• Beer Prices At Every NFL Stadium During The 2014 Season

    The average cost for a small draft beer at NFL games this season is $7.53 according to data collected by Team Marketing Report from each team, up from $7.05 in 2013.

    The increase is despite the introduction of a $4.50 beer in St. Louis where the Rams now have the cheapest beer in the NFL. On the other hand, the fans of the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers must pay more than $10 for the cheapest beer at those games.

    Of course, the $4.50 beer at Rams games as well as the $5.00 beers in other NFL stadiums are at small sizes. If we consider the size of the beer, the most expensive beer is in Philadelphia where the smallest beer costs $0.71 per ounce. The Cincinnati Bengals offer the cheapest beer per ounce, with a 14-ounce beer costing just $5.00 ($0.36 per ounce).

    NFL Beer Prices
  • PSA: Hops are Poisonous to Dogs

    Gathering around the boil kettle with your bi-pedal friends is always a great time, but sometimes you can’t beat the assistance of your trusty brew dog. He may not offer much help during clean up or bark an unwarranted suggestion in your ear from time to time, but at the end of the day he’s there by your side through thick mash and thin layer of boil-over.

     

    Unfortunately for our canine friends, the hops we find so irresistible in our favorite ales and lagers are highly poisonous and can be fatal to dogs. Whether the hops are on the bine in your back yard, in pelletized form on your kitchen floor or in a pile of mush post-boil, the bitter cones must be kept away from dogs.

     

    Dogs who ingest hops can suffer effects including excessive panting, restlessness and signs of pain including muscle tremors and seizures. The most significant symptom is a rapid increase in temperature called malignant hyperthermia, which can cause fevers surpassing 108°F. Such a high fever results in damage to and failure of organ systems, according to the ASPCA.

     

    If you suspect your dog has consumed hops, seek veterinary care immediately or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

     

    It has been suggested that some other animals may also suffer such adverse effects from ingesting hops, though research to back up this claim is not extensive. When in doubt, keep your hops in a safe and secure place where your furry friends can’t gain access.

     

    Source: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/

  • Russian Downturn Hits Europe’s Beer Makers

    P

     

    Russia‘s drift toward recession has slashed Carlsberg‘s sales in the country, while fellow brewer Heineken escaped the worst thanks to its smaller exposure to eastern Europe.

     

    Carlsberg’s dependence on Russia, where its Baltika label is the most popular beer brand by far, makes it a test case for how European companies are coping with the chill in Moscow’s relations with the European Union caused by the conflict in Ukraine.

     

    Sanctions have dented confidence in an already slowing economy and taken a toll on the rouble currency – a blow for European companies that invested heavily to tap Russia’s emerging middle class.

     

    One brokerage said last week that Carlsberg was becoming “uninvestable” because the sanctions had tarnished its status as a stable consumer-goods investment play. ( http://bit.ly/1w8n02o )

     

    On Wednesday, the company cut its 2014 profit guidance and said its Russian beer sales tumbled by one fifth in the second quarter. The 167-year-old Danish brewer relies on Russia for more than a third of its operating profits.

     

    Finance chief Jorn Jensen said the Russian downturn had been even worse than expected. Carlsberg cut its guidance for the second time this year and now sees annual operating profit going into reverse. It may even close breweries in eastern Europe.

     

    Carlsberg shares fell as much as 6 percent.

     

    “They are already downgrading now and not waiting for more clarity – it shows they believe the second half will be very tough in Russia,” said analyst Michael Friis Jorgensen from Alm. Brand Bank, who has a “neutral” rating on Carlsberg shares.

     

    HEINEKEN LESS EXPOSED

     

    Heineken said its sales volume in Russia fell by a “low-double digit” percentage, without being more specific. But its shares leaped by more than 7 percent as overall quarterly earnings beat expectations.

     

    “We are a very diversified company so this is where our large footprint saves us. We don’t depend on Russia and the exposure is not a problem,” Heineken Chief Executive Jean-Francois van Boxmeer told a conference call.

     

    Heineken’s central and eastern European business contributed just 8 percent to operating profit. The Amsterdam-listed brewer makes Europe‘s best-selling Heineken lager as well as Sol and Tiger and Strongbow cider.

     

    Carlsberg has barely a toehold in the Americas and Middle East and Africa – regions that accounted for about a quarter of Heineken’s sales by volume in 2013, according to consumer market researcher Euromonitor International.

     

    “(Heineken) has made acquisitions such as FEMSA in Mexico and they’ve taken full control of Asia Pacific Breweries in Southeast Asia,” said KBC Securities analyst Wim Hoste said.

     

    “All of that has helped to give Heineken an international character and means that unlike Carlsberg they’re not dependent on one single market.”

     

    NOT “UNINVESTABLE”

     

    Carlsberg’s Baltika breweries were established just as the Soviet Union collapsed. After privatization, its beers such as the 8 percent-strong Baltika 9 brand spread rapidly through Russian-speaking regions. Carlsberg bought the company in 2008.

     

    It is one of several European companies blaming Russia for a weaker performance in the second quarter – though most have pointed more to the effect of the weaker rouble on repatriated revenue than a decline in business in the country.

