Faster Growing Than Craft
Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors are
beginning to stock shelves with the latest
apple-flavored line extensions of their
flavored malt beverages, called the Apple-
Ahhh-Rita and Redd’s Wicked Apple,
respectively. Both pack an 8% ABV punch
Flavored malt beverages, called FMBs, are
beers that are either mixed with another
alcoholic drink, such as a spirit, or could be
a mixture of beer with some sort of flavoring
or mixer, like lemonade.
Though FMBs represent a small sliver of the
overall beer/malt beverage volume in the
U.S., growth for the segment has been
stronger than craft beers.
FMBs are a nod to a few key trends in the
alcoholic beverage space. Consumers,
particularly Millennials, are demanding higher
ABVs as well as more flavorful concoctions.
Refunds for Beck's Drinkers
Is Beck’s your German pilsner of choice? Then you very well may be due a refund.
That’s because Beck’s, which bills itself as a German brew, is actually produced in St. Louis, far
from Germany. A class action suit was brought against Beck’s, saying that Anheuser-Busch
InBev fooled customers into thinking Beck’s was an authentic German beer. The court sided
with the plaintiffs and preliminarily approved a settlement that would allow Beck’s drinkers
to claim a refund of up to $50 for beers purchased since 2011.
A final approval hearing will take place in the fall. Even so, there’s catch to cashing in
on that refund — you’ll have need to have your receipts for those past beers.
Beck’s, originally developed in Germany, was brewed by local German families until 2002. That’s
when the brewery was sold to Belgium’s Interbrew, which was eventually swallowed into the
behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev. Beck’s production was moved to Missouri in 2012.
However, Beck’s cans still announce its provenance with slogans such as “German Quality”
and “Originated in Bremen, Germany,” which the lawsuit claimed were misleading. Anheuser-Busch
agreed to adjust that labeling to ensure it’s clear the beer is produced in the U.S.
Miller High Life is debuting a new look and for a fairly canny reason. Beer drinkers
are known to buy more six packs when the cans are encased in shiny new packaging. This
summer, High Life brewer MillerCoors is rolling out a new collection of cans, five that will be sold
nationally and eight regional cans featured in a handful of states including California, New York,
and Texas. It's all about sales. Marketing research has shown that in so called “economy brands,”
sales volume goes up between 4% to 6% whenever a newly designed can is introduced regardless
of the particular brand.. The beer stays the same of course..
the crossroads of the beer world
Congress To Defines Craft Beer?
Congress is ready to get into the craft beer
business, which could mean bad news for big
batch craft brewers like Sam Adams. The newly
proposed Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax
Reform Act would give the U.S. government the
right to define who is and isn’t a craft brewer.
The law redefines the tax structure for small to
mid-size brewers and would group them into
three categories based on new excise taxes.
It would put a number of big-name "craft" brewers
in a higher tax bracket. That includes Boston
Beer Co. which produces 4.1 million barrels, as
well as Yuengling (2.7 million barrels) and North
American Breweries (about 2.6 million barrels)
with its Magic Hat, Pyramid and other brands.
Until now, to be labeled a craft beer, breweries
had to fit within restrictions designated by the
Brewers Association that involved barrels of
production, percentage of a brewery owned by a
non-craft brewer and more “traditional” aspects