Outside the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas

Outside the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas

Spoetzl Brewery Fights Back Against AB InBev

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The Spoetzl Brewery, makers of Shiner Bock beer, has some strong words for Anheuser-Busch InBev in response to a local ad campaign the brewery says is deliberately trying to confuse beer lovers who want to support independently-owned breweries.

Spoetzl Brewery is an independent craft brewery based in Shiner, Texas. Spoetzl published an open letter in the latest edition of the Shiner Gazette this week after a string of local ads that read, “There’s a new Bock in Shiner,” were posted around the area.

The ad campaign (three billboards and a concert sponsorship, the brewery says) is for Crawford Bock beer from Karbach Brewing Co., a Texas brewery that is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev. Spoetzl has been in Shiner, Texas, since 1909, and the brewery wants to be very clear with its local supporters that the beer the ads are referring to is not made by an independent craft brewer. The letter begins:

“We have heard some chatter about uncommon sights around town last month — three billboards and a concert sponsorship touting: “There’s a new Bock in Shiner.” That’s not Shiner Bock my friends. They are talking about Karbach Brewing Co., which is owned and operated by Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, the largest brewer in the United States and in the world. It is not the Shiner Bock that’s brewed here in Shiner at the K. Spoetzl Brewery.”

The Texas craft brewery goes on to write that its beers have the independent craft brewers seal on the packaging — a certified logo created by the Brewers Association in 2017 to help beer lovers identify true craft brewers.

Spoetzl’s open letter reminds customers the seal is something beer lovers won’t find on the packaging of breweries owned by Big Beer:

“Anheuser-Busch is a public multinational company with its global headquarters in Belgium. Anheuser-Busch acquired Karbach Brewing Co. in 2016. This was part of Anheuser-Busch’s larger scheme to acquire craft breweries around the United States and use its huge plants to produce the former craft beers they now own. Anheuser-Busch does not want you to know that Karbach is produced at the formerly craft Karbach brewery and at its large, low-cost Anheuser-Busch plant in Houston. This is a huge company with deep pockets seeking to force its way into our town.”

The brewery also posted the open letter on its social media channels. You can read the full letter on the Shiner’s Facebook page.

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