April 15, 2020 – Anheuser-Busch, America’s leading beer company, is today announcing a multi-faceted commitment to support the restaurant and bar industry and its workers. The company has a longstanding tradition of providing support to its industry partners and communities in times of need throughout its more than 165 year history.
Despite the impact to the company’s own on-premise business, Anheuser-Busch and its craft partners are focused on retaining their employees as they continue to evaluate the extent of this crisis. While many brewpub and biergarten employees have been temporarily reassigned to other roles within the company, others will volunteer through Meals on Wheels and other local organizations providing critical resources to communities in need during this crisis.
“Our first priority is our people and at Anheuser-Busch, ‘our people’ includes our employees, our communities and our partners,” said Michel Doukeris, CEO, Anheuser-Busch. “Now more than ever we truly are one team and that is why Anheuser-Busch is leveraging our unique capabilities, relationships, and reach to not only support our employees and our communities, but our industry partners because we believe they will need assistance beyond the short-term.”
“We’re very fortunate, as part of the A-B network, to be able to support our hourly pub employees,” said Todd Usry, President, Breckenridge Brewery. “We’ve been so inspired and humbled by the team’s efforts to step up and help out both within our business and within our communities.”
Anheuser-Busch will contribute $1 million to the US Bartenders Guild’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program for its COVID-19 Relief and Response Program. In addition to this financial commitment, starting this week, Anheuser-Busch will provide free online education content on beer serving and appreciation led by its Master Cicerones, brewmasters and other beer experts for consumers and industry personnel to build knowledge and capabilities for the future. Anheuser-Busch will also donate over $1 million to local and regional organizations that are supporting on-premise bar and restaurant workers.
“We have been helping the bartending community for many years through our Bartender Emergency Assistance Program (BEAP), and now more than ever, this community needs us,” said Aaron Gregory Smith, Executive Director of the United States Bartenders’ Guild. “Bartenders and other hospitality professionals are an important part of the fabric of our communities, and we are here to help those in our industry who are most in need. We are thankful to Anheuser-Busch and our other partners for stepping up and pledging their support.”
Anheuser-Busch has also launched several initiatives to support its wholesalers and on-premise partners, including programs to provide relief for those with draught and packaged beer they are no longer able to sell. The company also extended its draught shelf life policy to 90 days and is directing resources to support the ongoing bar and restaurant take out business through a new growler program.
“The Anheuser-Busch independent wholesaler system is the strongest in the beer business and we are proud partners in support of the bars and restaurants that have been devastated by the current crisis,” said Steve Economos, Chairman of the Anheuser-Busch Wholesaler Panel, from Eagle Rock Distributing Company in Norcross, Georgia. “By working together we can all build a stronger industry moving forward.”
Several Anheuser-Busch brands are also supporting the bar and restaurant industry, including:
Anheuser-Busch is encouraging the federal government to provide relief for on-premise businesses by improving the Paycheck Protection Program, and is committed to working with industry partners such as the National Restaurant Association to provide long term certainty and recovery to the industry. Assistance for restaurants and bars is important to the broader economic recovery of the country.
“We are honored to do our part to work with the government, our wholesaler partners, and others to support bars and restaurants – they are the heart and soul of our industry and their recovery is vital to our long-term national economic outlook,” said Doukeris. “We are in the business of bringing people together, and while we are working to bring joy, comfort, and normalcy now, we are looking forward to celebrating the moments that matter – together – at our favorite neighborhood bars and restaurants very soon.”
To learn more about Anheuser-Busch's efforts in response to COVID-19, click here.
For more than 165 years, Anheuser-Busch has carried on a legacy of brewing great-tasting, high-quality beers that have satisfied beer drinkers for generations. Today, we own and operate 23 breweries, 14 distributorships and 23 agricultural and packaging facilities, and have more than 18,000 colleagues across the United States. We are home to several of America’s most recognizable beer brands, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA and Stella Artois, as well as a number of regional brands that provide beer drinkers with a choice of the best-tasting craft beers in the industry. From responsible drinking programs and emergency drinking water donations to industry-leading sustainability efforts, we are guided by our unwavering commitment to supporting the communities we call home. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com or follow Anheuser-Busch on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.