ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) - When you’re the new kid on the block, you might expect to get pushed around a bit by the big boys.
And John Beal, CEO of the All American Beer Company, believes that’s definitely the case for him as he tries to elbow his month-old products — American Patriot and American Patriot Light — onto area store shelves.
“We are having trouble,” Beal admits to KMOX News. “Stores are giving us shelf space but I’m kind of learning that the big companies decide what goes where. You can find (American Patriot) but it’s in some strange places, sometimes it’s down in the craft aisle. I find it in the weirdest places.”
Beal says it does appear there are enough people willing to search around to find his products to declare the fledgling American Patriot line a success.
Sales hit 500,000 within the company’s first month on the market, according to the St. Louis Business Journal.
He says the ironic thing about getting shunted around by Anheuser-Busch, Coors, Miller et al is that American Patriot wouldn’t even exist today if AB hadn’t been bought out by InBev in 2008.
“It bothered me, and I started looking at all of our companies that are getting bought up and going away,” Beal explains, “and I realized that all of our profits are going to other countries.”
Why does it matter where the beer we buy is brewed?
“If you ask people who work for these foreign companies ‘How well are you treated?’ or ‘How are things since the buyout?’…I’ve heard how they feel,” Beal replies. “We get to work for these foreign companies and then they’re buying more of our businesses and buying more of our property, and we get to pay them rent to be in our own buildings?”
While based in St. Louis, American Patriot and American Patriot Light are actually brewed at a plant in La Crosse Wisconsin where Old Style used to be made.
Beal, whose slogan for his company is “Taking back America one beer at a time”, is looking to expand sales into Illinois within the next two to three weeks.