A merger that just might break the world, a glass for the final frontier and an East Coast-West Coast collaboration. All on the latest edition of the Drinkable Week.
• Both SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch InBev have confirmed that the latter has approached the former about a possible merger valued at $280 billion! It would create a global brewing behemoth of staggering size, controlling nearly 35 percent of the world’s beer volume. As scary a thought as it is, it’s not likely something that will be happening any time soon. The two could sign on the dotted line tomorrow, but it would likely be many many months, possibly years before such a thing could be finalized. For one thing there would be a patchwork of anti-trust issues in markets across the globe. Both breweries would have to divest certain assets to comply with local regulations. And that includes the United States. As you know SABMiller and Molson Coors operate the MillerCoors joint venture in the states. SABMiller very likely would have to dump the Miller brand, possibly selling it to its current JV partner, or someone else. And craft beer lovers needn’t worry too much. It’ll hardly affect local and regional breweries that are already fighting Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors for tap handles and shelf space. If anything it enables the small brewers to draw an even starker contrast with the macros. It makes for an even more convincing David versus Goliath narrative.
• Ballantine’s Whiskey unveiled a new drinking glass that’s designed for sipping the spirit in space. Ballantine’s commissioned the Open Space Agency to come up with a glass that enables micro- and zero-gravity imbibing.. The core component is a magnet embedded in its base which makes enjoying an interplanetary dram possible. Now if you’ve got a quarter of a million to burn, you can probably get yourself a ticket on a space tourism ship—for who knows when.
• Harpoon and Deschutes Breweries will unveil a new collaborative beer at an invite-only event during next week’s Great American Beer Festival in the Mile High City. Both companies recently initiative respective Employee Stock Ownership Plans, or ESOPs…So, fittingly, the beer they’ve come up with is E-H-O-P or E-hop. The beer’s recipe is true to its name as it uses employee-grown hops.
Beer and whiskey of course are very well represented in my upcoming book, The Year of Drinking Adventurously. Available from Turner Publishing at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and every other digital and brick and mortar place that sells reading material.