The empire of beer

Right at a year ago, we posted Megabrewery–no, Gigabrewery about a proposed merger between the multinational company that makes Budweiser and the multinational company that makes Miller.

There were lots of regulatory, anti-trust, and stockholder obstacles to that deal, but they have been overcome.  Anheuser-Busch InBev will take over SABMiller in a $100 billlion transaction that will create the world’s largest brewing company, accounting for one-third of the world’s beer.

But, if it’s any consolation, American anti-trust regulators required the company to spin off the operation that brews Miller products in this country.  So MillerCoors will be sold to Molson Coors, making the largest American brewery.

(This may be just of interest to Milwaukee and St. Louis Lutherans.)

[Read more…]

America, the beer

Budweiser beer will be calling itself “America” this summer, with patriotic slogans plastered all over its cans. Read about it after the jump.

What does this say about Budweiser, America, patriotism, etc.? [Read more…]

Theology & beer

A trend today is holding Bible studies, outreach ministries, and theological discussions in pubs, with the accompaniment of good beer.  I’ve spoken at some of those.

But talking about faith with what is sometimes called “the Lutheran beverage” is not a new phenomenon.  It goes way back, according to an article in Journal Sentinel from Milwaukee (natch!), and was especially instrumental in the Reformation.  (I would add to the article’s examples the importance of the White Horse Inn in Cambridge, where luminaries of the English Reformation such as Tyndale, Coverdale,  Barnes, and Cranmer, met to discuss the latest writings out of Wittenberg.  That English tavern is where the radio show got its name.)

Favorite takeaway from the article:  Catholic countries drank wine; Reformation countries drank beer.

What do you think about this today?  Should a church sponsor such events, or does it work better on the parachurch level, as informal gatherings, or when the theological discussions over a pint occur naturally among friends?  Or do you think the combination of alcohol and religion is totally inappropriate? [Read more…]

Megabrewery–no, gigabrewery

We have microbreweries that make small-batch craft beers.  We have macrobreweries that make the mass-produced brands like Budweiser and Miller.  But now Budweiser and Miller, or rather the global corporations that now control them both, are working on a merger!  That would result in a megabrewery.  No, since this conglomerate would make a one third of the world’s beer supply, it would have to be called a gigabrewery!

If the merger could pass all of the regulatory and anti-trust hurdles, that is.  Here is a list of beers that would come under this vast corporate umbrella, including lots of foreign stalwarts and brews that purists find acceptable.  (Both corporations have been buying up smaller breweries.)  Details of the proposed deal after the jump. [Read more…]

Beer wars in Germany

As a sequel to our earlier post on how American-style craft beers are catching on in traditional beer cultures, I offer this account of what is happening in Germany. [Read more…]

American beer is “in”

Interesting story in the BBC on how American beer, once derided in the world’s cultures that take beer seriously,  has suddenly become fashionable.  America’s craft breweries have spawned international fans and imitators, though also new controversies among the purists. [Read more…]