We have been watching lots of movies lately. “Beer Wars” I watched online, the others I’m posting we went to theaters.
I just got through watching a dynamite documentary on Amazon’s streaming service, Beer Wars. A film about the beer industry in America. I was hooked, it is about the battle between the big brewers and the little guys in the beer business.
It turns out that it is a no holds barred fight going on in the aisles of our grocery stores, on the shelves of our liquor stores and in the halls of Congress as the big guys are fighting to maintain their virtual monopolies and the little guys are fighting for access.
What I like best about the film is the passion of the small brewers. They are in it for love and their love has them in debt, personally. The big guys are fighting slowing sales of their crappy swill and are looking to exploit the niches opened up by the little guys.
But you know, that goes on in almost any business. All is fair in love and war though, right? Above and below are zoomable infographics. The top one shows which brewers own which brands. The big guys have been buying the little guys and so that beer you think is from a small brewer? It may not be. The infographic below shows how dominating the big guys are and how truly small the little guys are.
Well maybe, the disturbing part of the movie is how the big brewers use their campaign cash to buy access to our representatives to reinforce and bolster their advantages. That buying out of Congress is one thing that I think drives both our Tea Party and Occupation neighbors nuts. The brewers are very equal opportunity. They don’t care if a representative is a Republican or a Democrat as long as they vote the right way. I love capitalism and the vibrancy it adds to our economic system, but the access that big money has to congressional power is corrupting the system.
I didn’t mean to get all serious about this. This is a great flick. Watch it, cheap on Amazon dot com. (Free if you are an Amazon Prime Member)
Grab a beer and drink, No no no, not a Bud Light fool, something decent.