     

    Adidas , the world’s number-two sportswear firm, said last month it was reining in investment in Russia, where it runs more than 1,000 stores, and cut its profit target due to the ruble’s fall and increasing risks to Russian consumer sentiment.

     

    “These European companies exposed to Russia have not become ‘uninvestable’, but there is a pressure on earnings,” said Antonin Jullier, Global Head of Equity Trading Strategy at Citi.

     

    “Given that we are in a phase of the cycle that looks at earnings momentum, that’s why these stocks are going through a re-rating.”

     

    Adidas shares have fallen 35 percent this year, while Carlsberg is now down 13 percent, compared to a 2 percent increase in the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .

     

    Investors do not appear to be dumping European equities across the board because of Russia.

     

    Caroline Vincent, a fund manager at Cavendish Asset Management, said Russian sanctions could cause short-term volatility on stocks like Adidas but would not necessarily alter their underlying, long-term business trends.

     

    “I would be mindful of Russian sanctions on Europe when investing, as opposed to out-and-out avoiding certain European companies exposed to them,” she said.

     

    Despite the Russian problems, Carlsberg said operating profit rose 6 percent to 3.6 billion Danish crowns in the second quarter, higher than the 3.43 billion profit consensus analyst forecast in a Reuters poll.

     

    Heineken’s operating profit before one-time items grew 9.6 percent in the first half of the year to 1.454 billion euros ($1.93 billion), above the 1.367 billion poll consensus.

     

    Heineken said it saw slowing growth in the second half but that profit margin growth would be greater than forecast and it had already exceeded a target for cost savings.

     

    (1 US dollar = 5.6031 Danish crown)

     

    Source: http://money.msn.com/

  • America’s First Strip Club Brewpub

    PintsAndPinups

    Looking for a more adult adult focus brewery and bar?  Look no further than Pints & Pinups Medway, OH.

     

    It started as a bizarre phone call from my editor: “We need to push back your column by a week, but we have another story for you,” she explained. “It’s for our annual Sex Issue.” Pause. “Apparently, there’s a gentleman’s club that is now brewing its own beer. We need you to go investigate.”

     

    A microbrewing topless bar? Who gets assignments like this?

     

    The club in question is Pinups and Pints. Attuned to Dayton’s brewing scene, I was surprised I hadn’t heard of it. I was skeptical; so, I began my research.

     

    The club is in Medway, just north of where I-675 dead-ends into I-70. I had never been to Medway, but it struck me as a sleepy little farm town just outside the ’burbs. My thoughts about strip clubs in tiny farm towns were not kind, but I tried to keep an open mind.

     

    So, I dug deeper. Turns out, there are whole sites devoted to rating strip clubs. Think Yelp for nudie clubs. While I couldn’t find Pinups and Pints, I could find a club at the same address – Baby Dolls. I will spare the reader quotes from the somewhat incomprehensible – and almost always misogynistic – reviews, but suffice it to say, the reviews weren’t good.

     

    At a bit of a loss as to how to cover this story, I called my editor. She recommended I talk to the publisher. When I got him on the phone, he offered some direction. Go in and meet the owner, get a feel for the place.

     

    “Go have a good time. Find out about their beer, interview some of the entertainers.”

     

    “This is going to be a shit show, isn’t it?” I asked.

     

    “Go into it with an open mind,” he chided. “You might be surprised.”

     

    My publisher gave me the number for Scott Conrad, the club’s owner. I called Conrad, who was more than happy to oblige, and arranged a visit for me to come with a few friends that Saturday.

     

    So, four of us, including me, a fellow beer geek, a local brewer and the owner of a local beer-forward establishment, trekked to Medway, all expecting the worst.

     

    “Wouldn’t it be weird,” one of us remarked, “if we got to the club and it was nice inside? Weirder still, if the beer was good and the entertainers were actually, well, entertaining?”

     

    And that might be the weirdest part of the whole story.

     

    When we pulled up, we were immediately surprised by the façade. The lighting was high-end, and the club looked out of place, like it belonged in some bigger, booming town. Inside, the surprises continued. The décor was tasteful and modern. Clearly, it had been recently updated with big, comfortable chairs and ambient lighting. The stage, with its requisite pole and mirrors, was tastefully subdued.

     

    Conrad greeted us inside. He owns Pinups and Pints and is one of the partners behind Diamonds Cabaret, the regionally-famous club in Centerville, as well as Vue Ultra Lounge and Club Masque. We went to the back room, which was where the brewery was housed. The brewery is a small affair – only a 15-gallon set-up, but a SABCO high-end computerized system that homebrewers would certainly kill for.

     

    Conrad confessed he hadn’t been an avid homebrewer, but the idea of making his own beer appealed to him. It also helped to renovate the club. Baby Dolls didn’t have a liquor license, and to get a license through the regional agencies can be tough. However, a brewer’s license is easier to obtain. Pinups and Pints’ type of license is the same one Fifth Street Brewpub, Lock 27 and several other local breweries hold. It allows them to not only brew and serve their own beer, but also to serve a full bar of guest beers, liquor and wine.

