How big a deal is it that ZX Ventures, an incubator operated by Anheuser-Busch InBev, has purchased a minority stake in a popular beer review website, RateBeer.com? Several prominent breweries have asked that reviews and ratings of their beers be removed from the site, and The New York Times wrote about it.
RateBeer officially announced the deal after it was revealed by Good Beer Hunting (which followed up with more analysis). RateBeer founder Joe Tucker has been adamant that data will not be compromised to favor AB InBev-owned brands. “ZX Ventures has the utmost respect for the integrity of the data and the unbiased service we offer to the entire community and industry,” he wrote. “Additionally, RateBeer Best became the premier worldwide international beer awards program and our festival one of the best in the world largely based on the simple and inviolable integrity of our computational methods and reliance on crowd-sourced reviews. This obviously won’t and cannot change, and thankfully we have loud opinionated critics in RateBeer’s ranks, and a data transparency initiative to ensure it never does.”
Not surprisingly, ZX Ventures says the same. “It’s really insight,” according to spokesperson Samantha Roth, ZX spokesperson. “It’s insights into consumer trends. It’s a better understanding of the beer consumer, and the beer markets globally. That’s really going to help us kind of keep our finger on the pulse.” Further reading.