Brewers Association Draws Up Laughs With “Take Craft Back” Crowdfunding Campaign

The association's latest endeavor imagines raising the more than $200 billion needed to buy its industry's giant corporate competitor, Anheuser-Busch InBev, which has bought out a number of major craft brands in recent years.

If this crowdfunding campaign reaches its goal, it certainly would be the most successful one in history.

But really, the conceit behind the Brewers Association’s (BA) Take Craft Back campaign is less about raising the $213 billion needed to buy out Anheuser-Busch InBev and more about highlighting the importance of independence in the world of craft beer.

The campaign, launched Monday, cheekily makes the case for buying the beer-making giant, which has purchased a number of well-known craft beer manufacturers in the past few years, including Goose Island, Devils Backbone, Blue Point, and Elysian Brewing Company.

BA, in response to this, has focused more heavily on marketing in recent years, most notably launching a craft beer labeling program meant to ensure the public understands the difference between a craft beer and a “crafty” one.

But the latest campaign, led by the video above, may be its boldest step yet—even if the Take Craft Back website never actually reaches its goal.

“While the topic—the corporate takeover of craft—could not be more serious for brewers, the campaign is a humorous way to maximize its consumer reach,” BA emphasizes in a news release. “Take Craft Back spotlights the vast difference in resources between Big Beer and America’s small and independent craft brewers, and the tongue-in-cheek campaign embodies the spirit and ethos of the craft brewing community—a group that has never shied away from a challenge.”

So the campaign has its tongue firmly in cheek. Check. It probably would have been hard to raise $213 billion anyway—an amount slightly larger than the gross domestic product of Peru.

But it’s a great way to drum up some discussion.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story suggested that the buttons for campaign donations didn’t work on the website. It appears to have been a browser issue. The “Pledge Now” button does allow users to make a pledge, though no actual dollars are being collected at this point.

(YouTube screenshot)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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