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theheadonthedoor

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No shame on anyone that will continue to drink these, but due to their ownership of AB In-bev, MillerCoors, North American Breweries, Heineken, and other beer conglomerates, along with their market control exploitation, pay-to-play unethical practices, and millions in big business lobbying to ruin new and smaller breweries, I will no longer drink anything tied with the following brands:

Widmer
Kona
Red Hook
Ballast Point
10 Barrel
Elysian
Lagunitas
Breckinridge
Goose Island
Golden Road
Hop Valley
Pyramid
Portland Brewing
Saint Archer
Wicked Weed

There are more but I live in the PNW and this is what I see.

I'm sure they're all great guys and I'm absolutely certain that the quality of their beer has not changed, but I care more about craft brewing as a whole than I do about trying every new beer and supporting some of these consistently fantastic products. It's not worth it if it is hurting the industry as a whole.

Some other buyouts, while not always great, are not necessarily bad either. A third of Founder's is owned by a Spanish company, but since they have no market in America, they are not affecting the American beer scene. This is a grey area and hugely a case by case basis.

You don't know how deep the rabbit hole goes, and the sort of money that is being paid to politicians to illicit illegal practices to make sure that when you go into a bar or gas station, you basically have to support the big guys until every small brewery is forced to close.

Also, don't trust Ratebeer or The Beer Necessities. They are owned by the conglomerates, too, and have already started changing ratings and media views to reflect their own agenda instead of those of the people.*
 

madscientist451

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due to their ownership of AB In-bev, MillerCoors, North American Breweries, Heineken, and other beer conglomerates, along with their market control exploitation, pay-to-play unethical practices, and millions in big business lobbying to ruin new and smaller breweries,



You don't know how deep the rabbit hole goes, and the sort of money that is being paid to politicians to illicit illegal practices to make sure that when you go into a bar or gas station, you basically have to support the big guys until every small brewery is forced to close.
Why don't you actually name the politicians who are accepting bribes to pass laws that enable certain companies to "illegally" control the beer marketplace?
If there is some grand conspiracy to use "unethical practices" to keep small breweries from opening and put others out of business, it doesn't look like its working.
If you haven't noticed, there are currently more than 5,300 breweries operating in the US. There are almost another 1,900 that have been issued permits that haven't opened yet.
https://www.brewbound.com/news/number-permitted-us-breweries-surpasses-7000-2016
Just because every store doesn't carry every brand of beer doesn't mean that there is something unethical or illegal going on. The store owner can sell what they want and some choose to only stock fast moving mega brands. Other stores have a wider selection and if that is your choice, you can go there.
If you go into a Toyota dealer, does the salesman offer to sell you a Honda from the dealer on the other side of town? You are the consumer, you can select what brand of whatever product you want.
I find it puzzling why some people use the phrase "beer industry" but then complain that large industrial concerns are doing what they are supposed to do: maximize profits to their owners.
 

Yooper

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Yep, that's part of the list of beers I won't buy anymore either. Unfortunately, there are lots more.

People can choose what they wish to support, and the only way to do that is with their dollars.

I have other businesses I won't support (like Walmart). I'm sure they don't miss my money, but I wouldn't be able to stand by my convictions if I bought from them. The same is true with InBev.

The illegal stuff comes from owning distributorships (illegal for breweries to own distributorships) and paying kickbacks to business who display their products on shelf space. I have a friend who owns a brewery, and he's self-distributing because he didn't want to "pay to play" to the distributor (owned by a company owned by InBev).

I don't think people should be heavily criticized for standing by their convictions. If you want to buy from InBev, please do. But for others, who choose not to, that should be respected.
 

triethylborane

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Some other buyouts, while not always great, are not necessarily bad either. A third of Founder's is owned by a Spanish company, but since they have no market in America, they are not affecting the American beer scene. This is a grey area and hugely a case by case basis.
The Spanish company, through its 1/3 ownership in Founders, now has a market in the US. So, they do affect the beer scene, its just through Founders.


You don't know how deep the rabbit hole goes, and the sort of money that is being paid to politicians to illicit illegal practices to make sure that when you go into a bar or gas station, you basically have to support the big guys until every small brewery is forced to close.
Do you have any proof of the politicians being paid to ensure that craft breweries are kept out of bars and gas stations? Because its strange, I can go to the two closest bars to my house and about 80% of the beer they have on tap isn't BMC. Another bar nearby is probably entirely craft brew. Gas station has BMC but also some craft. And when I say craft, this means non BMC interest.
 

triethylborane

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I don't think people should be heavily criticized for standing by their convictions. If you want to buy from InBev, please do. But for others, who choose not to, that should be respected.
Saying I won't buy and drink beer with BMC interest is a bit different from saying BMC participates in a widespread illegal scheme with politicians to suppress the craft beer market in a overall plan to destroy it. For the latter, you should expect feedback and criticism.
 

