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The Plot to Destroy America's Beer

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by CellarGimp, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. CellarGimp

    CellarGimp Member

    Location:
    Missouri
    HoppyShirts and bozodogbreath like this.
  2. lester619

    lester619 Member

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    It was an interesting article, but I don't really understand what the point of all that was. AB-InBev is a giant international monster company. Im pretty sure everyone already knew that. That's why this website is made up of people that don't buy any of their products. I am having troubling figuring out what the controversy is.
  3. dumptruck81

    dumptruck81 Member

    Location:
    Texas
    pretty much everbody on here will buy BCBS if they have access to it
  4. mdomask

    mdomask Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    Except for the dozens of threads searching out every bottle of BCBS people can find.

    Note: I'm actually fairly happy with the GI buyout so far, since it doesn't seem to have affected the Chicago-brewed stuff and we've gotten lots of nice things.
  5. leedorham

    leedorham Member

    Location:
    Washington
    My take is that the article paints AB under the Busch family as an enormous, but still sentimental corporation. This ruthless Brazillian bean counter comes in and focuses only on dollar signs.

    It's a big stretch imho. Cost cutting flavor killing compromises were going on long before Inbev got their hands on the company. Pre-takeover AB had the same bottom-line focus the merged company has.
    digita7693 likes this.
  6. a74gent

    a74gent Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    As a businessperson who drinks beer, my comment would be that it is the lunacy bred by the short term focus of quarterly results that comes with public companies! I don't think he's running a great business. He's a running a business to get great short-term results...some of these moves are wise, but some of them are incredibly stupid long-term IMO.
  7. frazbri

    frazbri Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    That gives a good overview of ABInbev's way of conducting business. How long can they continue to cut costs and raise prices before there is serious consumer backlash? The Winking Lizard pubs in Ohio announced this week they're pulling Bud Light taps due to price increases, maybe that's where it begins?
    Ford, kexp, jkane101 and 2 others like this.
  8. frazbri

    frazbri Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    Cutting costs by over One Billion Dollars in a year says to me Mr Brito and his team are even more about efficiency than the Busch family was.
  9. digita7693

    digita7693 Member

    Location:
    Germany
    The guy mentioned lost all credibility with me after his professed love for becks.
    albertq17 and Gosox8787 like this.
  10. leedorham

    leedorham Member

    Location:
    Washington
    Could be. Could also be that the dramatic jump in the size of the company allowed ABI to find process improvements that just weren't available to AB.

    Take it FWIW. I'm no PhD economist but I do have internet access.
    DonDirkA and albertq17 like this.
  11. lester619

    lester619 Member

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I did overlook the Goose Island buyout. At the end of the day, InBev, MillerCoors, Goose Island and all the other craft breweries are for-profit companies. They all want the maximum market share they can get. It basically comes down to their different buisness models. We buy the craft beer because we feel it is a far supperior product and are happy to pay more for the quality. The other side is willing to go for the inferior mass produced cheap buzz. The big guys got that big because the vast majority of the world is in column B.
    ImJ2x likes this.
  12. frazbri

    frazbri Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    In the end, the old Anheuser-Busch was a 500 pound gorilla, and the resulting ABInbev is a 900 pound gorilla. It's not a different animal, just a bigger animal.
  13. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Member

    Location:
    New York
    I believe most of the responses missed an important point. Beck's sales are down 14% in food stores ostensibly because of the change in the beer. Now think New Coke vs. Classic Coke. People do not like their favorite products to be changed, especially for the worse. So if Beck drinkers are turning away from Beck's perhaps they are turning to craft beer rather than back to other adjunct lagers. And the title of the post should be "the plot to destroy Beck's beer" since in America, there are a vast number of other choices and although InBev owns a major market share, nobody is forcing you to buy their products.
    HoppyShirts and frazbri like this.
  14. JimDH

    JimDH Member

    Location:
    Kentucky
    That’s a non-denial denial.
    DonDirkA likes this.
  15. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    As long as Brito keeps finding ways to cut costs then they can somewhat balance their decline in sales. Ha
  16. IamMe90

    IamMe90 Member

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    None of this is too surprising. I'm not very worried; craft beer has always occupied a niche market that isn't going away with the expansion of Ab InBev. I mean, their expansion isn't really cutting into craft profits, because that demographic is pretty much unaffected by it. As long as we're still here, craft breweries will still exist.
  17. Hanzo

    Hanzo Member

    Location:
    Virginia
    So say we all.
    kagent777, DonDirkA and MicheleALE like this.
  18. cavedave

    cavedave Member

    Location:
    New York
    What was this thread about? Oh yeah the plot to destroy beer.

