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Ratebeer News - December 29, 2005


Beer News from Around the World
Brewers/Industry December 29, 2005      
Written by RateBeer


Santa Rosa, CALIFORNIA -



UK’s St. Peter’s brewery has decided to stay independent. The brewery was put to sale previously this year but the brewery’s bosses changed their minds and decided to continue to run the business independently. The founder and shareholder, John Murhpy, had planned to retire but will stay on as the chairman. The brewery also revealed plans to further the investment in the company in order to expand the brewing capacity.

There’s a rumour going on that Anheuser-Busch might be interested in buying shares of Goose Island Beer Co. John Hall, the founder of Goose Island, confirmed that there were discussions with Anheuser-Busch but that they were about distribution issues. Anheuser-Busch refused to comment any discussions with Goose Island.

The inventor of light beers died recently. Joseph L. Owades died of a heart problem at the age of 86. While working at Rheingold Breweries in Brooklyn Owades developed a process to remove the starch from beer in order to reduce its carbohydrates and calories. Owades shared the process with a friends at Chicago’s Meister Brau brewery, who then brewed Meister Brau Lite. After that Miller acquired the process and the rest is history.

China’s beer market is attracting investors. InBev recently bought Fujian Sedrin Brewery for 750 million $. It seems that Heineken and Anheuser-Busch were interesting in buying the brewery but they were outbid by InBev. China’s beer consumption is growing steadily and every major brewery wants to make a profit out of it.

A battle of giants is going on in Japan, and no it’s not Godzilla vs King Kong. Asahi has the highest share of the beer market but now Kirin is hot on their heels. The reason for this is the success of their Nodogoshi Nama third beer, the success of this beer is sufficient to raise Kirin’s market share and they aim to reclaim the title of biggest brewery that was lost to Asahi in 2002.

Beer shortages struck Uganda over the holidays. Uganda Breweries’ flagship Bell Beer all but disappeared from the suburbs of the capital city, Kampala. Publicans responded to the shortages by increasing the price on what bottles they did have. Suffice to say, the bigger beneficiaries were competing brands, like those of rival Nile Breweries.

A fledgling brand from Austria usually doesn’t make much of a splash in the beer world, but Roj has done just that. Roj is brewed in Austria for a Kurdish company and carries the slogan “A sip of freedom.” Roj is also the name of a pro-independence Kurdish media outlet in the Netherlands. The beer is sold locally and in the Kurdish part of northern Iraq. The company has applied to sell the beer in Turkey but has, perhaps not surprisingly, not yet been granted that right. Instead, the Austrian makers have received terror threats and a Roj official spent several hours being interrogated by Istanbul police.

The Vietnamese government broke ground on a new brewery in a Ho Chi Minh City industrial park. With domestic growth rates of 15% per annum, the factory will help meet local demand for beer. The brewery hopes to be able to export more of its product as well. Presently, volumes for export are low as domestic demand has been too robust.

Thai Beverage, whose bombastic entry into the market with Beer Chang has eroded what was once a near monopoly for the Boon Rawd Brewery, is planning to launch three new beers this year. One will be a premium-priced brand to compete with Heineken (which is brewed domestically by San Miguel). Thai Beverage’s last big product launch was in 2004 with Archa.
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