Person holding a cannabis leaf against the sun (Photo: David Gabric on Unsplash)

USA | Looks like the number three brewer in the US bet on the wrong horse. Constellation Brands’ investment into the Canadian cannabis producer Canopy Growth has proven a calamity and is bleeding money.

Cocktail glass with raspberry-coloured liquid, garnished with a raspberry and mint leaf (Photo by Nikita Tikhomirov on Unsplash)

USA | After enjoying a boom during the pandemic for their convenience and ease, hard seltzers are fading. They are being replaced by pre-mixed canned cocktails, which are made with a spirit and not with brewed alcohol.

Red and white cans from above (Photo by James Yarema on Unsplash)

USA | Analysts believe there will be no slow-down in the ready-to-drink (RTD) category. A new report from the IWSR, an analytics firm, forecasts that the category’s global value will increase by an additional USD 11.6 billion over the next five years. Value growth will outpace volume growth, the IWSR added.

Close-up of a gang and a cross necklace (Photo: Raphael Bernhart on Unsplash)

USA | What is going on at TRU Colors Brewing, a Wilmington, North Carolina-based brewery, renowned for its mission to end gang violence by employing active, rival gang members? Only in July had its founder, George Taylor, bid USD 20 million for San Diego’s struggling craft brewer Modern Times. And on 9 September he closed TRU Colors’ doors.

Red sign with white letters saying: SALE (Source: Justin Lim on Unsplash)

USA | Is there a San Diego curse going around? After brewers Ballast Point, Saint Archer, Modern Times, Green Flash, Alpine and Stone faced major problems and sold themselves, Mikkeller announced in August that it will close its brewery, blaming two years of Covid and rising costs. About half of Mikkeller’s US employees – 25 – will be laid off. Mikkeller is seeking an immediate sale of its brewery and warehouse.

Greg Koch, Maria Stipp, and Steve Wagner, Stone’s previous leadership trio, in 2021 (Photo: courtesy of Stone Brewing)

USA | On 31 August, Sapporo USA completed its USD 165 million buyout of Stone Brewing. The sale was announced in June. Stone’s well-known founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner are no longer in the picture. But little else has changed, at least for now.

Bike in front of a light blue wall with a white square in the middle, surmounted by a red maple leaf (Photo: Ali Tawfiq on Unsplash)

Canada | Same strategy, different targets. After Japan's Sapporo snapped up US craft brewer Stone to localise the production of its own brands, Denmark's beer and beverage producer Royal Unibrew is seeking to overcome supply chain glitches by establishing a foothold in North America.

Dry soil under a sunny sky (Photo by Oleksandr Sushko on Unsplash)

Mexico | President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wants beer production in northern Mexico to stop due to drought. The city of Monterrey, a big industrial hub, and located some 240 km south of the Texan border, is rationing water. But Mexico is also the world’s largest exporter of beer, shipping over USD 5 billion of beer in 2021.

Greg Koch in 2018, when Stone started legal proceedings against Molson Coors over the Keystone rebranding (Photo: courtesy of Stone Brewing)

USA | Back in March, Stone won its lawsuit against Molson Coors. The jury awarded Stone USD 56 million in damages, which fell short of the USD 174 million that Stone said it lost in sales because of Molson Coors’ use of the word Stone in the rebranding of Keystone Light.

Japanese beer cans in a shop (kwon youn on unsplash)

USA | And here goes another US craft brewer. The sale of San Diego’s craft brewer Stone to Japan’s fourth-ranking Big Brewer Sapporo was not exactly predictable but certainly plausible. Think of it: Who else would buy a largeish craft brewer these days?

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