Beer, Bars & Brewers #24

Guzzle up buddies, because it’s the last Beer, Bars, and Brewers of the year! This week Asahi is trying to buy Pilsner Urquell from AB InBev, Joe Stange looks at the franchise of craft beer bars, and rumor has it Berlin might be home to Mikkeler’s new bar.

Isn’t Christmas beer a joyous thing? The Guardian seems to think so, and who are we to disagree? Last week they ranked their ten favorite seasonal brews, take a look here to see who made the list.

Asahi to buy Pilsner Urquell from AB InBev

The BBC reports that “Japanese brewer Asahi has agreed to buy five Eastern European beer brands in a deal worth €7.3bn (£6.1bn). Anheuser-Busch InBev had agreed to sell the brands, which include Pilsner Urquell, Tyskie and Kozel, to help get clearance from competition regulators for its $100bn takeover of SABMiller”. This sale would be Asahi’s biggest acquisition to date, earlier this year the company bought Peroni and Grolsch from SABMiller. “Many Japanese firms are on the lookout for opportunities to buy firms overseas, because domestic conditions – including deflation, weak consumer spending and a falling population – make Japan an increasingly hard place to make profits … The deal is subject to European Commission approval but is expected to be completed in the first half of 2017”.

The Starbucksification of Craft Beer Bars

Over at Draft Mag author Joe Stange took it upon himself to explore “The Starbucksification of Craft Beer Bars”. Good title Joe! He compares whats happening to craft beer bar chains to Starbucks. One example: “AB InBev announced its plans to launch a chain of Goose Island pubs in Europe, starting in London before the end of this year. Next comes Brussels, capital of the country from which InBev launched itself globally. Then there will be a bunch more, as the chain will be “well-funded, rapidly expanding.””.

Goose Island, Brewdog … we’ve heard the story before! He finishes his analysis (which is well worth the complete read) with a suggestion: “My personal taste and sense of irony suggest it would be a good time for us to return to emulating Britain’s greatest invention: the cozy pub. There should be well-kept beer, comfortable places to sit, conversation, and places to hide from noise and screens. The exposed brick is optional.” We can’t disagree.

Mikkeller Bar in Berlin?

The Scottish BrewDog finally found a home in Berlin and fans are able to get the brewery’s latest hits from the tap on Ackerstraße. This only means that Germany’s capital is ready for another craft beer bar hype to take over: cue the Danes. A tipster recently spotted Mikkeler’s cartoon logo on the store front of Torstraße 102. A pop up? A brick and mortar shop? Only time, and 2017, will tell. Mikkeler already tested the Berlin waters (or should we say … beer?) back in 2013, when they took over the Michelberger Hotel. Now, seem to mean business. We’ll keep you up to date as we know more, more good Bier for the Haupstadt? Can only be a good thing!

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