     

    Pinup Pale Ale, Conrad’s inaugural beer, was being primed for release that Monday, but we sampled an early release. It was a solid pale ale, a good start on a new system and one that will get better as Conrad works out the kinks in his system. “If I’m going to have it, I might as well make it good,” Conrad explained. He plans to do an Oktoberfest as well, offering two beer styles alongside the full bar.

     

    When asked about the impact the craft beer is having on business, Conrad noted, “It’s been great. We’ve been having people come out for the beer.” Alisha, the bartender and part-time dancer, noted a similar occurrence: “People are interested in the beer. It’s fun to have more to offer.”

     

    Overall, we had a great time. What we expected was light years away from what we experienced. With high-quality décor, attractive and enthusiastic entertainers and a solid bar centered around microbrewed flagship offerings, Pinups and Pints seems to have figured out a formula to turn around a struggling gentlemen’s club into something with the possibility of being a regional destination, as well as perhaps the only microbrewing strip club in the country.

     

    Reach DCP freelance writer Kevin J. Gray at KevinGray@DaytonCityPaper.com

    It started as a bizarre phone call from my editor: “We need to push back your column by a week, but we have another story for you,” she explained. “It’s for our annual Sex Issue.” Pause. “Apparently, there’s a gentleman’s club that is now brewing its own beer. We need you to go investigate.”

    A microbrewing topless bar? Who gets assignments like this?

    The club in question is Pinups and Pints. Attuned to Dayton’s brewing scene, I was surprised I hadn’t heard of it. I was skeptical; so, I began my research.

    The club is in Medway, just north of where I-675 dead-ends into I-70. I had never been to Medway, but it struck me as a sleepy little farm town just outside the ’burbs. My thoughts about strip clubs in tiny farm towns were not kind, but I tried to keep an open mind.

    So, I dug deeper. Turns out, there are whole sites devoted to rating strip clubs. Think Yelp for nudie clubs. While I couldn’t find Pinups and Pints, I could find a club at the same address – Baby Dolls. I will spare the reader quotes from the somewhat incomprehensible – and almost always misogynistic – reviews, but suffice it to say, the reviews weren’t good.

    At a bit of a loss as to how to cover this story, I called my editor. She recommended I talk to the publisher. When I got him on the phone, he offered some direction. Go in and meet the owner, get a feel for the place.

    “Go have a good time. Find out about their beer, interview some of the entertainers.”

    “This is going to be a shit show, isn’t it?” I asked.

    “Go into it with an open mind,” he chided. “You might be surprised.”

    My publisher gave me the number for Scott Conrad, the club’s owner. I called Conrad, who was more than happy to oblige, and arranged a visit for me to come with a few friends that Saturday.

    So, four of us, including me, a fellow beer geek, a local brewer and the owner of a local beer-forward establishment, trekked to Medway, all expecting the worst.

    “Wouldn’t it be weird,” one of us remarked, “if we got to the club and it was nice inside? Weirder still, if the beer was good and the entertainers were actually, well, entertaining?”

    And that might be the weirdest part of the whole story.

    When we pulled up, we were immediately surprised by the façade. The lighting was high-end, and the club looked out of place, like it belonged in some bigger, booming town. Inside, the surprises continued. The décor was tasteful and modern. Clearly, it had been recently updated with big, comfortable chairs and ambient lighting. The stage, with its requisite pole and mirrors, was tastefully subdued.

    Conrad greeted us inside. He owns Pinups and Pints and is one of the partners behind Diamonds Cabaret, the regionally-famous club in Centerville, as well as Vue Ultra Lounge and Club Masque. We went to the back room, which was where the brewery was housed. The brewery is a small affair – only a 15-gallon set-up, but a SABCO high-end computerized system that homebrewers would certainly kill for.

    Conrad confessed he hadn’t been an avid homebrewer, but the idea of making his own beer appealed to him. It also helped to renovate the club. Baby Dolls didn’t have a liquor license, and to get a license through the regional agencies can be tough. However, a brewer’s license is easier to obtain. Pinups and Pints’ type of license is the same one Fifth Street Brewpub, Lock 27 and several other local breweries hold. It allows them to not only brew and serve their own beer, but also to serve a full bar of guest beers, liquor and wine.

    Pinup Pale Ale, Conrad’s inaugural beer, was being primed for release that Monday, but we sampled an early release. It was a solid pale ale, a good start on a new system and one that will get better as Conrad works out the kinks in his system. “If I’m going to have it, I might as well make it good,” Conrad explained. He plans to do an Oktoberfest as well, offering two beer styles alongside the full bar.

    When asked about the impact the craft beer is having on business, Conrad noted, “It’s been great. We’ve been having people come out for the beer.” Alisha, the bartender and part-time dancer, noted a similar occurrence: “People are interested in the beer. It’s fun to have more to offer.”

    Overall, we had a great time. What we expected was light years away from what we experienced. With high-quality décor, attractive and enthusiastic entertainers and a solid bar centered around microbrewed flagship offerings, Pinups and Pints seems to have figured out a formula to turn around a struggling gentlemen’s club into something with the possibility of being a regional destination, as well as perhaps the only microbrewing strip club in the country.

