We beer for you
Plus: TikTok girlies are making non-alcoholic borgs now
The anti-trans Bud Light backlash/boycott/etc.
Editor’s note: I don’t know how much longer this situation will go on, but I believe it remains newsworthy for now. I figured I’d break this coverage out into its own section so readers who are maxed out on it—which, no judgment, this shit is pretty mind-numbing!—can just skip to the next section.—Dave.
Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. CEO absolutely biffed the company’s latest statement. On Friday afternoon, Brendan Whitworth, the chief executive of ABI’s American subsidiary, issued a press release entitled “Our Responsibility to America.” It was a couple hundred words of mealy-mouthed schlock, the beer industry version of Tom Wambsgans’ “ATN News: We Here For You” presentation in Succession. As I broke down in a quick take Friday for VinePair, Whitworth avoided any mention of Dylan Mulvaney or the LGBTQ+ community, which is frank corporate cowardice. But he also refused to acknowledge the conservative teeth-gnashing, which ruled out any chance at assuaging transphobic charlatans like Matt Walsh, who promptly hammered him on it. Instead, he tried to tap-dance his way through it with tired “kitchen-table” tropes like jobs (ABI creates them!), troops (ABI respects them!), and the fellowship of beer (ABI brews it!), all of which tell me that the company is just fundamentally misunderstanding the moment they’re in. (Not to mention an implicit betrayal of trans people, whose endangerment it has abetted via its considerable political donations to anti-trans lawmakers in recent years.) This country is way past the aw-shucks “let’s all have a beer together” thing; it may have worked in 2009, or even in 2015, pre-Trump, but the paradigm has shifted irreversibly since. There’s no way for a corporation like ABI to both-sides its way out of a situation this controversial. The company tried to ride the fence, and it’s gonna get splinters in its ass. Hope the statement soothed those the company’s risk-averse institutional shareholders, because it sure did seem to piss off everyone else!
“Ultra Right” beer is basically an FJB NFT. On Thursday, I wrote about Ultra Right 100% Woke Free American Beer, the leader of the pack in Fingers’ first-ever Right-Wing Thirst-Trap Gold Rush™️. Ultra Right isn’t the only grifty ploy to try to capitalize on the ongoing right-wing kayfabe, but it’s the one that’s gone the most viral and happens to be the most squarely in our lane, so I followed up the piece with a Twitter thread about all the red flags I noticed about this brand as a beer industry reporter. People seemed to like it! Here are the high/lowlights, in no particular order: