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Although my drinks of choice are scotch on the rocks and red wine, I do appreciate a good beer, especially beers from Belgium and Germany or small U.S. craft brewers. I don't know much about beer or the beer industry though, so when I spotted the documentary Beer Wars (directed by Anat Baron) over at Netflix, I decided to give it a shot.
Although the basic premise (that the major American beer companies brew an inferior product and have tons of money) was no surprise, I was completely ignorant about the extent of competition among brewers for the beer consumers in this country. Similar to most other business sectors, including the publishing industry, big brewers are buying up smaller companies and doing whatever they can to maintain their hold on the market share.
The beer wars are fought not just in the glass but on TV (ads), for shelf space, for sports sponsorships, and at beer distributors. The big three--Anheuser Busch, Miller, and Coors--have so much money and influence that they're the second-largest PAC in Washington. Who knew?
The Beth Fish Reads household doesn't drink enough beer to have supported the major American brewers in the beer wars, but I'm glad to know that when we do buy a six-pack, we are spending our money on the good stuff made by little guy.