RBPMail 7.10, October 2001

Real Beer Page Mail (RBPMail) began as a modest update to craft-brew events on the WWW. It evolved into a news digest and sometimes editorial forum. We present its contents here much as they were emailed to subscribers. Often, links you will see are out of date, and businesses referred to may also be long gone.

In this issue:
* Breweries Unite to Help September 11 Victims
* Interbrew Will Sell Carling
* Scottish & Newcastle, Miller Consider Alliance
* British Beer Consumption Hits 30-Year Low
* Bud Light New King of U.S. Beers
* Anheuser-Busch to Increase Prices
* Scientists Find Beer May Help Fight Cancer
* Web Watch
    - Michael Jackson on Ale Cask Whisky
    - More on CAMRA and Greene King
    - Teach a Friend to Homebrew
* 2001 Great American Beer Festival Winners
* Many Consumers Find Beer, Wine Mix
* Bill Owens Sells American Brewer
* Moylanders Double IPA Wins Alpha King Challenge
* Boston Beer Writes Off Excess Hops Inventory
* Nashville Hosts First Regional IBS Meeting
* Another Light Beer Launched
* When Liquid Assets Are Best ...
* Editorial: Remember September 11


Breweries and brewpubs across the United States have joined the national effort to raise money to benefit the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on America. The list of upcoming fundraising events is still growing, but particularly noteworthy is "Unity Night" that started with brewpubs in Pennsylvania and grew into a national event. Some pubs will donate a percentage of beer sales, some all their beer sales, some happy hour sales and others a certain amount per pint sold. Contributions may go to various charities, but most will be donated to The United Way's September 11th Fund.

Interbrew, the world's second largest brewing company, has announced it will break up Bass brewers and sell most of it, including top selling Carling. The decision came after the United Kingdom ruled the Belgian brewer must sell all of Bass or at least Carling to overcome British competition concerns. Interbrew intends to finalize the sale of Carling Brewers as soon as reasonably possible. "Now everything is concrete we will definitely start having talks with interested parties. We intend to close this by the end of this year," spokesman Corneel Maes said. Three buyers are reported interested in Carling, including Heineken, South African Breweries and Anheuser-Busch. By selling Carling, Interbrew would be able to retain Bass's Tennent's business in Scotland, Caffrey's in Northern Ireland and the Bass ale brand. Interbrew said its retained Bass brands would give it a British market share of 15.8% when added to the Whitbread beer business bought last year, giving it a British beer portfolio with Stella Artois, Tennent's, Boddingtons, Hoegaarden and Bass ale.

Scottish & Newcastle, the U.K.'s largest brewer, is reported to be talking to Miller Brewing about new ventures in Europe. The discussions are part of Scottish & Newcastle's attempts to boost the relationship in hopes of acquiring Miller, a unit of Philip Morris Cos., should the business come up for sale, say the reports. Scottish & Newcastle distributes Miller Pilsner beer in the U.K. and Miller Genuine Draft beer in Ireland. It hopes to sign distribution agreements with Miller for Spain, Italy and Germany.

The amount of beer drunk in Britain has sunk to a 30-year low because of a rising demand for wine and spirits, a survey suggests. Beer consumption has fallen steadily year on year, dropping by 3.7% in 2000 alone, figures indicate. Meanwhile sales of wine shot up by 8.5% last year, and sales of spirits rose by 2%, according to the survey published in The Publican newspaper. Despite this, on an average day in Britain, almost 27 million pints of beer are brewed and 29 million drunk -- six times more than the amount of wine consumed and "way, way more than spirits" according to industry experts.

