Can Micro-Brews Kill Budweiser?

25 06 2008

Interesting article on MSN tonight.

Although craft beers account for only $5.7 billion of the industry, they have seen a 58% increase in dollar sales since 2004, according to the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colo. Last year, while imported and noncraft beer both experienced a growth rate of 1.4% in volume, craft beer enjoyed a 12% growth rate in volume, according to the Brewers Association.

The shift in consumer tastes — along with a commodities boom that has put pressure on profits throughout the beer industry — has put the jumbo players on the defensive. The industry’s No. 2 and 3 players, SABMiller and Molson Coors, respectively, are merging their operations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Their new company – MillerCoors – is expected to go into effect in July and will have a combined market share of nearly 30%.

And the nation’s self-titled King of Beers, Anheuser-Busch, has been dogged by the possible takeover by Belgian global powerhouse InBev

This is where I’m wierd.  I’ll write on this blog over and over that I hate chain restaurants because the food is always the same.  When it comes to beer, that’s exactly what I want.  The same thing no matter where I’m at.  Budwieser is my second choice behind Pabst Blue Ribbon.  I’ve toured the Budweiser plant a number of times in St. Louis.  I would hate to see an American legend be taken over by a foreign company.  I know, I know.  Most breweries were founded by German immigrants and Budweiser is no exception, but the company was built, developed, and succeeded in America.  I ran into a real dilema when Pabst was signed a deal with Miller to brew their beer who was then bought by a company who’s principal partners are in England and South Africa.  I know there are many people who see this as good news.  Bring down the corporate giants.  I see it as a chance for the little guys to become the big guys and there’s nothing wrong with that.  I just don’t want to see Anheiser-Busch or Miller to stop brewing their signatures beers.

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