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Posted December 2015

UK – Meantime to be sold – again!

British media called upon their readers to spare a thought for the folks at Meantime Brewery, about to be offloaded by AB-InBev just seven months after being bought by SABMiller. There were plenty of eyebrows raised when the Greenwich craft brewer was sold to SABMiller in May this year. On the other hand, Meantime's escape from the clutches of AB- InBev will raise a cheer in some quarters of the brewing industry. There's speculation that AB-InBev has already received an offer for Meantime, but even if it hasn't, one surely won't be long in coming, pundits say. Read on

 

South Africa – Former driver-owners sue ABI for USD 417 million

The case could not have come at a worse time for SABMiller as it seeks to get local approval for its sale to AB-InBev. Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI), the soft drink division of SABMiller’s local unit SAB, is being sued by 150 of its former employees, who say they were exploited under the guise of “black economic empowerment” policies.

Various media around the world reported in early December 2015 that the drivers were seeking 6.3 billion rand (USD 417 million) in compensation from ABI, claiming they were pressured to switch from being employees into “owner-drivers” to make it look as if the company had “empowered” them.

But the drivers argue that restrictive conditions and unfair contracts meant they went into debt, while SABMiller and ABI avoided liability under South Africa’s labour laws. Read on

 

USA – AB-InBev and Molson Coors defend MegaBrew to Congress

It was a sight to behold: the two major players in the U.S. beer market, AB-InBev’s CEO Carlos Brito and Molson Coors’ CEO Mark Hunter amicably side by side at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing in Washington on 8 December 2015. Well, not quite.

Between them sat Bob Pease, CEO of the Brewers Association, Craig Purser, President and CEO of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, Jay Wilson, Minister of Iowa Beer and Diana Moss, President of the American Antitrust Institute.

They had been invited to discuss U.S. lawmakers’ concerns about AB-InBev’s proposed USD 110 billion acquisition of SABMiller, which lawmakers fear would limit competition. According to U.S. media, Mr Brito put up a good show, effectively saying that the deal would increase domestic beer competition, not weaken it. Read on

 

Australia – AB-InBev may float brewer CUB after SABMiller deal

Oh Lordy, how many changes in ownership can the brewer CUB take? Until 2011 CUB was part of Foster’s, which then sold it to SABMiller for AUD 12.3 billion (almost USD 12 billion in those days).

Now AB-InBev is believed to be considering a sale of CUB by taking it to the stock market, Australian media reported at the end of November 2015.

According to rumour, the move is currently up for discussion at the global company, which agreed to buy rival SABMiller for USD 110 billion this year.

AB-InBev is already briefing investment banks in Europe as it looks to put SABMiller’s global brands such as Peroni and Grolsch on the block.

Although obscenely profitable, some analysts - not all - think that AB-InBev considers CUB and the Australian beer market as “non-core” to its overall global operations.

A final decision has yet to be made, though.

The AB-InBev+SABMiller transaction is not expected to face regulatory hurdles in Australia, where SABMiller has 39 percent market share, behind Lion, owned by Japanese brewer Kirin.

Insiders think that floating CUB would be a smart move, especially when AB-InBev terminate their contracts for the brands Corona, Stella Artois and Becks with Lion and return them to CUB. This will make CUB again Australasia’s largest brewer by some margin.

True, CUB may not enjoy much growth in a beer market which has been basically flat for some time, but with compulsory superannuation contributions by law in Australia, fund managers are awash with cash at an ever increasing rate. So they would not be averse to investing in low growth annuity type stocks.

CUB may only offer low single digit profit growth, however it will have strong, stable cash flows off a commanding market position with high barriers to market entry.

To make the float even more attractive, AB-InBev may also consider rolling in an Asian territory to give the business a growth angle.

Hence, from AB-InBev’s “global view”, relative to other opportunities post-merger, exiting Australia and repaying debt would be very clever.

Alternatively, some observers say that the business could be sold to private equity rather than get a listing. But buyout firms traditionally cash out of companies in the short term after making hefty profits through slashing costs. As SABMiller is seen as an expert at extracting costs, this would limit the upside for private equity.

For the company to be sold for a price as high as AUD 13 billion (USD 9.4 billion), CUB would need to be making about AUD 900 million (USD 649 million) in net profit, far higher than had been achieved when it was sold, sources said.

AB-InBev has already agreed to offload SABMiller’s 58 percent stake in MillerCoors, its U.S. joint venture, for USD 12 billion, to sidestep American competition watchdogs.

