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NPR: Craft Brews Slowly Chipping Away At Big Beer's Dominance

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by dauss, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Savant (490) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    I think you pretty much covered it. :)

    Yeah, what I meant was almost all the major brands (not breweries, I guess) were affiliated somehow with Pabst at some point along the way.

    I always think of the "beer wars" as AB and Miller and Coors destroying all the others, and that may be true, but it was Pabst (or S&P or whatever) that was buying up all the brands.
     
  2. Yeah, lots of brewers would crash and burn in the '60's-90's trying that approach - Associated, International, Falstaff, Carling, National, C. Schmidts & Sons, Pittsburgh, Heileman, Stroh... they would often wind up with a bunch of obsolete (sometimes 19th century-era) breweries and dying brands.

    And, as for Pabst, almost all the brands were pretty much "spent" by the time Pabst got them. Once they got the Stroh-Heileman brands in '99, IIRC, their biggest selling beer - bigger than PBR itself - was briefly Schlitz old discount brand, Old Milwaukee. And they were totally taken by surprised a decade ago when Blue Ribbon started selling without any promotion of their own. So now, even as PBR gains, most everything else they own continues downward - so that they started the 21st century selling 10 million barrels of beer and did under 6 million for 2012.

    It is amazing, though, of the Top Twenty brewers in, say, 1970 Pabst owns the labels of 13 of them - and added together their market share then would dwarf AB's of the era - close to 50% of the market vs. AB's 18.5%
     
  3. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Savant (490) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    Of the top 10 breweries from 1980, if Ive figured this correctly, 6 are now owned (the brands) by Pabst. #3, #4, and #6-9.

    AB was #1, Miller #2, Coors #5 and Schmidt #10. The first 3 we all know where they are and as best I can tell C Schmidt closed without the brands being bought. But I might have screwed that up.
     
  4. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Savant (490) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

    Just think how much fun its going to be tracking the mergers and acquisitions of 2400+ breweries over the next 20 years! :eek:
     
  5. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (835) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    I bet it won't even happen to 5% of them. There are simply too many who either have no motivation to sell, or simply don't have a brewery worth buying for what the ownership would demand.
     
    Premo88 and Crusader like this.
  6. Heileman bought Schmidt's brands when they closed in '86. Not many left by the time Pabst bought most of the Heileman/Stroh collection in '99. Heileman sort of combined their Schmidt and Schmidt's labels, Stroh had sold off Rheingold, and Knickerbocker, Ortlieb, Reading, Ram's Head, Valley Forge, Duke/Duquense, Koehler...(probably others) were all inactive or nearly so, by then I'd guess.

    (Duquense was recently re-released, and Reading was revived by Legacy and then by Ruckus but I don't remember the method of acquiring ownership.)

    In fact, the only prominent surviving ex-Schmidt's brand I can think of currently in Pabst's portfolio is McSorley's.
     
    Crusader likes this.
  7. Ehh, what would be considered "premium" beer isn't really trying take shelf space from high end/craft/import. We are more concerned with taking space from millercoors and filling the high end area with our own craft brands.
     
  8. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (835) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Soooo the 24 feet of swill in multiple formats I see at most grocery stores couldn't be condensed to allow for more craft beer?
     
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  9. It could be but believe it or not people still buy said swill and like to have a variety of packaging sizes to choose from. Not unlike a store carrying SN pale torpedo and seasonal 6's 12's, 12 cans, 16oz cans, etc. Also shelf holding capacity is an issue as leaving a single bud light suit case on a shelf isn't going to last very long and would require constant service to stay stocked. So actually no, that 24 ft of swill may be necessary even if BMC has gone a bit overboard with their packaging varieties. Stores that can support a nice craft selection will certainly design their sets with that in mind as craft beer 6 packs are more profitable than BMC multi packs, margin wise.
     
  10. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (835) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Those people aren't really any of my concern. If you want more packaging options for your Coors Light, that's a you problem.
     
  11. Premo88

    Premo88 Advocate (500) Texas Jun 6, 2010

    1. When I go to my local HEB or Kroger, I see a ton of options that are either regional, a true "craft brewery" product or a beer any good BA would enjoy. That's not at Specs or other liquour stores -- that's at a big chain supermarket. I'm not comparing inch-by-inch shelf space with the Bud Light vs. the Houston's Karbach beer space ... I'm just saying the Karbach beer IS in there. It's in there, you can see it, in some cases it's on sale, and people are clearly buying it.

    2. Having seen interviews with one of the Stone Brewing Co.'s founders online, it would seem there is no freaking way that guy "sells out" ... not in a manner that would hurt his product. I've got to figure a lot of other smaller breweries feel the same way.

    3. Combining the options I find easily available here at home in Bryan-College Station along with Houston, both in the big liquour store and on tap, with the enthusiasm Americans coast to coast seem to have for good beer, frankly I don't see the big craft beer movement subsiding. Changing? Perhaps. And sure, there will be some "selling out" along the way. But the idea that Big Beer can simply push out all of the craft/regional beer in the States seems ridiculous.

    There's a market for Enjoy By IPA and Heady Topper and the Russian River's beers ... that market can't be pushed out or bought.
     
  12. BlindSalimander

    BlindSalimander Savant (250) Texas Aug 16, 2010

    This is the most important piece of information regarding the near term future of craft beer. These mega-companies will not consistantly complete deals for breweries that won't garner them large gains in market share. Just doesn't make sense financially. Even a purchase of BBC would be a drop in the bucket to them. AB/INBev will use GI to take chunks out of BBC, SN and NB.
     
  13. This is definitely an issue that I have with drinking at bars.
     

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