SABMiller

The Friday Mash (Intel Inside Edition)

On this day in 1968, Intel Corporation—Intel is short for “Integrated Electronics”—was founded in Mountain View, California. Today, it is one of the world’s largest and emiconductor chip manufacturers. Chances are, your personal computer has “Intel inside.”

And now….The Mash!

Appropriately, we begin in California’s Silicon Valley. Levi’s Stadium, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers, will offer fans a wide selection of local micros to choose from.

Cigar City Brewing Company has signed an agreement to pour its beers aboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ ships. Carnival also offers its own private label draft beer, ThirstyFrog Red.

This was bound to happen. Oregon’s Full Sail Brewery has sued Atlanta-based Sessions Law Firm, alleging that the law firm copied its trademark for Session Premium Lager.

Kirin, once the undisputed number-one brand in Japan, has dropped to second place behind Asahi. The chief reason for Kirin’s downfall was not entering the fast-growing premium beer market.

Grand Rapids’ Founders Brewing Company made BrandInnovators.com’s list of Top 10 American-Made Brands to Watch. Founders is joined on that list by Sonoma Cider Company.

Rumor has it that Anheuser-Busch InBev will merge with SABMiller. The combined company would own 80 percent of the world’s leading brands and control 30 percent of the world’s beer market.

Finally, Brasserie Cantillon is aging its beers inside a bomb shelter. No, the brewery isn’t expecting another invasion. It simply ran out of space; and fortunately, the city of Brussels found them a new subterranean location.

Beer…By the Numbers

  • Days until Founders Brewing Company releases Kentucky Breakfast Stout at its tap room: 28.
  • What Founders charges for a 12-pack of KBS: $62 (includes the $5 charge for a release ticket).
  • Highest reported bid on eBay for a release ticket: over $500.
  • Beer brands owned by AB InBev and SABMiller: 210.
  • Countries in which those brands are headquartered: 42.
  • Number of monks at St. Sixtus Abbey in Vleteren, Belgium: 21.
  • St. Sixtus’s annual production of Westvleteren 12: about 4,200 barrels.
  • Price of a six-pack of Westvleteren at the abbey: $27 U.S.
  • Percent of Myanmar’s males who call themselves “drinkers”: 50.
  • Percent who say they have five or more drinks daily: 25.
  • Germany’s beer consumption last year: 82.3 million barrels.
  • Percent of that beer that was served with cola and juice: 4.5.
  • Estimated cost of the Michigan Brewers Guild’s Winter Beer Festival: $175,000.
  • Cost of the beer itself: $90,000.
  • The Guild’s profit margin on the festival: 30 percent.
  • Beer…By the Numbers

  • Average price of a liter of beer at this year’s Oktoberfest in Munich: €9.35 ($11.50 U.S.).
  • Average price ten years ago: €6.55 ($6.42 U.S.).
  • Licensed breweries in Michigan: 118 (5th in the nation).
  • Brewing industry’s contribution to Michigan’s economy: $133 million per year.
  • Compensation paid to Michigan brewery employees: $24 million per year.
  • Attendance at this year’s Oregon Brewers Festival: 80,000.
  • The festival’s contribution to the local economy: $23 million.
  • Cost of a ticket to this year’s Great American Beer Festival: $65.
  • Tickets sold for this year’s GABF: More than 40,000.
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev’s world-wide market share: 18.6 percent.
  • Runner-up SABMiller’s world-wide market share: 9.3 percent.
  • Increase in Russia’s beer tax this year: 20 percent.
  • Beer tax increases scheduled for 2013-14: 45 percent.
  • Acquisitions in the brewing industry so far this year: 45 (up from 36 last year).
  • Total value of those acquisitions: $35.6 billion.
  • Beer…By the Numbers

  • This year’s production of Pliny the Younger: 307 kegs.
  • Increase over last year: 30 percent.
  • Pliny’s alcohol content: 10.7% ABV.
  • U.K. beer sales last year: 26 million barrels.
  • Change from 2010: Down 3.5 percent.
  • U.S. total spending on beer in 2010: $101 billion.
  • Spending per household on beer: $1.321.
  • Samuel Adams’s production at its Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, brewery: 5,000 barrels per day.
  • Lehigh Valley’s share of Sam Adams’s total production: 2/3.
  • Super Bowls in which Sam Adams has advertised: 1.
  • Cities in which Old Milwaukee Super Bowl’s commercial aired: 1 (North Platte, Nebraska).
  • TV homes to which the commercial was aired: 15,800.
  • Length of the commercial: 52 seconds.
  • Dividend yield on Anheuser Busch InBev shares: 1.7 percent.
  • Yield on SABMiller shares: 2.4 percent.
  • The Friday Mash (Will Rogers Edition)

    On this day in 1879, Will Rogers was born. He was a cowboy, actor, and humorist, and one of the biggest celebrities of the Jazz Age. Rogers once said that “Communism is like prohibition, it’s a good idea but it won’t work.” Both the Great Experiment and the hammer and sickle have vanished, which is a good reason to have a beer.