    With Thanksgiving coming up it oughta be said and noted, that despite this supposed gorrilla of a company, most Americans have easy access to the finest variety of fantastic beer likely ever seen in the history of the world.

    Despite the plot to destroy beer all the breweries making really good beer are doing really well. Brewery expansion is well under way at facilities across the country.

    And don't minimize the fact that only a brewery as big as Budweiser is capable of doing many things smaller ones cannot. Buying and dedicating an entire facility to a barrel aging project is one of them.

    I said if Bud ever did something really really good I would say thank you. Here it is.

    Thank you for the cases of Bourbon County Stout that I and some of those I know now have in our cellars.
  19. Ri0

    Ri0 Member

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I'm not worried either. Many craft breweries would not sell out to a company like this. New Glarus is one of them.
  20. VncentLIFE

    VncentLIFE Member

    Location:
    North Carolina
    it freaked me out the first time I saw "Honker's Ale - brewed in Baldwinsville, NY"
  21. Kuemmelbrau

    Kuemmelbrau Member

    Location:
    Louisiana
    I wouldnt say the majority falls into column B. people are just generally scared of change. (even craft beer lovers) lets not forget the ONLY reason the big 3 are so big is because of prohibition. When it ended only those who had the capital to ride it out and switch production to sodas or malt syrups were left standing. When there is nothing to drink besides American lager (I don't want to say adjunct bc back then there was very little used but barley) that is what you buy. The generations of folks who grew up in the 1930s-80s had very few choices beer wise. The fell into the habit of liking the only style of beer readily available for 50 some years. Now, refer to comment about change previously mentioned.
  22. Redrover

    Redrover Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    I had read this today at the gym and meant to post a link. I'm glad someone is more on the ball than I am.
    I thought it was a good read and a good insight into how they are growing their bottom line.
    I rarely drink a Becks, but one of my locals had is on special and I had a few, I thought the taste had changed (for the worst), but thought that it was due to my changing tastes not the beers. Now I'm not so sure.
  23. jesskidden

    jesskidden Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Of the 600 or so US brewing companies that re-opened after Repeal, the two now-combined companies that make up the other half of the US Big Two, MillerCoors, were relatively small and didn't even come close to the half million barrel mark which would have put them close to the Top Ten US brewers. Miller had climbed to #18 by 1940 (and were only at #4 in Milwaukee alone).

    25 years after Repeal in '58, Miller was #11 and Coors had risen to #18 and the so-called "BMC" brewing companies had 12½% of the US market. The so-called "BMC" Big 3 dominance of the US brewing industry wouldn't come about until 1990.

    After Repeal, 15-20% of US beer production was ale - so, 3 to 4 times larger than today's "craft beer" percentage of the market (and that's not counting dark lagers and seasonal bocks that many lager brewers still routinely offered).

    In 1934, based on total industry usage, the average barrel of beer contained 13.8 pounds of adjuncts (corn, sugar/syrup and rice) compared to 38 pounds of barley malt. That was actually a higher barley malt ratio than before WWI's grain rationing and Prohibition, when the industry average was 35.8 lbs/bbl. barley malt vs. 17.1 lbs of corn/sugar-syrup/rice/"other grains".

    All-malt beers, though they did exist, were relatively rare in the 20th century US brewing industry in the years before and after Prohibition.

