Friday, June 17, 2011

Beer Business News

A few news items to note:

The Toronto Sun is reporting that the barley crop in Western Canada is poor again this year.  As the quality of the barley determines whether it becomes malting barley or feed barley, it is still unclear how much will end up in malters.  Thus, once again, there are supply conditions that might make the cost of producing beer increase.

The Guardian newspaper in England is reporting that Budweiser is set to become the new sponsor of the FA Cup, further evidence that InBev is trying hard to make it a true global brand. 

Reuters is reporting that Carlsberg expects strong growth in beer sales in Russia as the economy there rebounds and as government efforts to reduce alcohol consumption push more drinkers away from vodka and toward beer.

And finally the BBC has a nice report on the vitality of Welsh brewing:

James 'Arfur' Daley, of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), believes that Welsh brewing hasn't been in such a healthy state for 85 years.

The new frontline in the fightback are small brewers and micro breweries dotted around Wales, from Snowdonia to the south Wales valleys.

The doors of the Motorpoint arena in Cardiff open on Thursday, with organisers hoping many of the 45 Welsh breweries will have their beers featured among the 150 cask ales on offer over the next three days.

In 2008, Mr Daley feared that the smoking ban, combined with the economic downturn - which saw seven pubs a week closing at its height - would soon spell the end for real ale and pubs in Wales.

"At least one pub a day was going bust in Wales, people were losing their jobs left right and centre, supermarkets were selling beer cheaper than brewers could brew it, and the smoking ban was keeping away at least a third of what custom did remain," he said.

"Don't get me wrong, pubs and brewers are still facing a battle for survival, but since that lowest point, many have found a way to survive in a way which is actually benefiting real and cask ales."

"There's not really one reason; though ironically chains closing pubs has provided a bit of growing space for independent traders."


Justin "Buster" Grant, is chair of the Association of Welsh Independent Brewers, which was founded in 2007.

He said: "In Wales in the last 10 years the figure has gone up from 12 to 45 and in the last 12 months, three or four new micro brewers have opened.

"The small brewers have broken into the market and it is growing."

Have a good weekend.

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