    Reach DCP freelance writer Kevin J. Gray at KevinGray@DaytonCityPaper.com

    – See more at: http://www.daytoncitypaper.com/the-blonde-and-the-bubbly/#sthash.qOJ851jp.dpuf

    Source: http://www.daytoncitypaper.com/

  • Seaside Suds: The Best Cruise Ships for Beer Lovers

    Celebrity

    Photo: Celebrity Cruises

    Go ahead, pick your poison. Whether your pleasure is stout, pale ale, brown ale, IPAs or just a generic “cold one,” beer lovers will find plenty to like on cruise ships. Some lines are even embracing the meteoric rise in popularity of microbrews with special beer-themed cruises.

     

    Sip suds on these cruise ships.

     

    Celebrity Equinox: This ship is debuting Celebrity Cruises‘ new Gastrobar, featuring more than 40 beer varieties and elevated pub grub. On tap you’ll find Newcastle Brown Ale, Murphy’s Stout and Old Speckled Hen Pale. The drink menu is full of dark, golden, brown and India pale varieties, and lager fans will find diverse selections from France, Massachusetts and Belgium. The Celebrity Eclipse will get the pub next spring.

     

    Carnival Sunshine, Breeze, Freedom, Legend and Magic: Try Carnival Cruise Line‘s own branded ThirstyFrog Red Lager, accompanied by snacks such as coconut shrimp in the island-themed RedFrog Pub on these ships. Other selections on the beer menu include some Caribbean brands. Carnival also recently signed a deal with Cigar City Brewing to offer the Tampa-based company’s craft beers, specifically Florida Cracker Belgian-Style White Ale and Invasion Pale Ale, on all 13 of the cruise line’s Florida-based ships.

     

    AmaLyra: On this AmaWaterways river ship, combine Dutch and Belgian beer drinking with tulip viewing as you cruise through the Netherlands and Belgium. The sailing will be hosted next spring by beer columnist Don Russell, aka Joe Sixpack. Special events will include a beer-pairing dinner, beer-related excursions (including to a Dutch windmill brewery) and onboard discussions and tastings. The one-week cruise embarks Amsterdam on March 31. The line will also host a one-week, beer-focused holiday sailing in December 2015.

     

    Royal Caribbean ships: You can order up a pint in English-style pubs on 11 Royal Caribbean ships, including the world’s largest ships, Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas. The menu features some 35 beer selections including Boddingtons Pub Ale, Murphy’s Stout and Chimay Blue Belgian, and the pubs themselves are cleverly named — Globe and Atlas on Oasis and Bow and Stern on Allure.

     

    Wilderness Adventurer: Sip craft beer and hear from Seattle craft beer scene experts Kendall Jones & Kim Sharpe Jones as you cruise with Un-Cruise Adventures on this 60-passenger ship in the Pacific Northwest, including to the San Juan Islands. The cruise embarks Seattle on October 4. The resident expert on a similar April 2015 cruise will be Robyn Schumacher, one of the owners and brewers at Stoup Brewing in Seattle.

     

    Avalon Vista: Attend Oktoberfest in Bavaria and gain beer knowledge shipboard on this Avalon Waterways ship, on a nine-day cruise from Vienna to Munich in October 9, 2015. The cruise will feature onboard tastings, visits to historic breweries and lectures on such topics as European beer-brewing techniques. There’s also a beer-focused cruise from Amsterdam on the Avalon Panorama next spring.

     

    Crystal Serenity: Join the Wine and Food: Microbrews cruise in November aboard this Crystal Cruisesluxury ship and sail from New York to Miami, via the eastern seaboard and Caribbean. Once onboard, you’ll hear from beer experts, brew masters and chefs. The experts will show how to make beer cocktails and how to cook with beer, while discussing such oddities as beer made with bacon. There will be tastings at sea and on shore, with optional small group Boutique Adventures visiting micro- and nano-breweries in New York and Charleston. The two-week cruise embarks on November 5.

     

    Volendam: On any cruise in Alaska beer lovers should check out the local beer scene. Alaskan Brewing Company and Haines Brewing are among many brands you’ll want to sample en-route. In September, as part of its Culinary Arts Center Program in partnership with Food & Wine Magazine, this Holland America Line ship has the added benefit of playing host to Patrick Hoogerhyde of Snow Goose Restaurant and Sleeping Lady Brewery in Anchorage. The sailing embarks Seattle on September 10.

     

    Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Jewel: O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill on these Norwegian Cruise Line ships is an Irish pub named in tribute to the line’s CEO, Kevin Sheehan, and open 24 hours a day. There are nearly 30 varieties of beer available including Beck’s, Newcastle and Bass Pale Ale among eight varieties on draught. For something different try a Snakebite — half Heineken and half Strongbow Cider. Complimentary American comfort food is part of the pub’s attraction too.

     

    Queen Mary 2: The iconic Golden Lion on Cunard Line‘s oceanliners is a classic British pub down to the etched glass windows. Belly up to the bar and on tap you’ll find Guinness, Boddingtons Bitter and Bass Ale, among other varieties. The comprehensive international beer menu has such selections as Greene King IPA and Old Speckled Hen. Pub lunches are popular, with the traditional menu including Ploughman’s lunch and fish & chips served with mushy peas.

