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Just because Belgian-owned InBev bought Anheuser-Busch to become the world’s largest brewery company doesn’t mean American-made beers from American-owned companies can’t be found.
From the e-mails I’ve received to the comments that were made on petitions from the KeepBudweiserAmerican.com website, there clearly is a large number of Americans who are willing to boycott Anheuser-Busch products and switch to one of the remaining American-owned brewery companies. So I’ve compiled a list of 66 beers that patriotic Americans can purchase and in doing so can reward American companies that have chosen to keep their headquarters in the United States.
Samuel Adams is one of the few American brewery companies that is publicly owned, which may turn out to be unfortunate since they could become the target of a hostile takeover by InBev like Anheuser-Busch was. The Boston Beer Co., brewer of Sam Adams, started in 1984 and since then has become the largest craft brewer in America, although they have less than 1 percent of the U.S. beer market.
Iron City Brewing Co. and Pabst Brewing Co. probably are the two largest private companies in terms of the most brands offered in the United States. Although all the Pabst breweries were closed years ago, they still retain ownership of several brands, but most are brewed by British-owned SABMiller PLC. Pabst brands include Blatz, Colt 45, Country Club Malt Liquor, Lone Star, Old Milwaukee, Old Style, Olympia, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Pearl, Rainier, St. Ides, Schaefer, Schlitz, Schmidt, Special Export, Stag, Southampton Ales and Lagers, and Stroh’s. The Pabst Brewing Co. website has a statement regarding the recent purchase of Anheuser-Busch and calls itself “the last of the famous iconic U.S. brewers to be fully independent and American-owned.” The claim to independence is a bit compromised, however, if you pay a foreign company to brew most of your beers for you.
Iron City brands include American, American Light, American N.A., Augustiner Dark, Augustiner Lager, Drummond Bros., Eagle Malt, Falls City, Gerst, I.C. Golden Lager, I.C. Light, J.J. Wainright, Light Brigade, Night Flight Malt Liquor, Old German (Pilsner), Olde Frothingslosh, Penn’s Best Light, Penn’s Best N.A., Prime Time, Sterling, Totally Dirt Cheap Beer, Totally Dirt Cheap Light, and Wiedermann.
Other brands brewed by privately owned American companies are Genesee, Genesee Cream Ale, Genny Light, and Dundee Ales and Lagers (Highfalls Brewing Co.), Pete’s Wicked Ale, Shiner, Tappeto Valante, and Bridgeport Ales (Gambrinus Brewing Co.), Point Beer (Stevens Point Brewery), Stegmaier and Pocono (Lion Brewery), Saranac, Utica Club, and Utica Club Light (Matt Brewing Co.), Dixie (Dixie Brewing Co.), Moerlein (Christian Meorlein), Harpoon and Harpoon Ale (Harpoon Brewing), Pyramid Ales (Pyramid Breweries, Inc.), Sprecher (Sprecher Brewing Co.), and Yuengling (Yuengling Beer Co.) which has the distinction of being the America’s oldest brewery company (since 1829).
To be clear, giving up their independence isn’t something Anheuser-Busch wanted to do. They rebuffed the first $65-per-share offer from InBev. They tried to buy the rest of the Mexican company that makes Corona that they didn’t already own to make themselves too large to be acquired. They tried to say that InBev was unable to proceed with the buyout since it did business with Cuba and it’s illegal for U.S. companies to do so. They also brought up anti-trust concerns. Of course this is just my opinion and you would have had to have been in on the discussions to know for sure, but I think Anheuser-Busch did everything they possibly could to remain an American company.
But regardless of their true intentions, I hope you’ll join me in boycotting Budweiser, Busch, Michelob and all the other brands owned by Anheuser-Busch including Corona. I hope you’ll also not switch to British-owned Miller or Canadian-owned Coors products since you would merely be switching from one foreign company to another. A boycott is the second and last part of a strategy in letting foreign companies know that Americans don’t like their American companies being bought out and having their ownership (and all future profits) transferred overseas. The first step, of course, has already been tried, which was making our voices heard through petitions and other means to let both Anheuser-Busch and InBev know that a large number of Americans were against this acquisition.
If Americans stop buying Anheuser-Busch products and sales of the new Belgian company plummet, foreign companies will be forced to think twice in the future before trying to buy American companies and American assets. And it’s not unthinkable that the merger could be undone in the future due to falling sales. Mergers have been reversed before. This is the best strategy for preventing unwanted and unwelcome takeovers of historic American icons like Anheuser-Busch. In any case, we get to choose which company assumes the new crown of our country’s biggest American-owned brewer. I know I’m not aware of and haven’t listed all of the domestic companies and brands in this article, so please feel free to e-mail me if you’d like to know the ownership of a different brand you’re considering and I’ll be happy to research the ownership of the company for you. If we keep our money in America where it should be, we’ll help ensure that the American companies that are left in this industry can keep their headquarters here as well.