Wednesday, July 16, 2008

News From, you know, Around

InBev purchases Anheuser-Busch. St. Louis headquarters will become North American headquarters of Anheuser-Busch InBev. All breweries will stay open. For now. Of course, InBev is famous for slashing payroll and cutting jobs while niche-i-fying every brand. Unfortunately, by sheer fact of being bought out by a global monolith Anheuser Busch loses its niche-defining quality - namely that it is an American beer. Others anxiously wonder what will happen with A-B's marketing team. The buy-out leaves Pabst and Sam Adams to fight over banalities that make each uniquely qualified to lay claim to America's #1 Brewery.

MillerCoors to split baby. A few months back Miller Brewing Company (owned by SABMiller) and Coors agreed to join forces under the US entity MillerCoors. Of course, much blood was spilled debating where the world headquarters of this beast would be. Coors aficiandos argued that Golden, Colorado was the only place that made sense. Miller freaks pointed out that Milwaukee was better suited. Well, the board of MillerCoors has decided that Chicago is the place. The Milwaukee and Golden offices will remain, but administrative positions will be replaced by increased brewing jobs as the breweries in each city will re-tool slightly to brew each other's beer.

Unsurpisingly China produces the most beer. In other news: water is wet. China has 1.321 billion people - good for 20% of the world population. Well, it turns out, China produces 22% of the world's beer. Not surprising given the cost of labor there makes manufacturing less expensive than in Europe or the US. The top four beer producing nations are China, US, Russia and Germany (in that order).

Finally, back in May, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that bars can do what the state or municipalities ask them to, even if the bars aren't specifically told to do it. The basic gist was that, based on concerns about drink specials on Friday or Saturday nights contributing to binge drinking in bars near the UW-Madison campus, the state of Wisconsin and city of Madison made it known that may, you know, if ya want, you can stop doing that. No laws. No regulations. Just a vague hint. So, in a move that surprised no one, all of the bars simultaneously got rid of their drink specials. Of course, sensing some collusion, some helpful residents sued the bars for acting anti-competitively. Well, the Wisconsin Supreme Court said, these bars are actually exempt from antitrust liability because the city of Madison said "pretty please" which basically coerced the bars into banding together to screw the customer and do nothing to actually stop binge drinking.

1 comment:

  1. This was my favorite write-up on the InBev/Budweiser thing:


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