 

USA – Pabst takes over distribution of C&C ciders

This proves to show how tough the U.S. alcohol market can be. The Irish-based drinks group C&C, the maker of Magners cider, announced on 11 December 2015 that it has signed a long-term relationship with Pabst Brewing Company to distribute C&C’s cider products throughout the United States.

C&C entered the U.S. market three years ago with the EUR 235 million purchase of the Vermont Hard Cider Company, which owns a cidery and a number of brands in the New England region

The Irish group has since had to write EUR 150 million off the value of its U.S. assets due to distribution challenges and cut-throat competition from other ciders and alcoholic root beer. Read on

 

UK - Nightmare before Christmas – what to serve for dinner?

I really had NO IDEA! Bitter Tears, a cocktail made from real human tears, is just the latest recipe to be created from human excretions. The trend is called “body food” and it seems to be on an unpalatable rise, The Guardian (UK) newspaper reported on 8 December 2015.

Apart from the cocktail Bitter Tears, which was concocted by London’s experimental “food artistes” Bompas and Parr, two toffs who went to Eton before setting up a company that specialises in outlandish jelly creations, you will find the following items on the menu:

For starters, there is a “Yeast infection bread”, made from a recipe the feminist blogger Zoe Stavri posted recently, containing yeast from an infection she happened to be suffering from at the time. And no, you don’t want to know where she had this infection.

For dessert, there is a choice between Crème caramel avec semence (found in the book “Natural Harvest: A Collection of Semen-based Recipes”) and Breast milk ice-cream.

All of this can be washed down with Beard Beer by the Rogue Brewery in Oregon USA, which is made with wild yeast harvested from the bushy beard of its chief brewer John Maier. He has sported a beard since 1978, Rogue claims on its website. “This isn’t quite as odd as it sounds,” The Guardian article says. “By spending so much time in a brewery, the beard had become a repository for all sorts of yeasts (it was also full of the ordinary brewer’s yeast they use), but their lab was lucky to isolate a wild strain that actually made decent beer.”

Sadly, there is no main course on this menu. Therefore, readers in doubt as to what to serve at their Holiday dinners, are advised to consult a cookbook by Nigella Lawson or Jamie Oliver or anyone else. I am sure, their dishes will be much more palatable.

 

Belgium – AB-InBev puts Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime up for sale

That’s a good one. AB-InBev said on 3 December 2015 that they are exploring the sale of a number of SABMiller’s European premium brands to address “regulatory concerns” ahead of their planned merger.

On the block are Peroni and Grolsch and their associated businesses in Italy, the Netherlands and the UK. And while they are at it, AB-InBev are also seeking a buyer for London’s Meantime, a 16-year-old London craft brewer that SABMiller bought earlier this year.

Many wonder: why did AB-InBev not just admit that these brands and businesses are surplus to their requirements? To spare SABMiller’s employees any distress?

True, there could be regulatory issues. AB-InBev and SABMiller will have a combined market share of 30 percent in Italy and 27 percent in the Netherlands. In the UK it will be 21 percent.

As regulators scrutinise market share within segments—like premium and mainstream—rather than overall market share, AB-InBev probably think that they can get over the loss of the premium brand Meantime because their own brands, Stella Artois and Corona, are already large players in the UK’s premium segment.

But as any old AB-InBev watcher will confirm, AB-InBev is not really interested in Old Europe. Or why did they sell off their central European business to the private equity firm CVC after the formation of AB-InBev?

To AB-InBev, Europe’s beer markets are a struggle and profits are far too low for their liking. In fact, Europe would only constitute 7 percent of profits under MegaBrew, according to Nomura’s estimates, as Europe has lower EBIT margins than the group’s average (about 16 percent versus 24 percent for the combined group). Read on

 

USA – Craft brewers up in arms over AB-InBev’s new incentive plan

So much for the Three Tier System allegedly protecting smaller brewers. Thanks to their financial muscle, the Big Brewers always seem to find ways and means to get around it.

AB-InBev’s latest plan to reverse declining volumes in the U.S. by rewarding distributors with money if they focus on AB-InBev’s brands is raising alarm among craft brewers: they rightfully worry that it will become much harder for them to get their beers on to shelves if distributors chose not to carry them.