    Point is, the history of beer in the US in the 20th century is not so simple.
  24. Kuemmelbrau

    Kuemmelbrau Member

    Location:
    Louisiana

    I knew when I used all caps that it was a bad idea. : )

    I realize I was oversimplifying the issue. My comment was more to speak toward the availability of am lager vs other beers. Although the ale market was what you said my understanding is that they were made more for local markets ( as most was those days) ie the majority of widely distributed (comparatively) beer was am lager. I guess that's what I get for generalizing. Cheers
  25. MN_Beerticker

    MN_Beerticker Member

    Location:
    Minnesota
    Kind of a bleak picture being painted.
  26. n2185

    n2185 Member

    Location:
    North Carolina
    True that. It's amusing to see how many people will speak out against BMC here, but when Goose Island comes up it's all, "If it tastes good, who cares who makes it?"
    cavedave likes this.
  27. cavedave

    cavedave Member

    Location:
    New York
    If a delicious beer is available at a great price I am ready to buy it. For me, not buying BMC has almost nothing to do with their ruthless pursuit of shelfspace dominance, but the taste of what they sell.
    thbeer, Danielbt, JrGtr and 3 others like this.
  28. Tashbrew

    Tashbrew Member

    Location:
    California
  29. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Member

    Location:
    Vermont
    Many years ago (pre-1985 or so) it was pretty good. The quality of the German Beck's was in a long decline before the St. Louis knockoff was dreamed of. Spaten too. Twenty years ago, it was one of my 3 favorite brands, and the Oktoberfest was great as recently as 1999. Now it's bland, stale garbage. There are bean counters in Germany too.
    JackHorzempa, Longstaff and cavedave like this.
  30. Crusader

    Crusader Member

    Location:
    Sweden
    I thought this article was interesting also (from 2006):
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114601602889736048.html?mod=hps_us_pageone

    After Making Beer Ever Lighter, Anheuser Faces a New Palate Seeking Mass Appeal, Brewer For Years Cut Bitterness; Now Drinkers Want MoreDrinkability vs. Fat Squirrels
    Nothing that surprises, but it's always interesting to get a sense of how the big breweries operate behind the scenes (or behind all of the marketing), especially when it comes to the actual beer they produce. It may be bland tasting (though I wouldn't say bad tasting since I enjoy most lagers), but it's hardly a product of happenstance.
  31. aubuc1

    aubuc1 Member

    Location:
    Florida
    In defense of "bean counters", how do you think SN delivers at such a good price point? Good "bean counters" is a major part of the answer.
  32. JediMatt

    JediMatt Member

    Location:
    Iowa
    I won't buy GI anymore now that they are owned by Inbev. <shrug>
    Holmes698 likes this.
  33. cavedave

    cavedave Member

    Location:
    New York
    I urge all to follow in your most admirable footsteps, especially regarding BCBS Coffee;)
    stayclean likes this.
  34. JediMatt

    JediMatt Member

    Location:
    Iowa
    You can have my share. ;)
  35. billlang675

    billlang675 Member

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Did they think the Becks drinkers would not notice a change in taste, or do they just not care.
  36. Holmes698

    Holmes698 Member

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
  37. steveh

    steveh Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    I already took it.
    cavedave likes this.
  38. steveh

    steveh Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    This is exactly how I feel. FWIW, I stick up for Redhook as much as I do Goose Island -- let alone Spaten.
    SunDevilBeer and cavedave like this.
  39. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Member

    Location:
    Vermont
    Very good point about SN. They continue to get better as they get bigger. Bean counting is obviously necessary, but it should be balanced by other considerations. I think SN asks, "How can we keep costs reasonable without sacrificing quality"? while Inbev just asks, "How can we cut costs"? Very short sighted, IMO. My hope is that someday SN will be big enough to buy Inbev (though Inbev's behavior is a big shot in the arm to craft beer, and probably wine too, as their quality continues to decline).
  40. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Member

    Location:
    Oregon
    Dan and Deb will want to retire eventually. Given that they could probably sell today for $50+ million (the new facility alone is worth $20+ million), there probably aren't to many individuals who have that kind of spare cash and the desire to own a brewery, which means that it would most likely be a private investment firm that buys them. Once an investment firm has a hold of them, all it takes is for AB or MillerCoors to come along and offer them the right amount and the investment firm will sell.

    It's not something we as beer geeks want to think about, but the "first generation" craft beer owners like the Careys and the Grossmans are going to have to sell eventually, and the price tags will be higher than anyone below "the 1%" can afford.
    lester619 and Beerandraiderfan like this.

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