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On our own behalf – The Beer Monopoly on the Forbes List „Best Booze Books of 2017“

We are speechless. Surprised. Humbled. Incredibly grateful. Our book The Beer Monopoly appears on this year`s Forbes List "Best Booze Books". No, no, it`s not the Forbes Rich List. Fat chance of us ever getting on to that one.
The list was compiled by Tara Nurin and can be found here >>


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Posted July 2020

South Africa – Alcohol ban reintroduced

To contain the spread of covid-19, the government has introduced new restrictions, including another ban on alcohol sales and a night-time curfew. The wearing of masks outdoors has been made compulsory. Not wearing one is now a criminal offence. The prohibition on alcohol sales, introduced on 12 July, is to last at least until the end of August. President Cyril Ramaphosa said that outlawing alcohol sales became necessary again to take pressure off the national healthcare system. Doctors and police said that the first ban had contributed to a sharp drop in emergency admissions to hospital. The crime rate had shrunk by 70 percent. However, once the ban was scrapped, hospital admissions surged again. Read on


Australia – Brewers call for freeze on beer tax hike

Brewers, publicans and other representatives of the country’s alcohol industry are calling on the government for the beer tax increase to either be scrapped or for the tariff to be frozen at its current level. The lockdowns across Australia have devastated their sector and the change to the tax would support its recovery. The Australian Federal Government currently taxes an average of USD 2.26 per litre of beer, which is set to increase to an unknown amount on 1 August 2020 when the government plans the next budget. The beer tax is hiked automatically every six months in line with Consumer Price Index increases. This mechanism was introduced in 1983 and has seen the price of beer creep up little by little every half year. However, consumers also pay another 10 percent GST on top of everything, including the excise tax, at the retail end. This makes beer very expensive. Read on


USA – Constellation sold craft brewer Ballast Point for USD 41 million

Now we know. Constellation Brands sold Ballast Point for USD 41.1 million. The figure was disclosed in its latest government filing. Beer Marketers Insight, a news outlet, tweeted: “From USD 1 billion down to USD 41.1 million in 4.5 years. That’s a lot of value that went down the drain.” Read on


USA – Mikkeller bars in San Francisco and Los Angeles closed

Danish craft brewer Mikkeller is going through a rough patch. Known to partner with local restauranteurs on its bars, the Mikkeller location in Los Angeles was closed in February, followed by the Mikkeller bar in San Francisco in May. Both were operated by Mikkeller’s partner Chuck Stilphen. A leaked email in February from Mr Stilphen said that Mikkeller Downtown LA, which was only opened in 2017, had never broken even, and that he had drained his own personal finances to keep the business going. Read on


Denmark – Carlsberg releases some first half 2020 results

To boost its share price, Carlsberg has issued preliminary first half 2020 figures, and warned that its profit declined while the outlook for summer beer sales remains uncertain. Carlsberg will report first half figures on 13 August. Per its preliminary announcement, Carlsberg’s operating profit fell – organically – by 8.9 percent in the first half. Read on


Ireland – C&C poaches Heineken MD

The maker of Magners cider, C&C Group, has appointed Heineken UK’s Managing Director David Forde, 52, as its new CEO. Mr Forde will join C&C at the latest in early 2021. The search for a new CEO was on after C&C’s CEO Stephen Glancey, 59, said in January that he was planning to retire after eight years at the helm, and leave the following month. C&C gave no reason for his sudden departure. It was up to Stewart Gilliland, interim executive chairman, to find a successor. Read on

United Kingdom – Super Saturday as pubs reopen

What was the government thinking? It designated the US Independence Day – 4 July – as the moment England ends its 15 week-long hibernation and flocks to the pub. Why didn’t they reopen on 29 June 2020, a Monday, like in the Republic of Ireland, to ease people in gradually and allow bar staff to get used to the new rules? When this pertinent question was put to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 3 July, he couldn’t offer a convincing explanation. This left The Guardian newspaper to conclude “that his government of geniuses picked Saturday solely because of the pleasing headlines that the Fourth of July suggested – rather forgetting that this is the day when Americans celebrate their escape from the rule of a dysfunctional London elite” led by the then Prime Minister Lord North in 1776. Read on


United Kingdom – Corona pandemic cost Marston’s GBP 40 million

Beer and pub operator Marston’s reported a bruising swing to loss in its first half, with sales down GBP 40 million (USD 50 million) due to covid-19. Turnover in the six months to the end of March 2020 dropped 7.7 percent to GBP 510.5 million (USD 637 million), from GBP 553 million in the same period a year ago, Marston’s said. Not enough, it had to book a pre-tax loss of GBP 33.2 million (USD 41 million) from a GBP 16.3 million profit a year ago. Marston’s operates 1,370 pubs and 30 lodges. Read on


