NY Times: "Monopolizing Beer"

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by surfcaster, Oct 10, 2014.

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  1. surfcaster

    surfcaster Zealot (526) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Trader

    Nothing really new here but this made this weeks editorial pages at the NY Times. That's pretty big. Short, sweet and to the point.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/08/opinion/monopolizing-beer.html

    I feel it is reasonable to not support these guys at this point. Plenty of great alternatives.
     
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  2. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,902) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona
    Society

    I'm not worried. And yes, I derive some sadistic pleasure in seeing adjunct lager drinkers pay even more for their swill.
     
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  3. Providence

    Providence Champion (829) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island
    Trader

    While I know it ultimately makes little impact, I try to limit the amount of money I give to huge multi-national corporations. I believe dollars spent in local economies often stay in local economies as opposed to getting put in some bank or stagnant investment and collecting dust. This is my personal choice and right as a consumer. As such, I've been living ABinbev and SABmiller free for years now. I don't regret it for a moment.
     
  4. Vitacca

    Vitacca Zealot (562) Sep 15, 2010 Montana
    Trader

    But everyone will still buy Bourbon County, right?
     
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  5. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,902) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona
    Society

    Nearly everyone. Some cherry-picking locavores won't though, even though they contradict their values with many, many of their other purchases in life. Critique the beer in hand but not the logo on the shirt worn every day, you know. Keep it local, man, except when not. Feels good... pat yourself on the back.
     
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  6. mohawk5

    mohawk5 Initiate (0) Jul 24, 2014 New Jersey

    Whenever possible. I don't care who owns it as long as it tastes like it does.
     
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  7. JMS1512

    JMS1512 Crusader (790) Feb 18, 2013 New Jersey

    Ba-zing. I tried it once, liked it, and won't try for it again. There's so much out there.
     
  8. pmarlowe

    pmarlowe Meyvn (1,376) Nov 27, 2010 Virginia

    Someone call the DoJ.

    If you think 30% is high, you should look at other industries.
     
  9. turbotype

    turbotype Aspirant (288) Nov 5, 2013 California

    Nope.
     
  10. Kaz_DemonKnight

    Kaz_DemonKnight Initiate (0) Jul 8, 2014 Illinois

    Arn't these companies big enough? At what point is it enough money and control? It's quite sickining actually.
     
  11. moshea

    moshea Initiate (0) Jul 16, 2007 Michigan

    While I do agree with you, who decides what is "big enough"
     
  12. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Only if they brew about 100 x's more of it.
     
  13. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,544) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    30% would be the global market share of a combined ABInBev-SABMiller. In the US, it would be closing in on 2/3 of the US beer market - AbInbev's current claimed market share of 47.6% + 58% of the 27% market share of the MillerCoors joint venture that SABMiller owns.

    If the DoJ had allowed the ABInBev purchase of Grupo Modelo to go unchallenged in the US and the earlier AB-InBev-DoJ merger agreement did not spin off the Labatt brand in the US, ABInBev's US market share would have been closer to 53-55% today.
     
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  14. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,322) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    They could keep the same pricing if they went to 10 oz. cans and bottles. I bought a pack of M&M Peanuts the other day that seemed to be a short-fill. Tons of consumer products package size has shrunk.
     
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  15. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,108) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Scary. In the end, though, does it really make much of a difference for the fine beer lover? Seems like so far they only have been able to "slow us down" to over 10% annual growth rate.
     
  16. MaltLickyWithTheCandy

    MaltLickyWithTheCandy Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2013 Maryland

    Catch 22.
     
  17. geocool

    geocool Disciple (335) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    That's right, because if you can't do something 100 percent then you shouldn't even try and are a hypocrite for doing so. This way, only consumers that have no values are really true to themselves.
     
  18. geocool

    geocool Disciple (335) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    I don't want to find out. I'd rather have the big guys battling each other than turning 100% of their attention toward craft.
     
