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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 November 2020 >> podcast

Japan – Kirin halts payments to its Myanmar partner linked to military

Japanese beverage group Kirin Holdings said it is halting dividend payments from its beer joint ventures in Myanmar to local partner Myanmar Economic Holdings Public Company (MEHL). MEHL is a military conglomerate led by commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing, who is accused of leading the alleged military-backed genocide of the area’s Rohingya Muslim minority. Read on


India – Carlsberg’s worries

Carlsberg’s CEO Cees ‘t Hart called India’s market environment “highly uncertain” and “volatile” after posting a 30 percent volume decline in the country, which it blamed on the market struggling socially and economically.

In India, the infections are very high. 95 percent of the off-trade outlets are open but the numbers of customers remain subdued, as they fear contracting the virus as crowds are gathering,” Mr ‘t Hart said. Read on


Asia – A mixed picture for brewers

For the first nine months of 2020 the world’s leading brewers all reported beer sales to have declined in their Asian markets, albeit to varying degrees. AB-InBev saw the steepest drop: -14.1 percent to 77.6 million hl. Heineken reported a 9.7 percent drop to 20 million hl, whereas Carlsberg saw an 8.5 percent decrease to 28 million hl. Forecasting is a tough job, in 2020 especially. Statista, a data firm, has revised its beer revenue for the Asian market to merely reach USD 163 billion, down from USD 191 billion in 2019. Initially, beer revenue was expected to grow to over USD 200 billion. Read on


United Kingdom – BrewDog’s climate awareness ad banned by ASA

The advertisement, launched to raise awareness for the brewer’s aspiring status as a carbon-negative company, reads “F*** You CO2”, with the middle of the first word obscured by a can of the brewery’s Punk IPA beer. The campaign appeared on billboards in several locations in the UK, as well as in print in early November 2020. After receiving 25 complaints, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) launched an investigation to determine whether the ad was offensive and inappropriate, since it could be seen by children. Read on


Netherlands – Heineken to cut head office staff

Never let a crisis go to waste. Dutch brewing giant Heineken plans to cut personnel costs at its Amsterdam headquarters and regional country offices. An estimated one in five people are to go. Hundreds of jobs will be lost. The reorganisation is to take place in the first quarter of next year. Some 1,700 people currently work at Heineken’s headquarters and in regional offices across the globe. The company does not yet know how many redundancies are likely to be needed. Read on


USA – Molson Coors divests Irwindale brewery to rival Pabst

Molson Coors Beverage Company is on track with its revitalisation plan, which includes streamlining the organisation and reinvesting resources into its brands and capabilities. In November 2020, the company announced it had sold its brewery in Irwindale, California, to Pabst Brewing Company for an undisclosed sum. Read on

 

Belgium – AB-InBev’s Brito dismisses rumour that he will step down

Is Mr Brito doing the Donald thing? Talking to Reuters on 29 October 2020, Mr Brito dismissed a rumour about his imminent departure, saying that he expects to be leading the world’s largest brewer “for many quarters to come”. In September, the Financial Times newspaper reported that AB-InBev had started looking for a replacement for its CEO, and that Mr Brito was involved in the process. The detailed article not only claimed that Mr Brito planned to step down at some point next year, it also mentioned which company had been hired to do the executive search. Read on


Australia – Coca-Cola European Partners acquires Coca-Cola Amatil

One day Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) was in the news over rumours it will buy Asahi’s sell-off brands, the next day it was the target of a takeover offer itself. On 4 November 2020 Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) said it entered into an agreement to buy 69 percent of CCA from investors, as well as the remaining 31 percent from The Coca-Cola Company. Read on


Canada – Cannabis firm Aphria buys craft brewer SweetWater

Why would a Canadian cannabis firm, with a market capitalisation of USD 1.2 billion and operations on five continents, splash out at least USD 300 million in a cash and stock deal for a craft brewer from Georgia? The transaction, announced on 5 November 2020, takes us back to the days of heady valuations for US craft brewers. In fact, Aphria’s offer represents a multiple of 14 times SweetWater’s profit, or more than USD 1,100 per barrel beer sold. Read on


Germany – Dr Oetker takes over delivery firm flaschenpost

The drinks delivery start-up flaschenpost (a pun on “message in a bottle”) was sold to the Oetker Group, a food and beverage conglomerate, for allegedly EUR 1 billion (USD 1.2 billion). The spectacularly expensive deal makes observers question the rationale behind it. Read on



