We must save Bud, the whales

By Scott Green

Between the Iraq War, deniers of global warming, Guantanamo Bay detainees and pushy American tourists, the United States’s perception in the global community has hit a staggering low. So the last thing we need is for the world to know how vile our beer is.

Belgian company InBev bought Anheuser-Busch, which brews nearly half of all U.S. beer, in a $52 billion deal. The European company announced its intentions to promote Budweiser internationally to the level of Coca-Cola. But Budweiser, like all other top American beers, is swill. Just look at our two most popular domestic brands – there’s Miller Lite, which tastes like pennies, and Bud Light, which tastes like bland pennies.

Our only hope is that InBev takes some mercy on the beer drinkers of the world. For example, they could put a stop to Anheuser-Busch’s practice of re-bottling expired batches of Budweiser as Natural Light. Without Natty Light, fraternities would turn to the next cheapest method of getting drunk: sucking on wet naps.

In the best-case scenario, the purchase would bring European beer sensibilities to America. To find out what Belgian beer tastes like, go buy some Stella Artois. The first thing you’ll notice is that it doesn’t taste like pennies. It tastes like Euros.

Stella Artois is one of about 200 beers brewed by InBev. I’ve never tried the others, but they’ve got to be good. For example, they make St. Pauli Girl, a brand that goes to the trouble of hiring Playboy Playmates as spokesmodels, then keeps them fully clothed in advertisements. That requires a lot of confidence in their product. American beer companies would have to hire two Playmates, so the first one would have somebody to make out with.

So maybe, beer-wise, things will turn out okay. But that’s not the end of the story. InBev is also reportedly looking to unload Anheuser-Busch’s non-beer assets. This includes theme parks like Busch Gardens and SeaWorld. Can we really trust the Belgian conglomerate to keep these parks’ best interests in mind? What about the employees? What if SeaWorld’s new ownership hires illegal Mexican killer whales to replace hardworking American orcas?

But ultimately it comes down to the beer, and the risk that Budweiser proliferation could actually hurt people. It’s already happening in Belgium where, within hours of the Anheuser-Busch sale, Prime Minister Yves Leterme offered to quit his post. This is for real. According to Belgian sources, Leterme “was upset about having a stupid name.”

No, the excuse given was that Leterme couldn’t handle the ethnic tension between the Dutch-speaking Flemish and the French-speaking Walloons. While I can’t prove that this potential governmental collapse is actually due to American beer, I can baldly assert so if I claim I am “speculating.”

InBev’s purchase will topple world governments and worse, slightly alter SeaWorld. That means the time to act is now. We have to buy back Anheuser-Busch by pooling our money, every beer-tasting penny of it. But if that doesn’t work, there’s always wet naps.

Scott is a third-year law student. He is a licensed supplier of Mexican killer whales.