Monopolizing America: Big Beer Takes Over

Written by Don Monkerud

Forget about kicking back and enjoying an American beer; a massive wave of consolidation is transforming the industry.

According to a recent report by the Marin Institute, a California-based alcohol industry watchdog, a rush of buyouts and mergers in the last years of the Bush Administration has left two overseas giants in control of 80 percent of American beer consumption.

“How beer is marketed and sold in this country will never be the same,” said Charisse Lebron, corporate responsibility & advocacy manager at the Marin Institute. “Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors, controlled by parent companies SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Company, are all that really matter in the U.S.”

America is the world’s most profitable beer market, yet the U.S. has lost what was once a competitive industry. As recently as 2004, ten companies fought over world consumption; today Belgium-based InBev (Anheuser-Busch InBev) controls 25 percent of the world’s beer market. SABMiller, the second largest brewer with 15 percent of the market, is a London-based conglomerate that formed when South African Breweries acquired U.S.-owned Miller in 2002.
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Boston Brewer Pushes New Limits on Extreme Beer

Story from Comcast.net. Written by Russell Contreras, AP

BOSTON — It is banned in 13 states and sure doesn’t come in a six-pack.

The maker of Samuel Adams beer has released an updated version of its biennial beer Utopias — now the highest alcohol content beer on the market. At 27 percent alcohol by volume and $150 a bottle, the limited release of the brandy-colored Utopias comes as more brewers take advantage of improvements in science to boost potency and enhance taste.

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