I was at the Old Town bar on East 18th Street on Thursday evening, when a petite woman with a French accent leaned across the bar to my right and demanded from the bartender: “Two Budweisers for Belgian people!”
She laughed. Her and her friends were tourists from Belgium.
The bartender grinned wryly and said, “It’s not very good beer.”
Indeed. But that didn’t stop InBev from buying Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion earlier this week in history’s biggest all-cash deal. America’s largest brewer, which the Busch family ran for 150 years, will now be in the hands of a company run by Brazilians and controlled by a few Belgian aristocracts.
News of the deal fell hard across America, particularly in St. Louis, where Anheuser-Busch has its 4.7 million-square-foot headquarters. “The good Lord was sold out for 30 pieces of silver–we were sold out for $70 a share,” Dave Liszewski, a third-shift worker at Anheuser-Busch, told The New York Times.
One has to wonder if a Lou Dobbs-like jingoism won’t soon descend upon bars across America, including in New York City, its financial capital, in reaction to the King of Beers abdicating for Old Europe.
Or maybe not: Mr. Liszewski was nursing a Bud Light when The Times caught up with him.