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Old 02-25-2010, 01:56 AM   #1
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Default Beer Wars

I just watched this movie tonight. It was interesting for sure. On how Budweiser dominates the American Beer Industry and the struggles that craft/micro/regional breweries face. It opened my eyes to what is really going on in the beer industry.

For anyone that has Netflix it is available to watch instantly. If you got a few spare hours (maybe while you are brewing a batch) you should watch it.

Jeremy

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Old 02-25-2010, 02:07 AM   #2
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Gonna watch it this weekend. Thanks for letting us know that it's on Netflix. Very convenient.

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Old 02-25-2010, 02:57 AM   #3
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I watched it this morning and it made me want to grab my rifle and head down to Dogfishead to join whatever defense Sam is going to mount against that lawsuit. While I definitely respect the American Dream that originally was Budweiser, this movie shows them in the light of what they are today.

It definitely opened my eyes to the Three Tier System and the way store shelf-space is so protected and fought over.

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Old 02-25-2010, 03:18 AM   #4
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I don't mean to be a dick but there are a few very recent threads on this topic, which are linked to at the bottom of the page in the similar threads section.

Having said that, I enjoyed the film. It was definitely not intended for our audience though (the beer savvy).

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Old 02-25-2010, 03:42 AM   #5
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I'm not sure that all the conclusions drawn from this movie are correct. I was actually very disappointed with what this movie showed. I thought it would be more eye opening but it just came across to me as a bunch of whining.

Ask yourself this, "Is Anheuser Busch (AB) really doing anything wrong?" If they are, what is it they are doing wrong?

Wouldn't you hire a lawyer if you thought someone was infringing on your rights? What if someone had a trademark on the word "the?" Then no one would be able to use "the" in the name of their product. This is one purpose of our justice system and a very good use of our government. Actually, property protection is probably the most important role of our government. This is our system. Despite all the whining about our courts, overall it really is a good system.

Is it really that big of a deal that it is hard for that poor woman to sell her beer? Business is tough. Her old boss wouldn't even support her. Maybe it would be different if the Boston Beer Company weren't public. As CEO, he does have a responsibility to his shareholders. Don't whine about that either because there is absolutely nothing stopping you from becoming one of those shareholders. All you have to do is sign up at any of the dozen or so online stock brokers and buy a share. At the current price it shouldn't cost you more than $60 to say you are an owner of Sam Adams. Do you thing Sam Calagione or Jim Koch would seem like the happiest people in the world if what they did was easy? They both had a fantasic idea, came up with a fantastic product, designed a fantastic business plan, and executed by working harder than I'm sure almost anyone on here has worked on anything.

There are hundreds of microbrews out there. She's got to compete with them too. Who's to stop one of them from making a caffeinated beer? Just because AB is doing it doesn't mean they are jerks for doing it. Isn't it conceited for her to assume they are copying her beer? Maybe they copied someone else's idea. Maybe they came up with it on their own. What if there was only one company who could sell IPA?!

The only thing I really saw that bothered me was the shelf space. At the same time, I bet the percentage of shelf space AB takes up is less than their percent of beer sales.

Again, it's supposed to be hard. If it were easy anyone could do it. How would Sam Calagione (my mancrush) stand out if anyone could do it?

I'm not saying the system is perfect. What I am saying is this is the system we have and it took a lot of hard working people to get it there. They weren't out to get anyone. They were looking out for themselves but if they went too far we have a system in place that is able to correct it. It probably won't be easy to correct it. Would you really want to live in a country where you could just change things on a whim while sitting at home on your computer? That sounds like the definition of corruption if you ask me.

I think I could write all night on this but I'm out of beer so I think I'll stop.

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Old 02-25-2010, 03:45 AM   #6
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5 Stars ... great flic +1 to anyone

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Old 02-25-2010, 03:46 AM   #7
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I give it a -1 star for propaganda.

