A niche craft beer ratings site, Ratebeer.com, has gotten an arguably dubious investor in Anheuser-Busch InBev.
The site founded in 2000 has become a premier ratings site for craft beer, an esteemed comparison tool and awards-granting institution that users regard as highly as the Wine Spectator ratings touted by wine makers.
The revered status of Ratebeer comes from no-nonsense ratings generated by its beer-enthusiast users, who proudly border on the fanatic.
And the notoriously harsh critics didn’t react mildly to the A-B InBev investment. A good many are confident the site has a solid enough reputation and protocols to resist any unseemly influence by A-B InBev to promote its own beverages to the disadvantage of independent craft brewers.
But some are crying foul, arguing that A-B InBev could now be in a position to potentially manipulate what consumers are hearing and saying about beers.
A-B InBev has been steadily venturing into the craft beer sector by acquiring regional independent breweries, but never as stealthily as the Ratebeer acquisition. The partnership, which became official in October, was announced only after a tell-all article by Good Beer Hunting disclosed the purchase.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch