RateBeer, is a popular site for sharing brew reviews by its users. Recently it was 100% acquired by global industrialized beverage behemoth AB Inbev (parent conglomerate of Anheuser-Busch/Budweiser). RateBeer.com and it’s app has been a useful tool especially among craft beer enthusiasts to get tips and recommendations. But now being owned by a corporation whose biggest competition has been the craft beer movement, does RateBeer retain any credibility? Has the fox been let into the hen house?
Besides the biggest player in the beer world owning and controlling an ‘alleged’ unbiased rating site being sketchy at best, AB Inbev throwing their corporate weight around in this manner is the antithesis of the craft beer world. Craft beer is about independence, small locally owned businesses, brewers passionate about their products, working together. Whereas corporations are passionate about profits and market share.
Of course ‘official statements’ from AB InBev and RateBeer, pledge to keep the site unbiased, but you have to wonder why else would they acquire it? They are already buying up craft breweries and now they NEED to own the site that rates their products and competition? It just further illustrates how BIG BEER is interested in maintaining their profits through acquisition and control of the market over actually putting effort and passion into their products.