Budweiser, long the No. 1 selling beer in America, has been toppled -- by its low cal sibling, Bud Light. Both beers are produced by Anheuser- Busch in St. Louis. Market Watch, a spirits industry publication, reports that Bud Light has eclipsed Budweiser for the first time since the light beer was introduced in 1982. Budweiser continues to be the top-selling beer in the world. Bud Light's volume is expected to increase by 7% this year to 33.6 million barrels, while Bud's is on track to dip about 2% to 32.5 million barrels. The reduced-calorie brew has grown from a 6% U.S. market share in 1990 to an estimated 16.8% share in 2001. The change is part of an overall trend. In 2000, light beer accounted for 44% of all the malt beverages consumed in the United States.

Anheuser-Busch has announced plans to increase pricing. The company said that the price increase would come in two stages, both in the fourth quarter of this year. Along with the price increase announcement came news that A-B still expects sales-to-retailers to increase 1.5% for the full year, with revenue per barrel up about 2.8% and earnings per share to increase 12% for the year. Offering analysis in BEERWeek, Tom McCormick noted: "The domestic craft segment seems to be the only category group unable to take advantage of the upswing in beer pricing. The price gap between the two groups is startlingly close, especially when a craft brand on deal is compared to the front-line pricing of a premium brand. Many factors have conspired to keep craft beer prices at roughly the same level as ten years ago including a still cluttered segment, the high cost of exit for marginally profitable breweries, and limited distribution access. If the segment refuses to drive prices up and closer to import pricing, it may not only be a missed opportunity for additional margin and profitability, it could erode the perceived value of the domestic craft segment."

Scientists in Japan have discovered that chemicals in beer can help fight off cancer. Researchers from Okayama University in western Japan fed a cancer-causing chemical to genes of the salmonella bacteria, which usually leads the genes to mutate as the first stage of developing cancer. The team freeze-dried beer to separate ingredients and gave each of them to the salmonella genes, finding that at least six of the materials prevented the genes from mutating.

********************WEB WATCH*******************

Caledonian Brewery and the makers of Glenfiddich have come together for a little project. Ale Cask Reserve is a beer-tinged whisky. Michael Jackson explains why this is one way of cross-fertilizing two great drinks. The story.

Last month we mentioned Greene King's complaint after beers it brews under the brand names of Morland and Ruddles were excluded from CAMRA's Great British Beer Festival. Roger Protz provides the reasons behind CAMRA's decision. The story.

The American Homebrewers Association's third annual Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day is Nov. 3. A Q&A with AHA Director Paul Gatza offers tips for making it a successful day.


Talk about consistency -- Snake River Brewing Co. repeated as small brewery of the year, New Belgium Brewing Co. as mid-size brewery of the year and Anheuser-Busch as large brewery of the year when awards were handed out at the 20th Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo. California took the largest number of medals with 23 (10 Golds) followed by Colorado with 21 (3 Golds). The complete list of winners.

CONSUMERS FIND THAT BEER, WINE MIX A national survey comparing wine and beer consumers finds that the market profile for those who enjoy these beverages is much the same. The National Beer Survey found that premium beer and wine drinkers share the features of being younger, earning a higher income, and holding a higher education level than the rest of the adult population. Both serious beer and wine drinkers are found mainly in the coastal rather than inland sections of the country. The survey indicates that beer and wine drinkers are most often the same people. People who drink beer consume more than three-quarters of the wine and nearly three- quarters of the beer is consumed by drinkers of wine. The story.

Brewing News publishers Bill Metzger and Jim Dorsch have struck a deal with Bill Owens to buy American Brewer magazine from Owens. "It is time for me to step aside. I gave it 17 good years," said Owens. Metzger and Dorsch will start their tenure with the winter issue, to be published in January 2002. Together and with others, Metzger and Dorsch publish five regional beer newspapers. Owens has published American Brewer since 1986, and also started one of America's first brewpubs -- Buffalo Bill's in Hayward, Calif. "I'm thrilled to carry this fine magazine's mission forward," said Metzger. That mission is to cover business issues facing small- to medium-size brewers.

