Kirin to Sell Chinese Brewery to ABI

February 15, 2011

Kirin to Sell Chinese Brewery to ABI

Dear Client:

Kirin Holdings Company Limited is planning to sell its 25% stake in Dalian Daxue Brewery Co., Ltd., a China-based beer producer, to Anheuser-Busch InBev. The move comes as part of Kirin’s efforts to reorganize its Chinese beer operations, but the company will keep holding two other beer production companies in China, Kirin Brewery (Zhuhai) Co. and Hangzhou Qiandaohu Brewery Co., says the WSJ. With annual capacity of 280,000 kiloliters of beer, the Chinese brewer operates in Liaoning Province in the northeast, one of the regions with the highest beer consumption in China.

MILLERCOORS TO UP MARKETING IN 2011

MillerCoors said it plans to increase spending on marketing this year, according to the WSJ. “As you see the jobs improve in the U.S., we’ll see beer trends come back and improve,” MillerCoors chief Leo Kiely said in an interview. “Hopefully, knock on wood, this summer we can see some progress.”

MC will spend more on marketing, said Leo, despite the fact that mainstream beers hve been hurt by double-digit jobless rates among 21-to-32-year-old men. But premium lights, Leo points out, have improved since MC narrowed the price gap between them and budget beers. Leo called last year “the toughest year I’ve ever seen in the beer business.”

Leo also said he will talk later this year with MillerCoors directors about succession plans. Last September, Leo began handing off some day-to-day responsibilities to Tom Long, who is president and commercial officer. The Distributor Council meet with MillerCoors later this week. “My deal with the board is we check in the middle of each year and say, ‘How’s it going?'” Leo told the Journal. “I’m still a young man, and I’m having fun.”

KONA RELEASES FIRST NEW ‘MAINLAND’ BREW IN FOUR YEARS

Kona Brewing has announced that Koko Brown Ale will soon hit market as the first new beer available “on the mainland” from the brewer since 2007. It’s the third in Kona Brewing’s Aloha Series, which includes Wailua Wheat and Pipeline Porter. The new brew has a nutty aroma and flavor from real toasted coconut. It will be available in 12 oz. bottles and draught Feb. 21 through May 1 in its West Coast distribution market, including Hawaii, Alaska, Wash., Ore., Idaho, Mont., Wyo., Nev., Calif.,
Colo., Ariz., and N.M.

FULL SAIL BETS ON LIMITED RELEASE LAGER

While most breweries’ seasonals have captured the craze for high gravity and hops, Full Sail’s latest release in their Limited Edition lager series is, well, a lager. LTD 05 explores its Viennese roots, according to company statement, which is further described as “a copper colored beer with great harmony that is refreshingly round and smooth, balanced with a hint of dark roast that enhances its floral hoppy finish.” The beer is currently shipping from the brewery.

No word yet on sales of the series so far, but the lager positioning focuses on heritage, small-batch and limited-time rhetoric. Robust growth could be the fulfillment of calls about a “small beer” trend paralleling the “big” one in 2011.

LAST CHANCE TO VOTE ON BA AWARDS FOR CBC

Tomorrow is the deadline to vote for three BA-sanctioned awards to be presented at this year’s Craft Brewers Conference. The three awards include the Brewers Association’s Recognition Award, “for an individual or company whose inspiration, enthusiasm and support have contributed to the craft brewing movement”; the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award for “individuals who have given aid and support to the causes of small, independent brewers”and the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing, specifically for individuals, and to be voted upon by BA members who are employed by a brewery.

BEER BRIEFS:

MAYOR BLOOMBERG revealed yesterday at the ribbon cutting of Brooklyn Brewery’s expansion that he puts ice in his beer. “I actually put ice in my beer,” the mayor said. “Most people don’t.” Hearing a gasp from the crowd, he explained: “I know. I’ve always done it. I don’t think it comes from Boston.” Lord. Julie Johnson, editor of All About Beer Magazine, was rightfully mortified. She told the New York Post, “Never, if you want to respect the efforts the brewers put into the beer.”

BREWPIC OF THE DAY. It’s nice to be able to work from anywhere. In this case, it’s a bar on Sixth Street in Austin.

Until tomorrow, Harry

“Two wrongs don’t make a right, but they make a good excuse.”
-Thomas Szasz

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