Skip to comments.Are We in Danger of a Beer Monopoly?
Posted on 02/26/2013 7:32:44 AM PST by 1rudeboy
Every day, the Web site BeerPulse tries to list every single new beer available in the United States. And thats harder than you might imagine. Recently, the site posted Cigar Citys Jamonera Belgian-style Porter, Odell Tree Shaker Imperial Peach IPA, as well as a rye lager, a cherry blossom lager and a barley wine. And the list goes on, and on. In 1978, there were 89 breweries in the United States; at the beginning of this year, there were 2,336, with an average of one new brewery per day. Most of them are tiny, but a handful, like Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada, have become large national brands. At the same time, sales of Budweiser in the United States have dropped for 25 consecutive years.
So I was surprised to learn that the Justice Department is worried that Anheuser-Busch InBev, the conglomerate that owns Bud, is on the cusp of becoming an abusive monopoly. In January, the department sued AB InBev to prevent it from buying the rest of Mexicos Grupo Modelo, a company in which it already carries a 50 percent stake. The case is not built on any leaked documents about some secret plan to abuse market power and raise prices. Instead, its based on the work of Justice Department economists who, using game theory and complex forecasting models, are able to predict what an even bigger AB InBev will do. Their analysis suggests that the firm, regardless of who is running it, will inevitably break the law.
For decades, they argue, Anheuser-Busch has been employing what game theorists call a trigger strategy, something like the beer equivalent of the Mutually Assured Destruction Doctrine. Anheuser-Busch signals to its competitors that if they lower their prices, it will start a vicious retail war.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Hardly. Brew pubs are pooping up all over town.
They’d have to start making beer first.
As long as there is another beer, I will not drink Bud.
So you're saying that some nerds at DOJ now think they are Tom Cruise in Minority Report and they are going to save us from future thought crimes?
Actually given the way the beer market already works it’s a pretty safe assumption that if one of them became a monopoly they’d break the law. Watch the documentary Beer Wars, it’s a brutal market filled with crazy backroom deals and questionable legality to when the companies aren’t monopolies.
DOJ is to “justice” as Yugo is to cars.
Holder = the Obamadork = Slime.
Buttwiper tastes like goat pee. Strike one. It gives me some nasty day-after side effects. Strike two. It’s also associated with the St. Louis Cardinals. Strike three.
We have five micro breweries in town, micros will never end.
I drink Yuengling
America’s oldest brewery
Made by Americans for Americans.......
Indeed. Their products can best be described only as 'malt beverages'.
I am sorry to say that my favorite beer is made in Mexico.
Dos Equis Amber.
“stay thirsty my friends”
Almost all the major beer companies are now owned by multi national conglomerates. Inbev, Molson/Coors, etc.
I’m genuinely surprised to find there is someone who knows what goat pee tastes like.
Maybe DOJ is worried they’ll corner the market on American-style pseudo-Pilsner.
“At the same time, sales of Budweiser in the United States have dropped for 25 consecutive years.”
Little wonder, Buttwasher is a nasty beer. Too sweet, watered down, and overpriced.
Beer monopoly? I thought Budweiser was what comes out of the Clydesdales after they drink water.
.... Heck .... I was rather disillusioned to find out the article wasn't about a new drinking game!!!
.... But seriously folks ... I hope we all realize that the era of cheap booze here in America will soon become a thing of the past!!! The price of Liquor and Alcohol is about to double to the prices that are currently paid by our neighbors to the north. There are reasons that the cost of booze is so expensive in Canada ... and this country just adopted those same reasons as new entitlements to go along with it's new system of government.
I read an article last Fall in Bloomberg magazine discussing this topic. They highlighted that InBev’s CEO is all about margins and treats beer as a commodity. Their approach includes cheapening the product and is moving production closer to the client base. For example, those of you who drink Bass, take a look at where it’s made — most likely New York. And they are coming after the regionals too. Goose Island was bought and a lot of the production moved from Chicago. While I don’t like Budweiser, they mentioned that the old A-B used really good hops sourced from the same small farmers for decades. InBev has cut them off.