    And now…The Mash!

    We begin in Mozambique, where SABMiller has introduced Impala, a beer brewed with a mixture of cassava and barley. The beer will be about 25 percent cheaper than traditional lagers in hopes of getting drinkers to switch from homebrew to a commercial beer.

    Those hard-to-find beers might be easier to get if legislation designed to save the U.S. Postal Service becomes law. One provision of that legislation would allow shipments of beer and wine.

    No, it’s not too late to join The Session #57, which is titled “Bless Me Father, for I Have Drank”. You don’t even have to be Catholic to offer up your contribution.

    Despite a world-class lineup of contributors, the Oxford Companion to Beer isn’t free of factual errors. Blogger Alan McLeod has created a wiki where readers can flag and those errors for possible future editions of the book.

    March 5, 2012, will be Kate the Great Day at the Portsmouth Brewery. Next year’s edition will come in smaller (330 milliliter) bottles to allow more fans to bring some home.

    At this year’s World Beer Awards, the judges named Weihenstephan Vitus, a strong wheat beer, the World’s Best Beer. Other winners were Rodenbach Grand Cru (Best Ale), Samuel Adams Double Bock (Best Lager), Deschutes Hop Henge (Best Pale Ale), and Harvey’s Imperial Extra Double Stout (Best Stout and Porter).

    Finally, beer gardens are flourishing in southern California, but with American touches like food from all over the world on the menu and local micros on tap. And in Detroit, the Christmas Wonderfest will include a Hofbrauhaus biergarten.

    Beer…By the Numbers

  • Opening day attendance at this month’s Qingdao Beer Festival: 300,000.
  • Duration of the Qingdao Beer Festival: 16 days.
  • Breweries in the United States in July 2011: 1,790.
  • Increase over a year ago: 165.
  • Breweries “in planning today”: 725.
  • Foster’s Group Limited’s net loss last year: A$89 million (US$93.5 million).
  • What SABMiller offered to acquire Foster’s: US$10 million.
  • What Heineken offered to acquire two Ethiopian breweries: US$163 million.
  • Years since British law first required that beer be served in pints and quarts: 303.
  • Size of the newly-legalized British schooner: 2/3 pint.
  • Years since Budweiser was first sold in cans: 75.
  • Changes to the can’s label design since then: 12.
  • Last year’s decline in Budweiser’s sales volume: 7.3 percent.
  • Increase in Russia’s excise tax on beer since January 1, 2010: 200 percent.
  • Expected decrease in Russia’s per capita consumption from last year: 6 percent.
  • “Drinking Locally” in Africa

    In Africa, people have been brewing beer for millennia, using native plants such as bananas, cassava, and sorghum. These aren’t conventional ingredients anymore but, as Carolyn Whelan of Fortune magazine explains, multi-national brewing companies are offering locally-sourced beers made with traditional ingredients. It’s part of an effort to tap into Africa’s potentially huge market for beer.

    SABMiller is building microbreweries that rely on micro supply chains to get sorghum from farmers in Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia. Whelan points out that sourcing local ingredients is good business: it not only cuts supply chain price volatility, but also reduces logistics, inventory and import duty costs. The result is a product 20 percent cheaper than beer made with barley. And, perhaps, a product that will pay dividends: SABMiller hopes the farmers will spend some of their new-found wealth on its beer.

    Miller. The Beer for the Apocalypse.

    Yogi Berra supposedly said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” But that didn’t discourage brewing giant SABMiller from teaming up with a consulting firm to envision the brewing environment in 2030.

    The worst case, titled “Marginal Survival,” was a world where high energy costs and limited access to water forced millions of people to flee to places with better weather and a reliable water supply. And, presumably, lots of cold beer.

    What’s a brewer to do? No problem. Build a smaller brewery that would move from place to place on the back of a ship. How the crew of that ship would repel pirates–which would inevitably return to the high seas under such dire conditions–isn’t exactly clear.

    Is SABMiller About to Buy Foster’s?

    Earlier today, a story in MarketWatch.com raised the possibility that SABMiller will acquire Carlton & United, the brewers of Foster’s beer. News of the possible acquisition first appeared in the Times of London, which reported that SAB is prepared to spend as much as $10.9 billion to buy the Australian brewer. While the transaction isn’t small beer, it still pales by comparison to the $52 billion InBev paid to acquire Anheuser-Busch.

    Beer News Out of Africa

    Thanks to civil war and Islamic sharia law, the residents of South Sudan have been unable to enjoy a locally-made beer for half a century. That, however, is about to change. SABMiller has invested nearly $50 million in a brewery, which recently opened in Juba. The brewery’s flagship beer is White Bull, a session lager.

    The news isn’t so good in nearby Kenya, where prohibitionist legislation has created a lucrative market for cheap–and often deadly–homemade liquor. One possible solution: offering tax breaks to brewers so Kenyans can drink a safer, less potent beverage.

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