Beer Me: August 9, 2016 – August 15, 2016
Did you miss it? Probably. Department of Justice announcements don’t get the same play as Donald Trump memes or the latest comic from The Oatmeal. But there it was, the DoJ agreed to a settlement with Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) that will allow the global beer behemoth to acquire SABMiller.
The deal – worth more than $100 billion – means one company will be supplying around 28% of the world’s beer. According to the DOJ statement, AB InBev currently owns 19 breweries in the US and 40 major beer brands sold domestically. MillerCoors (now under the governance of SABMiller and Molson Coors) owns 12 breweries here at home and has the sole right to produce and sell more than 40 major brands.
While the figures are eye-opening, in order to gain approval for the deal, Belgium-based AB InBev was required to divest itself of SABMiller’s U.S. business (Molson Coors will pay for that honor) and discontinue incentive programs for distributors to prioritize AB InBev products. These concessions will help mitigate some of the concerns raised in the craft beer world…somewhat.
While we continue to believe that the merger of the world’s two largest brewers is bad for both the beer industry and consumers, the DOJ’s significant requirements, including the termination of incentive programs such as the Voluntary Anheuser-Busch Incentive for Performance Program (VAIP), a cap on ABI’s self-distribution volume and other measures to protect distributor independence, appear to address some of our major apprehensions with the merger. With effective enforcement of these provisions, small brewers can rely on their independent distributor partners to access the market. This will help ensure that beer enthusiasts can continue to enjoy a vast variety of options from the more than 4,600 breweries in the U.S.
The Brewers Association will closely examine the consent decree and compliance with its provisions, as well as monitor ABI’s actions, specifically with regard to the acquisition of independent craft brewers. We remain concerned about how past, pending and future acquisitions may shift the dynamics of the current beer market. We will continue to encourage the DOJ to monitor and, where necessary, take action to remedy any anticompetitive effects of ABI’s behavior in the U.S.
The deal is expected to be finalized October 10, 2016.
Now! Here’s what’s cooking in your hood…
Lost Highway, which will be vacating its present location at the end of summer for parts yet unknown, is rolling out an end-of -summer refresher. The 6% ABV ale was brewed with French Saison yeast and 60 pounds of honey #bzzzzz
4 Noses is opening early to mark the return of Colorado’s preferred fuzzy stone fruit with the third iteration of Peachapotamus. Brewed with 1,000 pounds of Palisades Peaches, the resulting seasonal ale is refreshing and lightly sweet. Basic Kneads Pizza will also be on-site along with live bluegrass.
New Image will tap four kegs from Desthil – the revered sour-centric brewery from central Illinois – and have a limited supply of branded glassware that will accompany the purchase of a pint while they last. Offerings include Fraise from the Saint Dekkera Reserve Sour Series, a sour ale aged in oak barrels with strawberries; Blueberry Gose, a Leipzig-style Gose with blueberries; Abbey’s Single; and Lynnbrook, a wild Berliner-style Weisse with raspberries.
Alpine Dog is tapping a mango cask version of their 100+ IBU hop monster, Electric Thunder Hop. The resulting juicy, turbid goodness will be dubbed, Electric Mango Superhaze. 2 Street Chefs will be parked outside.
Regardless of your personal opinion on the “The Beautiful Game,” with the bulk of the action happening overseas it often gives us an opportunity to get an early start on imbibing. Declaration will be offering 25% off of all pints from 8am to noon. Wear your team’s soccer jersey and your first pint is buy one/get one. They’ll also have $5 bloody beers and lawn game competitions.
For five weeks, Freshcraft is pairing a unique dish from their kitchen with a coveted beer. Week three features a wild mushroom galette complemented by Tart of Darkness from The Bruery. The dish is a medley of wild mushrooms with aged Manchego cheese, Serrano ham, and paprika hollandaise. Tart of Darkness will be available on its own after 3pm.
Fermaentra releases the latest batch of Machination in bottles and on tap. The 10% ABV dry-hopped American Strong Ale showcases the beauty and complexity of American hop varietals. “The nose brings grapefruits, papayas, juniper berries, maple sugar, and a hint of spice. The taste that follows is delicately sweet, followed by a mild citrus zest, completed by a smooth, dry finish that lingers pleasantly long after the glass is empty.”
Presented by The Wit, Much a Brew About Nothing is an original hour-long adaptation of The Bard’s favorite comedy. The actors imbibe before, during, and after the show so expect some bawdy buffoonery and slurred sonnets. No cover #ShakesBeer
Don’t worry, you didn’t sleep through summer, Rip Van Winkle. BUT, the season isn’t getting any younger. DBC rolls out their seasonal Hey! Pumpkin Harvest Ale as, “an early harbinger of cooler temps to come.” The 5.4% ABV copper-hued quaff is brewed with real pumpkins and will be available in six-packs. It also serves as a kick in the ass to get those much-talked about hiking and camping trips on the books before it’s time to dust off the snow sports equipment.
Still thirsty? Use this handy map of Colorado breweries and other drinking establishments to plan your next adventure. Cheers.
Matt Sandy, a self-proclaimed “Beer Gadabout” and Certified Beer Server, has been enjoying beer since he was of legal drinking age. Having been born across the pond where “legal drinking age” is a relative term, let’s just say he washed down a shandy or two while still in short pants. He moved to Denver in 2007 and immediately took up residency at the Great Divide taproom. Since then, he’s enjoyed exploring all of the craft corners of this great town and in this column will highlight weekly beer-related events that you should consider drinking in.