Credit: Dogfish Head
Dogfish Head Founder Sam Calagione says ZX Venture’s purchase of a portion of the beer website RateBeer.com is “a blatant conflict of interest.” He’s requested the site remove all Dogfish Head beer reviews and mentions immediately.
Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head, has asked Ratebeer.com to remove all references to his brewery on its website. (File Photo)
The sale was announced Friday, June 2. Dogfish published a letter about the sale from Calagione on its website Monday.
“We were troubled by the announcement last week that ZX Ventures, which is fully owned by the global conglomerate Anheuser-Busch InBev, has purchased a portion of RateBeer,” Calagione writes. “We believe this is a direct violation of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics.”
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He says ZX Venture’s stake in the website violates at least five guidelines in the “Act Independently” section of the SPJ’s Code of Ethics.
“It is our opinion that this initiative and others are ethically dubious and that the lack of transparency is troubling.” Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Founder
“We have respectfully asked Anheuser-Busch InBev and RateBeer to remove all Dogfish Head beer reviews and mentions on the RateBeer website immediately. It just doesn’t seem right for a brewer of any kind to be in a position to potentially manipulate what consumers are hearing and saying about beers, how they are rated and which ones are receiving extra publicity on what might appear to be a legitimate, 100 percent user-generated platform,” he continues. “It is our opinion that this initiative and others are ethically dubious and that the lack of transparency is troubling.”
CraftBeer.com is published by the Brewers Association, the membership organization dedicated to promoting and protecting small and independent craft brewers in the United States. We are very clear that we fully support independently owned breweries.
You can read Calagione’s full letter on the brewery’s website.