Industry News

What the craft beer acquisition trend means for the industry's future

Carolyn Heneghan - - Food Dive

As 2015 came to a close, Anheuser-Busch InBev purchased three craft breweries in five days, and a handful of other major brewers made their first craft brewery acquisitions in 2015. With this much action surrounding craft beer, it's clear that major brewers — and the rest of the industry — recognize that the entire landscape of beer manufacturing in the U.S. is shifting.

With dozens of craft beer transactions and even more rumors surfacing in the past year, U.S. beer manufacturers are in for a shift in the overall beer landscape. Whether they distinguish their brands from craft beer or jump on the acquisitions trend, manufacturers will contend with the inevitable growth of craft, as beer industry players say this acquisition spree has only just begun.

America now has more breweries than ever. And that might be a problem.

Fritz Hahn - - Washington Post

It was a startling announcement: As of Dec. 1, 2015, the Brewers Association had counted 4,144 breweries in the United States, the most ever operating simultaneously in the history of the country. According to historians, the previous high-water mark of 4,131 was set in 1873.

The new number includes giant Budweiser, artisan Dogfish Head and your neighborhood brewpub. Although beer industry observers have known this day was coming, the pace of growth was explosive: At the end of 2011, there were 2,033 breweries, or fewer than half as many as now. In 2005, there were only 1,447. And 25 years ago? The Brewers Association, a trade group for small and independent breweries, logged a mere 284 in 1990.

Will Megabrew Deal Usher In A New Era For Beer?

Marilyn Much - - Investors Business Daily

Sure, per-capita consumption is on the decline and industry volumes have flattened, but don't worry. Beer's not going anywhere. The age-old industry still has kept its pouring arm in shape, muscling up with the biggest merger in its history and tending to consumers' rising thirst for craft and premium brews.
But there is a lot of sloshing about going on.

AB InBev Defends SABMiller Buy to Senate

Tripp Mickle - - The Wall Street Jorunal

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV Chief Executive Carlos Brito defended the company's acquisition of SABMiller PLC before a skeptical Senate subcommittee that raised concerns the combination would hurt the nation's fast-growing craft beer industry and limit American beer drinkers' choices.

The hearing Tuesday underscored the rising influence of craft beer in Washington, D.C., as senators from Delaware, North Carolina, Iowa and Minnesota expressed support for craft brewers in their states and questioned the impact of AB InBev's deal. "Nobody wants to take a seat at a bar and discover their only choices are between a Bud and a Miller," said Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.).

Senators express skepticism over big beer merger

Lydia Wheeler - - The Hill

Senate lawmakers want to ensure competition from local craft brewers isn't squandered by the proposed merger of the world's top two beer producers.

The Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights held a hearing Tuesday to examine Anheuser-Busch InBev's offer to buy SABMiller for over $100 billion.

"Wholesalers make decisions everyday on what brands to put on their trucks," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the committee's ranking member. "I want to make sure consumer choice not producer power drives that decision."

A-B InBev/SABMiller deal headed for Senate hearing

Angela Mueller - - St. Louis Business Journal

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next week on Anheuser-Busch InBev's pending $107 billion acquisition of rival brewer SABMiller.
The Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights will hold a hearing Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. on the topic of "Ensuring competition remains on tap: The A-B InBev/SABMiller merger and the state of competition in the beer industry," according to the committee's online schedule of hearings and meetings.


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