Tuesday, July 15, 2008

You want InBev/A-B analysis? Here you go.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Belgians Buy Budweiser
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Yeah, that's comedy. "That's a rude awakening." Thanks to the folks on BeerAdvocate for pointing this one out!

23 comments:

Robert said...

It's really sad to lose such an iconic and historical American company to a foreign investor. I think it's time we really starting focusing on keeping American jobs and American companies here in the United States.

I'm a small business owner here in Saint Louis, and the economy nationally is hurting everyone - not this is definitely going to hurt at home. They have a website going I signed up at -

http://www.boycottAB.com

It's a forum to share your ideas and opinions on the InBev buyout and to encourage people to buy from locally owned & operated businesses'.

Lew Bryson said...

Yeah, and I'm all for supporting locally-owned and operated businesses, but...I can't help wondering where all these folks were when South African Brewing bought Miller, and Molson bought Coors. Eh?

We've been through this. The Japanese were going to buy all our real estate back in the 1980s, the Australians were buying our regional breweries, the French were buying up dairies...and then the pendulum swung and we bought everything back, often at fire-sale prices.

Rob K said...

The upside is that maybe Bud will finally be drinkable.

Lew Bryson said...

Y'know, Rob, I keep hearing that, but...given that InBev is paying so much for beers that sell in such huge quantities, I'm sure their only thought's gonna be "What's broke here that we have to fix?" I mean, Bud's slid quite a bit from 20 years ago, granted, but mainly that's because they've been selling so damned much Bud Light! Wonder if they're still going to launch Budweiser Ale?

Rob K said...

Oh, I don't really mean it seriously. It's a joke. I realize InBev doesn't care a damn about how drinkable Bud is. But I do somewhat hope for even better distribution of InBev's drinkable beers.

---Guy said...

Heh.

How many billions did the Aussies lose on their Heileman empire?

Got took to the cleaners, they did.

Steve said...

I definitely wouldn't mind seeing Hoegaarden on tap at more bars/restaurants.

Lew Bryson said...

See, in Belgium guys like us hate InBev because of the perception that they are killing small brewers with beers like Hoegaarden and Leffe.

So we'll see what happens.

Mr. Thursday said...

I can't help but think that people didn't care much about Miller/Coors because, despite being represented commercially as "American" beers, Budweiser is the longstanding icon of American beer. Regardless of the reality, people associate Budweiser with the sort of rugged, blue-collar America of Chevy trucks and diners with wood-paneling and all that stuff.

I am curious to see what will change in the upcoming months and years though. Part of me hopes that some of the bar owners rebel and start serving local beer...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous sent another ALL CAPS comment, and I was going to dump it -- which I will next time, dammit, learn to type like the rest of the Internet! -- but thought you might like to see this...so I edited it: got rid of the caps, cleaned up a little spelling, and took out a gratuitous shot at Phillip Morris as noted. -- Lew

When South African Brewing Company purchased Miller – you may not have heard about this great american company – many people are so outraged they knew at the time they were owned by Phillip Morris and senior management ran the brand into the ground, they were more concerned about [cigarettes...edited to avoid a lawsuit] than caring about the marketing of Miller, but talk to the brewery workers at Miller at the time and the office staff at the time who were let go and pensions lost…
Laugh hardy, my friends, but in three years and some of the breweries are closed and the head quarters will be located in Cuba, maybe Steven can do a follow up piece. By the way the piece was a riot…

Lew Bryson said...

So in response...I wouldn't blame SAB's takeover for the layoffs at Miller, I'd blame Miller/PM's ass-headed management prior to the takeover. "Dick the Creative Genius." "It's It and That's That." Need I say more?

Anonymous said...

what if they started marketing stella like bud is already marketing here . its not like stella is the best beer but its better then bud

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the english and spelling lesson professor my thoughts.I will never learn to type on the internet but use my mouth for a living..But was able to buy Bud stock two weeks ago when in-bev tendered the $65.00 offer bought on margin for $57.00 and will cash out at.#
$68.00 dollors.To think that Sabmiller/Coors care about the workers or the people and the brewing traditions of St Louis or Milwaukee the families who have their stock of their companies hanging on the walls of their homes not for cashing in for $70.00 dollors per share but to be admired and for the next generations of children to remember what it was like to work for these proud towns and breweries that will be owned by the bean counters and investment banks that made these mergers possible..
It was a very sad almost felt the same way when the Kundas and Spaz and Bounds beverages decided to cash in...

