(LifeSiteNews) — Beverage and brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev is selling off eight of its beer and drink brands to a cannabis company in the latest sign of financial woes brought on by a consumer revolt when iconic brand Bud Light decided to wade into gender politics.
Earlier this year, Bud Light came under fire for a promotional partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, a male TikTok celebrity who “identifies” as a woman, in which it congratulated him on “365 days of womanhood” with commemorative Bud Light cans bearing his face. The news sparked a substantial backlash against the brand and its owners to the point that last month it fell out of the top 10 most popular beer brands in the United States.
Now, National Review reported that Anheuser-Busch has agreed to sell Shock Top, Blue Point, Breckenridge Brewery, Redhook Brewery, HiBall Energy, and two other brands to Tilray Brands. The deal includes those brands’ associated employees, pubs, and breweries.
How much Tilray is paying for the brands is not yet known, but Anheuser-Busch needs the money to alleviate the financial hit it continues to take due to longtime customers ditching Bud Light. The company’s American revenue fell more than 10 percent last quarter, “primarily due to the volume decline of Bud Light” according to its quarterly earnings report.
Global revenue did manage to rise by over seven percent during the same period, thanks to sales of other beers outside the country; “double-digit growth in South Africa and Colombia was partially offset by the revenue decline of Bud Light in the U.S.,” per the report.
The Bud Light backlash is part of a broader trend of controversy over major U.S. corporations getting involved in left-wing social causes at the behest of media and activist pressure. They are trying to satisfy business trends such as Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI), which is pervasive shorthand across the corporate and academic worlds for a litany of identity-based grievances and causes, and Environmental, Social, & Governance (ESG), essentially a scoring system that incentivizes investment not on the basis of companies’ performance for customers and shareholders but rather on their fealty to so-called “social justice” principles such as diversity and environmentalism.
Nineteen states – Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming – have formed a coalition to collectively agree to resist ESG standards in a variety of ways, such as banning their use in state pension-fund investment decisions, banning the use of “social credit scores” in banking and lending practices, and banning ideological discrimination against customers by financial institutions.