Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Who Makes Your Beer?

Is it important to you who makes your beer?

Do you support local by buying local as much as possible?

Do you support local but will buy imports or nation/regionally distributed craft brands? Do you usually avoid buying brands made by large brewing corporations?

Does it not matter too much, you will buy and drink beer from breweries of any size?

That is the question, and those are the three possible answers in a poll being administered by homebrew guru Charlie Papazian. The voting is open until midnight on 12/12/12. This is a repeat of the same poll completed in 2008 and 2010 with an increasing trend toward people caring about who makes the beer they consume. It brings up an interesting point that I feel needs more acknowledgement in our current economic downturn. That point is the necessity to buy local/U.S. made. As our jobs are being stripped from our country and sent to foreign countries, companies like AB Inbev and Wal-Mart are absolutely thriving. That should be a wake up call to consumers. What’s the real cost of convenience? Your neighbors job? Your friend’s job? Your job?

Some people don’t see the importance of not drinking Bud Light or any other myriad of AB Inbev offerings. “If I like the taste of the beer what’s the big deal? Why is there such hatred for the big 3?” If you haven’t seen the documentary Beer Wars, you should. More recently I came across an article on, “The Plot to Destroy America’s Beer”. What’s so bad about Bud Light? One answer is after Inbev acquired one of the most red blooded American brands ever developed, Anheuser-Busch, they laid off 1,400 people and sold off $9.4 billion in assets. It was not to reinvest in the company and make it stronger, it was to give themselves GIANT bonuses. “I go to Wal-Mart because they have everything I need there and cheap, what’s the big deal.” I had the same mindset before I watched the documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices. Putting local business owners out of business while getting tax breaks to do so. Full time employees being paid below poverty level. Not offering a realistic medical insurance option while at the same time advising their employees to file for state assistance instead. A 400 billion dollar company indirectly using tax dollars to pay for their employees’ health insurance should outrage any tax payer. This documentary is rather dated being released in 2005, so I don’t know how accurately the practices outlined in this film represent what’s going on today. The fact is, these practices were in place at Wal-Mart at some point and have undoubtedly hurt this country.  (On a side note when you go to and do a search for "Wal-mart" the second result is Playboy: Women of Wal-Mart 2004.  I bet that is a humdinger)

I’m not trying to make a political statement one way or another. I’m not a lefty or righty or whatever other description politicians try to categorize themselves and their followers. I simply think consumers in this day and age should make a conscious effort to support our fellow citizens by buying local/USA made. I’m not going to lie to you and claim I buy exclusively American made goods. However, I have been making a more conscious effort to buy American made goods when possible.

I found a handy website to get you on the fast track to buying American made:



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