According to U.S. media, AB-InBev in November 2015 introduced an incentive programme that could offer some independent distributors in the U.S. annual reimbursements of as much as USD 1.5 million, provided that 98 percent of the beers they sell are AB-InBev brands. Read on

 

Germany – Stone Brewing launches in Berlin

The wait is over. On 7 December 2015 California’s Stone brewery served up the first rounds from the inaugural batch of beer brewed at its Berlin brewhouse, “the first independently built, owned, and operated American craft brewery in Europe”, as was pointed out.

Stone’s beer was poured in more than 40 locations in Berlin and six other European states. Stone began brewing a month ago to ship to outlying pubs, but some local Berlin bars will receive what the beer maker calls “uber-fresh” brews from beer kegged and delivered the same day. Read on

 

Greece – Heineken subsidiary fined for anti-competitive practices

Are Greek bureaucrats sitting on their hands? Two years ago, the Competition Commission concluded its investigation into anti-competitive practices in the country’s beer market, yet failed to publish it, critics say. Probably after some prodding, on 2 December 2015 the watchdog eventually imposed a EUR 31.5 million (USD 33.5 million) fine on the country's major beer producer Athenian Brewery, a Heineken subsidiary, for unfair market practices.

Local media cheered that the Competition Commission finally did the job it’s supposed to do, as in the past the watchdog tended to behave like a lap dog rather than like a bulldog. Read on

 

Australia – Hopped cider – who’s hopping mad here?

Hopped ciders are supposedly “tasty as hell”. In South Australia, the Hills Cider Company released its Hop Edition cider (8% ABV) in bottles, following a few small batch releases in keg. Made with fresh Adelaide Hills apples and – probably dry-hopped – with a blend of Cascade, Chinook, Summer, Citra and Galaxy hops, the “fusion displays upfront pineapple, citrus and tropical fruit aromatics, with subtle apricot, melon, pink grapefruit and citrus flavours,” Hills Cider’s Steve Dorman was quoted as saying. “The astringency of the hops balances the sweetness of the fresh apples, to create a fresh, crisp and fruit driven cider … with the ever growing popularity of hopped cider styles in USA and an increasingly educated craft beer and cider market here in Australia, we thought this would be a very exciting addition to the Australian craft cider category,” he said.

Cider is a buoyant category in Australia, having reached 4 litres per capita or 5 percent of the beer market, estimates indicate.

Whatever readers generally think of the idea, hopped ciders have been around the U.S. for a few years now. However, they only gained wider recognition last year when the Vermont Hard Cider Company - whose Woodchuck brand is the number two brand in the cider category – launched its Hopsation, a cider made with hops to yield IPA-like flavours.

Hopsation could have been a solitary experiment had not earlier this year Boston Beer, the brewer of Samuel Adams beer and maker of Angry Orchard ciders, released its own French hops–infused Hop’n Mad Apple variety. That’s when observers knew that the category was hot. Read on

 

USA – Craft brewer Ballast Point sold for record-breaking USD 1 billion

Funny that. What started a decade ago as sort of a rebellion against “Big Beer” is itself becoming Big Business. Constellation Brands, the number three brewer in the U.S., said on 16 November 2015 that it will pay USD 1 billion for Californian craft brewer Ballast Point Brewing - a record sum for a U.S. craft brewer. San Diego-based Ballast Point, which was founded in 1996 by a small group of homebrewers, confirmed the sale one day after the conclusion of the San Diego Beer Week. Around the world the 10-figure sum commanded attention.

I don’t understand the surprise. May I remind readers that a profit multiple of 80 seems to be the going rate for craft brewers these days. When in April 2015 the Scottish BrewDog embarked on its fourth, and one-year long crowd-funder to raise GBP 25 million or USD 40 million (see my report “Money from the Masses”), it valued itself at 80 times profit.

If over in the UK craft brewers can get away with such a valuation, why can’t Ballast Point? Read on

 

USA – Brewers jump onto the nitro bandwagon

Oh dear, do they really call this innovation? The U.S. craft beer scene has been abuzz with talk about nitro beers for months, ever since Boston Beer, the number two craft brewer in the U.S., announced they would launch a series of nitro beers early next year, thus making several gassed-up commentators wonder if these beers will be the new IPA.

In fact, nitro beers are really old hat. They have been around, well, like forever. In the 1950s the Irish brewer Guinness started experimenting with the process and introduced its nitro stout in 1964, if records are to be believed. Today Guinness sells its nitro stout on draught and also in cans. Read on

 

USA – Heineken to stop selling Desperados in the U.S.

