Taste(less) of the Nation?

Image via Flickr/401(K)2013

Last week we learned via Slumbrew’s Facebook page that Taste of the Nation entered into a sponsorship deal with Budweiser for this year’s Boston event, and that any and all local craft brewers were uninvited. And since then, people have been voicing their opinions . mostly in disappointment and frustration . with the nonprofit and corporate behemoth.

And rightly so. What local food events don’t include regional craft brews these days? And we understand that this event is a fundraiser, and it’s about raising money for hungry children. Some have argued that Budweiser can make a larger financial contribution than most, and if that’s better for feeding hungry kids, then so be it. We certainly can’t say they shouldn’t donate. What we don’t understand is why Bud has to be the only beer in the room. Why can’t they provide their donation without caveats that require excluding other craft brewers? Why pair a slew of gourmet dishes from some of Boston’s best chefs with just one beer? Seems unlikely that there would ever be just one type of wine in the room, or just one cocktail. So while it’s all for the better cause, we don’t think it makes sense not to question the decision, because ultimately, when it comes to fundraising, more is better. More options, more ticket sales, more money for a good cause all around.

Recent Taste of the Nation events have featured craft brewers . in May, a Portland, OR event featured beer from Sierra Nevada, Deschutes, and Full Sail. Smuttynose has poured in Portsmouth, NH.

Turns out that Taste of the Nation decided to re-invite local craft brewers, but they must provide a $5,000 donation to pour, as reported by the Boston Business Journal last Friday. That’s a lot of money for small brewers . enough to keep them from participating. And while we hope that Sam Adams and Harpoon will be there to represent our burgeoning craft beer industry, we hope that in the future Taste of the Nation will consider making their events more inclusive of small brewers, despite Budweiser’s deep pockets.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!


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