Monday, 14 July 2008

Ambitious Brew Author on A-B/InBev

Maureen Ogle, author of Ambitious Brew, had an entertaining opinion piece recently in the Washington Post on the impending concluded A-B/InBev deal:

Isn't InBev simply emulating the American way? Brito and his troops are shining beacons of hope and light, in the form of hefty returns for stockholders. They're seeking profit in every purple mountain, fruited plain and amber wave of grain. Brito is precisely the kind of brawler who made America great. If Adolphus Busch, the German immigrant who transformed his father-in-law's no-account brewery into one of the world's largest, were still here, he'd offer the guy a job...

...the InBev bid for Anheuser-Busch is only the latest chapter in the ongoing tale of consolidation, mergers and globalization that is the American brewing industry. This time Anheuser-Busch is the target of an aggressor's hostile takeover bid, but usually, it plays the role of the bad guy.

In 2006, Anheuser-Busch snapped up the Rolling Rock brand brewed at Latrobe Brewing Company of Latrobe, Pa. A travesty, many declared. How dare that nasty corporate giant destroy a Latrobe tradition and move the brewing process to (ugh) Newark? The people of Latrobe (population 9,000; the brewery was a major employer) begged the company not to shut down its plant. The St. Louis brewing titan shrugged, and that was that. It's worth noting, however, that Anheuser-Busch purchased Latrobe from . . . InBev. As far as both parties were concerned, it was just another day on the battlefield.

Thanks to Ally for the news tip. Maureen Ogle's blog, which discusses the brewing industry and its history, can be found here. I had planned on posting this later today, but since the deal has been sealed there seems no reason to wait!

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