I wanted to point everyone in the direction of a great, informative article which appeared on MSN Money recently (thanks to Gavin for the tip!) entitled “Will Microbrews Kill the King of Beers?”. The article includes a video and talk with Robin Ottaway, the sales manager and co-owner of the Brooklyn Brewery, details on the possible take-over of Anheuser-Busch by InBev and explanations of how “craft” beer is chipping away at the corner stone of macrobrewed beers,
Although craft beers account for only $5.7 billion of the industry, they have seen a 58% increase in dollar sales since 2004, according to the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colo. Last year, while imported and non-craft beer both experienced a growth rate of 1.4% in volume, craft beer enjoyed a 12% growth rate in volume, according to the Brewers Association.
The shift in consumer tastes — along with a commodities boom that has put pressure on profits throughout the beer industry — has put the jumbo players on the defensive. The industry’s No. 2 and 3 players, SABMiller and Molson Coors, respectively, are merging their operations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Their new company – MillerCoors – is expected to go into effect in July and will have a combined market share of nearly 30%.