RESIST Big Beer Manifesto

Craft beer stands for more than just beer. It stands for entrepreneurship, community, and experimentation. It means wild brands, complex flavors, and personality that shines through in every sip. It means taking a risk when everything feels like it’s against you. And it means leaving the corporate world behind in order to taste some genuine independence.

Craft beer is the chink in Big Beer’s multi-billion dollar armor. Mass conglomerates like Anheuser-Busch InBev, MillerCoors, and Heineken are threatened by the craft beer movement’s creativity, rapid growth and passionate drinkers. So in turn, they’re killing craft by acquiring breweries and monopolizing the beer space, while misleading drinkers and hiding behind the illusion of consumer choice. (Yeah, the anger about brewery acquisitions goes way beyond the Hipster vs. Mainstream beer debate.)

RESIST Big Beer is a small team of volunteers who are passionate about independence in craft beer...and we're tackling the fight against Big Beer and its craft-killing brewery acquisitions.


Because supporting Big Beer (and any of the formerly craft breweries they’ve acquired) directly hurts the craft beer industry:

  • Big Beer consolidates and destroys local jobs in beer, while the craft beer community promotes entrepreneurship and civic pride. According to the Brewers Association, craft brewers contributed $67.8 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016 and provided more than 456,000 jobs.
  • Big Beer chokes out independent breweries, since they have the financial firepower to
          • Price out shelf space
          • Buy up taps at bars
          • Undercut keg sales. When AB sells Goose Island kegs as low as $56, no craft brewery can compete.
          • Buy up entire all the hops in South Africa.
          • Own distribution. Like when Big Beer used their control over distributors to curtail the craft beer boom in the 90s...if you own distributors, you own how beer is sold throughout the country.
  • Big Beer tries to pass their products off as craft beer, which misleads consumers who want to support local brewers, not pad the pockets of multinational, faceless corporations. Even worse, Big Beer actively hides behind the name of craft while making a killing. (The “Craft” Brew Alliance? AB owns a major stake.) Beer drinkers have a right to know whether they’re purchasing from an independent brewer or not.
  • Any craft brewery that gets acquired by Big Beer immediately becomes part of of a system set to destroy craft.


AB’s distribution practices and incentive programs are equivalent to "saying, 'We would like to shut down a massive pillar of the United States distribution system to craft.'"

-Nikos Ridge, founder of Ninkasi Brewing

“I think AB’s strategy sort of take up space and to scare people. To have that way of limiting choice and forcing choice out of the market.”

-Dick Cantwell, former head brewer of Elysian Brewing, sold to AB in 2015


“It’s important to remember we all belong to part of the same tribe. As independent craft brewers, we have a common brand and legacy to protect.”

-Dick Cantwell, former head brewer of Elysian Brewing, sold to AB in 2015

  • Drink local. 78.5% percent of adults of legal drinking age in the US live within 10 miles of a brewery. And that’s a beautiful thing.
  • Buy local. As much as you can, buy beer directly from the brewery, rather than at the store where the brewery loses out on margins.
  • Talk to your brewery. Are they proudly using the Independent Craft Brewer Seal yet?
  • Get educated & educate. Read everything you can. Know who your beer comes from. Help others understand that the Craft vs. Big Beer debate is way more significant and nuanced than Hipsters vs. Mainstream.
  • Join the Resistance. Subscribe below to get instant brewery sell-out alerts, important industry updates, and missions to help keep beer independent.