Posted August 2019
USA – Beer sales are up this year but only thanks to spiked seltzers
Off-premise beer sales are up in the low single digit percentages this year, according to market research firm IRI. But this is thanks to flavoured malt beverages, or alcopops made from malt, which are included in beer statistics. The surge is led by Mark Anthony Brands, the producer of White Claw seltzer.
As vinepair.com reports, spiked seltzers are growing sales, while the country’s major beer brands are in decline. Read on
Brazil – AmBev calls bribery allegations “false and incoherent”
After years of investigations into the country’s biggest corruption scheme, “Operation Carwash” is still bringing up more dirt. Now it was AmBev’s turn to be implicated. It was accused of making “inappropriate payments” to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, two former Brazilian presidents. Allegedly, the country’s major brewer hoped these payments would prevent a hike in corporate taxes. AB-InBev’s local unit AmBev has vigorously denied the report as “false and incoherent”. Read on
USA – Coke and PepsiCo abandon the plastics lobby
Having made sweeping sustainability pledges, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo did the only logical thing and stepped away from a plastics lobbying group, the Plastics Industry Association, amid activist pressure. Read on
Vietnam – Lawmakers try to clamp down on citizens’ love for beer
In an effort to curb rising medical costs and drunken driving, Vietnam will ban alcohol advertising on radio and TV from 6 pm to 9 pm, as well as before and after children’s programmes. The new law takes effect in January 2020. Another bill, which would have restricted the hours for alcohol sales, failed to pass through parliament. Read on
Vietnam – Heineken and Carlsberg fight it out
With a population of nearly 100 million people and beer accounting for 95 percent of alcohol consumption, the southeast Asian country has become an alluring market for brewers. Media report that Heineken’s sales have jumped by double-digit percentages in the past four years, making Vietnam a major source of group profits after Mexico. Read on
USA – AB-InBev sells “Busch Latte” (aka Busch Light) in the Midwest
So this is AB-InBev’s take on localism in beer: change the label. Catering to Midwestern pride, the brewer will be selling its value brand Busch Light as a limited edition in select states with the cheeky label “Busch Latte”. AB-InBev has repeatedly “activated regional pride” by quickly changing the labels of its popular brands for limited releases. Read on
Germany – Beer sales are trending down again
Beer production has declined 2.7 percent during the first six months of 2019, compared with the same period in 2018. German brewers sold around 46 million hl beer in the first half – excluding non-alcoholic beers and malt beverages. Thanks to an auspicious combo of good weather and the Football World Cup, German brewers ended 2018 with a slight sales increase over 2017. But with no such crowd-pullers scheduled for 2019, German beer consumption is set to continue its steady decline. Read on
USA – AB-InBev buys Platform brewery
Despite the ambiguous name, Platform is not an e-commerce site but a brewery business. The firm from Ohio was fully acquired by AB-InBev on 7 August 2019. It will join AB-InBev’s US unit Brewers Collective as its newest craft partner. Platform, which was founded in Ohio City in 2014 by Paul Benner and Justin Carson, will be the 13th craft brewer in the Brewers Collective. Again, financial terms were not disclosed. The founders will stay involved in day-to-day operations, at least for the foreseeable future.