Michael Shoshani said...

I think this just about puts all of the large American megaswill breweries under foreign ownership, doesn't it? I find that mildly amusing.

I'm actually waiting for our local Binny's to procure some B.B. Burgerbrau for me from their downtown location; this is ostensibly the 5% alcohol brew that the former Samson brewery marketed from 1802 until Communist Czechoslovakia made them drop it 55 years ago in favor of a lower-alcohol "Worker's Beer".

Outside North America this beer is marketed by the name under which it's been sold since 1802: Budweiser Bier, plain and simple.

By the way, there are plenty of "small business brewers", in North America and abroad, selling craft brews well worth the money. A-B, contrary to the perceptions I see being tossed around in many places, is not a small business. They are a 900 pound gorilla with satellite breweries all over the nation, and contract facilities in many countries overseas.

Deuane said...

To be honest I really could care less...it is business,plain and simple. Business is about survival, if this is the way that AB thinks it needs to go to survive then so be it.

But really...Colbert is so freakin funny....come on, who didnt laugh out loud at the Waffle Humper comment??

Lew Bryson said...

The "waffle humper" line is the main reason I put that video up! Well, that, and the beautiful delivery of that one word: "Lime."

Steven said...

Nation.

Tim Hyland said...

This may be blasphemous to say here in the land of "better beer," but I actually had a Budweiser on Sunday afternoon. I probably hadn't had a Bud in five years. But you know what? It was actually pretty good. I would have had another but there was only one (which, I must say, seemed to magically appear in my fridge--I have no idea where it came from).

Lew Bryson said...

I had a couple Buds when I was doing the New Jersey book -- I wanted to see if the really, really fresh ones from the Newark brewery tasted any better -- and I didn't mind. I drink craft, mostly, but I drink Iron City and Yuengling Premium and Straub, too. I do draw the line at Bud Light, though; light beers just don't do it for me at all.

If the thought of me or you or anyone drinking Bud makes you crazy, I suggest you go lie down and close your eyes for a while. It is just beer, after all.

Michael Shoshani said...

Beer it is, Lew. I don't care for Bud myself (although I was known to drink Old Style often, 20 years ago before they became a shadow of themselves), but I figure there has to be a reason why all these megabeers sell. If nobody drank them, they wouldn't be selling them.

I pointed out to a friend of mine this morning, and decided I should post it here as well, that A-B does deserve credit for partnering with smaller craft brewers and regional breweries, letting them into A-B's powerful distribution system.

Had they wanted to, I'm sure A-B could have knocked a lot of small brewers out of business just by brewing craft beers (which they do know how to do) and underpricing the small brewer market by selling the resultant products as loss leaders. It's to A-B's credit that they did not take advantage of a ready opportunity to monopolize the trade.

sam k said...

My take on the Bud debate:

A year or so ago, I was in a neighborhood bar in Altoona drinking a Genesee draft, and noticed that the Bud tap was by far the busiest in the place. Thought to myself, it's been years since I had a Bud draft, now might be the time. Sure will be fresh, anyway. Ordered one, and even compared to the Genny, it had almost no color, and a flavor profile to match. Experiment complete.

Last fall, I'm helping a (non-drinker) friend split some firewood, and he asks if I want a beer. Sure, says I, and he emerges with a 12 pack of Bud bottles. I cringe, open one, and it's substantially better than the draft I had a while back. Drank another, and started to realize why most Bud drinkers choose the bottle, even in places that have it on tap. Crisp, some hop presence, semi-nice...it's better from the bottle! Go figure. Still, those three were the only Buds I've had in the last decade, or for the foreseeable future.

Lew Bryson said...

Come to think of it, the Buds I had were all bottles, too. You may have something there, Sam.

Anonymous said...

i bet theres at least 20 million bud drinkers who dont even know about this sale . its like when your drinking a craft brew and someone tells you i love that microstuff blue moon . only us beernuts who come to read lews great column argue over this . cheers!!!from mr 120z can