The Survey Says...
Pour Your Own
Target Field in Minneapolis put in two
self-serve beer machines in the stands behind
first and third base, letting thirsty fans pick a
brew, pour and pay by the ounce. The
pour-your-own stations are unique among
the 100-plus stadiums and arenas in the four
major professional sports in the United States.
Fans buy a card pre-loaded with $10, $20 or
$40. Then they hop in line for their beer of
choice: Budweiser and Bud Light  goes for 38
cents an ounce (a little over $6 for a pint),  
Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale and Shock
Top's Lemon Shandy for 40 cents per ounce.
The self-pouring is monitored, too, to stop
anyone who may be over serving themselves.
A new survey  has found that nearly seven out of ten
(69%) US bars still stock a “light” beer – either Bud
Light, Miller Lite, or Coors Light. However, nearly a
third of venues (31%) stocked none of the three. Only
18% of the 400 bars and restaurants nation-wide that
responded to the survey said they had all three brands.

Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors are also
attempting to play in the craft space with their own more
premium, flavourful offerings – and, in some cases,
appearing to succeed. A-B InBev's wheat ale Shock Top
was found in 48% of bars, while Goose Island, the craft
beer brand it acquired in 2011, was in 11% of outlets.

For MillerCoors, its own wheat beer offering, Blue
Moon, was in 34% of bars, while Leinenkugel was
present in 14% of venues, according to the survey.

These figures give some weight to big brewer's claims
that the majority of consumers are not concerned about
who really owns a "craft" beer brand.   
Hops Bring $$ -    Hop growers current return per acre currently is between
$9,000 - $10,000 per acre. Eighteen months ago, that number was $6,500 per
acre.  Many proprietary varieties today are returning $12,000 - $14,000 per acre
and that is dragging prices for all hops higher. Some analysts predict a doubling, or
even a tripling of hop prices by 2015/

Airport Only Beer-    L.A.’s Golden Road Brewing new brew, Carry On Citrus
Ale,  is the first craft beer ever to be made exclusively for airports.  It is now
available  in  in 11 western airports. Later this summer, airports in the Pacific
Northwest as well as Minneapolis, Denver and Chicago will receive the beer. Nine
major airports in Florida will also sell Carry On before 2015,

Trouble In Texas-  Texas requires that small, out of state breweries, many of
which would only sell a few dozen cases of beer in the state in a year, to pay
thousands of dollars in licensing fees, fill out onerous paperwork, and submit each
beer for laboratory testing. When faced with these hurdles, small breweries abroad
and in the US simply chose to sell their beer elsewhere.

Summer of Suds - Data from Nielsen, a consumer trends agency, indicates
that more than 38 million American households will spend upwards of a collective
$11 billion on beer this summer. Last year beer sales actually topped $11 billion in
the 15 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Worldwide Beer Trends

Normally, the major brewers produce their global brands close to the
market to gain the greatest economies. But rising consumer concern with
authenticity has produced exceptions. SABMiller brews Peroni, an Italian
brand, in Italy. All the Heineken distributed in the US is brewed in
Amsterdam. To compensate for the extra production costs, the brewers
market these beers as premium brands.

Latin American, is split, along a rough “line of demarcation,” between AB
InBev, which holds significant share in Brazil, for example, while SABMiller
enjoys great success in Columbia. By acquiring strong local beers, the majors
gained economies of scale and built diversified brand portfolios that they
crowned with their global brands, positioned at a premium price. Brazil is a
prime example of this strategy. AB InBev acquired and invested in local
brands, Brahma and Skol, and introduced its own global brand, Budweiser,
to the market. AB InBev then reversed the process, picking one of the
local leaders, Brahma, to build that brand outside of Brazil.

The majors also continued to compete for share in the fragmented Asian
market. China, the world’s largest beer market by consumption, is roughly
twice the size of the US market. Lacking a beer drinking tradition,
consumption per person is relatively low, which suggests that opportunity is
high. Although still a market of regional players, consolidation is happening in
China. Snow, China’s largest brand, acquired Hong-Kong based Kingway
Brewery at the end of 2013, for example. China Resources, a State Owned
Enterprise (SOE), and SABMiller jointly own Snow.

Send contributions for On Tap to
Edited by Jim Attacap