Sam Adams Will Overthrow Beer Axis of Evil
D. Joshua is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
The Great American Betrayal
Once upon a time there was a country. It was called the United States of America. Remember America? It made things here, at home, in America. American owners hired American workers to make American things for American people. By the people. For the people.
One of those things was beer. Of all man’s creations, few build connection between man, land and our natural Creator like beer. The process is magical. Both art and ritual. The growth of crops, the purification of water, the addition of malt, the application of heat, the design of barrels and bottles, the choice of the color, texture, flavors, name. All an attempt to connect with consumers on a meaningful level.
Over the years -- over one hundred years -- two brands rose above all, Miller (NYSE: TAP) and Budweiser (NYSE: BUD). We loved them not just for their taste but how they made us feel. They made us feel proud, respected, dignified. Bud and Miller gave us bottles with old school colors, classic designs. They stood for the great middle class -- unpretentious people who earned a cold one.
We brought them to our picnics, our birthday parties, weddings, ball games, our 4th of July barbecues. We gave them our hard-earned money. Lots of our hard-earned money. Tens and tens of billions. Decade after decade, we made them our top-selling beers.
And how did they return our loyalty? They sold out to the highest bidders. Miller sold out to “SAB” -- make that South African Breweries -- for roughly $5 billion and became SABMiller. Anheuser Busch sold out to the multinational Belgium-based corporate behemoth, InBev. For $52 billion Anheuser-Busch hocked a loogie in our national eye. And to pour malt on the wound, they sold out during one of the worst economic downturns in our nation’s history, when we needed them most.
At the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Ben Franklin said, “We must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Way to hang with us, Busch family. You and your new ruthless cost-cutting buddies at ABInBev should change your “flagship” beer’s name to Benedict Arnold Weiser.
Impelled to Separation
Before I appeal to your wallet, I ask you to open your heart. I ask you, man to man, as a fellow American, to not just read the following words, but to feel them.
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
Enlightened men of reason, they made explicitly clear why they were declaring war on tyranny. It was because they believed in Life. Liberty. And the pursuit of happiness.
In order to appreciate the massive possibility of an investment in the Boston Beer Company, (NYSE: SAM) you need to understand the case against the beer “Axis of Evil” -- a two-headed (and two-faced) global corporate monstrosity that controls over 400 brands of the world’s most popular beers. These brewtocracies have a combined market cap pushing 140,000,0000,000 dollars. Any company that can steal some of that has a very bright future.
The Case Against ABInBev and SABMiller
After evaluating these points, you will know why these giants are ripe for a take-down.
1. Their commercials relentlessly insult our national character.
From billboards, print ads, radio and television commercials including huge buys during the Super Bowl, American men are routinely portrayed as clueless hyper-manly or totally unmanly idiots while American women are degraded as dingbat hotties or beyotches who never let their men just have fun watching sports and drinking beer. Is this just harmless fun? No. As the world becomes hyper-competitive, it is in the interest of foreigners to take America down. What better way than to assume control of our beers and serve up billion-dollar streams of belittling messages?
2. Assuming no nefarious intentions, these foreign entities don’t get America.
When South African Breweries-Miller and Benedict Arnold-InBev try to present “real” America it is virtually always a pitiful two-dimensional stereotype. For example, in the excruciating Budweiser “Epic Toast” commercial we scroll through a grand collection of mouth flatulence in a pathetic effort to co-opt the act of toasting. In one cringe-inducing segment a tuxedo-clad drunkard blathers, “As great as this is, there’s even more ahead of us!” If only Paul Revere could race by and whack his head off with a musket. This commercial blivid is clearly the soulless gas pass of a vapid, unAmerican corporate monolith.
3. The companies regularly engage in an Orwellian assault on language itself.
On its site, Miller claims that it is still an “American” company, arguing that it has many operations in America. Milla, please. So does Hyundai. But they’re as American as a bucket of kimchi.
You must have seen the Miller Lite “Man Up” commercials. Walk through the logic. A group of men are drinking light beer. One is drinking a generic brand and doesn’t care about the taste. He gets accused of being unmanly because supposedly real men not only care about the taste, they care so much about it that they would never dream of drinking anything but Miller Lite. Clydesdale chips.
Real men don’t care about the amount of calories in their beer. When’s the last time you saw John Wayne or Clint Eastwood counting calories? And they don’t care about the taste. They care about taking the edge off to fight evil. And, if they did care about the taste they wouldn’t be drinking whiz water Miller. Lastly, research their grand claim of being “triple hops brewed” and you’ll find boatloads of people mocking the meaninglessness of the term.
4. Flashing a Blue Moon at Consumers
Among the most damning evidence against the brewtocracy is their forked tongues. Out of one side of their mouth they crow to investors about the massive girth of their "portfolio." But when it comes to consumers they’ll go to great lengths to hide their claw prints.
Take the beer, Blue Moon. Please. It claims to be manufactured by “The Blue Moon Brewing Company” though it’s actually made by Coors (or MillerCoors or MolsonCoors or SABMilllerMolsonCoors -- I honestly have no clue what the heck this beerhemoth is called or how the heck it's actually structured.) In fact, they had to settle a lawsuit with a Belgian brewing industry organization who objected to their attempts to make the beer seem as if it was actually brewed in Belgium.
And this takes us to the epicenter of corporate tyranny and the most important reason true Americans, real patriots, must be impelled to separation.
The Axis of Beer Evil is Devouring Every Beer In its Path
You know that moment in the Matrix where you see what humanity really looks like -- countless naked beings imprisoned in glass cases full of pink ooze, python-like cables stuck up their spines, turning them into human batteries? I challenge you to look at the portfolio of ABinBev-SABMiller and tell me it doesn’t remind you of that scene.
This two-headed beast owns every single one of these beers: Budweiser, Miller, Coors, Michelob, Molson, Miller Lite, Bud Light, Heineken, Becks, Stella Artois, Amstel Light, Coors Light, Busch, Labatt’s, St. Paulie Girl, Lowenbrau, Bass, Foster’s, Grolsch, MGD, Milwaukee’s Best, Peroni -- and these are just a drop in the bucket.
Do you feel like a sucker? A chump? I do. Whenever I’m in some little restaurant or staring at the beer selection of a speciality store, I try to order brands that seem authentic. If I’m slurping up a firehose of linguini into my mug on Taylor Street here in Chicago, I want to suck down a Peroni to help the little guy. You can just hear the brewtocracy cracking up as they jeer, We got your little guy right here, paisano.
This ends part one -- IMPELLED TO SEPARATION, THE CASE AGAINST THE BEER AXIS OF EVIL -- of a two-part series. In the next article, THE LAST PATRIOT, I will explain why The Boston Beer Company -- and their honest-to-goodness all-American flagship brand, Samuel Adams, is America’s only real hope of reclaiming our national beverage. And protecting our nation's character. It’s a long shot, no doubt. Maybe even impossible -- the brewtocracy is strong, my friends. But with hundreds of billions of dollars at stake, and the pride of a nation on the line, the stakes could not be higher.
The author believes beer makes life worthwhile. He owns no shares of any companies mentioned in this article, but is seriously considering it, so moved is he by love of beer and country. Follow him here, twitter.com/shystercap. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Boston Beer and Molson Coors Brewing Company. The Motley Fool owns shares of Boston Beer and Molson Coors Brewing Company. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.