As in “here today, gone tomorrow”, Heineken USA is ending its tequila-flavoured beer experiment. Desperados, a lager with tequila that launched in the U.S. only in 2014, will be discontinued, U.S. media reported on 18 November 2015. Heineken USA will focus instead on its four priority brands: Heineken/Heineken Light, Dos Equis, Strongbow and Tecate. Desperados is sold in 85 international markets and is especially popular in France.

Heineken USA began Desperados' U.S. rollout in Florida and Georgia, with plans to begin nationwide distribution in 2015. Desperados has 6 percent ABV and is made, the company says, by combining lager that's been aged in tequila barrels with beer that includes tequila and lemon flavours. While the product has trace amounts of tequila, it is technically classified as a malt beverage.

Despite Heineken’s efforts, Desperados remained a regional brand with the Southeast being the main focus area. Consider it a sign of our times that consumer goods companies – and Heineken is no exception here – no longer want to faff around with brands that don’t meet targets. Irrespective of targets being perhaps too optimistic, the general policy these days seems to be: “if a brand does not fly, say buh-bye!” Read on

 

USA – The saga of JE Siebel’s grave in Chicago

Here’s the remarkable story of how JE Siebel, a feisty German immigrant and founder of one of the most renowned international brewing schools, finally received a marker on his grave, nearly 100 years after he died. The story is told by Keith Lemcke, Vice-President of the Siebel Institute, in his typical humorous fashion (iv).

As with so many of my stories, this one starts at a bar. Well, actually, it really started about a century before that, but let’s just move forward.

At Goose Island Clybourn around August 2010, while sitting with my great friend, co-worker and fellow beer assessment consultant Lyn Kruger [she is actually President & COO of the Siebel Institute], I blurted out “I wonder where JE is buried”. Lyn offered “I don’t know. Why don’t you ask the Siebel brothers?” The investigation began. Within seconds I began mashing (brewing reference there…) the keypad on my then state of the art Blackberry, posing the question “Where is JE buried?”

So now I must fill in the blanks, given most of you do not know who the above people are. Most important in this tale is JE. That stands for Dr Johannes Ewald Siebel, “John” in the U.S., the “founder of our school”. I put that phrase in quotation marks due to the simplistic nature of the phrase. Dr Siebel was far, far more than just the founder of a brewing school. True, Siebel Institute of Technology stands as an achievement that almost defies belief, given that we have survived so long to remain a leader in worldwide brewing education in the face of so many tidal changes in what exists as brewing today. This is about his story.

The Siebel brothers are Ron and Bill Siebel, the last of the Siebel family members to have ownership of Siebel Institute. As with several generations before them, Bill and Ron kept the Institute torch fully ablaze through decades of challenge and change. They shepherded the school through some of its most prolific times from the 1970s through the end of the 1990s, exiting from ownership when Lallemand of Canada took ownership in 2000.

Back to our story…within just a few days of my inquiry both brothers replied that they weren’t positive of JE’s location, but Ron suggested I should check Graceland Cemetery on Clark St. at Irving Park in Chicago.

Not having traced the whereabouts of long-deceased people before, I did the obvious, which was to send an email to Graceland asking if there was a way to trace people in their property with only a name and day of death. It was not difficult to find the date of JE’s passing. It was reported widely in local newspapers and brewing industry publications. Such was the legacy of Dr Siebel. If many of the best-known brewers through American history have risen tall by standing on the shoulders of giants, one such giant was JE Siebel.

As a German immigrant he arrived in the 1860s, establishing the Zymotechnic Institute in Chicago as the first Western laboratory dedicated to brewing science. JE was not simply a brewing technician, but rather he was fully an engineer, chemist, and pioneer in the science we have since come to understand as biotechnology. At a time when breweries were benefiting from the emerging field of mechanical refrigeration, Dr Siebel literally wrote the textbook on commercial-level refrigeration amongst volumes of other research papers and articles.

The death of Dr Siebel in late 1919 was of great import to the brewing industry that year, yet it barely registered as a tremor compared to the earthquake that had occurred earlier that year. In 1919, the U.S. ratified national Prohibition of alcohol production, and the Siebel Institute could no longer teach brewing in America.