    Source: http://www.usatoday.com/

  • Anheuser-Busch Targets Latinos with New Mexican Beer Import

    No Anheuser-Busch

    Anheuser-Busch is wedging its way back into the Mexican beer market. The beer giant is importing its first Mexican lager to select Southwestern states to target Latino consumers. First stop: Dodger Stadium.

     

    The beer giant, a division of Anheuser-Busch InBev of Belgium, announced Wednesday that Montejo beer will be available in bars, restaurants and grocery stores in California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, where 70% of America’s Latino population lives.

     

    Anheuser-Busch said Mexican beers account for nearly 60% of imports, highlighting a growing demand for Latin products. Mexican beer imports grew twice as quickly as total beer imports, according to a report by IbisWorld, a market research firm.

     

    This isn’t Anheuser-Busch’s first forray into Mexican beers. The beer maker agreed to sell its U.S. rights to distribute Corona and Modelo last year as part of an antitrust agreement with the Justice Department before it could go ahead with its $20.1-billion takeover of Grupo Modelo of Mexico.

     

    Reluctant to let go of the booming market, Anheuser-Busch decided to import Montejo in February because of increased demand, said Ryan Garcia, vice president of regional marketing.

     

    “We’ve been watching this market for a while, and the consumer demand is huge,” said Garcia, explaining that the beer will be marketed in Latino radio, digital, print and restaurant industries.

     

    Americans are clamoring for more imported beer in general. Nearly 43% of U.S. consumers drank imported beer last year, according to a report by research firm Mintel, but Mexican brands lead the pack in terms of affordability, popularity and successful marketing strategies — think Dos Equis and its “the Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign.

     

    “Contrary to popular belief, the fastest-growing beers in the U.S. right now are not craft beers, but Mexican imports,” said Harry Schuhmacher, publisher of trade journal Beer Business Daily. “Anheuser-Busch would be foolish not to attempt to tap into that growth.”

     

    But the market is already cramped. Mexican brands make up 8% of overall U.S. beer volume, and experts expect that to grow.

     

    Information Resources Inc., an industry research firm, reported that Corona Extra topped imported beers at more than $1.2 billion in sales last year in supermarkets, drugstores, mass merchandisers, gas and convenience stores.  Modelo Especial, a sister brand of Corona, had the highest growth in the imported beers segment in 2013 compared with the year before.

     

    Montejo is “a tough sell because the brand isn’t very well-known in Mexico,” Schuhmacher said.

     

    Garcia said Anheuser-Busch targeted Los Angeles for its campaign launch because the city is home to 9% of the nation’s Latino population. The beer will first be sold at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 15 before its full release in September, the first time Anheuser-Busch has launched a beer exclusively with a sports franchise before making it available at retailers.

     

    “We’ve partnered with the Dodgers and are converting the Bud Light bar in right field to a Montejo bar,” Garcia said. The company is also bringing in a brew master from Mexico to head the bar.

     

    The Dodger launch will also be the first time Montejo, founded in 1960, will be sipped outside Mexico.

    Source: http://www.latimes.com/

  • Will InBev Buy SABMiller?

    No Anheuser-Busch

    InBev’s $52 billion purchase of Anheuser-Busch Cos., announced six years ago this weekend, remains the biggest deal in beer history.

     

    But there’s another merger of brewers that could eclipse it.

     

    A number of industry analysts say they have reason to believe that A-B InBev could be preparing another blockbuster purchase by acquiring rival SABMiller, the world’s No. 2 beer company.

     

    Rumors of a tie-up between Belgium-based A-B InBev, already the world’s largest brewer, and London-based SABMiller have been around for years, but talk of a deal between the two is heating up.

     

    “I think that we’ve come to a break point, a decision point,” said Tom Pirko, president of Bevmark, a food and beverage industry consulting firm in Buellton, Calif. “I think that we’re close now.”

     

    Speculation was already brewing when the Financial Times, or FT, Britain’s equivalent of the Wall Street Journal, reported in early June that traders believed bankers were working to raise $60 billion in debt to fund some kind of European takeover, and that SABMiller was a possible target.

     

    “The chatter has intensified,” said Harry Schuhmacher, publisher of Beer Business Daily, a trade publication.

     

    He noted that the FT broke the news six years ago about InBev’s takeover plans for A-B. Though the newspaper has yet to write a story confirming that a deal is indeed in the works, Schuhmacher drew parallels between the 2008 sale and the current flurry of speculation.

     

    “It’s like ‘Groundhog Day’,” he said. “When there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.”

     

    Robert Ottenstein, a senior managing director at New York-based research firm ISI and head of its global beverages team, believes a combination between the makers of Budweiser and Miller Lite could happen this year or 2015.

     

    “More than at any point in the last 10 years, SABMiller appears ripe for a combination with ABI,” Ottenstein wrote in a May research note, adding A-B InBev has digested its 2013 $20.1 billion acquisition of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, with most cost-savings expected to be realized by the end of this year.

     

    For Ottenstein, a former investment banker who headed investor relations for A-B InBev after A-B’s sale, the deal is compelling.

