Wicked Weed AB-InBev: Member of Asheville Brewers Alliance
I want to clear up some confusion regarding what is a for profit business and what is a true community organization in the beer industry. There is the country wide Brewers Association, and then there is the Craft Brew Alliance. Big Difference! The Craft Brew Alliance inaccurate moniker is similar to how a Congressional bill called Citizens United actually allows the wealthiest of the wealthy to control our government. The Craft Brew Alliance, in reality, is big beer. Over 30% of it is owned by AB-InBev. Which means, according to the rules of the Brewers Association, they do not make craft beer at all!
Asheville Brewers Alliance
The Asheville Brewers Alliance is a trade organization. Their homepage reads, “Asheville Brewers Alliance formed to promote Western North Carolina produced beers and exchange knowledge and support between our members.” When one brewery is short on hops or malt, they can reach out to the alliance, and their needs are gladly filled by membership brewer. One member said (who will remain anonymous), “It’s unbelievable the level of cooperation you see between the breweries, when they otherwise would be competing.”
The tagline of the organization reads, “FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE BEER COMMUNITY” Here is where it gets confusing. The Asheville Brewers Alliance is for the betterment of its members, which include the following:
- Merrill Lynch
- Wicked Weed
- Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP
- First National Bank
- Assured Partners
- Bank of America
The Asheville Brewers Alliance is an excellent trade organization which serves its members well. The beer community, or beer consumer, should respect it as such. Again, it can be confusing. Just because a business names itself Diggin’ Asheville or Local Beer Trail, does not mean they are a business practicing conscious capitalism, or that they hock a good quality product. Businesses often brand themselves with words like community and local to suggest that they are doing something for their customers, regardless of the reality.
The Brewers Association tagline reads, “For Small and Independent Craft Brewers.” You won’t find any massive financial institutions like Merrill Lynch or Bank of America as members. Memberships to the Brewers Association are clearly organized into these types:
- Brewery Membership
- Supplier Membership
- Distributor Membership
- Craft Beer Retailer Membership
- Brewery in Planning Membership
- Individual Membership
- Educational Institution
The Brewers Association defines a craft brewer as small, independent and traditional.
Asheville Craft Beer Month
Asheville Community is Brewing is celebrating Western North Carolina craft brewers by organizing an annual monthly observance. Asheville Craft Beer Month will be February, when you will find the least amount of izod, khaki pants wearing tourists imbibing in our treasured local landmarks. Specials and events featuring our Western North Carolina craft breweries and craft beer will be lauded throughout the month. It will be free for our craft breweries to participate and host events. Follow our Facebook Page for soon to come updates and more information.