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AB Inbev Story

Nice, in-depth piece on AB Inbev.

http://www.businessweek.com/printer/a...

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  1. Very interesting read. I can't think of a better illustration of the intellectual bankruptcy of the MBA mentality than this guy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Josh

      This basically comes down to two beer businesses, split up sort of along the lines of a McDonald's side and a Five Guys side. They have their side and we have our side. Granted, you could fret about our side getting partially sucked into their side. I can see the Death Star connotations starting ...

    2. From an interview w/ Frank Zappa:

      What do you think happened in this country?

      Well, two important things, and each one of them has only three letters: One was LSD, a chemical which is capable of turning a hippie into a yuppie, one of the most dangerous chemicals known to mankind. And the other is MBA. When people started taking MBA seriously, that was the beginning of the ruination of the American industrial society. When all decisions are based on an MBA's concept of numerical reality, you're in deep shit, because the only thing that can be judged as real is that which can be proved by a column of figures. And when all aesthetic decisions are turned over to these kinds of people, who use these criteria to make steering decisions for a company with no regard for people and no regard for what the product really is, and the only thing that matters is maximizing your profit, you have a problem. Because you can't have quality then; you cannot have excellence. Quality's expensive. I think most of these people that come from business schools have the desire to make sure everything is cheesy. That's what happens when you do things that way.

      1. This is why I buy beer made locally (Cigar City). Bass Ale is no long Bass Ale, Beck's is no longer Becks, I guess Guinness is safe for now.

        1 Reply
        1. re: redfish62

          Bass hasn't been Bass for quite some time, long before the thought occurred to brew it in the US. But I generally buy American craft beer in any case, and it's great to see so many new local beers coming to markets all around the country.

        2. I quit buying any InBev brew so could care less what they do with their beers. The article might explain why there is such a craft brewery explosion. Whether people know or understand, they can probably sense without explaining it that beers have gone blander and more unsatisfying than what had been acceptable even if they liked light beers.

          10 Replies
          1. re: Davydd

            The craft brewery explosion is part of a larger movement toward artisanal foods in general, such as bread, cheese, etc. I expect there will always be plenty of room for blander, cheaper beers in the fat center of the distribution.

            Here's another article I came across: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/arc...

            1. re: Jim Dorsch

              What got me was the growers in Germany who were dependent on AB. Hopefully they've heard of the good beer thingy (as I call it). They can succeed if they adopt and seek out partnerships w/all the new smaller brewers. The new guys are just jonesing for more new stuff.

              1. re: MOREKASHA

                The Hallertau growers always send their hop queen to the Craft Brewers Conference. Here's an appearance by her majesty at the Urban Chestnut brewery, which was started by an ex-AB brewer: http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/gutc...

                1. re: MOREKASHA

                  It will take a lot of smaller brewers to equal one AB.

                  1. re: TroyTempest

                    True. FWIW, they do use several times as many hops per barrel.

                    1. re: Jim Dorsch

                      The problem i see is that the administrative costs are probably a lot higher when you have to negotiate contracts, billing, etc. with a lot of small buyers instead of one big one.

                      1. re: TroyTempest

                        I doubt that many of the small brewers buy direct from growers. It's more likely that the growers sell to a hop merchant such as HopUnion, Steiner or Hass.

                          1. re: Jim Dorsch

                            Lagunitas is one example I know of (from following @LagunitasT on twitter) that is trying to set up contracts with growers. So it may be something you will see more and more with the bigger craft breweries.

                            1. re: LStaff

                              And the big seem to be getting bigger, and combinations will probably occur to make this more so.