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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 May 2019

AB-InBev fined EUR 200 million for preventing cross border sales

Belgium – It’s a lot of money. The EU Commission has fined AB-InBev the staggering sum of EUR 200 million (USD 223 million) for preventing cheaper beer imports from the Netherlands into Belgium. The fine was issued on 13 May 2019 after a three-year investigation into the brewer’s most popular brand in Belgium, Jupiler. Read on


Non-alcoholic bar opens in Dublin

Ireland – It seems like a contradiction in terms: an Irish pub with no booze. And yet, Dublin’s The Virgin Mary recently opened and has attracted a lot of interest. Located on Capel Street, The Virgin Mary’s drinks menu is packed with choice, from alcohol-free beers and wines to a variety of sober cocktails like the ‘Pink Preacher’.

Founded by Vaughan Yates, who has worked in the hospitality industry before, The Virgin Mary aims to be a regular pub. It operates traditional pub hours and is open to over 18s only. Read on


BrewDog’s first TV ad premiered during GoT

United Kingdom – Is BrewDog finally going mainstream or just subverting conventional advertising? BrewDog has launched what it claims is “the most honest ad you’ll ever see.” The ad, which was created by Uncommon Creative Studio and premiered during Game of Thrones, simply features a can and the word “ADVERT” for 30 seconds, accompanied by the metal track ‘Bleed’ by Meshuggah. Read on


Guinness removes plastic from multi-packs

Ireland – Guinness’ parent company, Diageo, has announced that the iconic Irish stout will no longer use plastic rings or shrink wrap. Instead, the company will invest USD 21 million to replace plastic with 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable cardboard. The new packaging, which will also be found on Diageo’s other products, Harp and Smithwick’s, will be introduced in Ireland in August and the rest of the world by August 2020. Read on


Man City turns rainwater from Etihad Stadium roof into beer

United Kingdom – To celebrate the football club’s Premier League title win, water technology company Xylem has teamed up with Man City and Heineken to produce ‘Raining Champions’ – a limited edition beer made with purified rainwater. Read on


Coopers launches Master of the Brewniverse award

Australia – Coopers Brewery, Australia’s largest family-owned brewery, is currently searching for the nation’s best homebrewer through its Master of the Brewniverse competition. The winning beer will be brewed and canned by Coopers and then sold nationally through the liquor chain Dan Murphy’s. Read on


China – AB-InBev to pursue listing of its Asia-Pacific business

After months of rumour-mongering, AB-InBev has confirmed that it is seeking to list a minority stake in its Asian operations to create a separate business. The company said on 7 May 2019, that the merit of a Hong Kong listing would be to create a champion in the Asia-Pacific region, where beer sales are still growing and increasingly wealthy consumers are trading up to higher margin premium beers. Read on


USA – Boston Beer merges with Dogfish Head in USD 300 million deal

Two of the biggest names in the craft beer industry are joining forces. Boston Beer, maker of Sam Adams beer, has acquired Dogfish Head for about USD 300 million, the companies announced on 9 May 2019. The deal combines two legacy craft brewers as they confront slowing industry sales and rising competition. Read on


USA – Mikkeller opens pop-up in Portland

Danish brewer Mikkeller is expanding into Portland, the US craft beer capital, as it teams up with Portland restaurant group Chefstable to open a Mikkeller pop-up bar in the recently closed Burnside brewery. The pop-up bar, which will open in June and shut down at the end of the year, is a placeholder while the partnership explores the possibility of a permanent bar, restaurant and Mikkeller brewery at the site. Read on


Australia – CUB’s non-alcoholic Carlton Zero courts controversy

The country’s major brewer, CUB, which is owned by AB-InBev, has launched a new advertising campaign, hoping to make adults switch from sugary soft drinks to its non-alcoholic beer Carlton Zero. This has drawn the ire of Michael Thorn, CEO of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education. He has told the Herald Sun newspaper that the marketing was effectively an effort to “groom the next generation of drinkers”. Read on


Australia – BrewDog scales back plans for its Brisbane brewery

We should be told: Why has BrewDog decided to scale back its Brisbane brewery from what had been previously announced? BrewDog co-founder Martin Dickie said at the recent AGM that the 25-hl plant will be operational by the end of the year. The announcement will come as a surprise for the Queensland Government, which congratulated itself last year upon having lured the Scottish punk brewer to Brisbane by offering all kinds of perks unavailable to Aussie brewers. Read on


