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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Views through the Macro Lens

On the topic of potential combination of the Anheuser-Busch & InBev brewing behemoths, I've stayed quiet figuring I don't have much personal insight (or in some way, care) for the outcome. Plus, the media is already saturated from the Wall Street Journal to beer industry columns and blogs with related content and opinions. As the story drags on with A-B's board of directors still undecided, the plot certainly becomes more intriguing with every passing day and how things may unravel. Check out an update at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for more details. There are archives of past content, as well as an interesting timeline called "History of A-B and InBev" under the Multimedia section (or just click here, farther down the page worth perusing if you are so inclined to read more. Also, check out InBev's "fact sheet" over at their site for additional interesting statistics and perspectives. Also, as the story drags on, I actually do find myself becoming more interested and caring more about the outcome, due in at least a small way to an intangible jingoistic beat somewhere inside. There is certainly something compelling about an All-American story of a family-run business surviving the test of time in a dog-eat-dog business world. From a 'business of craft beer' perspective, I find myself caring more, mostly because I realize that with half the total U.S. beer market consuming A-B products, this proposed merger will cause some level of disruption (predictable, or perhaps unpredictable) to the network distribution of beer through the channels that A-B has masterfully built over the years. This has the potential to pose knock-on effects to craft beer and its own distribution, whether through A-B channels or otherwise. More to come to be sure...

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