     

    A combination of the two companies would bring together eight of the 10 leading global beer brands: A-B InBev’s Bud Light, Budweiser, Corona Extra, Skol, Stella Artois, and Brahma; and SABMiller’s Aguila and Miller Lite.

     

    The only top-10 global beers not under their control are Heineken and Guinness.

     

    Combined, A-B InBev and SABMiller would account for about $65 billion in sales and nearly 30 percent of global beer volume.

     

    Ottenstein contends A-B InBev’s strong global brands would pair well with SABMiller’s extensive global footprint. A-B InBev has invested heavily in building flagship Budweiser’s sales globally following its purchase of A-B, he pointed out in the May report.

     

    In 2010, Budweiser grew its global sales volume by 1.7 percent, even as its U.S. sales declined. Budweiser has continued its sales momentum globally, increasing volume by 6.3 percent in 2013, with sales in China, Brazil and Russia, among other major markets.

     

    Meanwhile, SABMiller’s market position is strong in regions with high growth potential, including Africa and China.

     

    “The potential to introduce (A-B InBev’s) global brands to SABMiller’s regions extends their growth and margin potential,” according to Ottenstein’s report.

     

    Additionally, A-B InBev could reap $2 billion in cost-savings through an acquisition of their largest rival, through global procurement and shared services, and eliminating job redundancies, he wrote.

     

    Successfully implementing those kinds of cost-saving measures is what A-B InBev Chief Executive Carlos Brito and his management team are known for.

     

    “They’re not great brand builders, but they’re the smartest bankers in the world,” said beer industry consultant David “Bump” Williams, chief executive and president of Stratford, Conn.-based Bump Williams Consulting. “No matter what they buy, they find ways to eliminate waste and reductions.”

     

    Growing through acquisitions is in A-B InBev’s DNA. The deal to buy Anheuser-Busch came just four years after Belgium’s Interbrew and Brazil’s Ambev combined to create InBev. Last year, A-B InBev bought the rest of Grupo Modelo, maker of Corona and other beers, that it didn’t already own for $20.1 billion. And this year, it acquired the leading brewer in South Korea, Oriental Brewery, for $5.8 billion.

     

    SABMiller’s strength in Africa, China and other countries where InBev wants to grow makes it an attractive combination, Williams said.

     

    “I think SABMiller is their number one target,” he said. “InBev wants to be the global, dominant player in beer, and this would help them do that.”

     

    ROADBLOCKS

    A combination of the two beer giants would be closely watched on Pestalozzi Street, where A-B InBev’s North American operations are based. The 2008 deal made some A-B executives and shareholders very wealthy, but it also resulted in job losses. What impact a deal with SABMiller would have in St. Louis is unclear, but many analysts say it would be minimal as SABMiller would likely have to divest its U.S. operations to satisfy antitrust concerns.

     

    If a megasized deal is in the works, many roadblocks would stand in the way, including the high price SABMiller would command and antitrust battles domestically and overseas.

     

    Some analysts are speculating SABMiller could make a defensive move and partner instead with London-based Diageo, maker of Smirnoff, Guinness and Baileys, to stave off a hostile bid. A-B had considered a similar move with Grupo Modelo in 2008.

     

    “Logistically and strategically, the best pair-up would be A-B InBev and SABMiller,” said Morningstar equity analyst Philip Gorham. “I certainly think a big deal could be done. A-B InBev has the cash to do something. It should be SABMiller.”

     

    However, the high price it would take to acquire SABMiller makes the deal out of reach even to A-B InBev, Gorham said. “I don’t see how (A-B InBev) could create value at today’s price.”

     

    A-B InBev already has the largest market share in the United States, followed by Chicago-based MillerCoors, a joint venture created in 2007 by SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Co. to sell their beers in this country.

     

    A merger would likely require the sale of SABMiller’s stake in MillerCoors in the U.S. to another party to satisfy antitrust concerns, akin to what happened with Modelo. In a January interview with Bloomberg News, SABMiller CEO Alan Clark said a case could be made for a combination between SABMiller and A-B InBev, but it would likely require U.S. divestitures. “You could get the numbers to work,” Clark told Bloomberg. “There would be value loss and value destruction because they’d know that they’d have to sell the U.S. though.”

     

    In late June, Denver-based Molson Coors Brewing Co.’s Chief Executive Peter Swinburn wouldn’t rule out the possibility of his company acquiring MillerCoors in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “The important thing for me is to put the company in position to take advantage of whatever comes our way,” Swinburn told the financial newspaper.

     

    The U.S. Justice Department sued to block A-B InBev’s purchase of the rest of Modelo in early 2013, arguing that the merger of the nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 biggest beer-sellers would be bad for beer-drinkers. The Justice Department relented only after a deal was struck for New York-based Constellation Brands to acquire the Grupo Modelo’s U.S. beer business from A-B InBev.

     

    Bevmark’s Pirko said Brito has a track record of looking beyond obstacles to make a deal come together.

     

    “There are antitrust issues galore here, but the way Brito thinks and acts, this is just the sort of ‘go for the gusto’ thing he likes,” Pirko said.

