Whiteclay presents an intriguing study in business ethics. While alcoholic beverages were lawful in Nebraska, they are prohibited on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Nevertheless, the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission issued four beer licenses in Whiteclay, an unincorporated town of 12 residents located within 300 yards of Pine Ridge. Whiteclay’s beer stores sold 3.5 + cans of beer in 2016 alone.
It was well known that Whiteclay’s beer stores were selling most, if not all, of its inventory to Pine Ridge residents who could not lawfully consume or possess the beer on the Reservation. It was also unlawful to consume the beer in vehicles, on public right-of-ways, or on private property within the State of Nebraska without the permission of the property owner. So what steps did America’s largest brewer, Anheuser Busch InBev, or its independent distributor in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, take to address the exploitive selling that was occurring in Whiteclay?