Marin Institute Criticizes Brewer’s Hurricane Charitable Relief Efforts

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Anheuser-Busch and its wholesalers donated $3.8 million in cash to the Red Cross and other relief agencies, stopped beer production in the region to can free water instead of beer, made its fleet of trucks available to the Red Cross for deliveries of food, water, power generators, and other critically needed supplies. In many cases across the devastated areas, the brewer’s trucks were the first on the scene to deliver the food, water and other life-saving supplies. The brewer and its wholesalers saw a need and quickly responded with massive relief efforts.

However, in the view of the Marin Institute, the response of the brewer and its affiliates was a “second disaster” visited upon the suffering region. Although hurricane victims greatly appreciated the help, the Marin Institute didn’t. The anti-alcohol group insisted that “Anheuser-Busch’s charitable efforts took its predatory practices to a new low.” It insisted that “packaging water in Budweiser beer cans-delivered in Budweiser trucks- is just another example of how the alcohol industry exploits vulnerable people.”

Editorials and letters to the editor throughout the stricken region suggest that residents greatly appreciated the brewer’s relief efforts, the Red Cross praised the brewer, Florida Sen. Steven A Geller said that if more companies had acted as the brewer did “my state and country would be far better off,” and Mississippi state legislators were critical of the Marin Institutes cynical attack.

Apparently only the radical Marin Institute understands in what way Anheuser-Bush’s charity is predatory and exploitive. It also appears that “there’s no level to which this group won’t stoop” in order to criticize any action by any alcohol beverage producer.

The Marin Institute has earlier attacked Coors Brewing Co. for an "involved parenting" program, and the Sutter Home winery for donating money to breast-cancer research.

In the eyes of the Marin Institute, no alcohol producer can ever do good. This really tells us much more about the anti-alcohol group itself than about the alcohol producers it criticizes.

It’s little wonder that Marin Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems has been recognized for its temperance-oriented activities by the Prohibition Party.



  • Mullin, Jeremy. Shoe on other foot for Marin Institute: Group gets slammed for opposing A-B’s $3.8 million donation to relief effort. Advertising Age, May 15, 2006; Marin Institute. Money from Misery: Anheuser-Busch Uses Hurricane Katrina as an Opportunity to Increase Profits. (

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