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Ratebeer News for March 24, 2006

Beer news from around the world
Brewers/Industry March 24, 2006      
Written by RateBeer

Santa Rosa, CALIFORNIA -

Anheuser-Busch is searching to find something that will help them regain some market share. They are now running tests on blueberry flavored beer. They are also testing an alcoholic fruit juice called Peels, a new light beer (Michelob Ultra Amber) and a new draft beer (Spring Heat Spiced Wheat). They also want to focus on the growing Indian market. In order to take a part of the Indian market they want to sign bottling and distribution deals with with medium sized brewers in that country.

InBev is reportedly looking to sell one of its US breweries, Latrobe Brewing Co. which is known for brewing the Rolling Rock brand. So far there are two interested players, Anheuser-Busch and Boston Beer Co. InBev has been pruning their portfolio since they have decided to focus sales and marketing resources on its high profit import brands.

After 17 years of existence Old Dominion Brewing Co. will have a new owner. The owner and founder of the brewery, Jerry Bailey, has decided that it’s time for retirement. At fifty years old he quit his government job to start Old Dominion which was Washington D.C. area’s first microbrewery. He is selling the brewery to the brewery’s director of marketing, Terry Fife, and Fife’s business partner Kip Olson. The new owners have announced that they don’t plan any immediate change to the brewery and will keep the actual staff in place.

Alaskan Brewing Co. has received the authorisation from Juneau’s Assembly Lands Committee to build a new brewery on a 20 acre parcel of land. After producing more than 3 million gallons of beer last year the brewery seeks to expand, but does not have any space left at their Shaune Drive brewery. They plan to double the capacity of their production over the next five years.

InBev is releasing its Brazilian beer, Brahma, in the Quebec beer market. Brahma is distributed in 17 countries over the world and is brewed in Sao Paulo. InBev wants to give some comptetion to the Sleeman-distributed Sol so it will invest between 12 and 15 millions to upgrade its Montreal plant.

As the price of real ale rose by 4.28% in 2005 UK’s consumer group, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is asking for the government to make a freeze or a cut in excise duty on beer and cider to stop the prices from skyrocketing. CAMRA’s chief excutive, Mike Benner said that even the smallest increase in tax can have an important financial effect on pub visitors.

Carlsberg has launched the world’s first barrier PET keg for beer, its patented DraughtMaster system. The sealed system allows no oxygen to enter the keg, which can keep the beer fresh for up to 21 days from first serve, said Carlsberg. When beer is poured, the keg is compressed, leaving no room for surplus oxygen. The brewery said that smaller bars and restaurants usually stock bottled beer because of longer shelf life. Carlsberg chief executive Nils Andersen said: “We want to make cold and fresh draught beer accessible to any size of outlet from bars and restaurants to hotels.” A home version of DraughtMaster will also be launched.

In BC, Chiliwack’s Old Yale Brewing Co. was voted #4 in the first Vancouver Beer Awards. The brewery’s owner Larry Caza declared the following : "To be named this way by the people who really know their beer means a lot. It’s encouraging because they’re the real deal and they recognize real beer." Old Yale is recognized for it’s traditional stye pale ale, IPA and stout.

In Ontario, Church-Key Brewing announced their latest creation, Chruch-Key Bière de Garde. The 7% abv is the first of its kind to be brewed in Ontario. It’s available in 750 ml bottles and on tap.

In the UK the owner of a bar specialising in Belgian beers took upon himself to save a Belgian independent brewery. He has decided to donate the profits of his bar to save the Oud Beersel brewery which has been closed for four years. With the help of some of his contacts in the Belgian brewing industry, he is planning to buy the old brewery and brew a new lambic that would be called Bersalis. It would be the first new lambic brewery in forty years.

SABMiller is in talks to acquire Fosters’ Asian breweries. In the hopes of getting a better foothold in Asia, particulary China and India, SABMiller is considering this investment. It seems though that Scottish & Newcastle are also interested in Asian Foster premises.

In Wisconsin, Tyranena Brewing Co. are releasing new beers under the theme “Brewers gone wild!”. The brewer Rob Larson declared that Brewers Gone Wild! is a series of big, bold and ballsy beers. The first installment is a bourbon barrel aged imperial porter called “Who’s Your Daddy?”. The following releases will be in the summer with “Bitter Woman from Hell”, an Extra IPA., in the fall with “Hop Whore”, an imperial IPA and in the winter with “Spank Me Baby”, a 9% abv barley wine.



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