One of the fastest growing segments of the
organic food sector over the last few years has been (drum roll) -
organic beer! That’s right, you heard me, organic beer is on the rise
in the United States and some of the biggest players in the beer
industry are jumping on board. In 2005 sales of organic beer grew
40%, tying beer with organically grown coffee as the fastest growing
organic beverage. In fact, since 2003 organic beer sales have more
than doubled. This rapidÂ growth in sales caught the attention of
beer giant Anheuser-Busch.
Anheuser-Busch recently released two organic beers (Wild Hop and
Stone Mill) with great success. Neither beer, however, bears the
Budweiser name; a move that Anheuser-Busch hopes will separate their
smaller organic-niche beers from their best-selling Budweiser line of
beers. Anheuser-Busch’s jump into the organic beer niche market has
raised eyebrows. The move is cause for concern for many organic food
producers. Some worry that Anheuser-Busch will pressure the U.S.
government into lowering the standards for organic food. Still others
argue the nation’s most popular brewery will crush competition coming
from smaller breweries producing only organic brews.
Other members of the organic food world are thrilled by
Anheuser-Busch’s entry into the organic beer sector. They feel
Anheuser-Busch’s new beers will bring a broader acceptance to what they
feel is a great new addition to the beer world. Because of
Anheuser-Busch’s distribution power, their line of organic beers should
start springing up in markets across the country. Organic food
producers hope this will incite more people to start purchasing organic
The way I see it, if it’s a Budweiser it’s going to be good. The
fact that I can start picking up Anheuser-Busch products at Whole Foods
and other organic markets is a good thing. Who knows, with
Anheuser-Busch driving this new market it might just turn out to be the
next big thing in beer. On the other hand, Bud Ice sounded like a
pretty good idea at the time too.