Heineken takes minority stake in Beavertown

£40m investment will fund tenfold expansion and new visitor experience. In a blog post on the Beavertown website today, the north London brewery's founder Logan Plant announced new investment by Heineken in his company. The possible deal had been subject to much rumour and speculation in recent weeks. The arrangement is described as "arm's length", and Plant stresses that Beavertown's essential operational independence will not be compromised. He states that this desire to pursue the compa...
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Farmers accuse AB InBev of reneging on grain price deal

Formal complaint lodged with South African Competition Commission Reuters has reported that Grain SA, the South African grain farmers' lobby group, has filed a complaint with the local competition regulator against AB InBev over the price paid for the 2018 grain harvest. AB InBev acquired South Africa's largest brewer SABMiller in 2016. The deal was approved by the South African authorities on the condition that existing agreements with suppliers would be honoured. Now AB InBev has advised fa...
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Pernod Ricard enters craft beer market with Irish purchase

Move follows success of beer-aged whiskey project French multinational Pernod Ricard has announced its acquisition of Irish brewery Eight Degrees. This is the company's first foray into the beer market anywhere in the world. Pernod Ricard has long been a major operative in the drinks industry in Ireland, owning leading whiskey brands including Jameson, Midleton and Redbreast through the Irish Distillers conglomerate which it purchased in 1988. In recent years it has released Jameson whiske...
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Carlsberg suffers under “premiumisation”

2018 sales figures down for mainstream brands Danish beer giant Carlsberg released its sales figures for Q1 of 2018 this week, showing a 5% drop in beer sales globally. While much of this is accounted for by poor performance in the Russian market where the company is heavily invested, it is noteworthy how the result varies across Carlsberg's brands in Western Europe. The flagship Carlsberg "Green" lager is flat, and, according to the Chief Executive, losing market share. Meanwhile the company...
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ZX Ventures acquires UK spirits distributor

Portfolio includes online whisky shop Master of Malt While acquisition of European beer assets may have slowed down, AB InBev's disruption division ZX Ventures is still making purchases. The latest is Atom Brands, a group of companies involved in spirits sales and distribution. In particular, Atom specialises in the "craft" end of the spirits market, and its labels include The Handmade Cocktail Company and That Boutique-y Gin Company. It also owns the online whisky shop Master of Malt which c...
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C&C to acquire UK wholesalers with help from AB InBev

Move follows collapse of drinks giant Conviviality A shockwave travelled through the UK drinks industry last week with the sudden announcement that Conviviality, the company behind familiar retail brands such as Bargain Booze and Wine Rack, had called in administrators amid mounting debts. Said administrators have yet to be appointed, but today it was announced that Irish drinks giant C&C is poised to take over Conviviality's wholesale arms, Matthew Clark and Bibendum. Both subsidiari...
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Heineken invests in third South African brewery

Jack Black's cites distribution as the main factor behind the agreement. Heineken has purchased a minority stake in Cape Town craft brewer Jack Black's marking the Dutch giant's third South African acquisition in twelve months. During 2017 it also purchased stakes in Soweto Brewing company and Stellenbrau. The partial-acquisition model followed in the Jack Black's deal is similar to one Heineken recently undertook with Brixton Brewery in London. Announcing the acquisition on the Jack Black...
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AB InBev sets sights on big data

Brewer acquires beverage analytics startup. Israeli beer analytics company WeissBeerger has been acquired outright by AB InBev in a deal reportedly worth $80m. The Tel Aviv-based company was founded in 2011 and utilises Internet of Things (IoT) technology to collect and present real-time information to brewers and bar owners. As well as volume data collected from "smart taps", the WeissBeerger system can also monitor beer quality via temperature sensors, freshness monitoring and "sanitation r...
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New social responsibilities for AB InBev brands

"Elevate" programme commits High End portfolio to consumer-friendly goals. World's largest brewer AB InBev announced today the creation of a new social development programme for The High End, its portfolio of 11 previously independent American beer and cider brands. This initiative, titled Elevate, has four principal goals: Inclusion of a date of minimum duration ("best before") on all beers Power all breweries 100% with renewable energy by 2020 while cutting water usage by 20% Com...
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European macrobrewers increase US and UK presence

Colorado's Avery and London's Brixton the latest investments.  As 2017 comes to a close, the final rush of brewery takeovers is under way. Last week Spanish giant Mahou San Miguel announced a 30% acquisition of Avery Brewing in Colorado. Avery is a long-established US craft brewery, opening in 1993 and now distributed in 33 US states. The purchase matches the 30% that Mahou San Miguel already owns in another Colorado craft brewery, Founders, purchased in 2014. Founders is still a highly respe...
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