It took little time for Graceland Cemetery to return with positive information. Dr Siebel and his wife Anna were both buried in Graceland. On a sunny spring day, after a week of torrential rain, I visited the cemetery where I was given a copy of the burial records for JE and Anna, along with a map indicating the location of their resting places. Their burial records were so odd to see … hand-written on a small index card. What was most shocking was seeing that his wife Anna died in 1897, fully 22 years before his death. She died at 48 before the first major courses were to be launched at what would become Siebel Institute. As well, Dr Siebel would have been left to face the oncoming state-by-state threat of Prohibition on his own until the eventual closure of the brewing school.

I walked to the site of the plot around the outside of this massive, historic graveyard. The rains of the days before filled the property with a fresh aromatic of new grass while the visuals of the stunning monuments and markers offered an amazing experience of seeing some of the most opulent structures you can imagine. This being Chicago, there were also mosquitoes. Lots of them. I reached the Siebel burial site and looked for marker #256. I saw no marker by that number, with many of the stone number markers eroded to illegibility by years of exposure to the elements.

I spent almost an hour looking for JE and Anna’s headstone to no avail, giving up after 45 minutes of being a mosquito snack bar. A week later I went back. Nothing. So I went to the office and told them of my inability to see their headstone. The woman at the counter went into their burial records. There was never a headstone ordered. Their graves were unmarked.

At the time of Dr Siebel’s death, Prohibition was the law of the land. There was no longer a market for brewing industry research and education as there was no longer a brewing industry. It was said that Dr Siebel died heartbroken, and that is understandable. He had built an institute that represented the best of science, technology and education only to see it vanish through the changing currents of culture. Alcohol was destroying families, compromising commerce and undermining the morality of the nation. While his death was lamented by an entire industry, there was no posthumous recognition of a man who was a true legend. He was beloved in his neighbourhood. In 1933, a bust of Dr Siebel was commemorated at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry with a ceremony documenting the many achievements over his lifetime.

Yet in 1919, at the time of his death, his grave went unmarked. Was it that the brewing industry was in tatters, or that the collapse of the Siebel Institute, which employed several family members in a range of roles, had left them all destitute? All we know is that until five years ago, the last resting place of Dr Siebel was unknown to those who stood on his shoulders.

The Siebel family would have none of it.

Since the death of JE in 1919, the Siebel family, employees, students, customers and practitioners of brewing technology worldwide have benefitted from the works of Dr Siebel, the entity he established and the philosophy he espoused.

The Siebel brothers put in motion the creation of a marker to pay tribute to the late Dr Siebel and his wife. With only a small footprint provided by their humble burial plot, the marker is simple in nature. Yet consider … how would you possibly create a monument worthy of such achievement? The very nature of how we brew beer around the world has been affected by the works of JE Siebel, from the understanding of the effects of high-gravity brewing on fermentation to the process of counter-pressure racking, for which Dr Siebel holds the patent?

The grave marker for Dr Siebel and his wife Anna was put in place a couple of weeks ago. It lies beneath the shade of three trees, one of which may have been just a twig 96 years ago and now casts brightly coloured leaves onto their resting place. The elevated Red Line passes not 100 feet away, giving legions of passengers a rapidly-moving view of the final home of a true pioneer in brewing science, technology and culture.

In the coming weeks, before the snow falls, a few of us will go visit. I am not sure if they allow a brew onsite, but given that it may offer the Good Doctor his first taste in almost a century, maybe a can or two will sneak their way past security.

From a grateful brewing industry, and from those lucky enough to carry on your vision, thanks, Dr Siebel.

Keith Lemcke

 

USA – Obituary: William R. Siebel

William (Bill) Siebel, philanthropist and former President of the Siebel Institute, died 8 November 2015, aged 69

In the classroom of the Siebel Institute in Chicago, there is a long wall featuring the graduating class photographs of students dating back to the year 1900. The year 1973 marked the first appearance of a young, moustachioed Bill Siebel in the faculty section of the Diploma Course photographs, and his image would appear in every class photo for the next 26 years.

Unless you knew Bill, visitors to Siebel could be forgiven for wondering who this prankster was, who, year after year, managed to blag his way into one of the world’s oldest brewing schools to have his photo taken with the brewing school’s graduates?

Certainly, Bill would have chuckled at the suggestion of him being a repeat gatecrasher at the school, which has borne his family’s name since the 19th century. He would have even taken delight in being awarded the nickname Zelig – the title character of a Woody Allen “mockumentary” from 1983 about a human chameleon that sneaked past guards at major events to rub shoulders with the high and mighty – because he would have known of the film or more probably would have even seen it.