Yooper

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Do you have any proof of the politicians being paid to ensure that craft breweries are kept out of bars and gas stations? Because its strange, I can go to the two closest bars to my house and about 80% of the beer they have on tap isn't BMC. Another bar nearby is probably entirely craft brew. Gas station has BMC but also some craft. And when I say craft, this means non BMC interest.
It's not that they're being paid for being kept out of bars and gas stations. It's that the three tier distribution system works against small craft breweries, and the distribution system (InBev owns many distributors) is what the lobbyists are trying to protect by contributing to/lobbying legislators.

You can maybe go to some places where small breweries are in, especially if the state allows self distribution. Some states don't. In some states, a brewpub can't sell beer, nor can a microbrewery have a tap room. In some cases, a brewery has to sell the beer to a distributor and then buy their beer from the same distributor to serve it in their own tap room. So the distributor is the one making the money here, and many of the laws protect the distribution system.

You can continue to buy those products, of course. And there is far too much in the political area to get into here in our forum (as those discussions are not allowed). But definitely do your own research and make your choice based on the facts, not what others say on a beer forum.
 

bwarbiany

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I don't think people should be heavily criticized for standing by their convictions. If you want to buy from InBev, please do. But for others, who choose not to, that should be respected.
I agree with you wholeheartedly.

As I've said the difference between a beer geek and a beer snob is that a beer geek cares what he/she drinks, a beer snob cares what you drink.

But OP is clearly opening this as a topic of discussion, and there WILL be debate on both sides.
 

AZCoolerBrewer

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The work that AB's done is changing things. You could buy non conglomerate craft beer at the grocery store near my house a year ago. Now you can't and it costs 2 to 3 dollars more for a twelve pack of conglomerate craft beer.
 

Lefou

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I can go to three differently managed stores within the same franchise in my hometown area and none of them will stock the exact same thing. One has more diversity in wine and little in the way of craft beer while another store has a good selection of craft, imports, and "crafty" brews.
I write this off to demand and distribution. There are quite a few independent small breweries around that don't get marketed outside their immediate area.
In my opinion, there's no "big conspiracy" to suppress independent brewers and, if it's reasonable, the consumer has the final choice.

If not, there's always the homebrew option when that one odd style you really like isn't available or affordable.
 

agrazela

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The work that AB's done is changing things. You could buy non conglomerate craft beer at the grocery store near my house a year ago. Now you can't and it costs 2 to 3 dollars more for a twelve pack of conglomerate craft beer.
I'm finding the opposite. "Conglomerate craft" (e.g., Lagunitas, Ballast Point) has gotten cheaper around here, even as selection continues to increase. Maybe in San Diego they still have a lot of work to do to drive the zillions of local-ish micros off the grocery store shelves.

IMO, the micros better find the next big thing in beer, and find it fast. I believe the macros are discovering that putting out a cheap, tasty, ubiquitous IPA is just too damned easy. And I'm finding less and less reason to pay more than $2 or $3 for a 12oz beer.
 

jalc6927

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Did Lagunitas sell out?

I just the owners book, and after what he said in there, I'd be shocked that he did

I drink my beer first, I love blue moon and will drink that as well, and what Evers free
 

mongoose33

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Things are different in different places. Pretty profound, I know, but experiences, and opinions, vary.

I do drink craft beers when I go out, but I sure am not buying a lot of them otherwise. There's a taproom in town, either 16 or 20 beers on tap, can't recall exactly, but there isn't a one I'd rather drink than my own beer. (Yooper, the best advice I ever had here was in the form of your ugly baby comment--I now look for unvarnished commentary on my beer, and thank you for that).

If I have a choice, I'll choose a small craft brewery's offering as a way to support them; I don't want any more of my money going to BMC than I have to.

I was in Asheville NC in late July. Morrey and his wife and I had a great ol' time visiting various breweries. Something like 24 of them in Asheville now. Lots of variety, lots of interesting stuff. It's fun to visit the small breweries, see if they can make a go of it, and my $4 will help a little.
 

Kent88

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Surprised not to see the pro-big-breweries crowd in here yet. Every discussion/debate like this that I see eventually brings in some people to say "Well that is just capitalism. Get off your high horse".

