Chaos has taken the craft beer world by storm, as yet another brewery succumbs to corporate influence. Wicked Weed Brewing, a popular beer-maker from North Carolina, recently announced that they had been acquired by Anheuser-Busch’s parent company, AB InBev–and it seems that their fellow craft brewers are not in support of their decision to go mainstream. In response to AB InBev’s acquirement of Wicked Weed, more than 30 brewing companies have dropped out of the 2017 Funkatorium Invitational, which is hosted by the East coast brewery.
In a recent statement, Brad Clark, director of brewing operations at Jackie O’s, commented, “The ability for AB to acquire more shelf space, drive down prices, and hinder the growth and success of craft brewers through these types of acquisitions is what we can not stand behind. We wish Wicked Weed success in their future business endeavors and hope they continue to make excellent beer.”
Wicked Weed has been receiving quite a bit of scorn from the craft beer community over the debacle; in addition to the 31 breweries dropping from their 2017 roster, the brand has also had their voting rights rescinded by the NC Brewers Guild. Jester King, a Texas brewery, also announced that in light of Wicked Weed’s new association with AB InBev, they would no longer sell the brand’s beer at their facility and would no longer be collaborating with them.
While the Funkatorium event will still go on as planned, it’s clear that craft brewers are taking a stand. Small businesses have a voice, and it seems that they are doing their best to make sure they’re heard.