Ziggy's Bar & Grill, Kata Robata Battle Bud Light After Brewery Bill Fails

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In response to House Bill 602's recent death at the hands of Anheuser-Busch, local restaurants such as Ziggy's Bar & Grill and Kata Robata have scratched Bud Light from their menus and have spread the word of this boycott through social media.

"We have '86 Bud Light' written on the door and people who got that, got it and it was hilarious," said Ziggy's general manager Taushah Crawford.

HB 602, which recently died in the legislature, would have allowed breweries to charge an admission fee to any visitor wishing to take a tour. The bill would have also allowed breweries to either gift or sell their craft beer to visitors. The provisions of the bill would have allowed Texas breweries to operate like wineries.

Anheuser-Busch intervened to stop the passage of the bill in the eleventh hour.

"[HB 602] has tried to go through a few times under different names and it probably would have gone through this time," Kata Robata owner general manager Josh Martinez said. "[Anheuser-Busch] has nothing to lose or to gain from it."

While the restaurants' actions resemble a boycott, Ziggy's owner Kevin Strickland shies away from that label. Strickland instead stands by the mantra of small business solidarity.

Ziggy's and Kata Robata have also spread awareness through Twitter which has been instrumental to small business in Houston. Instead of actively enlisting participants, they hope other restaurants and small businesses will choose to stand beside them.

"What's really nice about social media, particularly something like Twitter, is it gives a small business owner the ability to have a voice and maybe level the playing field a little bit," Strickland said.

Strickland also credits social media for strengthening the ties in the Houston's local business community.

Texas House Representative Jessica Farrar authored HB 602. Local Breweries like Southern Star, Real Ale and St. Arnold's would have been able to reap those benefits.

Strickland held a rally to support HB 602 and craft beer in March 2011. A hundred people attended, including Farrar.

Strickland said Anheuser-Busch will eventually alienate small business through their actions and accelerate the removal of Anheuser-Busch products from other menus.

"Anheuser-Busch may have won this battle, but they're probably losing the war," Strickland said.

Refusing to sell Bud Light has not hurt sales for either restaurant. Craft beer accounts for a third of alcohol sales and five percent of total sales at Ziggy's. Bud Light usually ranks near the bottom of Ziggy's beer sales. Strickland credits the greater interest in craft beer to the decline in Anheuser-Busch products. Solidarity will help itself in the end.

"No one cares about Bud Light," Strickland said.

While Martinez has not named a replacement beer, Strickland will replace Bud Light with another craft beer Silver Light.



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Location Info

Kata Robata Sushi & Grill

3600 Kirby, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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16 comments
Hugh Ramsey
Hugh Ramsey

my boycott was difficult at FPSF this weekend

Gaslight
Gaslight

If I had a restaurant or bar, I would boycott AB, too.

Nicholas Hunter
Nicholas Hunter

You know what they say about why Bud Light is like making love in a canoe? If not, I guess this isn't an appropriate place to enlighten you. Never touch the stuff myself, although I don't judge you if you do. Actually, that's not true either.

PDiddie
PDiddie

Bud Lite has always been a waste of perfectly good water anyway.

Strette111
Strette111

Bravo!  Now, just make sure all the other AB-InBev products are off the list, as well.  It's time to hit these jokers where they hurt, and to support those that do so.

Guest
Guest

If that's all you have to say, stop sayin'

Kata Robata
Kata Robata

as much as i would like to own a restaurant such a Kata I Joshua Martinez am just a Humble General Manager for Kata the Cheng Family own Kata and the Azuma Group. please correct this very embarrassing .  

Matthew
Matthew

good riddance to bad rubbish

Lyle London
Lyle London

I figured that they used unfiltered water from the Buffalo Bayou, so technically, they probably did improve it a bit... At least it is now clearer and even after being processed through the human body, it is still clearer than what is in Buffalo Bayou.

Toddk63
Toddk63

Yes the list is long.  Bohemia, Becks, Spaten, Goose Island to name just a few

Rafdog1
Rafdog1

Joshua-my wife and I have been to KB a couple times-the food and service have been outstanding-keep it up.

Kkromers
Kkromers

Oops. Better pull the Becks & Goose Island too if you're gonna boycott ABI products.

Kylejack
Kylejack

 No, no Goose Island in Texas.  Prior to the AB Inbev buyout, there were rumblings that they were about to enter the Texas market, but I don't know where that stands now.

Sandyerik
Sandyerik

I support the boycott . . . . But just out of, um, curiosity, does any place in Houston serve Goose Island?

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