“Bikes, beer, … genocide?” Protesting New Belgium’s buyer

Ravyn Cullor

New Belgium saw a protest titled “Bikes, beer, … genocide?” on Saturday, Dec. 14, calling attention to the company’s possible buyer, Kirin Company, and their connection to genocide in Myanmar.

The company, which is selling after 28 years of being locally owned and almost two decades of being employee owned, announced they would possibly be sold to Lion Little World Beverages, a subsidiary of Kirin, on Nov. 19. The announcement was met with frustration by employees and community members, but this protest was inspired by international issues.


According to a report by the Human Rights Council, the Kirin Company has been connected to the genocide committed against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. One of the company’s subsidiaries donated more than $12,000 to the Myanmar armed forces, which committed recognized acts of violence against the Rohingya and other ethnic groups in the Rakhine State in an attempt to push them out of the area, according to a United Nations report

According to a document sent to The Collegian by the Karen Organization of America, legal action against the “perpetrators” of the genocide began Dec. 10.

“As a subsidiary of Kirin, New Belgium would become part of a key financial network empowering the Burmese army to continue committing genocide and crimes against humanity,” the document read. “By operating breweries in Burmese with the military, Kirin is propping up a genocidal regime and normalizing their conduct.”

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Ravyn Cullor can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @RCullor99.