Industry News

New Report: Alcohol Industry Regulations Prevent Vertical Integration, Foster Competition and Protect Public Health

- Center for Alcohol Policy

A new report released by the Center for Alcohol Policy examines the history and purpose of tied-house prohibitions found in federal and state alcohol laws and explains how these prohibitions are as relevant today as when enacted following the repeal of Prohibition. The report, "The Dangers of Common Ownership in an Uncommon Industry: Alcohol Policy in America and the Timeless Relevance of Tied-House Restrictions," was authored by former executive counsel for the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control and alcohol law attorney Jessica C. Starns.

The New Reality for Retailers: Is Consumer Choice at Risk?

Craig Purser, President and CEO - - National Beer Wholesalers Association

America's independent beer distributors love their independent retailer customers. In many markets, small and independent retailers and beer distributors are some of the last family-owned and local businesses operating on Main Street. When independent retailers and local beer distributors are united on building brands, delivering consumer choice or advocating before the state legislature, great things happen.

NBWA Applauds Reauthorization of STOP Underage Drinking Act

Kathleen Joyce - - National Beer Wholesalers Association

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Today, the U.S. Senate passed the 21st Century Cures Act, a broad health care bill which dedicates more than $6 billion to implement key priorities for the Administration and Congress and reauthorizes the Sober Truth on Preventing (STOP) Underage Drinking Act. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill on November 30 with broad bipartisan support, and President Obama is expected to sign it into law.

The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) worked closely with industry and public health partners to gain support for reauthorization of the legislation. In November, NBWA participated in meetings with key House and Senate staff and sent a letter along with industry partners to the House Energy and Commerce Committee to urge a hearing and passage of the STOP Act.

"Consumers are trying to make sense of choice" in craft beer - Molson Coors CEO

Lucy Britner - - Just-Drinks

The president & CEO of Molson Coors has echoed comments made last week by Anheuser-Busch InBev's CEO, claiming that US beer consumers are striving to make sense of the array of options in the craft beer space.

On a conference call following the release yesterday of the company's third-quarter and year-to-date results, Mark Hunter said beer drinkers in the country are having to deal with an "over-supply" of flavours, driven by the explosion of craft beer. US retailers, meanwhile, are starting to simplify their beer offerings.

"I think what you are starting to see," said Hunter, "is probably over-supply of flavours and SKUs... both retailers and consumers are trying to make sense of the plethora of choice." Hunter admitted that the craft segment has been good for the overall beer industry, "because it has driven conversations and interest in beer to probably an all-time high".

Craft beer consumers "tired of choice" - Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito

Andy Morton - - Just-Drinks

Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito has suggested that the US explosion in craft beer brands may be nearing an end, saying that consumers "get a bit tired of choice".

Brito, whose company has corralled a selection of leading craft brewers into its distribution network, also said retailers have realised they they cannot keep pace with the continued enlargement of the craft beer category. "There's only so much shelf space that you can share and cold box that you can spilt," Brito said.

Brewing: Craft beer comes of age

Scheherazade Daneshkhu and Lindsay Whipp - - Financial Times

James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog, says he would rather "shoot himself in the head" than sell out to "big beer". The imagery is extreme but there is no doubting the passion of the craft brewer from Aberdeen, who this year inserted a clause into the company's rules to prevent a sale to "a monolithic purveyor of bland industrial beer".

It was a defensive move to ward off the attentions of the big brewers. But holdouts like Mr Watt have become rarer after multinational beer companies — including Anheuser-Busch InBev, Molson Coors and Constellation Brands — have spent billions buying up smaller craft brewers in the US and Europe in recent years.

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