Remember the name Carlos Brito. According to Bloomberg News, this Brazilian-born millionaire is the executive responsible for Anheuser-Busch InBev’s slow destruction of beer brands likes Beck’s in the United States—and they have the sales figures to prove it.
The tale begins with Brian Rinfret, who noticed a difference in the Beck’s he drank stateside, remarking that the taste seemed more akin to “Budweiser with flavoring.” Upon discovering that the import beer was no longer an actual import and was in fact brewed in the U.S., Rinfret hounded the reps via phone, e-mail, and even Facebook until he was banned from their page. His complaints are nowhere near silenced, as Bloomberg is now on the trail.
Bloomberg singled out Brito for blame, saying “Brito is alienating lovers of A-B InBev’s imports by not importing them. And he’s risking the devotion of American beer lovers by fiddling with the Budweiser recipe in the name of cost-cutting.” The article follows in detail the ways in which Brito has raised the company’s portfolio at the expense of beer provenance and, consequently, taste.
For those who enjoy mass-market imports, this news may be distressing. But for craft-beer advocates, there’s certainly perverse pleasure to be derived from seeing the A-B InBev machine destroy itself from within. And if you’re somewhere on the fence, take solace that some unpretentious, everyday beers are still great.
[via Bloomberg News]