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Who brews the ‘Walmart beer’?

This was a silly headline: “Is Walmart Looking to Dethrone Budweiser as King of Beers?” The story itself does not suggest Walmart will be getting into the brewing business. Instead it is about still another foray the retailer is making into selling beer.

You’ll recall that about three years ago there was chatter about Walmart’s plan to become America’s biggest beer retailer. This included selling brands such as Budweiser and Coors at low, low prices and broadening their overall selection. At the time I visited Walmart to compare both prices and selection. I’m not going to run another price check, but last time I looked (granted, several months ago) the overall selection had shrunk since September of 2013.

But now there are these beers from Trouble Brewing, which is not exactly a brewery (but more on that in a moment). Details are in the “Dethrone the King” story.

We want to bring craft beer to the masses,” said Walmart senior vice president of adult beverages Al Dominguez. He spoke at an event at the company’s culinary innovation center in its home state of Arkansas. Dominguez was quick to point out that due to alcohol laws, it’s not calling the beer “private label” but rather “distinctive label” beer.

But what is this Trouble Brewing in Rochester, New York, they speak of? It must be pretty good size to produce beer for 2,200 of Walmart’s 4,600 stores. It doesn’t take much detective work to figure out it must be Genessee Brewing.

Why don’t they just put that on the label?

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