United Kingdom – Guinness 0.0 launch gone bad

Guinness is recalling cans of its non-alcoholic stout because of contamination fears, just two weeks after they were introduced, the BBC reported on 11 November 2020. Guinness 0.0 was launched to much fanfare in supermarkets on 26 October, having taken the brewer four years to develop. The brewer described the recall as “precautionary”, but said “microbiological contamination” might mean some products were unsafe. The company urged anyone with cans of Guinness 0.0 not to drink them, but return them to the shop for a refund. Read on


United Kingdom – Hospitality industry faces jobs losses and closures

Trade bodies fear mass redundancies and permanent closure of venues due to the coronavirus crisis. It is believed that one in four pubs could go under, following a sector wide survey in October 2020 by trade bodies UK Hospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping, and the British Beer & Pub Association. Over three quarter of respondents said that they were already lossmaking, and nearly 50 percent of respondents believe that the restrictions in place will reduce their turnover by at least half this winter. Read on


Denmark – Carlsberg to push into non-booze segment

Due to consumers’ growing predilection for all things healthy and nice, Carlsberg seeks to expand its range of non-alcoholic drinks and hard seltzers. Carlsberg’s CEO, Cees ‘t Hart, told the Financial Times (FT) newspaper in October 2020 that the brewer is stepping up efforts in non-alcoholic beer. Per his forecast, non-alcoholic beers could triple their market share in western Europe to 15 percent over the coming years. Read on

 

United Kingdom – Guinness rolls out 0.0 stout

Irish brewer Guinness has become the latest to offer a non-alcoholic pint, announcing the release of its first ever non-alcoholic stout, Guinness 0.0. The new beer from Dublin’s St James’s Gate brewery went on sale in the UK on 26 October 2020. It can be found on the selves of supermarket chains Waitrose and Morrison’s. Initially, it will only be available in 440 ml cans – with a recommended retail price of between GBP 3.50 and GBP 4.50 (USD 4.60 – USD 5.90) for a 4-pack. It will be rolled out to other supermarkets and off-licences before hitting pubs in the spring of next year as a draught beer.

 

Europe – Brewers to expand beyond the beer shelf

The concept of “total beverage company” is having a comeback. There was a time when only Foster’s and SABMiller styled themselves such. Now the idea is proving attractive again. The latest to add its name to the list is Carlsberg. The Danish brewer follows Molson Coors, which actually changed its name to Molson Coors Beverage Company, and inked several partnerships with RTD and hard seltzer brands. Read on


USA – Coke and Molson Coors partner to launch Coke’s Topo Chico hard seltzer

Fearful to renege on their words that alcohol shall not touch their lips in the US, Coke struck an agreement with Molson Coors to manufacture, market and distribute Coca-Cola’s Topo Chico hard seltzer brand for them. The launch of the hard seltzer in early 2021 will be Coca-Cola’s first venture – indirectly at least – into the US alcoholic drinks market since it sold its Wine Spectrum business in 1983. Coca-Cola fully acquired Mexico’s Topo Chico mineral water brand in 2017. It has already launched the brand in Mexico and Brazil. Read on


Sweden – Röko acquires a majority of craft brewer Oppigards

Investment firm Röko has acquired 70 percent of Sweden’s leading independent craft brewery, Oppigards Bryggeri, from founder and CEO Björn Falkeström, who will retain 30 percent. Oppigards is based in the village of Hedemora, some 180 km northwest of Stockholm. The brewery is located on a farm which has been in the Falkeström’s family since the 18th century. It is here that Mr Falkeström has brewed beer since the 1990s. Read on


United Kingdom – BrewDog expands pub estate

While other pub chains announced plans to close some venues and warned over job cuts, BrewDog has confirmed that it seeks to open 20 new bars across the UK and internationally. There are already more than 100 bars in its estate. Read on


Australia – Heineken to buy Asahi sell-off brands

When Asahi proposed to acquire market leader Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) from AB-InBev in 2019 for USD 11 billion, the regulator would only approve of the deal, if Asahi divests two of its beer brands and three of its cider brands. The brands to be sold are the Strongbow, Bonamy’s and Little Green cider brands and the Stella Artois and Beck’s beer brands. In April this year, the regulator, ACCC, finally ruled that without the sale of two beer and three cider brands, the combined Asahi-CUB company would have accounted for two thirds of cider sales in Australia, and owned the two largest cider brands, Somersby and Strongbow. This was not to be. Read on

 

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