Conservatives are vowing to never drink Heineken again after it was recently revealed that billionaire Bill Gates acquired a minority stake in the popular brewing company.
As reported by Bloomberg last week, Gates invested roughly $902 million earlier this month to obtain 3.8% of Heineken Holding, the second-largest brewer in the world, which also holds a number of beers outside Heineken in its portfolio.
Gates, while worthy of scrutiny given his wealth and influence, has been the target of conspiracy theorists by conservatives for years. The Microsoft founder has been accused of everything from purposely causing the COVID-19 pandemic to secretly plotting a smallpox outbreak to buying the nation’s farmland to implementing population control.
News of Gates’ acquisition went viral after being shared by the popular right-wing Twitter user known as DC_Draino.
The tweet, which has been shared well over 5,000 times, led to the creation of hashtags such as #BoycottHeineken and demands for conservatives to stop consuming the beer at once.
“Bill Gates just bought shares in Heineken You know what that means?” The Twitter user “UnJabbed Male” asked. “BOYCOTT HEINEKEN.”
Others argued that Gates’ purchase was unsurprising given what they claimed were satanic symbols hidden in Heineken’s logo. When turned upside down, one user alleged, the company’s flagship beer subliminally displays the number “666,” a reference to the “Mark of the Beast” in the Christian Bible.
“Your favorite psychopath eugenicist Bill Gates bought ownership in Heineken—so we can boycott Heineken,” the user wrote.
Many also suggested that the beer would now be poisoned or altered in order to vaccinate drinkers without their consent.
Yet the most conspiratorial claims regarding Gates’ ownership in the company came from supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Numerous accounts suggested that Heineken had already been using its kegs to transport adrenochrome, a substance conspiracy theorists falsely believe is harvested and consumed by the world’s elite from the adrenal glands of children terrified during Satanic rituals.
“The company Bill Gates has bought up stock in, own the barrels that Adrenochrome is transported in – Heineken,” Twitter user Vanessa Crown stated.
Ironically, however, the #BoycottHeineken hashtag isn’t just filled with outrage from Gates’ critics. Long before the billionaire’s purchase, primarily left-wing Twitter users were already using the hashtag to protest Heineken’s business relationship with Russia despite the ongoing war in Ukraine.
“Time to boycott Heineken! Heineken is still investing in Russia despite promises to stop,” one user wrote on Feb. 21. “It launched 61 new products in Russia last year & announced even more investments for 2023, including more modern packaging and new flavors.”
It remains unclear whether Heineken’s ties to Russia or Gates will have any significant effect on its bottom line.