South Africa – Heineken expands Sedibeng brewery as demand grows
Heineken has embarked on a USD 70 million expansion of its Sedibeng brewery in a bid to ramp up capacity to meet the growing demand for its products. The expansion will take Sedibeng’s annual capacity from over 5 million hl to 8.5 million hl by 2020. Construction is already underway at Sedibeng, southwest of Johannesburg, where the company is producing ciders and beers such as Heineken, Amstel, Windhoek and Strongbow cider. South Africa is the biggest beer market in Africa, with a considerable cider market. Read on
India – AB InBev banned from selling beer in Delhi for three years
It seems grossly unfair. The Delhi government has banned AB-InBev from selling beer in the Indian capital for three years, because the previous owner of its Indian subsidiary, SABMiller, had fiddled with its tax payments. According to local media, which broke the story on 30 July 2019, SABMiller would attach false barcodes to its bottles of beer distributed in Delhi, whereby it became liable to pay less tax. AB-InBev has since appealed against the ban to the Commissioner of Excise in the Delhi city government, arguing that the allegations date back to 2016, which is before they took over SABMiller. A decision is still pending. Read on
USA – New Molson Coors CEO to address declining sales
It would be cruel to say that it was only a matter of time. But after another set of disappointing figures, Molson Coors’ CEO Mark Hunter is stepping down in September 2019. Read on
USA – AB-InBev’s ZX Ventures has topped USD 1 billion in turnover
After the abandoned IPA and the sale of Australia’s brewer CUB to Asahi in July 2019, AB-InBev must have felt compelled to issue some genuinely positive news, and pronto: The head of its incubator, ZX Ventures, Pedro Earp was giving interviews to CNBC and Bloomberg. The gist is, the stand alone unit, which was founded in 2015, has already seen its turnover break through the USD 1 billion threshold. Read on
Australia – Investors fret over Asahi’s rising mountain of debt
Asahi had moved swiftly to buy Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) from AB-InBev for USD 11 billion or 15 times EBITDA, after the world’s number one brewer looked to raise cash in the wake of its junked IPO of its Asian business.
Guess what, observers came out in force and complained that Asahi had overpaid for CUB. Ritsuko Tsunoda, an analyst at JPMorgan, was quoted as saying that “the deal would have been more attractive had the acquisition price been about USD 1.9 billion lower.” What planet are these people from? Read on
Australia – Asahi’s purchase of CUB: boon or bane?
Insiders seem divided over the impact of Asahi’s acquisition of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) from AB-InBev in July 2019. Given that Kirin and Asahi are now at loggerheads both in Australia and Japan, some expect that irrational discounting by both players will continue, in fact harming all brewers, including Coopers from Adelaide, ranked third, and over 650 domestic craft brewers. The head of independent brewer Coopers, Dr Tim Cooper, begs to differ from this view. In fact, he has welcomed the sale of CUB to Asahi, saying it would bring stability to his business that has been under pressure due to CUB’s aggressive sales tactics. Read on
Belgium – AB-InBev under pressure
Beer consumption has been in decline in Belgium for years. In 2018, Belgians drank 7 million hl beer, an increase of 100,000 hl over 2017, but still a significant decrease from the 8.5 million hl beer consumed in 2010. What has caused volumes to decline? Read on
Ireland – Fem-Ale Fest brings together women in the beer and drinks industry
Held at the Franciscan Well brewpub in Cork on 9 and 10 August 2019, the Fem-Ale Fest is Ireland’s only festival dedicated to celebrating women in the drinks industry. Now in its second year, the festival will be held at Franciscan Well’s beer garden, a popular Cork destination for craft beers and pizza. It will feature a range of Irish beers brewed by the female brewers of Ireland, with thirteen breweries attending. Read on
Germany –BrewDog opens beer garden in Berlin
After an extensive refurbishment, BrewDog will open the restaurant and beer garden at the former Stone brewery in Berlin on 10 August 2019. The Scottish brewer took over the business and the workforce from Stone in April this year.
Following the soft opening, a grand opening party for neighbours and visitors will be held on 8 September 2019. On the day before, BrewDog will host its “Equity for Punks” European General Meeting at the brewery. There are currently over 100,000 investors in BrewDog. Read on
Germany – Global beer production declined again in 2018
Only around 1.9 billion hl beer were consumed world-wide in 2018. This represents a decline of 38 million hl or 2 percent over the previous year, according to the latest Barth report, released in July 2019. The principal cause was the fall in output in China, totalling nearly 60 million hl. Even production hikes in Europe (+2 percent), in the Americas (+1 percent) and in Africa (+2 percent) could not compensate the losses in China. Read on