Beer Monopoly



    International Reports






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 >>


Posted June 2019

USA – Constellation lowers prices for some Corona brands this summer

When does a price promotion turn into a price cut? The question is pertinent as Constellation Brands, the number three brewer in the US, appears to be discounting Corona family 12-packs of cans in markets across the country for weeks to come. According to a post on the MillerCoors blog, Constellation has cut prices on Corona Extra, Corona Light and Corona Premier by about USD 2 per case, positioning them slightly below bottles. This means retail prices will drop to around USD 23 to USD 24 per case, or USD 13 to USD 14 per 12-pack, depending on location. Read on

United Kingdom – Molson Coors’ Tesco account manager leaves for BrewDog

Don’t be fooled by BrewDog’s public image: The Scottish punk brewer is run like a very tight ship. While founders Martin Dickie and James Watt grab the headlines with their publicity stunts, former drinks industry figures control the corporate organisation. Read on

USA – Oregon’s craft breweries: when is many too many?

Praise where praise is due. Craft brewers saw their number and their sales rise last year. In a beer market that declined overall by 1 percent, craft beer continued to grow, with barrel output up 4 percent over 2017 to reach 26 million barrels (30.5 million hl). Read on

Germany - Memorial of 1972 Munich Olympics massacre is no beer motif

The Munich brewer Hacker-Pschorr probably thought it a great marketing ploy to organise a quirky sightseeing tour, which would take punters to various Munich crime scenes, including the Olympic Centre, where in 1972 a Palestinian terrorist attack led to the murder of eleven Israeli athletes and a local policeman. After protests called the ensuing video “undignified”, Hacker-Pschorr took it off the web on 19 June 2019. Read on

Belgium – Beer exports under pressure

Last year, exports of Belgian beer to the US, its third most important market, declined 12 percent. Exports to the UK were down 33 percent. Will Belgian brewers need to worry that competition from local craft brewers will eat into a profitable part of their business? Read on

Belgium – Beers should be labelling ingredients and calories in EU by 2022

The Brewers of Europe, a trade body, wants ingredients and energy values to appear on the labels of all beer bottles and cans in the EU by 2022. The association will sign a “memorandum of understanding” (MoU) with the European Commission in September to formalise the brewers’ commitment. The MoU, supported by brewers, is open to companies and associations from all alcoholic beverage sectors, The Brewers of Europe said. On 28 May it reported that already 85 percent of beers sold in Europe carry an ingredients list, whilst 60 percent label calories, far ahead of schedule for its voluntary scheme. Read on

Belgium – Brewers Forum: Irish alcohol bill gives Europe’s brewers the jitters

A spectre is haunting the European brewing industry. Called the Irish Public Health Bill, it will have an impact on the EU as a whole, one way or another. There is justified concern that it could push alcohol to the margins of respectability, so that it is treated in the same way as tobacco. What is more, it could set a precedent that would be copied elsewhere. Read on


Canada – Ending Ontario’s beer retail monopoly could cost taxpayers dearly

Ontario is expanding the sale of beer, wine and cider to almost 300 corner stores this summer as part of Premier Doug Ford’s push to liberalise liquor rules in the province. The bill, which was passed on 6 June 2019, entails ripping up an agreement with The Beer Store. The alcohol retailer has already signalled it will fight the move in the courts. Read on

USA – MillerCoors scores partial victory in Corngate lawsuit

It is not a ruling MillerCoors must have hoped for. A US court on 24 May 2019 only barred AB-InBev from using some parts of its advertising that said rival MillerCoors used corn syrup in the production of its light beers. In February this year, AB-InBev had aired a Bud Light commercial during Super Bowl that taunted MillerCoors for adding corn syrup to its Miller Lite and Coors Light beers. A not-amused MillerCoors then dragged AB-InBev to court. Read on

South Korea – Government changes tax system on beer

The government has decided to change its liquor tax system for the first time in 50 years, shifting from a price-based to volume-based system. The tax revision bill for 2020 will see the liquor tax levied on the amount of ABV, rather than on ad valorem calculations, which are based on the retail base price. The government thus hopes to redress tax imbalances between domestically-produced liquor beverages and imports. The bill will be submitted to the National Assembly in September this year. Read on

