Small Brewer Says Budweiser Is Bullying Him About Old Kegs

A small-time beer operation in Tennessee says it’s the subject of some big-time hassling from Budweiser — all of it over a bunch of old empty beer kegs.

In a lengthy post on the Facebook page for Calfkiller Brewing Company, the company explains its side of the story, saying that — like many smaller businesses — it has to save money where it can. Part of that savings comes from buying used kegs that can then be filled up and shipped out full of beer-y goodness.

Calfkiller says it purchased kegs wherever it could: “unclaimed freight auctions, breweries that have closed, or keg companies that sell new, used, and refurbished kegs… Everything from website sales to store fronts in public with huge signs by the road for everyone to see. LEGIT businesses!”

But about a month ago, alleges Calfkiller, things went sour:

That’s when the “Budweiser keg police” began trying to strong arm the little guy… So the big monopoly Budweiser has started walking in to accounts, and simply taking the little guys kegs! FLIRTING WITH SLANDER they have told business owners that Calfkiller had stole the kegs…

[Calfkiller] contacted distribution to try and resolve the issue, but were lied to, ignored, and simply not dealt with.

Budweiser has said they have never sold a keg. Really??? How can they be purchased from places by the truck load then??? They also informed Calfkiller that it had come down from corporate, and was out of the local distributions hands. Although Calfkiller found it flattering that the big dogs even knew who they were they also found it highly unlikely that the beer giant cared that Calfkiller had a few 20 year old kegs of theirs.

According to the post, when Calfkiller finally got a hold of someone in Budweiser HQ in St. Louis, it was told “we know nothing about this.”

Regardless, we hope the buzz surrounding this story gets back to St. Louis and someone at HQ looks into whether or not its regional offices are using the company name to possibly intimidate smaller breweries.