Moylanders Double IPA from Moylan Brewing Co. in Novato, Calif., was chosen as new Alpha King during competition conducted in Denver at the same time as the Great American Beer Festival. Three Floyds Brewing Co. of Munster, Ind., conducted The Alpha King Challenge at Falling Rock Tap House, pitting some of the hoppiest beers in the country against each other. Beers were scored on their hoppiness, balance, and drinkability. Three Floyds flagship beer is known as Alpha King.

The Boston Beer Co. brewer of Samuel Adams beers, will take a charge of up to $5.6 million to write down excess inventories of hops and future contracts to buy hops. They said the charge, which is estimated at between $2.2 million and $5.6 million, would reduce fourth-quarter earnings by between 8 cents and 20 cents per share.

The Institute for Brewing Studies will hold a southeastern regional meeting on Oct. 25 at Blackstone Brewery & Restaurant in Nashville, Tenn. The meeting is the first of its kind and will be followed by other regional meetings across the country in the coming years. Regional meetings are designed to build community within the craft- brewing industry, discuss issues related to the craft-brewing industry, and address membership issues. Those interested in attending, including non-member breweries, should RSVP to Chuck Skypeck of Boscos Brewery at 615-385-0050.

"The Father of Light Beer" Dr. Joseph Owades and industry veteran Rhonda Kallman have teamed up to ship a new light beer, Edison Light. "We chose the name to have fun with the fact that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb and our brew master invented light beer," said Kallman. Dr. Owades is credited with inventing the brewing process used to create the first light beer in the late 1960s. Kallman was co- founder of Boston Beer Co., which recently began shipping its own light beer.

This bit of humor has been making the email rounds in long and short versions. It started up North -- hence the Nortel example. The math will be a little different if you use a different stock and/or beer but the message is the same. If you bought $1000 worth of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49. If you bought $1000 worth of Budweiser, drank all the beer, went to the recycling center, and traded in all of the empty beer cans for the 5 cent deposit, you would now have $79 (and have enjoyed a lot more beer).


You don't need us to tell you about the terrible events of Sept. 11, but we do want to make sure you are aware of how the beer industry has stepped up to help the victims of the terrorist attacks and how you can offer your support.

Particularly noteworthy is the Pennsylvania Brewers Guild "Unity Night" that has spread far beyond the Keystone State. Thursday, Oct. 11, breweries and brewpubs across the country will donate proceeds from sales to charity -- in most cases the United Way's September 11 Fund.

Some pubs will donate a percentage of beer sales, some all their beer sales, some happy hour sales and others a certain amount per pint sold. Breweries are contributing by selling kegs to bars as a nominal fee, then the proceeds of those sales will go to charity. Some brewpubs are participating in other national events that night, but the name of the program doesn't matter as long as contributions go to those who most need help.

A slightly different benefit -- Brooklyn Brewery's "Fundraiser for Victims of the 9/11 Attack on America" -- is just as important. All of the proceeds to be donated to the Brooklyn-based Independence Community Foundation's 9/11 Fund, which intends to put funds into the hands of the families that have immediate needs and cannot wait for money from the United Way or the more structured relief organizations.

We don't expect you to hop in your car and drive to Brooklyn to be there Oct. 20 (though we guarantee you'll like the beer), but if there is an event near you Oct. 11 or another day be sure to stop in for a pint. Consider taking home a growler and maybe even toss a little cash into a contribution jar.

If your favorite brewpub doesn't have anything planned yet, tell the management about the goal of Unity Night, and remind them the giving doesn't end Oct. 11.

In the days immediately after Sept. 11, many of you headed to your local pub because you couldn't bear to watch the terrible images on the television alone or you just had to talk with people you knew. "People wanted to go to a place where they felt like they were with family," said Daryl Woodson, who owns the appropriately named The Sanctuary in Iowa City, Iowa, a neighborhood bar that was full the week of Sept. 11.

It's time again to think like you do about family, with both compassion and pride. We plan to do that while remembering some particularly wise words from Bryan Pearson, the brewer at Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Unity Night:

"We are not gathering to mourn but to honor."