For those who have never tasted it I would recommend Sierra. I have never liked beer until I tasted it. It just may be one of the finest beers in the world. I hope their success does not spoil the beer
Fixed to reflect my tastes.
What’s in the water by the time it arrives in St. Louis ?
Check how much they give annually in terms of campaign contributions to the ‘rats. My guess would be this is like when they went after Microsoft. “Nice business you’s got here, wouldn’t want anything to happen to it now, would you?”
With hundreds (maybe thousands) of micro-brews in this country, I don’t think we’ve got a problem with competition.
If you go to northern Canada it is the premium American beer of choice and costs 50% more than any other American beer.
Nope... some people are brewing beer at home, and brewpubs are popping up...
They’d better not buy out Shiner Bock....that’s an act of war.
The game theory basis of DOJ suit is novel to say the least, but if the DOJ is suddenly so concerned about near monopolies in the beer industry why didn't they act earlier? For example why wasn't the joint venture between Molson-Coors and SA Miller in 2009 a concern?
Modelo will be owned by Bud? Oh great, there’s goes my fav. beer
Ick! Maybe you meant "popping" up. Which is not to be confused with the alternative of Joseph Ratzinger's German Brewery opening in the suburbs of Rome at the end of the week, which could be said to be poping up. :-)
I drink Foster’s, mostly (yes, I know it’s the Australian version of Bud). It is brewed in the U.S.
LOL. Thanks for the correcton.
I just found out Dos Equis is owned by Heineken.
The idea of the article is that there are only about 6 companies that control most of the beer production in the world. I think they are technically an oligopoly not a monopoly.
Inbev and Coors/Miller/Molson control most of North and Central America. Throw in Heineken and Carlesburg you have Europe covered too.
I run my own beer monopoly. I drink only what I make in my (or my fellow homebrewers)own kitchen.
Yuengling, Iron City, Genesee, Lionshead, Straub. Still plenty of independent breweries around.
Yuengling is also a Family owned private company. Not for sale unless you are a family member. Threw the Teamsters out a few years back too.
Go to the head of the class.
I am shocked, shocked that no one pinged you!
Actually, the story I’ve heard is that the Foster’s sold in the US is imported. From Canada.
It’s one of my fave craft beers.
Yes, until a couple of years ago. But you will note that Foster’s labels no longer contain the word, “imported.”
“Im genuinely surprised to find there is someone who knows what goat pee tastes like.”
You shouldn’t be surprised. Millions of people know what goat pee tastes like. It tastes a lot like Buttweiper.
Quite a few international beers are made in Canada. Sapporo for example.
Well, I guess that tells you how long it’s been since I’ve had Foster’s!
Where is Yuengling produced ?
I have never heard of it until today. I grew up in western NY drinking Genesee, Ol’ Vienna, Labatts, Molson and a few other mostly Canadian beers. Labatts was what most people drank because the importer was in Buffalo. Gennesee was the cheap beer made in Rochester. Very few people drank the national brands in the area.
I still miss OV splits. Ol’ Vienna was a Canadian brewery that in addition to regular 12oz bottles they also bottled beer in a 7oz botttles. They called them OV Splits. Rolling Rock also did this a one point. There was a bar in Buffalo called Mulligan’s Brick Bar that on Monday nights they would sell you a case of splits opened with ice poured across it. It was a very popular place with the SUNY Buffalo and Buff State crowd. By the end of the night there was broken glass and spilled beer all over the floor. The place was called the brick bar because the walls and floor were made of brick. They had empty milk crates around the place to put your emties in. At the end of the night(4am) they would sweep up the broken glass and hose the place down.
More here: wiki Yuengling
Here is a distribution map (Ohio has since been added):