Business

Sam Adams Is Throwing Support Behind a Crazy Plan to Buy AB InBev

There's a tongue-in-cheek campaign to raise $213 billion and buy the maker of Budweiser.

Brewers of craft beer, sick of getting pushed around by the big guys like Anheuser-Busch, have a ludicrous idea: They want to crowdsource enough money—$213 billion—to buy the corporation that makes Budweiser, and take their mass-produced “craft beer” off of liquor stores’ shelves for good. And Sam Adams is joining that ambitious (and impossible) fight.

Jennifer Glanville, Samuel Adams brewery manager, says she’s supporting the campaign, led by the national Brewers Association and dubbed Take Craft Back, due to the importance of “independence” in beer.

“Part of being independent is that creative freedom that you have to express yourself,” she says in a video shared by the  campaign, “so we as brewers are expressing ourselves with a variety of different kinds of beers.”

The tongue-in-cheek fundraiser is the latest marketing campaign for the nation’s largest craft beer trade association as part of its goal to get more people to spot the difference between real stuff from small local brewers, and what it sees as Big Beer knock-offs. AB InBev in recent years has been buying up craft brewing companies, mass-producing their recipes, and competing directly with craft beer-makers in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Your average beer-buyer, though, likely isn’t aware of the discrepancy. That’s why the Brewers Association has promoted its new logo for “certified” independent brews. And why it’s now trying to “buy” the biggest threat to its members’ business.

The Association doesn’t actually think it can raise the $213 billion it would need to accomplish its goal, even if it does note that it could happen if everyone in the U.S. kicked in $653.37, or if everyone on the planet gave $28.78. Those who pledge their money for the cause, up to $1,000, aren’t asked for the credit card information. They are also prompted to check an “agreement” box with this message: “I agree that we’ll be in touch if somehow, miraculously, against every odd, the $213 billion crowdfunding goal is reached. (We don’t expect to be in touch.)”

But it sure is a good way to get people talking about the sheer size of the Goliath of Big Beer, and Sam Adams—a giant in its own right, churning out millions of barrels of beer a year—is on board.

“They buy us,” reads an announcement of the campaign, which reportedly now has the support of more than 8,000 brewers. “Now we buy them.”