Damage to the brand? We can only hope.
Did you see that article in the WSJ from earlier in the year? 'Bitter Beer'? About the slash-and-burn approach InBev had taken to cost-cutting, and the low morale being picked up in their staff satisfaction process. I wonder if that will be followed up in 2012?
I have a new coworker who just came tu us from AB, says things are still bad and they are still trimming and rearranging at the plants. Wonder when they'll have enough justification to close a plant down...
It is so sad. It used to be such a great company to work for and was truely All-American. On my last day of work there in August, I took at a look at the org chart from 2008 and less than half of those people were still there. They even pulled out of the Rose Bowl Parade this year. Gussie is rolling over in his grave right now.I foresee at least one brewery closing when the current Teamsters contract expires.
I agree in theory about the brand, but getting mocked by Pearls Before Swine might be a badge of honor, so to speak. The irreverence of that comic is pretty amazing (and cool).
For what it's worth, European breweries hold A-B in the highest regard. Everywhere I went, British and Belgian brewers were quick to compliment Bud for its incredible consistency and quality (if not for its flavor and daring). If In-Bev is quickly dismantling the people who ensured that very quality, Bud may have a long, long way yet to fall.
I'm not sure if you saw this article from the Seattle PI: http://blog.seattlepi.com/thepourfool/2011/12/14/budweiser-miller-coors-and-the-programming-of-american-youth-part-2-of-2/ Probably you did. This guy really beats up AB/InBev. For good reason. As Fred Eckhardt has said, "The problem with Budweiser is they just couldn't be bothered to make good beer."
Did the aforementioned British and Belgian brewers credit Bud with better 'consistency and quality' than [say] MillerCoors or Boston Beer or Sierra Nevada or New Belgium?