Open letter from Zythos to InBev

Detta öppna brev har Zythos (ungefär SÖL i Belgien) skickat till InBev med anledning av att de lägger ner / flyttar flera bryggerier, bl.a. Hoegaarden, vilket vi tidigare skrivit om på dessa sidor.

I slutet av brevet finns vad de vill att du skall göra.

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Open letter from the Zythos vzw beer consumers union to InBev:
Hoegaarden beer must be brewed in Hoegaarden!

There's more to beer than figures!
A company, even a brewery, is a company. As a company, it has an
economic reality and it needs to generate profit; otherwise it will
not survive. InBev is doing well: in one year, its share grew from
less than €28 to over €37 (i.e. a 32.2 % increase). However, there's
more to beer and brewing than naked figures.

Beer and brewing also represent (local) culture.
Beer belongs to our culture. In our region, beer is the popular
drink. It can be a thirst-quencher. It can be enjoyed. It can be used
to prepare the most tasty dishes, or it can go with a nice meal. It
can be part of a party among friends. A fine glass of beer can make
you feel better. The role that popular bars play in social life
cannot be overestimated. The Hoegaarden brewery has its own role to
play in that respect !

Beer and brewing are also (local) tradition.
Beer is also about a region. Throughout history, every region has
created its own beer speciality: the red-brown beers from West
Flanders, the `saisons' from Hainaut, the `gueuze' beers from
Payottenland, etc… Together with our brewers' inventiveness, these
traditional styles of beer have made the whole world envy our beer
heritage. These local traditions must not disappear!

Beer and brewing are also (local) pride.
At its peak (1750), Hoegaarden had 35 breweries. The last to remain
were Tomsin (Oud Hoegaards Witbier), which was closed in 1957 and the
Loriers brewery (Speciale DAS Ale), which was dismantled in the
1960s.
In 1966, Pierre Celis revived the Hoegaarden Witbier, resulting in
the founding of the De Kluis brewery in 1978. After fire damaged the
brewery in 1985 it was taken over by Interbrew. The world learned
about the `Witte van Hoegaarden'. And the people of Hoegaarden are
rightfully proud of their beer and brewery. This brewery must not
disappear!

Beer and brewing also mean (local) employment.
Closing the Hoegaarden brewery would be a catastrophe, not only for
the people who work there, but for the entire village. The tens of
thousands of visitors and tourists have enabled the village to live
for, and on, its brewery and its rich history. The community's
tourism sector mostly relies on the brewery and its `witbier'
(Hoegaarden, Hometown of Witbier; the Hoegaarden Beer Village
permanent exhibition; There's only one Hoegaarden, the Village of
Beer and Brewers; the Beer Garden; etc…). Closing the Hoegaarden
brewery would have a life-threatening impact on these activities.
This employment must not disappear!

The world's local brewer.

When Interbrew (the current InBev) embarked on its international
takeover campaign, this was their motto. Interbrew claimed to be the
world's protector of local breweries and brands. They pretended to
project the idea of the Belgian beer nation onto the entire beer
world, creating an unprecedented richness in breweries and all sorts
and types of beer. In that respect, Hoegaarden belongs to Hoegaarden.
Jupille already has its own beer (Jupiler)! Or maybe, this slogan was
a mistake? Or worse even: a lie?

Appeal.

The Zythos beer consumers union calls on InBev not to think only in
figures and profits, but also to invest in (local) culture, (local)
tradition, (local) pride, (local) employment and humanity (here and
in the rest of the world).Therefore, we earnestly request InBev to
abandon its intention to close the De Kluis brewery in Hoegaarden.

Zythos vzw, Hoevestraat 30, 3850 Nieuwerkerken (e-mail:
rvb.at.zythos.be).

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What we want you (and your members) to do is:

1) if possible put this open letter on your website and send it as
many times as possible to InBev (with your comment such as: As a beer
consumer who loves traditional beers en brewery tradition I agree to
the following "open letter" that the Belgian beer consumers
organisation Zythos sent to you). Send it to lian.verhoevenatinbev.com
(he is the director external communications of InBev-Belgium)

2) go to the website www.redhoegaarden.be, click on
iksteun@hoegaarden (which means I support Hoegaarden) and send your
name and address. This site is organised by local authorities.

What did Zythos do so far ?

-we sent our open letter to InBev, press, etc...
-we wrote a letter to the local mayor and authorities to give our
support and we suggested them to -when the brewery will be closed-
make a decision to forbid InBev to use the heraldic shield of the
town on their labels, crowncorks, beermats, and other publicity,
whilst the beer is not any more brewed in Hoegaarden
-we are mobilising our members to be present saturday morning 10 am
in Hoegaarden at the demonstration organised by local authorities
(procession from the town hall to the brewery).
-we had an intervieuw on local television (ROB-TV)
-we were contacted by journalists to give our comment (De Standaard
for example)

Cheers for now,

Fons/Chairman Zythos