Reports AB InBev will buy SABMiller

Reports are circulating that brewing giant AB InBev will buy SABMiller in what amounts to an $80 billion deal. We the deal to go through it would create a group brewing a third of the world’s beer.

According to Reuters:

Analysts and bankers suggest 2013 as a likely time frame for a takeover that is seen as the final play in deal making in big world brewing.

They say the world’s No 1 brewer AB InBev will not be deterred from making a move for SABMiller even after the No 2 brewer swallows up Australia’s Foster’s by the end of 2011 in a $10.2 billion deal.

A Foster’s deal may delay an AB InBev-SABMiller linkup by six to twelve months pushing a possible deal to 2013, after AB InBev’s Chief Executive Carlos Brito said its debt would fall during 2012 to levels which made further acquisitions possible.

A deal would close out a decade of rapid consolidation led largely by AB InBev and SABMiller and leave few remaining easy targets, with the remaining big global brewers like Heineken and Carlsberg, as well as AB InBev, controlled by families, individuals or charity shareholders.

“The Foster’s deal may delay an AB InBev-SABMiller tie up, but it doesn’t change the strategic view that eventually it will make sense for these two to link up,” said one banker who has worked for one of the big brewers.

AB InBev’s Brito is said to like the high-margin Australian beer market and although a Foster’s deal will add to the cost of an eventual SABMiller takeover, it would give a combined group an even wider spread of the world’s beer market.

A deal would link AB InBev’s Budweiser, Stella Artois and Brahma beer brands with SABMiller’s Peroni, Miller Lite and Grolsch, and cause only major anti-trust headaches in the U.S. and China which would force sell-offs in those markets.

AB InBev swallowed Budweiser-brewer Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion in 2008 in the world’s biggest ever cash takeover, and due to big cost savings, sell-offs and hefty cash generation has cut its debt to be able to start thinking about its next move.

SABMiller is attractive to AB InBev due to the London-listed brewer’s large operations in the high-growth emerging markets of Africa, South America and eastern Europe which will help AB InBev reduce its reliance on the tough U.S. beer market

“Over 90 percent of AB InBev’s earnings come from America, so a move for SABMiller would create a real powerhouse with big operations on six continents,” said another banker.

In order to deal with anti-trust issues the new company would SABMiller’s 58 percent stake in U.S. brewer MillerCoors, probably to 42 percent co-owner Molson Coors, for around $9 billion. A further move would likely be the sale of SABMiller’s 49 percent share in leading Chinese brewer CR Snow, to appease Chinese authorities as AB InBev already has a significant Chinese presence.


Reunion Ale ’11 an Imperial Brown Ale

Terrapin Beer Company, Schmaltz Brewing and Alan Shapiro of SBS Imports has released Reunion Ale ’11: A Beer for Hope, this year an Imperial Brown Ale.

Now in its fifth year of production, Reunion is brewed annually in memory of Virginia MacLean, a dear friend of Shapiro and Pete Slosberg’s (creator of Pete’s Wicked Ale) and a dedicated cancer research supporter who lost her own battle with Multiple Myeloma in 2007. It was her wish to raise funds and awareness on behalf of the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research, and a portion of the proceeds from Reunion Ale ’11 is donated directly to the IMBCR.

Reunion Ale ’11 is available in 22-ounce bottles and a limited amount of draft in the nearly 40 U.S. states that receive distribution from Terrapin and Shmaltz, and in Western Canada through Shmaltz’s distribution network.

Inspired by a delicious dessert at MacLean’s favorite restaurant, Reunion Ale ’11 is a dark Imperial Brown Ale brewed with vanilla, chili peppers, and cocoa nibs from Nashville, Tennessee’s Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Company. Brewmasters Spike Buckowski (Terrapin Beer Co.), Pete Slosberg, Paul McErlean (Shmaltz Brewing Co.), and Shmaltz Brewing proprietor Jeremy Cowan designed this year’s recipe to combine sweet and spicy aromas with complex malt flavors and decadent vanilla and chocolate overtones.

Reunion was conceived initially by Shapiro, MacLean and Slosberg – who all met during the early days of Pete’s Brewing Company – as a way to increase awareness of myeloma and bone cancer and raise donations for the IMBCR. Although MacLean passed away just four months after the release of Reunion 2007, the Reunion project has carried on the vision of these three friends, raising more than $130,000.


Jolly Pumpkin beer benefits Pints for Prostrates

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales of Michigan and The Rare Beer of the Month Club are teaming up on a special limited release beer to benefit the Pints for Prostates campaign.

Jolly Pumpkin Lúpulo de Hielo was brewed with pumpkin, cacao and spices, then aged in oak barrels. Brewed by Jolly Pumpkin to help raise awareness about prostate cancer and generate funds for the Pints for Prostates campaign, it will be featured in The Rare Beer of the Month Club in October. Shelton Brothers, one of the leading craft beer distributors and importers, handles Jolly Pumpkin and is donating its services.

“Lúpulo de Hielo – ‘Ice Hop’ — is a hoppy sour beer that was aged for about a year in oak and blended with our sour white, Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca,” said Ron Jeffries, president of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales. “We are excited to once again be involved with the Pints for Prostates campaign in reaching men through the universal language of beer.”

The beer will feature the Pints for Prostates logo on its label, which includes the blue ribbon to remind people of the ongoing search for a cure to prostate cancer, a leading cause of death among American men. A donation from every 750 milliliter bottle of Lúpulo de Hielo sold will be made to the Pints for Prostates campaign.

“This is a rare beer that delivers an important message. We want men to take charge of their health and get screened for prostate cancer,” said Rick Lyke, a prostate cancer survivor who founded Pints for Prostates after successful prostate cancer surgery in April 2008. “We’re thrilled that Jolly Pumpkin, The Rare Beer Club and Shelton Brothers are supporting the campaign in a way that will catch the attention of men needing to hear our message. We want to engage men in a conversation that might just save their lives.”


Alaskan releases Perseverance Ale

Alaskan Perseverance AleAlaskan Brewing today releases Alaskan Perseverance Ale to celebrate its 25th annivesary. The beer is a Russian Imperial Stout brewed with Alaska birch syrup, fireweed honey and alder-smoked malt.

The birch syrup from Wasilla lends a deep, almost tart character to the dark malt profile, while fireweed honey from Delta Junction contributes a delicate sweetness and floral notes to the aroma and finish. A small addition of in-house alder-smoked malt adds further complexity.

The name honors the Perseverance Mine, which closed more than 60 years ago, as well as the Perseverance Trail, one of the most popular hiking trails around Alaskan’s hometown of Juneau.

Perseverance pairs well with rich and savory dishes from fresh oysters to wild game meats. Custards, dark chocolate truffles, New York cheesecake and other creamy desserts bring out the the sweeter notes of fireweed honey, oats and brown sugar.