Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bud Gorrrrn

Some world beer news in recent weeks has been the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch by InBev. A-B is the US brewing giant responsible for inflicting Budweiser on the world and InBev is the Belgian based even gianter operation responsible for buying plenty of other large beer brands and brewing concerns around the world and was the second biggest brewer in the whole wide world behind London based SabMiller. Now it is the biggest.

The people reading this takeover news fall loosely into three groups;

Those who are furious that a great American icon business is no more,
Those who think A-B has got a good dose of Beer Karma and,
Those who couldn’t care less.

In Australia a fourth group exists. Those who were unaware that Budweiser was a beverage containing beer.

I have been following the lobby groups and online petitions and letters to anybody who cares in the lead up to the sale and was fascinated by the loyalty shown to the brand. And the angst in the weeks since the sale shows just how parochial some drinkers can be about ‘their brew’ and how immune to the realities of business they can be at the same time.

Bud has never been especially big here in Australia (thankfully) and so we read of its ‘demise’ more with a passing interest than any real concern. Readers of this blog would have followed the story concerning the ongoing stoush between A-B and Budvar over the use of the term ‘budwieser’ but many would be unaware of this ongoing bidding war for the brewer of ‘The King of Beers’. Beer bloggers have reported on the various reactions and it seems that the ‘real’ beer folk have little if any sympathy for the ‘King’s’ downfall.

The way I see it, there are more than enough over processed, watery, mass produced mainstream swilling lagers and who owns them is the same thing as knowing who chose the toilet paper on the Titanic – the result doesn’t alter. Maybe some of the disgruntled Bud loyalists will switch to good craft brewed beer instead and the real beer world will be a little more populated.

Some good articles on the A-B InBev merger can be found here.

The Rise and Fall of an American beer
In Bev buys A-B

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