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Beer, Bars & Brewers in October, 2015

Welcome back to this month’s English version of Beers, Bars & Brewers! This week there was one singular point of interest that rocked the beer industry. 

 Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller are set to merge. In other news, AB InBev supports refugees, CNN takes a closer look at the history of Anchor Brewing, Swiss magazine Bierversuche interviews Tobias Emil Jensen, and Guinness launches its Nitro IPA in the States.

Hey Guys! It’s starting to become barley wine-time outside. After the blast of last week’s Bar Convent Berlin 2015 has calmed down, it’s time to take a look at the latest brew-news. Cheers!

1) Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller Merger

It’s been a lot like watching “Friends” back in the 90’s: Ross and Rachel, will they won’t they? Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, will they won’t they? Well, we’ve got our answer: They will. The New York Times has an excellent analysis of the situation. The core of the story is this: the world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev has bought its closest rival SABMiller for around $104 billion. After weeks of back and forth and negotiations, the two of them have paired up to create a giant like the beer industry has never seen before. The NYT points out some interesting facts, like the fact that “the deal would also give Anheuser-Busch InBev more exposure to faster-growing emerging markets, particularly in Africa and Latin America” and “the research firm Euromonitor International estimated on Tuesday that the combined Anheuser-Busch InBev-SABMiller would account for 29 percent of global beer sales”. For a complete analysis of the deal, and the Brazilians who helped orchestrate it, head over here for the NYT article.

2) AB InBev supports Refugees with Water

We know that the refugee crisis affects us all and that we all need to do our part. Anheuser-Busch InBev is trying to do theirs: the drinks giant delivered 25.000 cans of water to the Lützow-Kaserne in Schwanewede that’s currently home to more than 1.000 refugees. Delivering drinkable water to humans in need isn’t new, Anheuser-Busch has been running a program since 1988 that supports victims of catastrophes. A speaker for the company said that “what the volunteers at the German Red Cross are doing is incredibly impressive. As a global company we’re in a lucky place where we’re able to use our canning plant to bottle cans with drinking water in a timely manner.

3) The Story of Anchor Brewing

Back in August CNN writer Tom Rotunno took an indepth look at the history of Anchor Brewing, from broke beginnings into the 1960s to the takeover by Fritz Maytag, and the first Porters in the 1970s – it’s all in there. The Liberty Ale, “considered by many to be the first India Pale Ale” (in a contemporary meaning), came out in 1975 and had a very “hop forward profile that was well ahead of its time”. Another craft beer mainstay that was spearheaded by the California brewery? Seasonal brews. Shortly after the Liberty Ale was released the Anchor Christmas Ale followed. CNN applauds Maytag for risking his fortune to build the brewery. He did sell Anchor Brewing for an undisclosed amount to the Griffin Group in 2010. Maytag said. “I didn’t like being part of a parade. We had been the only craft brewery in the world by our standards for years and years, so it was a strange feeling to be a part of a movement instead if a pioneer. I didn’t like that. I like being unique.” Really, the whole is worth a read for any hops-loving reader.

4) Interview with To Øl’s Tobias Emil Jensen

If you love beer, you’ll be familiar with To Øl. Our Swiss colleagues from Bierversuche sat down with the Dane Tobias Emil Jensen to talk top rated beers, nordic-inspired brews, and RateBeer. Jensen is Gypsy Brewer through, he says that, unlike many of his peers, he doesn’t dream of his own brewery. He “likes the idea that we could decide not to brew anything for a month. Because we are not paying rent for anything, we don’t have any brewers employed or warehouses, we are just four guys”. Find this, and more gems on the Danish brewing industry here.

5) Guinness Nitro IPA Launches Stateside

Several weeks ago, Guinness launched its Nitro IPA in the States. A brew that uses five different hop varieties and is made using the brewery’s “widget” nitrogen technology. However, not everyone seems to be so on board with the new beer. Victor Fiorillo of Philadelphia Magazine was invited to the launch of the Guinness Nitro IPA and lived to tell the tale. The launch did not go down well. After several moments of sitting at the bar, Fiorillo and his +1 were served a Nitro IPA. Only to be told minutes later, that they weren’t allowed to drink it it. The beer was promptly taken out of their hand with and, when they asked for another drink, were told that “we’re only serving water or soda so that the guests don’t ruin their palettes”. The two left the bar after this exchange. And, Fiorillo continues, they didn’t even enjoy the IPA that they’d sampled. Yikes, not a good start into the world of IPAs Guinness …

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Foto: Beer via Shutterstock

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