USA – Yuengling moves ahead with scheme for a beer hotel in Florida

Beer hotels have become the new must-have. Yuengling, America’s oldest brewery and largest craft brewer, is moving forward with plans for a beer-themed hotel and tourist attraction in Tampa, Florida. According to local media, the project calls for 200-room hotel, a microbrewery, a beer garden, a tasting room and restaurant, a Yuengling museum plus conference facilities. The hotel will be located next door to the brewery in Tampa, which Yuengling bought from brewer Stroh in 1999. Read on


United Kingdom – Tennent’s pokes fun of Carlsberg’s rebranding

After Carlsberg put up a billboard across the street from Tennent’s Glasgow brewery, the Scottish brewer responded with a billboard of its own. Carlsberg’s billboard reads: “New Carlsberg Danish Pilsner. Rebrewed from head to hop.”

Tennent’s own billboard on the digital screen mocks Carlsberg for the fact that its Danish Pilsner is not brewed in Denmark.Read on

 

USA – Constellation’s Bill Hackett on Corngate: “That bulls**t”

Constellation Brand’s past president Bill Hackett did not mince words. At the Beverage Forum in Chicago, on 1 May 2019, he called AB-InBev and MillerCoors’ spat over using corn syrup to brew beer plain and simply “that Corngate bulls**t”. Mr Hackett, who succeeded in turning the Mexican beers Corona and Modelo into multi-billion brands for Constellation, went on to describe the controversy as “crazy” since it is detrimental to the whole category’s health.


USA – Question marks over Stone’s Richmond bistro and Deschutes’ Roanoke brewery

In a momentous reversal of America’s settlement, several craft brewers from the western US decided to head east in the early 2010s. But as craft beer’s once buoyant sales have slowed and legacy brewers fight to stem output declines, several had to rethink their east coast expansion plans. In April 2019, the 31-year-old Deschutes from Bend, Oregon, informed officials in Roanoke that it will not break ground for a production brewery in the city of 100,000 people anytime soon. Read on


USA – More than 200 craft breweries closed for good in 2018

In April 2019, the Brewers Association (BA) released annual growth figures for the craft brewing industry. Those deemed “small and independent” by the BA collectively produced 30.5 million hl beer in 2018, an increase of 4 percent over 2017. Their beer market share by volume was 13.2 percent. However, there were 219 closings. Read on



USA – Constellation closes two Ballast Point locations, abandons plans for another

Constellation has confirmed that it will close two newish Ballast Point brewpubs and abandon plans for a San Francisco brewpub – which was announced only nine months ago. With Big Brewers it is often chop and change. Constellation Brands, the number three brewer in the US, its no exception here. In April 2019, it confirmed reports that it will close two Ballast Point locations – San Diego’s Trade Street brewery and Temecula’s brewpub (both in California). Moreover, it has axed plans for its upcoming San Francisco brewpub. The restructuring will mean that Ballast Point will operate eight locations in the US, including Chicago and Disneyland (Anaheim). Read on


UK – Craft brewery openings in 2018 at lowest rate in five years

Looks like the craft beer boom has stalled in the past year, with only eight breweries opening compared with 390 in 2017, according to a survey by the accounting firm UHY Hacker Young. Their report reveals that there were 2,274 breweries at the end of 2018, up from 1,352 in 2013. Read on


UK – More churches than small pubs

No one knows if there is a correlation, but there are now more churches than small pubs in the UK. Pubs, which employ fewer than ten people, were down to 23,000 in 2018, from 39,000 in 2001. This compares with 40,300 buildings used as churches according to the National Churches Trust. Read on


Ecuador – Heineken buys majority stake in Biela y Bebidas del Ecuador

Ecuador’s President Moreno may have Lenin for a first name, but his pursuit of a conservative economic agenda must have convinced Dutch brewer Heineken that the time is right for an entry into this potentially promising beer market. On 2 May 2019, Heineken announced it has picked up a majority stake in the domestic brewer Biela y Bebidas Ecuador (Biela) from Cerec Holding, a consortium of local investors, for an undisclosed sum. Heineken plans to invest USD 100 million and also brew its eponymous brand in due course. The move pits Heineken against the AmBev Ecuador, the local unit of AB-InBev-controlled AmBev. Read on


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