Consolidation among US beer distributors continues
USA | The beer distribution model has changed dramatically over the past few decades, says the Beverage Marketing Corporation, New York. With the focus on scale and efficiencies, consolidation among distributors has given rise to mega-distributors, such as the privately-owned Reyes Beer Division, a part of Reyes Holding (estimated turnover of USD 29 billion), and Columbia Distributing, headquartered in Portland, Oregon.
USA | Touting “Drink A Seltzer and Help Save a River” was not enough to sway consumers. As hard seltzer sales move into the crucial summer season, Coors Seltzer is getting out of the game.
USA | AB-InBev’s new guard, CEO Michel Doukeris and North America chief Brendan Whitworth, have their work cut out. In his farewell interview with the Financial Times (FT) newspaper, on 4 July 2021, former CEO Carlos Brito, who stepped down at the end of June, said that the age of megadeals is over. This, analysts said, will put more pressure on AB-InBev to build brands and grow organically, although its scale has sometimes stood in the way of agility.
Canada | Because of a lingering fear that legal cannabis would eat into beer sales, brewers have openly embraced cannabis companies. Constellation Brands was the first major alcohol producer to break the taboo. In 2017, it took a USD 4 billion stake in Canadian producer Canopy Growth. Other brewers followed suit.
USA | The beer industry enters into the summer selling season with a stiff wind at its back, at least in terms of shipments. Brewers had a very solid start to 2021. Was 2020 just a passing storm with no lasting impact?
USA | It was kind of unsettling to hear Jim Koch, the founder of Boston Beer, only talk about hard seltzers at the US industry gathering, the Beverage Forum, which was held in May. Is beer on the way out, and its continued decline taken for granted, that everybody is painting the future of hard seltzers and a host of Alternative Adult Beverages in glowing hues?
USA | Disruption may be such an overused term. But it perfectly describes what hard seltzers did to the US beer market. At the Beverage Forum, organised by the Beverage Marketing Corporation and conducted online in early May 2021, Anthony van Mandl, 71, the owner of Mark Anthony Brands and maker of White Claw, explained which trends boosted the category.
USA | Allegations of sexual, racial and other misconduct, which were published on Instagram in May, have rocked the American craft beer industry. They have prompted resignations, firings and promises for change.
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.
BRAUWELT on tour
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