There had been a consolidation lull. That was broken in June/July with Beavertown Brewing landing with Heineken and Three Weavers joining the CANarchy Collective. Those moves didn’t rankle me much but it did get me to thinking about the Grand Acquisitionor (is that a word?) and how they could revitalize their “high end – domestic” or whatever it is being named or how it is being organized this week.
Here are two roads for them to take that could gain them points:
1. No explicit or implicit quotas for distributors
This move would go a long way toward some amity with the #independent squad as long as it is true and transparent. Plus it would give opportunity for a distributor to grow their bottom line with a higher margin, niche product without having to always be looking behind them at angry Belgian/Brazilian Dad. Personally, I think it would grow the overall beer market too if a variety of beers were finding their way to shelves where more customers could see them.
2. Rebrand the not-so Golden Road and more than 10 Barrel(s) outposts as AB Beer Gardens
I would go so far as to use them for R&D and as the outward face of the company. Send your best brewers to Denver, San Diego, Oakland and Sacramento and have them spread their wings. Again, be transparent. Instead of hiding behind a former craft brand, create a St. Louis style beer garden. Go full accordion music on it. Have Missouri style BBQ. You are not a local brand. Golden Road is not Sacramento, heck, it ain’t even in the L.A. consideration so ditch it. Denver doesn’t need 10 Barrel but it sure would hit Miller to have your beer in their backyard.
Just a couple friendly suggestions for the overlords at SABInBev HQ. I accept Venmo or a simple check in payment if used.