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  19. bluehende

    bluehende Poo-Bah (2,440) Dec 10, 2010 Delaware
    Society

    In a declining market consolidation is always the rule. If you cannot grow the market you grow the share. Macro lagers is definitely a declining market. This leaves consumers less choice and usually higher prices. The beer industry is a fascinating scenario with the big boys losing and the small craft breweries growing. This will be an interesting scenario to watch. I am surprised the big boys aren't using more of their cash horde to go after the next level. That would be the big regional guys.
     
  20. Bonsall_Phil

    Bonsall_Phil Disciple (384) Mar 21, 2014 California

    Anyone else anxious about a company that big lobbying the monsterous federal government to impose greater regulations on smaller or start up breweries?

    I'm hearing a lot of buzz about this kind of evil currently underway in communications and internet.
     
  21. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,108) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    So far it seems like the more they paint themselves as the big bad wolf, the better craft beer sales grow. I am not sure they can do more than watch as their share of the beer market decreases, and their target consumer discovers better beer, wine, and spirits.
     
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  22. Jirin

    Jirin Initiate (0) Apr 28, 2013 Massachusetts

    I own some Budweiser stock, so for my own best financial interest, I...

    *Ducks the torrent of crumpled paper balls being thrown at me*
     
  23. Bonsall_Phil

    Bonsall_Phil Disciple (384) Mar 21, 2014 California

    Thanks brother, I needed a little optimism there. Have a great day :wink:
     
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  24. digita7693

    digita7693 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Germany

    Bc that is how every locavore person acts?
    Even if they swear off all large beer conglomerates and just by local, and do the same w some food and other items they are making an impact not only on the local economy, but also the environment. Who cares if they are using Microsoft word or OS X? And if am I evil for buying local roasted coffee and wearing that roasters shirt, but swearig off abinbev, then so be it... Every little bit helps!

    Cheers
     
  25. Alexmc2

    Alexmc2 Aspirant (263) Jul 29, 2006 New Hampshire

    I work for them, so... bomb shelter time?
     
  26. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,826) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    “I am surprised the big boys aren't using more of their cash horde to go after the next level. That would be the big regional guys.”

    Interesting thought.

    The first questions that pops into my mind are:

    · Are the regional breweries attractive acquisition targets? For example, would North American Breweries (which includes Genesee) represent a growth opportunity to AB InBev or MillerCoors (SABMiller)?

    · Would a growing regional brewery like Yuengling be willing to be bought by AB InBev or MillerCoors (SABMiller)?

    Hmmm?

    Cheers!
     
  27. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,108) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Indeed. I wonder if the big regionals are the next ones to feel the squeeze from a market that on the whole is contracting, despite our segment of it expanding? Wouldn't surprise me if the big guys wonder the same thing.
     
  28. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,826) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    “I wonder if the big regionals are the next ones to feel the squeeze from a market that on the whole is contracting, despite our segment of it expanding?”

    Let me start with the caveat that I am not an expert on the US beer market. Maybe @jesskidden will chime in with his thoughts on this topic.

    So, based upon my readings Yuengling is growing. I am not aware of any signs of contraction for that regional brewery.

    I see lots of positive discussion about Schell’s Brewing but I am unaware of their business aspects (are they growing?).

    Cheers!
     
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  29. bluehende

    bluehende Poo-Bah (2,440) Dec 10, 2010 Delaware
    Society

    I guess the canary in the caol mine is Goose Island. I really do not know what they were like before being taken over. I do know that I can now find it everywhere. I also see it in the hands of many coors light drinkers. Has the beer changed any? Is it a gateway for Imbev to buy more craft breweries. I could see the big boys going after DFH, Stone, New Belgium and maybe even a Sierra Nevada. Any of those 4 with an advertising budget behind them could be grown exponentially. Would they sell out? If big money comes in it is hard to say no.

    This is a bit of rambling to basically say....who knows. Right now we seem to be in a beer sweet spot. I would hate to see anything upset this apple cart. I remember the 70's consolidation and shudder to think of that happening again. I also do not think the genie can be put back in the bottle.
     