United Kingdom – Hard seltzers arrive in droves

Alcopops are back. This time they are called hard seltzers. You can tell the category holds big promises if the retailer Aldi barges in on the action with its own label, Nordic Wolf. Of course, Aldi isn’t the first to launch. Seeing how popular the boozy soda water has become in the US, Scottish craft brewer BrewDog brought out its own version, Clean & Press in May, ahead of the introduction of the US brand White Claw, which arrived in June. Read on

Germany – One in three pubs could close for good

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, an estimated 70,000 pubs and restaurants are on the brink. The new hygiene guidelines make it impossible to operate economically and the stimulus package is not adequate, the industry association Dehoga emphasises. In a survey by the association, 82 percent of respondents said that if they were to comply with the new guidelines, they will not be able to run their business profitably. According to Dehoga 70,000 pubs and restaurants are on the verge of ruin. Read on


Germany – On-premise beer sales could shrink by more than half

With beer sales down 13 percent in May 2020 over May 2019, German brewers are fearing for the worst. Acting like a Cassandra, Bitburger’s Managing Director Axel Dahm drew a grim picture for beer sales in the on-premise. Although Germany’s 1500 or so breweries achieve only 20 percent of their volume sales in the on-premise, it is here that they make nearly all of their profits. If Mr Dahm’s forecast of a 50 percent to 80 percent decline in 2020 on-premise beer sales becomes true, many breweries could find their balance sheets spilling red ink. Read on


Germany – Beware the neo-prohibitionists

After years of sometimes acrimonious debate, the German parliament, on 4 July 2020, further restricted tobacco advertising. As of 2022, outdoor advertising will be “verboten”. The ban will be extended to vapes and e-cigarettes in 2023 and 2024 respectively. Germany was the only country in the EU which had not yet fully clamped down on outdoor advertising of tobacco. Now, many observers worry that politicians’ desire to outlaw all kinds of things that are naughty could soon include advertising for confectionary and alcohol. Read on


United Kingdom – Diageo joins Facebook ad boycott

Is there more to it than just woke culture signalling? The world’s number one drinks company, Diageo, said it will be pulling paid brand advertising on “major social media platforms” as of July, driven by concerns over hate speech and divisive content on the platforms. The company, which makes Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness, announced on 27 June 2020 that it will “continue to discuss with media partners how they will deal with unacceptable content.” Diageo didn’t say which platforms will be included or for how long. Read on


United Kingdom – Diageo launches bar recovery fund

The maker of Guinness has announced a USD 100 million global programme to support pubs and bars to welcome customers back following the covid-19 pandemic. “Raising the Bar” will be a two-year programme available from July 2020. It includes the USD 20 million Community Fund announced in the US on 12 June 2020. The initiative was set up following a global survey of bar owners to identify what they need to reopen after the lockdown periods. Read on


USA – Julia Herz laid off from the Brewers Association

The cancellation of its 2020 events means the Brewers Association (BA) will lose 70 percent of its annual revenue. It has had to resort to staff lay-offs and Julia Herz is among the 24 already made redundant. Before the covid-19 pandemic, the BA was a well-staffed organisation. More than 60 people worked on behalf of US craft brewers. In 2018, the not-for-profit BA had revenues of about USD 30 million, according to its latest filing. Because the current pandemic and economic crisis has hit the BA hard, it has had to make one in three of its staff redundant. Read on


USA – AB-InBev offers to spin off Kona to secure CBA deal

To get the green light from the antitrust watchdogs for its purchase of Portland’s Craft Brew Alliance (Widmer, Redhook, Kona, etc), AB-InBev said in June 2020 that it will sell off Kona’s Hawaii brewery and two brewpubs, including the rights to the brand on the islands. Thrown into the bargain is Kona’s new 120,000 hl brewery on Hawaii’s Big Island, which is scheduled to open later this year. Read on


USA – Domestic beer sales drop 6.6 percent in May

Because of the lockdown and the closure of bars, US domestic beer shipments in May 2020 declined 6.6 percent to 14.2 million barrels (16.6 million hl), from 15.2 million barrels a year ago, The Beer Institute reports. However, The Beer Institute has issued a caution. This number is an estimate and could be revised as the government has relaxed reporting requirements and excise payments as of March 2020 to support breweries during the pandemic. Read on


Germany – Top 4 global brewers control 50 percent of beer production

World beer production totalled 1,913 million hl in 2019, compared with 1,904 million hl in 2018. This is a slight increase of 0.5 percent, says the upcoming Barth Report. The 40 largest brewery groups accounted for 1,723 million hl beer, compared with 1,710 million hl in 2018 – an increase of 13 million hl or 0.8 percent. Read on

 

 

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