We all have every right to buy, or not buy, from any company based on not only the quality or price of their products, but also the practices of the business behind it.
 

Lefou

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Case in point.

I like Yards Brewing General Washington's Tavern Porter. It can be found from time to time where I live, but you can't find their damned saison to save your life in this town. If I want one, I have to drive almost 13 miles round trip to a BuyRite the next town over.
Maybe they have it, maybe they won't.

If I'm not in the area, eff that. I'll make my own.
 

madscientist451

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The illegal stuff comes from owning distributorships (illegal for breweries to own distributorships) and paying kickbacks to business who display their products on shelf space.
The "kickbacks for business" are referred to as "slotting fees" or "slotting contracts" in the retail industry. The practice has been thoroughly studied by the Federal Justice department and the TTB and they have developed complicated rules that apply to alcohol products that don't apply to other items:
https://www.ttb.gov/industry_circulars/archives/2012/12-01.html

Are slotting fees/contracts legal for beer? It depends on individual state laws and what is actually being done. Needless to say, lawyers come out the big winners as companies spend millions tying to be competitive but not violate the law.

Is it "fair" that well established companies like ABInBev, Nabisco, Kelloggs, Pepsi and Proctor and Gamble can afford to pay slotting fees and smaller businesses can't? No, its not fair, but nothing else in the business world is fair either, that's just the way it is. If a small brewery brews good beer for a reasonable price, they CAN and will sell it, but if they want to get the same shelf exposure that ABInBev has, its just not going to happen.

In my area, many smaller liquor stores have a crappy selection with a heavy presence of Mega beer products. A small shop owner just can't afford to stock a bunch of inventory if he's not sure its going to sell.
But there are other stores with a wider selection and usually higher prices as well. So I avoid the smaller stores because they don't have what I want.
People that are blaming ABInBev for any perceived problems with their local beer supply are way off target. The real problem is arcane, assinine state laws and regulations that state legislatures just don't want to change for various reasons. Sure, Lobbying by Mega beer is one reason,
(note that Craft beer producers have their own lobbying efforts) but a bigger obstacle is the notion that the general public can't be trusted and that alcoholic beverage consumption is something that has to be "controlled" by a government bureaucracy.
In some places, this notion of control is changing rapidly, but in others, its unlikely it will change anytime soon.
Meanwhile, I'm mostly drinking homebrew. :mug:
 

Kent88

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@madscientist451

Just because something is legal, doesn't make it right. And just because things currently aren't fair, doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to make them fair, or at least closer to fair than they are now. Were that kind of attitude applied at various points in history about things that matter more than beer, we'd have a vastly different world today.

And while it might not make that much of a difference, those of us who don't approve of where the big guys fall on the spectrum between apathetic and exploitive in the current system don't need to support them with our money.

[edit, addition] Got got a good reminder that not everyone at those companies are a bunch of greedy S-O-Bs, not that I intended to say that they are, but I was a little harsh. Anyways it looks like ABInBev might be canning drinking water for hurricane victims. Can anyone confirm?
 

TBC

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@madscientist451

Just because something is legal, doesn't make it right. And just because things currently aren't fair, doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to make them fair, or at least closer to fair than they are now. Were that kind of attitude applied at various points in history about things that matter more than beer, we'd have a vastly different world today.

And while it might not make that much of a difference, those of us who don't approve of where the big guys fall on the spectrum between apathetic and exploitive in the current system don't need to support them with our money.

[edit, addition] Got got a good reminder that not everyone at those companies are a bunch of greedy S-O-Bs, not that I intended to say that they are, but I was a little harsh. Anyways it looks like ABInBev might be canning drinking water for hurricane victims. Can anyone confirm?
http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/28/new...on-harvey-water/index.html?category=companies
 
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@madscientist451

Just because something is legal, doesn't make it right. And just because things currently aren't fair, doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to make them fair, or at least closer to fair than they are now. Were that kind of attitude applied at various points in history about things that matter more than beer, we'd have a vastly different world today.

And while it might not make that much of a difference, those of us who don't approve of where the big guys fall on the spectrum between apathetic and exploitive in the current system don't need to support them with our money.

[edit, addition] Got got a good reminder that not everyone at those companies are a bunch of greedy S-O-Bs, not that I intended to say that they are, but I was a little harsh. Anyways it looks like ABInBev might be canning drinking water for hurricane victims. Can anyone confirm?

