Anheuser-Busch

Posted in Anheuser-Busch, Don't Miss This

AB InBev acquires another beer subscription service

BeerBods Acquistion

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s newest purchase has occured in the United Kingdom. The mega company has acquired BeerBods, a beer subscription service.

Founded in 2012, the subscription service sends out 12 beers every 12 weeks, as well as holds live beer tastings.

It is important to note ZX Ventures, the investment arm of AB InBev is tied to the purchase, acquired Beer Hawk, another online beer service. Beer Hawk has now purchased BeerBods in full. The Zx Ventures purchase rabbit hole also includes Norther Brewer (homebrew supplies),  RateBeer.com, PicoBrew (appliance based homebrewing), and the beer website October.

Beer Hawk was founded by Mark and Chris, also in 2012. With headquarters in Wetherby, they themselves were acquired by ZX Ventures, the innovation arm of AB InBev, in 2016. Their mission is to inspire everyone to discover their next favourite beer. Mark, Chris and the Beer Hawk team share our passion for craft beer. They also share our vision for the kind of business we want to build. We reckon it’s the perfect fit. – via BeerBods Blog

Additionally, the ZX owns or has investments 4 Pines Brewing, Birra Del Borgo, Tripel Karmeliet, Cucapa Brewing Co., and new Patagonia Cerveza.

According to BeerBods Twitter feed, the company still has free reign on what goes into the subscription boxes.

I’ll be sticking around and I’m delighted to say that the rest of the team will be too. We’ll still be the ones picking the beers. We’ll still be the ones telling the stories behind them. – Matt, BeerBods Founder

ZX Ventures also recently acquired instagram influencer “The Fat Jewish’s” wine brand Babe Wine, famous for White Girl Rosé.

Image via BeerBods

Posted in Anheuser-Busch, Beer News

Bud Light will host a 3-night music festival in Atlanta during the Super Bowl

Bud Light Music Festival

The Super Bowl will be hosted in Atlanta this year at the city’s new $1 billion+ stadium and home of the Atlanta Falcons – Mercedes Benz Stadium

The area next door, previously known as Phillps Arena and past home to the Atlanta Thrashers and current Atlanta Hawks, has also just been renovated and renamed to State Farm Arena. In January, State Farm will host a three-day Bud Light music festival alongside the Super Bowl.

The initial lineup has been announced, which includes Bruno Mars, Ludacris, and Cardi B. Friday’s lineup includes Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Aerosmith. Bud Light is teasing a fourth major artist to be announced soon.

The fest runs from Thursday, January 31st to Saturday, February 2nd.

Posted in Anheuser-Busch

635 days later, the Browns finally win a game & Bud Light unlocks the fridges

Weeks ago, Budweiser placed locked fridges of Bud Light in parts of Cleveland, Ohio. They were to remain locked until the Browns finally won a football game.

“The Bud Light Browns ‘Victory Fridge’ is a fun way to celebrate and reward a fanbase that has never wavered in enthusiasm or dedication for their team no matter what happens.” – Andy Goeler, Vice-President of Marketing, Bud Light

It’s been 635 days. Finally, the Browns did it. Over the jets in Thursday night football. The fridges are unlocked, and we are told this is where to find them:

  • Barley House, 1261 W. 6th St., Cleveland
  • Broadway Brewhouse, 3828, 127 S Broadway St., New Philadelphia
  • Offshore Bar and Grille, 130 Forest Dr, Willoughby
  • Bud’s Corner, 5750 Columbus Rd NE, Louisville
  • Grindstone Tap House, 826 Front St, Berea
  • Barley House, 222 S Main S.t #1B, Akron
  • Merry Arts Pub & Grille, 15607 1/2 Detroit Ave., Lakewood
  • Game On Lakewood, 17103 Detroit Ave., Lakewood
  • Portage Lakes Basement, 3420 Manchester Rd., Akron
  • Panini’s Westlake, 23800 Detroit Rd, Westlake
  • Grayton Road Tavern, 4760 Grayton Rd., Cleveland
  • The Galaxy Restaurant, 201 Park Center Dr., Wadsworth
  • Slim & Jumbo’s, 8101 Main St, Garrettsville
  • Loby’s Grille, 4736 Hills and Dales Rd NW, Canton

Even if it is with light beer, Cleveland can finally celebrate. Dilly Dilly.

