threatening to pull advertisement if the show Brew Masters was not canceled. Brew Masters was on the same network and produced by the same company as Bourdain’s show, No Reservations. To read more see for their report.

For those of you who have not seen Brew Masters, it was a show about the inner workings of one of the most popular craft breweries in the US. Personally, I only watched the show one time. Not because I was not interested, but to my knowledge Brew Masters was only advertised for its premiere. I didn’t see any other advertisements announcing when the show was going to be aired and therefore never knew when it was going to be aired again. The one show I did get to see was very interesting and had relevance outside of just how the brewery operated. I would definitely have watched it again and not just for the beer content.

The accusation from Bourdain is right in line with the message presented in the documentary film,
Beer Wars . The big beer conglomerates use tactics (money) to undermine small brewery operations and keep new small breweries from entering the market.  And if they can't beat them they just buy them, see Goose Island.  In Beer Wars it is outlined how beer lobbyist influence Congress to uphold antiquated laws put in place at the end of prohibition. These laws uphold the three-tiered system and give the giant beer companies an upper hand by having direct influence on distributors. Thus, distributors will not carry a local small brewery because big beer has purchased all of the distributor’s space. This space is purchased whether big beer need’s it or not, effectively pushing out much of the local competition. This is all in theory, but some point to the money that lobbyist pay to Congress as proof of concept. Anheuser-Busch is listed on as a 67th out of 100 heavy hitters of all time from 1989-2010. As a side note, if you want to see the top spenders as listed by which do not include any beer companies but may be of interest.

So if you don’t already, please support craft breweries. Not only is the beer light years better than the advertised garbage, you will be supporting local people.


1 comment:

  1. The movie Beer Wars is now uploaded in its entirety for free on Check it out!