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Ratebeer Beer News - January 29, 2005

A Weekly Roundup of the World’s Beer News
Brewers/Industry January 28, 2005      
Written by RateBeer

Santa Rosa, CALIFORNIA -

Welcome to Ratebeer News, a roundup of the week’s beer news.

News and Notes

Heineken is in talks to buy Kingway Brewing, located in Shenzhen, China. Shenzhen, located across the border from Hong Kong, is among the fastest-growing cities in the world, and one of the wealthiest in China. Global breweries have stepped up efforts in recent years to get a piece of the fast-growing Chinese market. Kingway issued a press release stating that talks were very preliminary, had not progressed since January 20th, and that the current controlling group had no intention of relinquishing control of the company.

Also in China, Suntory has upped its stake in the Shanghai Donghai Brewery to 74%.

On Friday January 28th, shareholders at Molson will hold their meeting to vote on the proposed merger with Coors. The proposal has been contentious, with a number of institutional shareholders holding out for a higher offer.

After the lengthy battle, Boddington’s Brewery will finally succumb to obsolescence. The union for the 55 workers who will lose their jobs was fighting to keep the plant open. The brewery was slated for closure once before, but owners Interbrew (now InBev) kept it open for the production of cask ale.

Pyramid will be shifting production from Seattle to Portland (the Portland Brewing Co. facility) to take advantage of cost savings and open up the Seattle plant for a “malt” beverage project.

Budweiser vs. Budweiser, Round CCCXXIV. A Belgian court upheld the Budvar brewery’s trademark rights in the Benelux region in a case that began in 1979. Anheuser-Busch may appeal the ruling.

Slovakia’s popular Topvar Brewery is going up for sale, with SABMiller as a rumoured interested party.

Beer sales in Germany fell 1.5% for 2004. Overall sales of German beer rose 0.2% on increased EU sales.

Budget beer maker Lakeport Brewing of Hamilton,ON, has moved their Honey Lager into the Top 10 in beer sales at Ontario Beer Stores with its buck a beer pricing policy, bumping Corona out of the top 10. Lakeport has increased market share 400% in 18 months.

Starbucks is going to do court battle with the Old Quarter Acoustic Café in Galveston, Texas over its Starbock Beer. A judge denied a request for summary judgment in the case that the coffee company had made.

Successful English micro Sherwood Forest are moving from Marlborough to a facility three times the size in nearby Clinton.

New Brews

Anheuser-Busch has done a nationwide rollout of their new product, called BE. This is beer mixed with caffeine, fruit flavouring, guarana (more caffeine), and ginseng. The beer has been in test markets for months, and received an average 1.9/5 score at Ratebeer.com from the tasters who live in those markets.

A new microbrewery has opened in Burlington, ON. The Better Bitters Brewing Company operates out of a separate brewery at a brew-on-premise site, and has launched with three brands – Nickel Brook Lager, Ale and Light.

Ratebeer News is a weekly roundup of the week’s beer news. If you have any news that you feel should appear here, send it to [email protected]



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