— Stouts & Stilettos (@StoutsStilettos) May 3, 2017
Craft beer fans are not shy. Last week, as news broke that one of Asheville, N.C.’s most popular craft breweries (Wicked Weed Brewing Co.) was lining up to become the next corporate brand in Anheuser-Busch’s The High End unit (its umbrella for faux craft and maybe real imports), craft fans and professionals had no problem venting their anger via the ancient tradition of public shaming.
Austin, Texas’s Jester King Brewery pledged to stop selling Wicked Weed beers. The North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild issued a statement saying it was “disheartened” by the acquisition, but also that “we wish our friends at Wicked Weed all the best;” i.e. Wicked Weed can no longer be a voting member of the NC Craft Brewers Guild. Grand Rapids, Mich.-based HopCat went all wicked on Facebook:
We don’t have much respect for this decision here by Wicked Weed. The profits from their beer sales will now be used by their new European owner to try and destroy small craft breweries here in the U.S. Good job, Wicked Weed. Nice move.
Ouch. But most of all, beer lovers took to social media to issue an airing of grievances. Many of them were quite clever, and we posted some of those below. But some were poignant and insightful as well:
— AshRo (@duckhunterosa) May 4, 2017
AshRo has a great point. The original House Bill 500 (not the castrated version going through North Carolina’s congress right now) would have raised the self-distribution cap for breweries from 25,000 to 200,000 barrels (bbls) a year. Question: Would allowing craft breweries more self-distribution rights incentivize them to stay independent and not sell to global beverage rollups that currently dominate our beer distribution market? It’s definitely worth the experiment.
Sidebar: Asheville also has a pretty loud anti-chain community, which opposes large chain stores taking downtown real-estate and pushing out local shops. It will be interesting to see how that plays out with neighbors and beer tourists.
— Jordan Sain (@jrsain) May 4, 2017
Until then, here’s a quote from Wicked Weed Co-Founder Walt Dickinson, drinking the Kool-Aid on Yahoo Finance — just to get you extra angry.
The solution, according to the Dickinsons, isn’t to reject companies like Anheuser-Busch, but to work with them.
“There was a big fight to take marketshare from those big guys — the Anheuser-Busch of the world. And I think the exciting thing about beer now is it doesn’t need to be take down the big guys any more,” Walt said. “It’s not a civil war here.”
BUT IT IS!
Now, enjoy these Tweets of fun and/or fury!
Does this mean Wicked Weed makes bad beer now?
— nevermindmat (@nevermindmat) May 3, 2017
— Alan Baird (@alan_baird) May 3, 2017
— Michael Moeller (@MoellerMD) May 4, 2017
— Alexander Woods (@xavwoods) May 3, 2017
I know we all want to froth at the mouth about Wicked Weed, but the President is still trying to fuck with healthcare, so priorities, folks.
— Oliver Gray (@OliverJGray) May 3, 2017
For those lamenting today’s big beer news, remember Wicked Weed was funded by an investment from the COO of multi-billion corp Guthy-Renker.
— Ben Keene (@WhereandBack) May 3, 2017
Wicked Weed’s social media manager this morning pic.twitter.com/s3fl5SeRvM
— PorchDrinking.com (@PorchDrinkingCO) May 3, 2017
All I’m saying is that when Obama was president, Wicked Weed was self-owned.
— Matt McKenzie (@Matt_McKenzie1) May 3, 2017
Sneak peek of the new Wicked Weed commercials… pic.twitter.com/DXzT82c5Rn
— Miller (@MillerYoho) May 3, 2017
Pretty epic trolling by Wicked Weed to wait until their beer landed in all those BrewDog bars before that ABI announcement. Well played. pic.twitter.com/xnIDSxHhhj
— The Craft Wanker (@TheCraftWanker) May 3, 2017
— Brew Studs (@BrewStuds) May 3, 2017
Before anyone panics, let’s all look at the good side: this means Wicked Weed Tart Lime-a-Ritas will be much easier to find and buy!
— Jonathan Surratt (@beerinator) May 3, 2017
— Joe Cavil (@jcavil) May 3, 2017
My thoughts on wicked weed to abinbev pic.twitter.com/SHw8BOgcrq
— Matt Freeman (@mattyfree7) May 3, 2017
Anhauser Busch is a wicked and pernicious weed
— HARK! (@HarkJohnny) May 3, 2017