Netherlands – Heineken buys into Amsterdam craft brewer Oedipus

Dutch market leader Heineken has acquired a minority stake in the craft brewer Oedipus, the two companies announced on 4 June 2019. Specific details about the deal were not disclosed. Oedipus was established in an Amsterdam kitchen in 2011 by four friends. In 2015 the company joined a growing number of urban craft breweries (45 by the latest count) when it opened a brewery and taproom in the northern part of the city. Read on

South Africa – AB-InBev plans to launch value option

AB-InBev has suffered over recent quarters in South Africa not least because of a depressed consumer economy. During the first quarter 2019, domestic beer sales declined by “mid-single digits”. AB-InBev’s strategy is to add more brands across the spectrum of income and taste levels, with Budweiser the chosen premium brand, according to CEO Carlos Brito. During a recent visit to Johannesburg, he told reporters that a value – or more affordable – option will be introduced at a later date. Read on

Who is to blame for high beer prices in some European countries?

Belgium – Some pundits were quick to interpret AB-InBev’s EUR 200 million fine by the European Commission as a shot against manufacturers, who use their strong market positions to unfairly command higher prices in some EU countries as opposed to others. However, the Commission’s fine had been issued against AB-InBev for implementing anti-competitive practices only. Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s Commissioner for Competition, had said that AB-InBev had abused its dominant position in the Belgian market to restrict bulk imports of its Jupiler brand from the Netherlands, where the lager costs less. Read on

Tax Man claims EUR 30 million in taxes from AB-InBev

Belgium – A sweet deal between AB-InBev and the Belgian government has fallen foul with the country’s tax man. For five years, between 2011 and 2015, AB InBev only paid EUR 11.2 million (USD 12.6 million) in taxes on a profit of more than EUR 280 million in Belgium, the Belgian newspaper De Tijd reports. Read on

CCU and Postobón officially open 3 million hl brewery

Colombia – The Chilean brewer CCU, which is part-owned by Heineken, and the domestic beverages company Postobón, on 3 May 2019 opened a USD 480 million brewery in an attempt to topple Bavaria’s stronghold. Looks like beer monopolies could be a thing of the past. Although the Colombian brewer Bavaria (previously owned by SABMiller, now AB-InBev) has long enjoyed a nearly uncontested monopoly, CCU and Postobón must have noticed an opportunity to overcome Bavaria’s moat. In 2014, the two set up Central Cervecera de Colombia (CCC), a joint venture, to build a brewery in the municipality of Sesquilé, near Colombia’s capital Bogotá. Read on

Ibiza scandal gives Red Bull wings

Austria – After a tumultuous week, which saw the country’s conservative-nationalist coalition government collapse on 18 May and the Chancellor Sebastian Kurz ousted on 27 May over the so-called “Ibiza scandal”, the energy drink Red Bull is ironically emerging as a winner. Read on

Vijay Mallya ordered to pay USD 135 million to Diageo

United Kingdom – Embattled Indian drinks tycoon Vijay Mallya has lost a court case against Diageo. He was ordered to pay USD 135 million within 28 days by the High Court on 24 May 2019. Diageo claimed that Mr Mallya, his son, their company Watson Limited and a company held in a family trust owed them USD 175 million to be repaid to Standard Chartered Bank. Read on

BrewDog accused of stealing others’ marketing ideas

United Kingdom – A Twitter spat has chipped away at BrewDog’s holier-than-thou image. After BrewDog launched its non-alcoholic beer, Punk AF, in early May 2019, Alex Myers of the London marketing firm Manifest took to Twitter and accused BrewDog of cribbing their idea. Read on


Pension fund to drop sin stocks

Norway – Pursuing more ethical investments, the country’s largest pension fund, KLP will divest from companies that generate revenues from alcohol and gambling, a further push by KLP to drop so-called “sin stocks” from its portfolio. This was reported by The Financial Times on 28 May 2019. Read on


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