Good question. In a recent editorial, executives from the Brewers Association, the trade association representing America’s small, independent brewers, brought the issue forward. Not many people know that breweries which dominate our domestic market are owned by large international conglomerates. A-B InBev, headquartered in Belgium, and SABMiller, headquartered in London, now control 75 percent of the U.S. beer market between them.
We've all seen the Blue Moon Belgian Wheat beer logos on tap (especially in airports these days) but do you know who owns it? (Hint: it ain't a mom and pop operation). Marketed as a craft beer, the problem for the consumer who wants to support the growing craft beer industry ( which grew by 11% in 2011 and will do even better in 2012) becomes one of education: Am I drinking a small production, locally made, independent brew made by community-focused entrepreneurs? That's the kind of business I want to support with my limited amount of disposable income; on a small American company with American employees over corporations that are often based overseas.