AB InBev gives us yet another reason to love our craft breweries. The company is expected to cut 3% of its workforce, or about 5500 jobs, after the merger with SABMiller is complete. The downsizing is set to take place in phases and is not expected to include sales positions. This is all part of the plan to save about $1.4 billion after the merger – cutting costs to make up for the market share lost to craft beer. So if you work for AB, it might be time to start looking for some other modes of employment in the near future.
Good news for brewers in Texas – a judge just threw out a law that made it illegal for brewers to get paid from distributors for their distribution rights. In other words, breweries had to give away territorial rights to distributors and once the deal was done, that distributor had the exclusive right to sell a brewery’s beer to a selected area. Prior to this law passing in 2013, breweries were able to sell their territorial rights and it was one of the main ways that breweries made money. This ruling is especially important in a state such as Texas, where breweries can only use a single distributor within a given area. District Judge Karen Crump, who ruled against the law, did so because she believed the law violated the state’s constitutional protection for economic liberty. Speculators believe that this issue may make its way to the desk of the Attorney General, but it is unclear at this point whether or not the Texas Alcohol Regulator Board will attempt to appeal the ruling.
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Mile High Stadium, home of the Denver Broncos, will soon have its very own craft beer. Breckenridge Brewery, a local business in CO, and Budweiser, Breckenridge’s new owner, have partnered to create ‘United in Orange’, a pale ale brewed with Mandarina hops, orange juice, and orange peel. “We wanted something that everyone would be happy with; we were looking for something that was sessionable and had a unique flavor to it. So the connection of the oranges as an ingredient to the team colors really helped it come together well.” said Terry Usry, a Breckenridge spokesperson. If you aren’t hanging out in Colorado, you will unfortunately not be able to try the new brew. It will only be available at Mile High Stadium and on game days at Breckenridge’s brewpubs.
AB InBev and the Craft Brew Alliance have extended their contact until 2028. This contract allows Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) brands to utilize AB breweries to make their own beer. Some of the CBA brands include Kona Brewing Co. and Widmer Brothers Brewing. Under the renewed contract, 300,000 barrels of CBA brand beer will be brewed on AB equipment.
A team of Scottish brewers recently delivered a present to the U.S. Presidential candidates. Their beer, Smoke & Mirrors from Innis & Gunn brewery, is apparently brewed with a ‘truth serum’ to, “ensure no lies will pass the drinker’s lips after the first sip.” Some of the ingredients in the serum, infused into the brew using a beer percolator, include licorice root (to sharpen mental skills and cognitive function), mullein (for honest behavior), and vine essence (to inspire leadership without force). No word from either the Trump or Clinton campaigns on whether or not the beer is helping their political prowess.