British Brewer

Recreating the perfect British Pint

15 January

Beer Wars ctd

As we have been discussing over the last week in both the plight of the Flowers Ale and the Beer Wars movie post much appears to be getting lost in the race to become the biggest brewery in the world.

Well almost on cue Heineken, not wanting to be outdone by InBev and SABMiller, announced on Jan 11th the acquisition of Mexican brewery FEMSA Cerveza, owners of such brands as Dos Equis and Sol, in a transaction worth $7.6 billion assuming the closing price of Heineken stock and the value of the FEMSA’s outstanding debt.

This merger will create the second largest brewery in the world behind InBev, with over $24 billion in revenue, infront of SABMiller.  Wonder if the URL is free, hmmmm it is, what to do.

09 January

Beer Wars

Kevin, a good friend, professional brewer in a former life, and a former colleague of mine at Fidelity Ventures, writes posts at a great beer review blog Beer Observer. I was on the site earlier today and found a post by Kevin I had missed from early in 2009 about a documentary made by an independent film maker and beer nut, Anat Baron.  Anat is a former LA Producer who went on to work for Mike’s Hard Lemonade and knows a thing about making it in the beverage industry and making movies.

The movie is “Beer Wars” (trailer here), a documentary on the battle ranging between the mega-breweries and the small independents. The film focuses on the US market, but the theme is eerily similar to the one I covered in my recipe post on Flowers Original Bitter. The theme is closer than I thought as one of the major mega-brewers highlighted in the movie is Anheuser-Busch, makers of Bud and a whole host of other brands.  Anheuser-Busch was acquired by InBev in November 2008 by none other than the Belgium based InBev, owners of Flowers Original, making the largest brewery in the world with over 300 brands and 25% of all beer consumed in the world.

I have nothing against InBev or Bud, it is a matter of personal taste for me and I know cost for many other people.  I happen to like Real Ale and will support the breweries and home enthusiats that brew it.  This movie is important to me for one reason (minus the corporate bad, little guy good vibe which I could live without, its a free market), it does expose what people are really drinking, the fact that adjuncts are the base ingredient used in the bulk of mass produced beers on the market, not barley, so its not beer. Its important to know what you are drinking.

One way to really know what you are drinking is to brew it yourself. Its fresh, cheaper, and in almost every case, better than the mass produced stuff at the liquor store.  Go see the movie if you can or look for it when it comes to iTunes later this year. I’m off to bottle my Wadworth 6X clone, it smells good.