Fact Check

Did Budweiser Pull Their Product from a Store Where Arabs Celebrated the 9/11 Attacks?

Many "feel-good" revenge tales circulated online in the wake of the September 11 attacks, most of them false.

Published Oct. 12, 2001

A Budweiser employee who saw Arabs celebrating the 9/11 attacks at a convenience store pulled all the company's product from that store.

A tale about an avenging Budweiser employee that first surfaced on the Internet around 20 September 2001 was but one of the innumerable "celebrating Arabs" tales that circulated in the wake of the 9/11 attacks that year:

Thought you'd like to know what happened in a town north of Bakersfield California. After you finish reading this, please forward this story on to others so that our nation and around the world will know about those who laughed when they found out about the tragic events in New York, PA and the Pentagon.

September 11th, a Budweiser employee was making a delivery to a convenience store in a town called McFarland. He knew of the tragedy that had occurred in New York. He entered the business to find two Arabs whooping and hollering and really cheering it up. It was obvious they were elated with what had happened earlier. The Budweiser employee went to his truck, called his boss and told him of the very upsetting event. He didn't feel he could be in that store with those horrible people. His boss told him, "Do you think you could go in there long enough to pull every Budweiser product and item our beverage company sells there? We'll never deliver to them again."

The employee walked in, proceeded to pull every single product his beverage company provided and left with an incredible grin on his face. He told them never to bother and call for a delivery again.

Budweiser happens to be the beer of choice for that community. Just letting you all know how Kern County handles this situation!! [And now the rest of the story: It seems that the Bud driver and the Pepsi man are neighbors. Bud driver called Pepsi driver and told him. Pepsi called his boss who told him to pull all Pepsi products as well!! That would include Frito Lay, etc. Furthermore, word spread and all vendors followed suit!

At last report, the store was closed indefinitely. Good old American Passive-Aggressive Butt-Whoopin'!

Pass this along. America needs to know that we're all working together.

Variations of the same rumor type, about Arab employees caught celebrating on the 11th as they watched the events of the day unfold, has been aimed at countless businesses, both big and small. Authorities checked into many such stories and found nothing to them, however the negative effect such slanders have had on the businesses named in them is enormous. (Another article here details a few of these rumors, making specific mention of the ones aimed at Dunkin' Donuts and National Liquidators.)

The Budweiser version is every bit as much a fiction as all the rest of this genre. The events described above never happened, said Dennis Muleady, marketing director for Advance Beverage of Bakersfield, the Budweiser distributor for the McFarland area. As well, a query to Anheuser-Busch produced the following response:

Please know that we have investigated the matter and have found there is no truth to this story. We've checked extensively on this story in a number of different locations, with wholesalers and retail accounts and there is no report of a customer reacting in such a manner. Therefore, no product has been pulled from any retail account.

Like all Americans, we at Anheuser-Busch along with our wholesalers were shocked and saddened by the tragic and violent terrorist attack on our country. We keep the victims and survivors in our thoughts.


The Bakersfield Californian.   "Attack Hoaxes Make Rounds on Web."     28 September 2001.