     

    Pirko also doesn’t agree that there’s a price too far out of reach for A-B InBev. “That’s the same thing we heard about the St. Louis deal,” he said. “This really is a workable deal.”

    Source: http://www.stltoday.com/

  • Thirst for US Craft Beer Grows Overseas

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    Helping to quench a growing thirst for American craft beer overseas, some of the United States’ largest craft breweries are setting up shop in Europe, challenging the very beers that inspired them on their home turfs.

     

    It’s the latest phenomenon in the flourishing craft beer industry, which got its start emulating the European brews that defined many of the beer styles we drink today. The move also marks a continuing departure from the status quo of mass market lagers or stouts, demonstrating a willingness of American breweries to explore — and innovate — old world beer styles from Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom.

     

    The U.S. craft beer scene is so fresh and dynamic, Europeans are becoming as excited about it as Americans, says Mike Hinkley, co-founder of San Diego-based Green Flash Brewing Co. “Even though they’re used to all these amazing European beers, now there’s just more variety.”

     

    U.S. craft beer exports grew six-fold during the past five years, jumping from about 46,000 barrels in 2009 to more than 282,500 barrels in 2013, worth an estimated $73 million, according to the Brewers Association, the Colorado-based trade group for the majority of the 3,000 brewing companies in the United States. Of course, it’s still a fraction of overall production; U.S. craft brewers produced a total of 15.6 million barrels last year.

     

    Just last week, Green Flash became the first U.S. craft brewery to begin making and selling fresh beer in the European market under a deal with Brasserie St-Feuillien, a Belgian brewery founded in 1873. Under the watchful eye of Green Flash brewmaster Chuck Silva, the brewery is making and selling fresh West Coast IPA for distribution in the U.K., Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Italy.

     

    Meanwhile, 500 miles away in Berlin, Stone Brewing Co. is taking a different approach to meeting overseas demand — spending about $25 million to renovate a historic gas works building into a brewery, packaging and distribution center, restaurant and garden set to open late next year or early 2016. Escondido, California-based Stone — one of the top 10 biggest craft breweries in the U.S. — will make beer for its bistro and distribution throughout Germany and Europe.

     

    “The idea that we’re going to go across the pond as it were to brew our style of beers fresh in Europe is an exciting prospect for us,” said Stone CEO and co-founder Greg Koch, who announced the overseas expansion plans over the weekend. “When we started out at Stone 18 years ago, we were inspired by a lot of the European brewers … and now to see an inspiration bounce back around the world, that’s amazing.”

     

    Brooklyn Brewery’s brewmaster Garrett Oliver agreed, saying what used to be a one-way street in the beer world is coming full-circle: “The creative spirit and ideas that have been developing in the U.S. are flowing back in that direction. Now it’s a two-way street and we all have something to offer.”

     

    In the spring, New York’s Brooklyn Brewery and Carlsberg Sweden opened a craft brewery and restaurant making new beers that are being distributed throughout Scandinavia. The staff of Nya Carnegie in Stockholm was hired by Brooklyn Brewery and trained by its brewmaster. Brooklyn Brewery is still exporting its own beers to more than 20 countries in addition to its joint venture and also is looking at similar projects in other European capitals, South America and Asia. Around 30 percent of its business is exports.

     

    But the thirst for American craft beer hasn’t always been there.

     

    When the Brewers Association first gave presentations overseas about the American craft beer scene about 10 years ago, people would laugh aloud. They’d even quote a Monty Python skit comparing American beer to water.

     

    “They’re not laughing anymore,” said Bob Pease, chief operating officer for the U.S. beer trade group. “The word is out now that the highest quality beer, the most diverse beer, is coming from American craft brewers.”

    Source: http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=AP&date=20140721&id=17791735

  • The U.S. Now Has More Than 3,000 Breweries

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    A few numbers illustrate the heady rise of beer in the United States. In 1983, there were only 80 breweries operating across the nation, the smallest count for at least 150 years. At the end of last year, that total had surged to 2,722 breweries.

     

    And this June, the number of operating U.S. breweries reached an astounding 3,040, with nearly 2,000 more in the planning phase. Let all of America’s beer drinkers now take a moment to lean forward and issue a joyful BRRAAAPPP over their favorite tipple’s meteoric success.

     

    These figures come from Bart Watson at the industry group Brewers Association, who alleges that today the “majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a local brewery.” Watson also says this is probably the first time (“probably” because the records are a little murky) that the brewery population has surpassed 3,000 since 1873, when the IRS logged 4,131. That’s not to say that the 1870s, rather than now, should be considered the boom-time for beer in the U.S. Part of the reason there were so many breweries back then was because they hadn’t streamlined the ways to make the process efficient, including refining refrigeration and automation.

