It’s hard to drink a beer anywhere in the world these days without at some point forking over some of your hard earned dough to Belgium’s Inbev brewing colossus. Just a few weeks ago, I myself enjoyed a pint of draught Bass ale with a steak dinner, and Bass is owned by Inbev. But Bass is far from the only big name in their lineup, and if you’ve enjoyed a Beck’s beer lately, well, that’s an Inbev brand, too. How about a Brahma in Brazil? A Spaten in Germany? A Murphy’s in Ireland? A Hoegaarden White in Belgium? You guessed it, all Inbev brands.
Now, if Inbev gets its way, it may soon lay claim to perhaps the most famous beer brand in the world: Budweiser. That’s because the company recently announced its intention to purchase Anheuser-Busch, the last of the American Macro-breweries. Coors, until recently another all-American icon, merged with Canada’s Molson a few years back, and is now in the process of merging once again with South African-owned former American brewing icon Miller.
Anheuser-Busch has so far been mostly mum about the proposed deal, but it’s likely to do all it can to spurn its uninvited suitor. Rumors abound that it is interested in merging with Mexico’s Modelo (makers of Corona), in which it already owns a large stake, to raise the price Inbev would have to pay and make the deal a little harder to swallow.
And meantime, American beer drinkers are left wondering where they’ll be able to get a good old all-American brew. Towards that end, I think I’ll hoist a frosty pint of good old Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Boston Beer, America’s fourth largest brewer, may soon be reviving one of its earliest ad campaigns: “Declare your independence from foreign beer.”