bottle of Asahi beer (Photo: Bob Jansen, Unsplash)

Australia | 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.

West End Brewery in Adelaide, Australia (Photo: Kristina Bahnisch)

Australia | Lion announced plans to close Adelaide’s 160-year-old West End Brewery in June 2021, with the loss of up to 100 production jobs. The Kirin-owned brewer described the closure as a “sad day for the West End team, Lion and South Australia”.

Can with Bia Saigon Lager (Photo: Pablo Rebolledo on Unsplash)

Vietnam | It wasn’t covid-19 that has hit Sabeco, the country’s major brewer, hard, but tough drunken-driving penalties, which were introduced in January 2020. Beer consumption dropped 23 percent in the first half of 2020, and is only recovering slowly. It stood at 46 million hl in 2019, up 7 percent from 2018.

Restaurant scene in Japan (Photo: Adli Wahid on Unsplash)

Japan | Brewers reeling from the drop in on-premise sales will get some relief from the long-awaited revisions to the liquor tax system that were implemented in October 2020.

Street scene in India (Photo: Andrea Leopardi on Unsplash)

India | Despite a six-month delay due to the covid-19 induced lockdown, the Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) and AB-InBev are on course to open the planned 15 such microbreweries in the next five years. Their first brewpub, 7Rivers, threw open its doors at the hotel Taj-MG Road in Bengaluru (formerly known as Bangalore) – a year after the two announced their joint venture.

Australia | The trade dispute between China and Australia is heating up. China has begun an anti-dumping probe into imports of Australian wine, it said on 18 August 2020.

Asahi headquater in Tokyo

Japan | For the six months through June 2020, Asahi’s operating profit fell 49 percent to JPY 45 billion (USD 421 million) as beer drinkers around the world avoided going out to bars, Asahi reported in August.

Made in Korea sign (Photo: Adli Wahid on Unsplash)

South Korea | Japanese brands, from beer to clothes, were hit hard by a consumer boycott in 2019, which was sparked – allegedly – by South Korean court rulings that allow assets of Japanese companies to be seized and used to compensate Korean victims of World War II-era forced labour. Japan retaliated by imposing curbs on exports of chipmaking materials to South Korea.

"Pay your tax now" written on a window (Photo: The New York Public Library)

Australia | It is a bittersweet victory. The excise rates on alcohol didn’t go up in August. But not because the government relented and saw sense. It is because of a technicality.  

Man with STAFF shirt (Photo: Omar Lopez on Unsplash)

Australia | The Independent Brewers Association (IBA), which represents the country’s 600 craft brewers, has decided to postpone its convention, BrewCon, which was scheduled for 9 to 11 November 2020 on the Sunshine Coast.

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