USA: Anheuser-Busch welcomes Berkshire Hathaway as a shareholder
Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., USA largest beer maker, announced on April 21 it has welcomed Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the holding company run by billionaire Warren Buffett, as a shareholder...more info
Australia: Coopers Brewery has now captured 25% of Australia’s beer market
Coopers Brewery has recently announced that almost one in every four beers sold in South Australia is now a Coopers...more info
Cambodia: Budvar has gained the rights to Budweiser name in Cambodia
Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar announced on April 20 it has gained the right to sell its beer under its original brand name of Budweiser in Cambodia
. Thus the brewery has won the latest round of its global legal battle against U.S. beer giant Anheuser-Busch Ltd., over the use of the Budweiser brand name.
Budejovicky Budvar said Cambodia's Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Czech brewery earlier this month. The dispute over the rights to the Budweiser name is dating back to 2000. In the first round of legal action, a lower Cambodian court in 2000 ruled in favor of Anheuser-Busch, ordering the cancelation of already registered Budvar trademarks in the country. An appeals court in 2002, however, ruled in favor of the Czech company and the Supreme Court upheld its ruling.
"We welcome the court's ruling ... in favor of Budvar," said Jiri Bocek, the company's general director.
Currently, Budejovicky Budvar and Anheuser-Busch are involved in some 40 lawsuits worldwide. The two breweries have been battling over Budweiser and other trade names, such as Budvar, for a century.
Budejovicky Budvar was founded in 1895 in Ceske Budejovice - called Budweis by the German-speaking people that populated the area at the time. Beer has been brewed there since 1265
Chile: Chile’s CCU will invest $90 million in expanding production capacity
Chile's leading beer maker, Compania Cervecerias Unidas (CCU), announced on April 21 it will invest $90 million this year in expanding its production capacity satisfying growing demand for its beverages...more info
Canada: Molson Canada has acquired Creemore Springs Brewery
Molson Canada, a unit of Molson Coors Brewing Co., announced on April 22 it has acquired Creemore Springs Brewery Ltd., located in Creemore, Ontario...more info
Germany: Germany remains a country of beer drinkers
As of the end of 2004 there were 1,274 breweries in Germany. Of wich 629 breweries in Bavaria, the state renowned for its beer gardens, huge one-litre steins of beer and famous beer halls like the Hofbrauhaus in Munich
, according to the figures of The Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden posted on April 22, Deutsche Presse-Agentur posted.
The neighbouring southern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg had 178 breweries, while the most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, came next with 118 breweries.
The figures show that the country's beer sector has remained steady over the past decade in terms of overall brewery numbers, but with a marked trend towards micro-breweries.
The 1,274 figure for 2004 was only eight fewer than in 1995, the office reported. Of the total, large breweries with more than 500,000 hectolitres annual output numbered 50 last year, compared with 54 in 1995. So-called micro breweries with output of up to 5,000 hectolitres totalled 796 last year, surging 23.8 percent from the 643 such breweries in 1995, the office said. At the same time, the number of medium-sized breweries ranging between 5,000 and 500,000 hectolitres came to 428 last year, a 26.8 percent drop from 585 in 1995.
Per-capita beer consumption in Germany in 2004 came to 115.5 litres, down from 117.7 litres in 2003, by the federation's initial calculations.
"Germany remains a country of beer drinkers," commented Birte Kleppien, spokeswoman for the German Brewing Association, although she noted consumption has declined slightly. "By international comparison Germany is one of the markets with the most breweries and the biggest variety of brands," Kleppien said. "There have been some mergers, but on the other hand there have been new start-ups, especially of smaller breweries and restaurant breweries," she added.
Japan: Analysts forecast malt demand declining
Japan may purchase for 2006 about 500 thousand tonnes of malt or slightly more...more info
USA: North Dakota barley acreage is expected to be lowest in the last 80 years
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is estimating North Dakota barley production to be 1.2 million acres, only three-fourths the size of the 2004 crop and the lowest level in recorded history 80 years ago
, The Associated Press commented on April 21.
The low barley acreage is attributed not only to the competition from other crops. “Malting and brewing companies, with a flush supply of grain, are not offering contracts as lucrative as those farmers landed in 2003 following a crop that was the smallest in six decades,” analysts said.
For the 2003 crop year, contract prices were as high as $3.50 per bushel, farmers said. This year, they are as low as $2.25.
Steve Edwardson, administrator of the North Dakota Barley Council, said there is reason for optimism amid the gloom, as a smaller crop should cut into supply and boost prices. "There's an old term amongst grain merchants that low prices are typically the cure for low prices," he said.
The industry also expects demand in Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia and Latin America to increase considerably in the coming years. Edwardson said that as personal incomes rise in those areas, beer consumption also is expected to increase.
Australia and Canada, two of the United States' main competitors in the world market, both have been hurt by damaged crops, he said.
North Dakota has led the nation in barley production for years. Nationwide, barley acreage is expected to fall by 12 percent to 3.97 million acres. With the size of the nationwide crop projected to drop 12 % from a year ago, the chances of North Dakota losing its top ranking "would be slim," Edwardson said.
Australia: ABB Grain Ltd. will make its first distribution for 2004/05 barley pools
ABB Grain Ltd. announced on April 19 will make its first distribution on April 27 to growers who delivered grain to the company’s 2004/05 season Standard and Extended barley pool payment options...more info