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Who Owns The Brewery – Part 2: AB InBev

Do you know who owns and produces the “craft beer” you are drinking?

As with all businesses, not all is as it seems as there are many breweries promoting themselves as craft breweries making craft beers.

To provide a guide to the every increasingly difficult landscape of who owns the brewery, we have produced a series of guides to help understand “Who Owns The Brewery”.

In Part 2 we look at AB InBev.

In October 2015, Belgium’s AB InBev signed a formal agreement to acquire the British based SAB Miller, who own Australia’s Carlton & United Breweries.   And whilst SABMiller are still the official company as the deal still faces a number of regulatory issues around the world, it’s likely that all these issues will be addressed.

Who-Owns-The-Brewery-ABInBevThe Parent Company

The newly enlarged AB InBev, following its acquisition of SABMiller, for US$106 Billion late last year has made it the largest global beer company.  The company now sells almost a third of all beer sold globally.

Based in Belgium, the company is the result of the merger of four major brewing companies: Belgium’s Interbrew, Brazil’s AmBev, America’s Anheuser-Busch, and British based SABMiller.  It was SABMiller that acquired Carlton & United Breweries in 2011.

The Australian Company

Carlton & United Breweries started through the merger of a number of Melbourne breweries in 1907. Following additional acquisitions it was bought in 1983 by Elders IXL. In 1990 the business was renamed Fosters Group, with a further name change in 2009 to CUB following changes in the structure of the larger business.

 “Craft Brands”

CUB only have a few craft brands, which have been acquired through acquisitions.

The brands are:

  • Matilda Bay Brewing Company, one of the first of the new wave of craft breweries which was bought in 1990. The majority of beers are now brewed in Hobart, TAS.
  • Yak Ales, a recent creation focusing on promoting the (former Matilda Bay) Fat Yak beer, and more recently Lazy Yak. It is likely that further “Yak” beers will follow.
  • Cascade Brewery, Australia’s oldest continuingly operating brewery, in Hobart, TAS.

Other Beer Brands

CUB also produce a range of commercial beers which include:

  • Carlton Draught
  • Fosters
  • Melbourne Bitter
  • Pure Blonde
  • VB
  • Crown Lager
  • Great Northern

International Brands

They also produce in Australia, or import a range of international beers.

Brewed in Australia is:

  • Peroni

Whilst the range that is brewed elsewhere that is imported under licence include:

  • Pilsner Urquell
  • Grolsh
  • Miller

In Part 3 we’ll be looking at the two big supermarket chains, Coles (Wesfarmers) and Woolworths

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