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  30. kingofhop

    kingofhop Initiate (0) May 9, 2010 Oklahoma

    I don't "loathe" the big boys. They make my cars (Ford and Toyota). They make my computer (Hewlett Packard). They make my hot sauce (Tabasco). My friends make a living distributing, selling and moving their products, and that's pretty fuckin local. If it's not ISIS brewing my beer, I couldn't care less. I ain't no damn hippie.
     
  31. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,108) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Well I have heard fine beer is about 15% of the English overall beer market. We have a way to go before reaching that here. I guess it could be we have quite a bit more growth to do in our segment? I have no idea. We certainly are in a sweet spot, as you point out. It is the golden age of fine American beer, and I cannot honestly imagine it getting any better. But we are on track for 4,000 breweries in the country. The survival of some of them does seem to depend on our market segment continuing to grow.

    Would love to hear from @jesskidden , not just statistics, but to give his educated opinion on what he thinks any of this all means for us, for fine beer as a whole.
     
  32. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,826) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Firstly you asked concerning Goose Island: “Has the beer changed any?” I am not a big drinker of the Goose Island mainstream beers (e.g., Honkers, 312 Wheat, etc.) but I have not seen any BAs posting complaints about these beers which happen to be brewed at AB breweries now (e.g., Baldwinsville, NY). I do drink Goose Island beers that are brewed in Chicago (e.g., Sophie, Matilda, etc.) and those beers are still very high quality post the acquisition. The AB purchase with Goose Island was a good business move on many levels:

    · AB has an excellent Marketing & Sales & Distribution team

    · Mainstream Goose Island beers are brewed more economically/efficiently at existing AB breweries

    · The Chicago Goose Island Brewery is permitted to concentrate on non-mainstream beers

    · Etc.

    “I could see the big boys going after DFH, Stone, New Belgium and maybe even a Sierra Nevada.” But would any of these particular 4 breweries actually be willing to sell?

    Cheers!
     
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  33. halo3one

    halo3one Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2014 Georgia

    So let's bash the big bad conglomerate non craft beer guys but are craft beer hoarders any different? People who use mules or only but to resell (or retrade) for a profit? In the end they're no different, just on a smaller scale. If you ran a company would you do it to make a profit or to position yourself for future success? Or just to be a blip on the radar that gets passed by because you couldn't make the moves to prosper?
     
  34. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,826) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    “Well I have heard fine beer is about 15% of the English overall beer market.” Is that 15% as measured by sales dollars? If so, then the US craft beer market is not too far away from that figure.

    Cheers!
     
  35. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (3,108) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Not sure, paging @marquis
     
  36. SLOCruzin

    SLOCruzin Initiate (163) Sep 30, 2013 California
    Trader

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is in charge of preventing monopolistic business practices.
     
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  37. spicoli00

    spicoli00 Defender (643) Jul 6, 2005 Indiana

    in the US it's the Department of Justice or the Federal Trade Commission

    In the EU, it's the European Commission and goes through several layers of review and approval.

    not sure about other jurisdictions.
     
  38. marquis

    marquis Champion (825) Nov 20, 2005 England

  39. Kaz_DemonKnight

    Kaz_DemonKnight Initiate (0) Jul 8, 2014 Illinois

    I mean, I see you point. Because clearly no one is deciding what is big enough. At least to my knowledge, unless I am missing something.
     
  40. surfcaster

    surfcaster Zealot (526) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Trader

    Thanks for the contributions.

    I found this topic to be a bit of a surprise for the Op-Ed in the NYT. I may not agree with a lot in the NYT but typically well written. Perhaps a few "craft" beer lovers there.

    I find the InBev Goose Island and other craft beer purchases to be akin to Walmart--sure they sell some good stuff there but a whole lot of cheap shit, too. The problem I have is they dominate by trying to crush all in their way and leave a lot of good people in the dust. You can call it Darwinian. I call it evil. I will pay a little more and get the same or something of similar quality else where. My 2 cents.

    Good weekend to all. Off to surfcast--redfish are running on the OBX.
     
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