Posted in Anheuser-Busch, Headlines

Budweiser 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager launches nationally

Budweiser 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager

Budweiser 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager is the latest national release by Anheuser Busch InBev. 

According to Anheuser Busch, brewery founder Adolphus Busch created 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager prior to the American Prohibition in 1920. The beer never traveled far from Bud’s original home of Saint Louis before alcohol was banned.

With the anniversary of Repeal coming up on December 5th plus the holidays looming,  Anheuser Busch is launching Budweiser 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager. The amber lager is lightly hopped, and caramel malt-forward. Repeal Reserve will also be packaged in vintage “stubby” 12-ounce bottles.

“We are excited to mark the upcoming holiday season and the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition with this new brew based on a forgotten recipe. While Budweiser Repeal Reserve is a great tasting Amber Lager, it also tells the story of an important part of our history and gives reason for celebration.” – Ricardo Marques, VP of Budweiser

The official launch of Budweiser 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager is slated for October 25th in New York City. Th brewery has partnered with LYFT to bring a fleet of 1930’s cars for safe rides to the launch party.

1933 Repeal Reserve is available in 12-ounce bottles and draft for a limited time.

Style: Amber Lager
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft.
Debut: 10/23/17

6.1% ABV

Posted in Anheuser-Busch, Headlines

Brutal day as Anheuser Busch lays off hundreds of employees in “The High End” 

Anheuser Busch made some major cuts in their “High End” today, eliminating nearly 400 jobs.

Sometime around 10 pm last evening, representatives for The High End, including High End district managers started getting calendar invites for phone conferences with Budweiser Human Resources. This morning, the ax started to drop.

In a conference call with Alex Medicis, the Vice President of Sales for AB InBev North America, (concluding just after 3:45 pm this afternoon) most of the employees working with The High End have been let go.

According to Medicis, Anheuser-Busch is rethinking the business model surrounding the High End, centering more on efficiency. Cuts were made coast to coast.

Per Mike Seabaugh, High End Sales Rep,  AB’s explanation centered around brewery acquisitions. “Basically, they’ve bought quite a few breweries and with those purchases came a bunch of employees. They don’t have room for us anymore”, he said.

The High End won’t comment on the exact number of employees, speaking on background “that less than 2% of the 18,000 employees have in North America were impacted.” According to that math, that’s around 360 employees.

It was also mentioned that after meeting with various wholesalers around the country, the general consensus is that the employees and managers for The High End were superfluous.

Beer Street Journal is told that employees that work directly for breweries purchased for Anheuser-Busch’s High End portfolio – Goose Island, 10 Barrel, Elysian, Blue Point, Wicked Weed, Four Peaks, Devil’s Backbone, Breckenridge, and Karbach, will retain their positions at the respective breweries.

Editors Note: A representative with The High End contacted Beer Street Journal about the above piece. More information has not been provided. (4:45pm)

This is a developing story. This article will be updated with more information as it becomes available. 

Posted in Anheuser-Busch, Don't Miss This

In new TV spots, craft beer is overwhelming so drink Bud Light 

When in doubt, take a shot a craft beer. That seems to be Anheuser Busch’s mentality in the latest advertising spots for Bud Light.

In the upcoming TV spots, if you are overwhelmed by craft beer’s extensive and “unusual” concoctions, Bud Light will be waiting, with its four ingredients – water, rice, barley and hops. No need to look for fruit, spices or even lobster here.

The new TV promos titled “Bottle” and “Complex” will air on August 10th during the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears preseason game. The push promotes Bud Light as “America’s Light Lager.”

This latest marketing approach comes as big brand light beers like Bud Light are in decline. According to Beer Marketer’s Insights, Bud Light was down 8.4% for 12 weeks thru July 16 in IRI multi-outlet and convenience in a Q2 conference call. Despite the downturn, the company states the beer is considered an “underdog” in beer circles, yet A-B states 20,000 Bud Lights are sold every minute, every day of the year.

This may not be the Peach Pumpkin Ale brouhaha of the Super Bowl in 2015, but it’s still interesting to see a company that spends over a billion dollars acquiring craft breweries take a shot at the beers they create.

These spots, and other creative content focus on the quality and simplicity Bud Light delivers with its four essential ingredients. The new creative takes consumers to the heart of the brewing process, showing how Bud Light takes the time to make sure every beer goes down smooth and crisp, so it can be shared and enjoyed among friends.

