An insider’s perspective on the good, the bad, and what the rest of the industry gets wrong about working for an AB InBev-owned brewery.

Draft Magazine

Yesterday, the beer world was ablaze with the news that beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev had purchased Wicked Weed Brewing, North Carolina’s beloved producer of wild ales. The response was as harsh as it was predictable: The outcry of “sell out!” ran rampant across Twitter and Facebook.

This is a narrative we hear a lot—that brewing megalodons like AB InBev, MillerCoors or Constellation Brands are out to gobble up every small brewer they can, crush the ones they can’t, and turn the beer their new subsidiaries produce into bland, watered-down swill. What we don’t often hear, however: What it’s actually like to be an employee at a brewery that’s owned by one of these dreaded macro-brewers.

So we found one: a high-level staff member at a brewery that had been purchased by AB InBev. This person felt there were too many misconceptions about the process of brewery acquisitions and its effects on the purchased brewery’s products and people. They wanted to give us an inside view of the acquisition process and its results, both good and bad.
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