USA: RateBeer to lose independency

“As of February 2019, RateBeer is a fully-owned, independent entity that operates under ZX Ventures, the global growth and innovation arm of AB InBev,”  the US-based consumer review website RateBeer announced today on its website.

Since May 2000, RateBeer is an active forum for beer lovers to come together and share opinions of beers, and beer retailers in a free environment. Established and maintained by dedicated volunteers, RateBeer has become the premier resource for consumer-driven beer ratings, features on beer culture and industry events, weekly beer-related editorials, and an internationally recognized, annual RateBeer Best competition. A vibrant community of hundreds of thousands of members from more than 100 countries have rated hundreds of thousands of different beers around the world.

In October 2016, ZX Ventures acquired a minority stake in RateBeer but did not publicly announce the news until June 2017. When the news became public, leading craft brewers requested their beers to be taken down from RateBeer’s website. At that time Sam Calagione, owner of Dogfish Head Brewing argued that “it just doesn’t seem right for a brewer of any kind to be in a position to potentially manipulate what consumers are hearing and saying about beers, how they are rated and which ones are receiving extra publicity” ( 5.6.2017).

In a statement, founder Joe Tucker said: “After ZX Ventures took a minority investment in RateBeer, we were able to make improvements to infrastructure, put out an in-house mobile app, and modernise key pages that, as the only full-time employee with help from some amazing admins and volunteer coders, I was never able to tackle. Now, with access to greater resources, we’ll be able to continue modernising the site, and expand into new areas, like an affiliate marketplace in Australia.”

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