I don't disagree with you re the tactics and underlying goals of ABI & other " big beer" consortiums (Constellation, Heineken, Sapporo, etc.
But I've always wondered what defined "fair" and who gets to decide what is or is not "fair"?
 

jalc6927

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According to Facebook AB Houston is canning water!!!

That's a great gesture and something to be proud of did them

Still shocked lagunitas sold out, not that its immoral or anything like that

Businesses are made to be sold, ill sell mine some day if kids don't get it

But the way he described the big guys in his book and his attitude about them all just blows my mind

Oh well, one thing I know for sure, we never know what others are going through we can only see their actions

I may feel the same when 8 or 9 digits is thrown at me
 

AZCoolerBrewer

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I'm finding the opposite. "Conglomerate craft" (e.g., Lagunitas, Ballast Point) has gotten cheaper around here, even as selection continues to increase. Maybe in San Diego they still have a lot of work to do to drive the zillions of local-ish micros off the grocery store shelves.

IMO, the micros better find the next big thing in beer, and find it fast. I believe the macros are discovering that putting out a cheap, tasty, ubiquitous IPA is just too damned easy. And I'm finding less and less reason to pay more than $2 or $3 for a 12oz beer.
I don't buy Ballast Point, it is 25 to 40 percent more than any other beer and only comes in six packs. I just bought a six pack of Lagunitas Sucks, which was pretty good, but paid 2 dollars more for a sixpack than usual because I was curious. The truely local beers are about the same price as the AB "craft" beers if you can even get the locals since the AB beers are pushing them off the shelf or buying them out.
 

madscientist451

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@madscientist451

Just because something is legal, doesn't make it right. And just because things currently aren't fair, doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to make them fair, or at least closer to fair than they are now. Were that kind of attitude applied at various points in history about things that matter more than beer, we'd have a vastly different world today.

\
If your family is wealthy, gets a big inheritance and has all kinds of income from well established businesses, is that fair compared with the person who doesn't have that kind of wealth and struggles to get by in a low level job? Its the same with a large, well established business like ABInBev compared to a small brewery. Life isn't fair, it never was and never will be. All anyone can do is carve out the best situation they can.
And Yes, Big Bad Mega beer is canning water for hurricane relief.
 

k1ngl1ves

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That is a great question. There are some words that have "connotative definitions" that evolve. Like "freedom" and "liberty".
Like how the U.S. government thinks in order to maintain the citizen's freedom, we all must sacrifice our liberty?




Our Forefathers would be horrified from what we have become... :(


Of course, many of them were slave owners so... yeah. Maybe their vision wasn't always correct. :ban:
 

Kent88

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Careful there, @k1ngl1ves , that could be steering us in a direction towards a discussion better saved for the Community Debate Forum.

@madscientist451 saying something like "Life isn't fair, it never was and never will be. All anyone can do is carve out the best situation they can." is a poor excuse to make no effort to or have no desire to improve the status quo.
 

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So does anyone know of a good, one stop, up to date website that keeps score of all the brands and who owns what and what is still independent?

I ask more out of curiosity than out of a shopping agenda.
 

bobeer

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My wife has always loved Lagunitas IPA so I'm trying to ween her off of their IPA. I bought some Hop Stoopid a few weeks back because I used to really dig the 24 oz bombers of it. I also bought a single bottle of.... hmm... can't recall atm! haha. Anyway, my point is they all tasted the damn same! I couldn't believe it but it's true. While the Hop Stoopid has more abv than the IPA they tasted the same. I'm still sort of shocked but I do recall when Red Hook was bought out all their beer started tasting the same as well. Not sure why they do that but it is disappointing.
 
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theheadonthedoor

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Here are a few good articles. Probably biased, just like all of us, so feel free to look into any claim however you can.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/busines...ost-million/xggomENVLTEHkdJ3kqkJsL/story.html

*https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.pa...aw-man-arguments-of-craft-beer-sell-outs.html

*http://www.moderntimesbeer.com/blog/what-selling-out-actually-about

*http://www.westcoastersd.com/2015/09/10/saint-archer-brewery-sells-out-to-big-beer/

I've been chatting with some brewers in the PNW like Fort George, Fatheads, Bale Breaker, and Great Notion and it's nice to hear that lots of brewers have strong convictions about not selling out.

But I guess that didn't stop Lagunitas despite his fervor for staying independent in his book. :(
 

Murphys_Law

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Here are a few good articles. Probably biased, just like all of us, so feel free to look into any claim however you can.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/busines...ost-million/xggomENVLTEHkdJ3kqkJsL/story.html

*https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.pa...aw-man-arguments-of-craft-beer-sell-outs.html

*http://www.moderntimesbeer.com/blog/what-selling-out-actually-about

*http://www.westcoastersd.com/2015/09/10/saint-archer-brewery-sells-out-to-big-beer/

I've been chatting with some brewers in the PNW like Fort George, Fatheads, Bale Breaker, and Great Notion and it's nice to hear that lots of brewers have strong convictions about not selling out.

But I guess that didn't stop Lagunitas despite his fervor for staying independent in his book. :(
I honestly wonder what would happen if somebody walked in with one of those giant "golf checks" made out for $1B payable in their name. It's easy to be all beard growing, flannel wearing cool dude brewer but I am guessing a good many of them would be out the door before they said, "I do".

Regarding distribution, not sure if this is an exact parallel but I used to work for what is now a multi-$B computer distributor and unless you were a major player chances are you weren't going to get onto our line card. It was a very tough battle for the smaller guys. Even if we signed them, unless they paid exorbitant marketing dollars and sales rebates they wouldn't get access to the sales team and very little in terms of marketing support.

For us, and all distributors, it was all about back end rebates and "turns". No more. No less. I don't care if you're distributing those new spinny thingies kids play with today, high tech computer gear, or beer.

How much can I make before I sell even 1 Unit. How much can I make for bringing in a bunch of units and turning them while I'm still using your money.

I admit I don't know much about beer distribution but it seems to work on a similar model as any other distributor - sell the crap that sells and makes you money coming in the door and going out the door.
 

AZCoolerBrewer

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Just don't buy any retail beer at all like me and you won't have to worry about who sold out to who :)

Brew, package, distribute and drink your own beer!
I can't agree with you more, however if you don't also grow and malt your own barley and grow your own hops too, then you also will end up buying from AB or be affected by AB leveraged distributors, Morebeer and Northern Brewer are owned by AB now. AB now has leverage on your malt supplier. If they ask the homebrew supplier for a break on malt cost, who do you think picks up the slack. That's right it is your homebrew supplier, unless you shop with Morebeer or Northern Brewer in which case your brewing cost will only go up 25% instead of 50% if you shop off brands. Congratulations!
 

AZCoolerBrewer

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Sorry, I got carried away. I love my fellow homebrewers and love the off the grid feeling I get myself when I brew. I love it when I can do my own thing and get real advice from people like you who only drink what they brew.

That's why it pisses me off when these guys buy strategically to get me to buy homebrew supplies and beer for more, from only them. Seriously, do you think they literally call it the "disruptive growth unit" because they want to enrich the craft scene. Have you seen their commercials lambasting craft brew. AB wants to you to buy only their beer and would make the beer out of homebrewers flesh if they could do it for less cost and more profit.
 

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Morebeer and Northern Brewer are owned by AB now. AB now has leverage on your malt supplier.
I wasn't aware Morebeer had sold out, so I checked their website:

Today - Our company is still owned and operated by Olin Schultz, Darren Schleth and Chris Graham with the help of all of our amazing employees. There is a common theme that all of us are passionate about flavor and making beer, wine and roasting coffee. We hope to share that passion with you and we sincerely thank you for shopping with us.

There isn't any evidence that ABInBev's business activities affects the cost of raw ingredients to anyone else, that's just pure conjecture, or what in 2017 we'd call "fake news".
One of the first things ABInBev did when they took over AB was raise their prices, but with market share declining, ABI could LOWER prices to win back customers and put economic pressure on their competitors.
A price war would be a big win for consumers but would make those that don't understand how the economy actually works complain the ABI is "unfair and unethical" just like they do now.
But nobody needs to worry about that right now, because that doesn't appear to be ABInBev's strategy at the moment. Their strategy seems to be to keep prices the same and acquire more "craft" brands to offset declining sales of their flagship beers.
 

MapleGroveAleworks

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I can't agree with you more, however if you don't also grow and malt your own barley and grow your own hops too, then you also will end up buying from AB or be affected by AB leveraged distributors, Morebeer and Northern Brewer are owned by AB now. AB now has leverage on your malt supplier. If they ask the homebrew supplier for a break on malt cost, who do you think picks up the slack. That's right it is your homebrew supplier, unless you shop with Morebeer or Northern Brewer in which case your brewing cost will only go up 25% instead of 50% if you shop off brands. Congratulations!
MoreBeer sold out to them too? I had no idea.
 

allanmorgan

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Joined
Jan 4, 2016
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Location
Norwalk
^^^
You beat me to it. I couldn't find anything about More Beer being owned by ABI either.
 
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