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Anheuser-Busch InBev's ZX Ventures buys RateBeer stake

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Anheuser-Busch InBev has sparked anger in the craft beer industry after its incubator unit, ZX Ventures, bought a minority stake in beer ratings website RateBeer.

Dogfish Head CEO Sam Calagione called for a boycott of RateBeer

Dogfish Head CEO Sam Calagione called for a boycott of RateBeer

The deal took place last October but was first reported late last week by US beer media. The announcement prompted some RateBeer users to question whether AB InBev's investment would influence the website's ratings system.

Meanwhile, US craft brewery Dogfish Head called on RateBeer to remove it products from the site, with Dogfish CEO Sam Calagione calling it a "blatant conflict of interest". Calagione called on other craft breweries to follow his boycott.

A spokesperson for ZX Ventures confirmed the minority acquisition to just-drinks, saying RateBeer "remains an open, independent and unbiased platform for consumers". Asked why the company did not announce the deal when it took place, the spokesperson said ZX Ventures does not typically disclose its investments.

ZX said it plans to help RateBeer, which is based in the US, reach a global scale. It said owner and founder Joe Tucker is working on an improved website, a new mobile app, additional language packs and more social media connectivity.

ZX Ventures has made a number of acquisitions in the past year. In March, it secured a partnership with Chinese craft brewer Boxing Cat Brewery.


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