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Old 02-25-2010, 05:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsme6582 View Post
Wouldn't you hire a lawyer if you thought someone was infringing on your rights? What if someone had a trademark on the word "the?" Then no one would be able to use "the" in the name of their product. This is one purpose of our justice system and a very good use of our government. Actually, property protection is probably the most important role of our government. This is our system. Despite all the whining about our courts, overall it really is a good system.
I agree, but the first part of what you said made no sense. Also, there's a difference between aggressively fighting infringement and peppering someone with completely frivolous lawsuits in order to bog them down with legal fees and time wasted in court. This is clearly the latter. AB has no chance of winning that suit because its complete and utter bull****. Maybe you misunderstood the suit. AB is suing DFH because "chicory" and "punkin" (not even pumpkin") are too ambiguous and might create product confusion. Yet "natural light" is probably the most ambiguous name ever, as the doc points out.

If I were Calagione, I'd change the name and be done with it. You fight, and AB wins, even if they lose their suit. This same **** happened/is happening with Monster energy drinks and Vermonster beer.

On a different subject, AB has every right to compete with that woman. Moonshot is a terrible name and idea. Apparently she never heard of sparks, joose, and all that other kiddie **** that has had caffeine and alcohol for years. Also, newsflash: alcohol negates caffeine. If you really want to stay wired when you're drunk, cocaine or adderall is the only answer.

Also, craft beer drinkers don't care about a beer with caffeine. What did this woman learn when she was (apparently) Jim Koch's number two gal?
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Old 02-25-2010, 05:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Ask yourself this, "Is Anheuser Busch (AB) really doing anything wrong?" If they are, what is it they are doing wrong?
They're lobbying aggressively to maintain the three tier system that reduces the amount of choices available to consumers at retail by crowding out competitors. They're using their clout in the market to extort retailers into preserving and expanding their ridiculous shelf space. They file frivolous lawsuits against competitors. The Dogfish example is just one of the more recent ones, back in the 80's they made Pete's change their label because it featured a dog that looked like Spuds McKenzie, this despite the fact that Pete's label had been in the market for years before Spuds had been used by AB in their marketing. Pete's could have fought but the legal fees would have bankrupted their company. The shameful truth is that our legal system favors those with deep pockets. Being in the right means absolutely nothing when you don't have the cash to press your case. Shame on us for allowing our system to become such an embarassment and shame on AB for taking advantage of it so brazenly.

The point the movie makes (despite some admitted flaws) is that the beer marke is an uneven playing field. You might not like or want to try Moonshot (and trust me neither do I - caffeinated beer is stupid gimmick), but there's no reason at all that she shouldn't be able to get her product on the shelf. The point is that there are hundreds of small breweries out there in exactly the same position that she's in - fighting tooth and nail for a few inches of space on the shelf at your local supermarket.

AB became one of the biggest breweries in the nation through some real brewing innovations (refrigerated box cars, pasteurization, etc.) but their behavior has long since become anticompetitive.
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Old 02-25-2010, 10:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsme6582 View Post
I'm not sure that all the conclusions drawn from this movie are correct. I was actually very disappointed with what this movie showed. I thought it would be more eye opening but it just came across to me as a bunch of whining.
I agree about the whole whining thing...I could have done without that. However, I think you missed some of the main points of the movie.

1)The lawsuit AB is filing against Dogfish. AB has no patent on "Punkin" they just want to bully them around. Dogfish has two choices fight them in court or change the name. Either way AB wins. If they change the name AB has successfully bullied them around and made them change to a less recognizable name. They have built that beer on the Punkin name. Can you imagine someone telling AB they have to change the name Budweisser because it is too generic of a name? If they fight in court, even if the court sides with Dogfish AB still wins because both sides will spend millions of dollars but that will be a drop in the hat for AB and a major major expense for Dogfish.

2)The whole three teir system is a joke. If I want to start my own brewery and sell my beer out of the back of my truck to friends and neighbors and slowly grow that way I'm not allowed to! What is more American than selling your goods directly to the public? That is how most businesses get started not by creating relationships with huge massive wholesalers. That comes later. A multi billion dollar wholesaler has no reason to invest storage and time into a startup company that may or may not even sell $100,000 their first year.

That's my two cents.

Jeremy
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