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Ratebeer News for February 17, 2006

Beer News from the USA and Russia
Brewers/Industry February 17, 2006      
Written by RateBeer

Santa Rosa, CALIFORNIA -

Anheuser-Busch launches a light dark beer. Described as an “American style light lager”, Michelob Ultra Amber is the focus of high hopes for the brewery. The “malty and toasted” beer has slightly more calories and carbohydrates than its sister, Michelob Ultra. Anheuser-Busch has been losing shares in the light beer market but hope to regain some with this new “full flavored light beer”.

A veteran is retiring from the brewing business. After 30 years, Granite City Food & Brewery’s co-founder William Burdick is retiring at the age of 65. Mr Burdick is the inventor of Granite’s Fermentus Interuptus system. With this system a non-alcoholic wort is created in a central location called the worthouse and then transported to each Granite City restaurant where the brewing process is completed. The point of this system is to have consistency in every restaurant.

Scottish & Newcastle’s joint-venture with Carlsberg, Baltic Beverages Holding, is proving to be fruitful. They enjoyed a 12% growth in beer volume and a 24.7% raise in earnings. Baltic Beverages Holding operates in six eastern European beer markets and has improved its position as the undisputed leader in Russia, Baltics and Kazakhstan. The growth isn’t over as the Russian market is believed to continue its expansion.

Speaking of Russia, one of the last independent breweries has been bought by a Turkish brewery. The Krasny Vostok (Red East) brewery was sold for $390 million to a Turkish holding. The price of the deal is quite surprising since the brewery was previously on sale for $1 billion . The Turkish investors get two plants, in Kazan’ and Novosibirsk and three malt houses. Analysts believe that the rush on independant Russian breweries is over.



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