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The Americas

USA | Errr, will punters really seek out a destination taproom to drink hard seltzers? Boston Beer clearly thinks so. Truly LA, as this brick-and-mortar taproom is called, will open next year in Downtown Los Angeles. It will seat 350 persons indoors and outdoors.

USA |Hard seltzer’s slumping summer sales have sent waves of concern across the beverage industry. The slowdown started with consumers’ return to the on-premise and has only gotten worse as the summer has worn on.

USA | As allegations of sexual discrimination and harassment shook the craft brewing industry earlier this year, several industry groups came together as the BRU (Brewing Respect and Unity) Coalition. It seeks to drive an industry-wide adoption of best practices for preventing discrimination, harassment, and violence within the brewing industry.

USA | Smaller wine, beer and spirits producers hope that President Biden’s executive order will make it easier to reach consumers, not least by allowing direct-to-consumer shipping across state borders, which is still illegal in most states. 

USA | More work for corporate lawyers. Even before AB-InBev’s lawsuit against Constellation Brands over a breach of their Corona licencing agreement has been settled, the Mexican arm of AB-InBev has accused Constellation Brands of a second breach of their deal, this time concerning the Modelo brand.

USA | The popular Wisconsin craft brewer New Glarus, famous for its Spotted Cow beers, is being sued by three of its original investors over withheld profits. The lawsuit was filed on 19 August 2021.

USA | Ah well, so AB-InBev has moved into spirits too. Under the brand name Natural Light, its beer brand, it introduced three lemonade-flavoured Natural Light vodka expressions at the end of August 2021: Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade and Black Cherry Lemonade. They all come with a relatively low 30 percent ABV.

USA | New Belgium Brewery has released a free Carbon Neutral Toolkit to support other breweries on their journeys toward net-zero carbon emissions. The toolkit is designed to help small- and medium-sized breweries measure their carbon footprint and take steps to make their businesses carbon neutral.

USA | Pundits are shaking their heads. Why would Boston Beer together with PepsiCo launch an alcoholic soda under the banner of Pepsi’s brand Mountain Dew? Don’t they remember that only a few years ago hard sodas were a “boom-splat phenomenon” (Jim Koch) that faded as quickly as it arrived?

USA | What to do with a business unit that spoils your results? Get rid of it. This is what PepsiCo did by selling a 61 percent stake in its juice brands, which includes Tropicana and Naked, to the private equity firm PAI Partners for USD 3.3 billion. The sale is part of the company’s broader efforts to focus on faster-growing beverages as customers increasingly ditch sugary drinks. This was reported on 3 August 2021.

USA | Budget tipplers beware: Brewers and drinks companies want you to trade up. The number two brewer in the US, Molson Coors, said on 30 July 2021 that it will slash 11 economy brands from its portfolio, representing about 100 SKUs.