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Ratebeer News - March 9, 2006

Beer News from Around the World
Brewers/Industry March 9, 2006      
Written by RateBeer

Santa Rosa, CALIFORNIA -

Anheuser-Busch is looking to grab a part of Russia’s expanding beer market. They signed a deal with Heineken where Heineken will brew Budweiser in its St. Petersburg plant and distribute it across Russia’s major cities. Russia was the fourth fastest growing beer market in term of volume in 2004.

Researchers at Innsbruck Medical Hospital have succeeded in demonstrating the anti-inflamatory effect of beer extracts. Experiments conducted by Prof. Dietmar Fuchs and his team showed that beer extract block interferon-gamma induced chemical processes. Interferon-gamma is one of the most important messengers in inflammatory response and is mainly produced as part of the cellular immune response.

Wisconsin’s Sprecher Brewing Co. has agreed to a multi-year sales, marketing and distribution deal with Beechwood Sales and Services. Beechwood is known for its distribution of Anheuser-Busch beer brands. Sprecher’s president, Randy Sprecher announced that he has high exepectations about this deal for the company, its employees, retails partners and consumers. Beechwood’s president, John Sheehan commented that Sprecher is a perfect fit to its portfolio of beers.

The Boston Beer Co. announced a decline in 2005 fourth quarter profits. The brewery’s revenues increased but a larger increase in advertising, promotional and selling expenses had a negative effect on profits.

In UK, East Anglian beer drinkers have been targetted for a massive rebranding from a well-known brewery. Adnams has decided to change the pump clips and pint glasses as well as introducing their latest creation, Explorer. Adnams’ marketing director, Steve Curzon declared the following : “It’s been 12 months in the making, six years ago was when we last made changes and we are investing in creating a recognisable brand which will become one of the foundation stones for success beyond East Anglia. What we want is to make sure we’re still delivering brands that are as relevant in the market place as they’ve always been. People want to taste and enjoy the products and feel they’re getting something that is a bit special and above everything else. We wanted each of the products in our range to have a more distinctive personality of their own. They are very distinctive identities for each product, really reflecting the premium qualities of each product. Unlike many other brewers like us, we have one of the smallest pub estates with well over 90% of the beer we sell sold in other people’s pubs and not our own. Our brands have to stand on their own two feet.” He concluded by saying that they were very confident because they are investing in quality products.

Sleeman Breweries Ltd. is losing a major price war in Ontario. The antagonists, Sleeman and Lakeport Brewing which is specialised in low price beers. The winner : Lakeport. In 2005’s fourth quarter Sleeman’s (brewer of Old Milwaukee and other cut-rate brands) profits dropped by 86% and had to cut jobs and restructure. In the meanwhile Lakeports’ sales has jumped by 51% and the brewery declared a solid profit. The problem for Sleeman is that the low price beer war is far from done.

With the aproach of St. Patrick’s day, UK’s Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is urging pub-goers to seek real stout or porters. A CAMRA spokesman, Tracy Saunders, had this to declared : ”In recent years large brewers have used massive advertising campaigns to promote pasteurised, filtered and chilled stouts as the only drink to enjoy on St Patrick’s Day. We are urging anyone planning to visit the pub on March 17th to ask for real, cask-conditioned stouts and porters at the bar and indulge in an authentic taste experience. The bland, cold, filtered stuff that calls itself stout can’t compare with real, traditional stouts and porters that have flavours ranging from roast and tangy to chocolaty or fruity. You will not be disappointed if you are served a real stout and porter at the bar. Its character and flavour will shine through without needing gimmicks like drawing clover on the head or dying the beer green.”

Colorado’s Bristol Brewing celebrated its 10 year anniversary recently. In order to celebrate the event, they have decided to release select brews that have been in the making for years. Head brewer Jason Yester released his much anticipated Harvest Ale, a 99.9% Colorado grown beer. Yester declared that it was the most challenging beer he ever did in his career. Bristol is known for its Belgian-style wood aged beer series called Skull & Bones.

We previously reported that Fullers Smith & Turner’s acquisition of Gales brewery, here are the new developments of the story. After taking over, Fullers has decided to close the historic Gales brewery in Hampshire. Michael Turner, chief executive at Fullers, declared that it would take a prohibitive amount of money to update the brewery to the company’s standards. The company has been investing heavily to upgrade their Chiswick brewery in the past six years. The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) which has been running a “Save Gales” campaign since the takeover said that Fullers showed contemptible disregard for more than 150 years of brewing heritage. Fullers declared that main Gales brand like HSB, Butser, Festival Mild and Prize Old Ale will be brewed in Chiswick, but Gales Bitter will be discontinued.


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