Anheuser-Busch has been accused of “bully-boy tactics”, prompting the raising of a petition against the brewing giant at this week’s Great British Beer Festival at Olympia.
The petition, drawn up by the European Beer Consumers’ Union, calls on the giant US brewer to respect the diversity of Europe's independent brewing industry following a decision by the International Court of Arbitration that Belgian brewery Dubuisson Frères could not use the Bush trade name outside France, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal and Benelux from July.
This forced the brewery to rebrand its Bush beer in the UK as Scaldis.
But the EBCU claimed the Belgian brewer presented no threat to A-B’s business as it was “very unlikely consumers would confuse Dubuisson beers with mass-marketed brands”.
EBCU’s chairman, Terry Lock, said such action against a small brewery “smacked of bully-boy tactics”. “We cannot let a huge global company walk all over the great brewing traditions.”