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The Anheuser Busch/ In Bev Merger – Game over for the United States as a Super Power or game over for In Bev? Part One

January 3rd, 2009 by Beertheostorian A | Filed under Post Cold War - 1989.

by Beertheostorian A

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Over the past year it was announced that In-Bev, the Belgian/Brazilian Brewing Combine that owns such brands as Stella Artois, Beck’s, Boddingtons, Brahma, Hoegarden, Labatts, Leffe, Lowenbrau, Oranjeboom, Spaten, St. Pauli Girl and a number of East Asian brands, to name only a few, purchased what was once the largest beer producing concern in the world, Anheuser Busch. For good and for ill, Anheuser Busch and its Budweiser brand has been the flagship brand of United States beer since at the latest 19501. While Budweiser is a brand that has often been compared to making love in a canoe, its total production, washing away all competition helped carry the United States through the Cold War.

The Busch’s may be or have been assholes and the beer that they brewed, at least among certain beer aficionados, may be beer for assholes, but as the saying goes, they’re our assholes. It also raises a serious question, if Anheuser Busch is owned by foreigners, then is it really American beer? The same can be asked of South African Breweries/Miller which merged in 2002. Molson Coors is less of an issue as Canada is effectively our 51st state, especially after NAFTA. (Also it provides second class medical care compared to the rest of the United States, but what do you expect from socialized medicine.)2 Yet it becomes a concern again as MillerCoors has just been formed to jointly promote both companies products in the United States. In short, beers that made the United States a Super-Power from their sheer quantity are no longer fully American. The fact that we can not subdue Iraq and Afghanistan are indications that the earlier merger of SAB/Miller has sapped some of our strength.

The In-Bev buy out of Anheuser Busch could be our clarion call announcing our fall from grace as a world super power. While we still have Sam Adams and all the other great craft brewers out there, they still only represent a small portion of the market and it is the big boys whose nationality has now come into question3 that threatens the foundations of our nations’s national superiority; lots and lots of beer production, with some outstanding craft beer production, i.e., the nation with the most and best beer wins4.

The proposed buy out clearly sent destabilizing shock waves rolling through the economy. So much so that for a short while it raised questions as to whether In Bev would be able to afford to purchase AB. With the stock offer at $70 and the In Bev stock losing up to 50% of its value during the crisis and still no where near recovering full value, it looked as though In Bev might not be able to pull off the deal. Are In Bev’s bad habits catching up to them? These and other issues will be addressed in Part 2.

***

1See the seminal work on the Anheuser Busch empire from its inception through the late 20th Century Hernon, Peter & Ganey, Terry; Under the Influence, The Unauthorized Story of the Anheuser-Busch Dynasty, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1991.

2(The Editors) We apologize to the people of Canada, and wish to make it clear that Beertheostorian A’s views do not reflect our own, We do not consider Canada a state or a colony or a semi-national entity masking the trappings of its British colonial past. Moreover, Beertheostorian A does not even remotely have a medical degree, a degree in public health or any sort of expertise, unless he got it online, to pass judgment on anyone’s medical practices.

3 A company whose nationality comes into question is like a man whose sexuality comes into question: very uncool. It is kind of like, make a decision and stick with it. On the other hand a woman whose sexuality comes into question demonstrates hotness in exponential correlation to her hotness and her (potential) female partners’ hotness, but I digress.
(The Editors) Did we mention that Beertheostorian A is a boorish, pompous, jingoistic, misanthropic, misogynistic, homophobic, Euro-centric Alpha male dog type who pays for our beer. There are just too many things wrong with this statement to even begin to correct it. Just suffice it to say he will get us a lot of beer for this one.

See the seminal work on the Anheuser Busch empire from its inception through the late 20th Century Hernon, Peter & Ganey, Terry; Under the Influence, The Unauthorized Story of the Anheuser-Busch Dynasty, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1991.
(The Editors) We apologize to the people of Canada, and wish to make it clear that Beertheostorian A’s views do not reflect our own, We do not consider Canada a state or a colony or a semi-national entity masking the trappings of its British colonial past. Moreover, Beertheostorian A does not even remotely have a medical degree, a degree in public health or any sort of expertise, unless he got it online, to pass judgment on anyone’s medical practices.
A company whose nationality comes into question is like a man whose sexuality comes into question: very uncool. It is kind of like, make a decision and stick with it. On the other hand a woman whose sexuality comes into question demonstrates hotness in exponential correlation to her hotness and her (potential) female partners’ hotness, but I digress.
(The Editors) Did we mention that Beertheostorian A is a boorish, pompous, jingoistic, misanthropic, misogynistic, homophobic, Euro-centric Alpha male dog type who pays for our beer. There are just too many things wrong with this statement to even begin to correct it. Just suffice it to say he will get us a lot of beer for this one.

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