Picture courtesy of AB-InBev

Picture courtesy of AB-InBev

It may be a badge of honor for America's vibrant craft beer industry that a giant like Anheuser-Busch InBev seems extremely concerned with losing market share to small, innovative, interesting brewers. Yet it is less the outlandish sums the Belgian corporation is willing to pay to acquire footholds in the craft markets that should concern craft fans. It is the looming mega-merger with SABMiller that could determine the future of US craft beer. Read the excellent op-ed piece by Bob Pease, President and CEO of the Brewer's Association, in the New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/02/opinion/a-big-merger-may-flatten-americas-beer-market.html?ref=opinion. He warns that without sufficient oversight and government interference, the distribution arm of the planned beer behemoth may well be able to turn varied and well stocked beverage store and supermarket shelves into a totalitarian and predictably bland Budweiser-Land. Possible solutions: changes to onerous distribution laws on state and federal level and a coming together of the entire industry against the threat of One-Beer-Fits-All. Distribution co-ops anyone?