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The Americas

USA | In the old days, employees lived by the rule: leave your politics and religion at the front door. Not any longer. Now they are encouraged to bring their “whole self to work”, which willy-nilly includes their political beliefs. Internal message boards are full of heated debates about all kinds of social issues. What are company bosses to do?

USA | Is this just an American thing or will it catch on in Europe too? US craft brewers have long used their beers as a soapbox. From Lagunitas’ Undercover Shut-Down Ale, a jab at a 2005 St Patrick’s Day police raid on their brewery, to the many anti-Trump beers, craft brewers have found that embracing a cause can help sell a product.

USA | Call it a sign of how desperate industry watchers have become that a merger between France’s drinks firm Pernod Ricard and US distiller Brown-Forman is being talked up again, following Diageo’s recent launch of a share buyback programme.

USA | Heineken, AB-InBev, Molson Coors – all the world’s major brewers want to move beyond their traditional male, beer-drinking image and attract more female and younger drinkers. Fact is: beer has lost its oomph to other alcoholic beverages like wine, spirits and a host of beverages, which defy previous classifications.

USA | It is still early days for Boston Beer. But like all the major brewers it is seeing a huge growth potential for cannabis beverages. Therefore, it has set up a Canada-based subsidiary for non-alcoholic beverages infused with cannabis.

USA | The unstoppable rise of cans. Sales of beer in cans were up 11 percent in 2020, says Beer Marketers Insights, a trade publication. While domestic draught beer sales dropped 7.9 million barrels (9.3 million hl) and bottles fell almost 3.6 million barrels, cans picked all that up.

USA | On Earth Day (22 April), New Belgium shocked its punters by releasing Torched Earth Ale, a beer made entirely with ingredients available in a climate-ravaged future.

USA | BrewDog signed the lease for Las Vegas’ first and only carbon negative bar, which is believed to be opening later this year.

USA | Constellation Brands is finding itself in an awkward situation with no easy way out. In March 2020, Mexicali residents, in a referendum, rejected the completion of the 10 million hl brewery at a cost of more than USD 1 billion, which Constellation had already partly built.

USA | It is a social experiment of sorts. TRU Colors, a start-up brewery from Wilmington, North Carolina, which hopes to stop street violence and unite communities by employing gang members, is getting a boost from Molson Coors.

USA | Republicans passed and signed Georgia’s new voting law on 25 March 2021, which is aimed at scaling back early voting and other options that became popular during the pandemic.