Bill had a great sense of humour. When he attended the Munich trade fair Drinktec as an exhibitor for the first time in 1993, he came armed with only a poster, expecting to be given a tabletop for his brochures. To his surprise he had in fact rented a large booth. Bill being Bill made the best of this and immediately organised two dozen large trees in pots which he placed alongside the walls. If passers-by remarked that the Siebel Institute had obviously branched out into horticulture, Bill laughed his infectious and his eyes would sparkle behind his glasses as he repeated the story about his mishap over and over again.

Despite his self-effacing modesty, Bill represented the best of North American “beer royalty”. Being a fourth generation Siebel to run the business, whose passion for beer was undeniable – he was most inconsolable when he had to cancel being a judge at this year’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver due to his failing health – Bill felt equally strongly about his obligations as a citizen. He diligently and conscientiously gave his expertise to many good causes and probably even more in terms of financial support. However, you had to know him really well to discover this side of him.

Bill was a Chicago man: born and bred in the Windy City, which he loved but hated for its extreme weather. This may have been one reason why he chose to study in far-away Florida. He graduated from Florida’s Admiral Farragut Academy and the University of Miami. He served in the Navy, rising to lieutenant, before returning to Chicago — and the family beer business — in 1971.

The Siebel Institute of Technology was established in Chicago in 1872 by Bill’s great-grandfather, the German-born immigrant John Ewald Siebel. Unlike Bill, JE Siebel must have been a real sourpuss, judging from the dour-looking gentleman, whose bust Bill and his wife Barbara kept in their yard. On my last visit to Chicago this spring, we presented JE to the Siebel Institute – they already had the other of the two busts that JE had made – because Bill knew no one in his family would want such a stern character face them in the morning.

Bill did not bear his family’s heritage lightly. He would joke about how the Siebel Institute made it through this “inconvenient time” Americans call Prohibition. Officially, the Siebel Institute kept going as a school of baking - which, like brewing, uses yeast – and Bill would laughingly speculate that his ancestors probably were involved in all kinds of shenanigans. After all, Prohibition in Chicago gave rise to plenty of colourful gangsters whose empires were made with alcohol. In fact, reality was far bleaker than Bill liked to narrate it. When JE Siebel died in late 1919, Prohibition had already been ratified, which meant that the Siebel Institute could no longer teach brewing in America and several Siebel family members were left destitute, says Keith Lemcke, Vice-President of the Siebel Institute.

As we know, the Siebel Institute survived. But when Bill joined the Institute, his father and uncle had already sold the business. Fortunately, Bill and his older brother Ron succeeded in getting it back. “We got it back in the family hands, and it stayed there until Bill retired and wanted to liquidate his holdings in the institute,” Ron said. Today, the school is owned by Lallemand, a Canadian yeast company.

Both Bill and Ron attended the Institute to be taught all about yeast, malt, fermentation, biological science, quality control, engineering and packaging. “One of my classmates in 1967 was August Pabst, and August Busch III was a few years before,” Ron said. Over its long history, the Siebel Institute has produced tens of thousands of alumni with such illustrious surnames like Busch, Coors, Pabst and Stroh. But John Mallett of Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo; the father and grandfather of Samuel Adams brewer Jim Koch; and Greg Hall, a brewmaster at Goose Island Beer Company, were also among them.

For decades, the school and laboratory were located at 4055 W. Peterson, where the Siebels had a brewing library and a second-floor Bierstube in mock-Germanic style. For parties they liked to serve brat and sauerkraut.

While Ron would focus on selling auxiliary products, Bill was Mr Inside. “He was very good with numbers,” his brother remembers. Because of Bill, the business was always on a steady course. This does not mean that things were easy. For decades, the U.S. beer industry has been in a state of transition. In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s a lot of the smaller brewers went out of business followed by the remaining mid-tier brewers in the 1990s. Fortunately for the Siebel Institute and thanks to Bill’s tireless travelling and networking, international students and craft brewers began to fill seats as of the 1990s. Bill wholeheartedly welcomed them, offering them educational opportunities.

Until his retirement in 2000, Bill taught at the Siebel Institute and took on various roles, from registrar, to President, Chairman and CEO.

A memorial service was held on 22 November 2015 at the Siebel Institute of Technology, 900 N. Branch St.

Bill Siebel at the MBAA meeting where he and his brother Ron were presented with the Karl Strauss award in 2008. Photo: Siebel Institute

 

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