    3000breweries

    Watson, who wins today’s award for best job title with “chief economist for the Brewers Association,” claims that despite some worries there is not a “beer bubble” about to burst in America. However, he does think that breweries should prepare for more intense competition and pay particular heed to the quality of their products. That last point is being echoed on the forums of Beer Advocate, where one person rails that new breweries need to “really step up their game and try to make really awesome (not just good) beer.” Watson elaborates:

     

    What it does not mean is that we’ve reached a saturation point. Most of the new entrants continue to be small and local, operating in neighborhoods or towns. What it means to be a brewery is shifting, back toward an era when breweries were largely local, and operated as a neighborhood bar or restaurant. How many neighborhoods in the country could still stand to gain from a high-quality brewpub or micro taproom? While a return to the per capita ratio of 1873 seems unlikely (that would mean more than 30,000 breweries), the resurgence of American brewing is far from over.

     

    In support of this argument is the fact that the largest slice of America’s beer pie (recipe to come) is local, smaller-scaled operations. Out of the 2,722 U.S. breweries in operation at the end of 2013, a full 1,376 were microbreweries and 1,202 were brewpubs.

     

    What will the country’s sudscape look like a few years from now? Watson says to expect big beer-production growth rates in North Dakota, Alabama, and West Virginia. That’s because these states, along with a few others, are “growing off small bases, and so even if they aren’t adding the most new barrels in absolute terms, their percentage growth rates are still quite impressive.”

    Source: http://www.citylab.com/

  • Beer Flavored Ice Cream with Alcohol

    Frozen Pints

    Summer is in full swing, and what goes great with Summer?  Ice cream!!!  Why not enjoy a pint of your favorite beer flavor in ice cream form (with alcohol, too).  With a variety of flavors, there’s something for everyone. The only problem is they seem to only distribute in the Atlanta, Georgia area.  Anyone up for a road trip?

    From their about us page:

    Love at First Taste

     

    Like most great ideas, Frozen Pints™ started as an accident…

     

    Someone spilled a beer near the ice cream maker, and in a moment of slightly inebriated inspiration, we found our calling. After a short debate over which beer would do the honors, we chose our favorite and dumped it in. We got some crazy looks from fellow partygoers, but we were on a mission. Instead of dumping the hopped up cream to start a new batch, we let our two greatest loves intermingle and watched what happened. We couldn’t be happier with the results.

     

    Our philosophy is simple. We use the finest craft beers and freshest local ingredients to bring you flavor combinations you’ve never experienced before. Or really, it’s the flavor you always knew, but you’ve been apart a while, and it seems different somehow. More mature. Did she get highlights, and is that a tattoo??

     

    We hope you like what we have to offer. Sign up for our newsletter, read our blog, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We update regularly with the latest on all things beer and ice cream. Oh, and don’t forget to check out our flavors.

     

    Lastly, if you have a flavor idea, suggestion, or random thought about anything at all, send it our way. Something about that little flag on our inbox makes us all tingly inside… (and it’s not just the booze).

    Read more below about Frozen Pints unique offerings…

     

     

     

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    Peach Lambic (1.0%)

    European sophistication meets southern comfort.  The Belgian Lambic provides hints of juicy peaches, a lingering tartness and an almost champagne-like finish. Fruit and beer may be a unique combination to some, but those who have had a Lambic before will feel right at home.  And for the peach ice cream devotees, get ready for a fresh twist…

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    Honey IPA (2.4%)

    Hopheads rejoice! We start with a classic American IPA – grassy, piney, and hoppy notes of course. Then we add a floral honey to temper the true-to-style bitterness. The result is a full, well-balanced flavor that’s completely unique. Dig in and you’ll taste the honey first, then the hoppy deliciousness around the back.  Bitter sweet perfection.

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    Pumpkin Ale (3.2%)

    Forget the changing of the leaves – you know it’s Fall when Pumpkin Ale rolls around.  An incredibly complex beer does the legwork in this extra special seasonal flavor. Hints of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg give you that pie in the mouth sort of feel.  It’s crisp and delicious; Fall in a pint.

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    Brown Ale Chip (1.6%)

    Traditional Brown Ales can be pretty nutty, and the one we use is no exception.  We paired sweet chocolate chips with the hints of roasted hazelnut to create a warmth that surprises in an ice cream.  The flavor is delicate but unmistakably a classic brown – you’ll even get a little dryness at the finish.  Easy to try, easier to love.

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    Cinnamon Espresso Stout (2.7%)

    Wake up your taste buds with this bold flavor.  It’s not for the faint of heart, but a must for the Stout or coffee lover.  We use a Stout brewed with real espresso beans that’s grounded by hints of oak and vanilla.  The only viable contender to balance this strong beer is fresh cinnamon.  Plus, it’s a familiar friend to your cup of Joe. As complex as it is delicious.

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    Vanilla Bock (3.1%)

    This is the one that started it all. It was our first and an instant classic. The beer we use is a personal favorite – a complex Bock that we pair with Madagascar vanilla. The hints of banana, dark fruit, and cloves in this sweet cream will surprise and delight your taste buds. It’s sure to become a reliable go-to in your freezer (if you can resist polishing off the pint).

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    Malted Milk Chocolate Stout (2.1%)

    For the chocoholics… a rich Chocolate Stout is enhanced with creamy malted milk in a simple yet satisfying blend. Milk balls are a classic movie snack, but it’s a different thing entirely when you throw a solid brew into the mix.  And while our treat tastes great with a bucket of popcorn, it stands just as well alone. Short and sweet.

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