Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cool Think Tank Event of the Week: Beer

The New America Foundation (NAF) will be hosting an event on December 12 titled "Big Beer Blitzes America: Is Anheuser-Busch Too Powerful?"

Following are more details:
Two companies – Anheuser-Busch Inbev and MillerCoors – together control 90 percent of the U.S. beer market. And they still seek more — Anheuser-Busch now wants to buy out all of Mexico’s Grupo Modelo, the maker of Corona.

The effects of this consolidated power are clear. Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors are using their control to squeeze independent beer distributors and marginalize craft beer makers, hurting both America’s drinkers and brewers. Worse, the assault on distributors threatens to break down America’s system of local alcohol control, established at the end of Prohibition to safeguard social order and promote the health of consumers.

Join the New America Foundation for a conversation on how citizens should structure a modern market for beer, wine and alcohol that balances the interests of society, responsible drinkers, brewers and distillers. The discussion will draw on a new report by the New America Foundation’s Markets, Enterprise, and Resiliency Initiative that looks at the history of the U.S. beer market, a new report by the American Antitrust Institute on Anheuser-Busch’s proposed takeover of Grupo Modelo, and a new article in the Washington Monthly on the growing alcoholism in Britain.

Panel 1: The Market and Choice - Is Consolidation A Threat to the Consumer?
Sam Calagione
Founder and President, Dogfish Head Brewery

Steve Higginbotham
Director, Wholesale Beer Distributors of Arkansas

Sandeep Vaheesan
Special Counsel, American Antitrust Institute

Panel 2: The Market and the Community - Is Consolidation A Threat to Social Welfare?

Tim Heffernan
Author, “Last Call: Industry Giants Threaten to Remake America in
the Image of Booze-Soaked Britain” (November/December Issue of Washington Monthly)

Jerry Oliver
Former Chief of Police, Detroit
Former Director of the Department of Liquor License and Control, Arizona

Rev. Cynthia Abrams
United Methodist General Board of Church and Society

Paul Glastris
Editor-in-Chief, Washington Monthly

Barry C. Lynn
Director, Markets, Enterprise, and Resiliency Initiative, New America Foundation