Saturday, May 24, 2008

InBev looking to buy Anheuser-Busch?

If you follow the news or financial markets at all., you might have noticed this rumor pop up in the past day or two. InBev, maker of Stella Artois, Beck's, and Brahma, is possibly looking into buying Anheuser-Busch, the American brewery with the majority of the market share in the U.S. This is not the first foreign takeover of mainstream American breweries, as Canadian company Molson bought out Coors Brewing and Miller Brewing was bought by SAB (South African Breweries, now headquartered in London).

Ok, now that we are done with the geography lesson, let's look at how this could effect the beer market here in the U.S. With the top three companies in terms of market share in America (A-B, Miller, Coors in order) being owned by foreign entities, this leaves Boston Beer Co. (Sam Adams) as the largest American-owned brewery. What does this mean? Well, in terms of quality and recipes of beer, probably not much. As mentioned before, Miller and Coors have been foreign owned for quite some time without little notice from the average beer drinker, mainly because there was probably little change to their formulas. If A-B is bought by InBev, there will be no impact on Bud, Bud Light, etc. However, as craft beers continue to rise in popularity and Americans begin to expand their beer palates, foreign companies might begin to see the profitability of bringing their brews here.

So, we might not see any impact or change on the popular brews we are used to, but could possibly see an increased variety of imports, making it exciting times in the beer community. Between the craft beer and microbrewery explosion, and the addition of these imports, America is in for a treat. Below are the USA TODAY and articles with a better explanation than I can give, but MarketWatch is slightly weary on whether the transaction could actually happen. I say bring it on! What do you think? I also added an article from the Toronto Star I read a while back about America's rise in craft beer.

Toronto Star

UPDATE: Looks like InBev has a Plan B with SABMiller.

1 comment:

Jimmy said...

I may dislike the majority of brews the company has, but it will be sad to see them being bought out from this international company. Anheuser-Busch is an American staple going back to the late 1800s and hopefully will continue to stay that way if management gets their act together.

We got through college with PLENTY of Natty Light and I used to love Stella Artois back in the day.

I just hope they don't ruin the microbrewery industry.