14 July 2008

The Deal is Done

So the deal is finally done: InBev bought Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion. Just flipping through the internet, it seems there are a lot of angry people out there. Talk of boycotting abounds. Now, it may very well be that 98% of Bud Light drinkers don't really care enough to do anything, but it wouldn't shock me if this hurt sales of Budweiser products. After all, we beer geeks always say Bud Light isn't much different than Coors Light. So what's the stop people from switching? Except Coors isn't American owned either. Maybe some of the disgruntled will give Sam Adams or Saranac a try (or more likely, Yuengling).

On the other hand, this Wall Street Journal article quotes New Belgium's chief executive stating this might be bad for the craft beer movement:

The increased consolidation of the U.S. beer industry worries some of the nation's smaller brewers, who fear they may have a harder time gaining distribution. "It narrows the options for small brewers to gain access to market," said Kim Jordan, chief executive of craft brewer New Belgium Brewing Co. of Fort Collins, Colo. "Recently, we've seen more interest among the Anheuser-Busch distributors in our products than ever before," but that might change with InBev running Anheuser.

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