Despite declining volume this summer, Bud Light is still the number #1 beer sold in America, followed by Coors Light.

Posted in Anheuser-Busch, Headlines

AB InBev South African hops vs. Craft breweries (A new drama)

AB InBev South African Hops

Today some American craft breweries took to social media to voice their concerns about another Anheuser-Busch maneuver. This time it has to do with hops.

We have verified the facts amidst the social media outrage. The news emerged in a memo from ZA Hops, an independent hop distributer. ZA Hops previously had access to and sold surplus South African hops, grown by farms under the SAB umbrella. Confirmed by Paul Gatza of the Brewers Association, ZA Hops was informed that surplus hops from SAB Hop Farms in South Africa would no longer be sold outside of the AB InBev network. The memo they sent out included the statement:

I was informed by SAB Hop Farms (part of ABI’s purchase of SAB-Miller) that ABI are commandeering all the hops that were to be allocated for distribution to North American craft brewers. The goal is to sell the hops internally to their acquired (former) craft breweries, even though they have not been able to sell all the hops as of yet. Regardless, they refuse to let US craft brewers buy any CY 2017 hops believing this will afford them a competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive marketplace. – ZA Hops (Full memo below)

This isn’t entirely surprising since the acquisition of SABMiller, including SAB Hop Farms, occurred in the fall of 2015 thereby giving ownership to AB InBev. However, many breweries have lashed out today at the news that they will not have access to purchase SAB grown South African hops this harvest.

This move by AB InBev opens an interesting discussion however. While they are completely within their rights to use their own assets (hops in this case), within their own breweries, and restrict competitors (North American craft breweries), it has incited the industry into some interesting reactions.

The biggest chord struck seems to be a general fear at the shear size and power of AB. Following the shocking news this week about Wicked Weed, the craft beer industry has to feel like no one is safe. To follow that purchase with the loss of previously accessible hop varieties, once again to AB, can’t feel good.

It seems a scary pattern of vertical integration becoming clearer and clearer each year. Distributers, craft breweries, even home brew supply shops to name a few. Now they have cut off an entire hop region from anyone outside of AB InBev.

We find ourselves asking, how far will this go? Will AB InBev try to vertically integrate even further and expand their North American hop sector as well? This week has made it pretty obvious that even those we thought would never sell, do.

America’s craft sector has made amazing leaps and bounds with hundreds of new craft breweries founded every year. In fact this year, the U.S. hit over 5000 craft breweries during a generation that is encouraged to “drink local” and “drink craft.” It’s become pretty clear that AB has noticed and is waging war. They started quietly at first, but this week has been pretty loud to the ears of craft beer lovers.

At the end of the day, the news has been rough on craft beer this week. It has raised a lot of anger, fears, and questions. But frankly, what did we expect from AB? For them to lay back and watch their percentage of the beer market shrink year after year and say, “well its only fair, at least the people have choices?”

No, this move is exactly what should be expected from Anheuser-Busch. It falls right in line with historically how they do business. How they grew so large and became such a powerhouse in the first place. It’s smart business. As a publicly traded company, their responsibility is to their shareholders, not their competitors.

But does it suck for the breweries we know and love? Absolutely. Does it suck for all who support independent craft brewers and loved those yummy South African hopped beers? Absolutely.

UPDATE: AB InBev makes a statement on South African hop allocation. 

 

FULL: ZA Hops Memo:

“Along with the news late last week of ABI buying Wicked Weed, I was informed by SAB Hop Farms (part of ABI’s purchase of SAB-Miller) that ABI are commandeering all the hops that were to be allocated for distribution to North American craft brewers. The goal is to sell the hops internally to their acquired (former) craft breweries, even though they have not been able to sell all the hops as of yet. Regardless, they refuse to let US craft brewers buy any CY 2017 hops believing this will afford them a competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive marketplace. So unfortunately, there will be no CY 2017 hops available from ZA Hops. Whether they decide to sell to the craft beer market independently is unclear at this point should they not be able to allocate all the hops internally. This is a shocking turn of events, though commensurate with ABI’s business practices, and devastating to my company – yet another blow to craft beer.”

Image: Beer Street Journal/ Elk Mountain Hop Farm