Back in the Saddle

The last six or so days have seen zero posting here and precious little on World of Beer’s Facebook page. Here’s why:

–          Over the weekend, I was speaking (in support of the MS Society of Canada) at the Beau’s Oktoberfest, which was a great, if rather cold and wet, time. I posted a couple of times to FB from my phone, but was without my computer, so nothing here;

–          Then, on my return, it was time to play host to my World Atlas of Beer co-author, Tim Webb. That went on for a couple of days;

–          In between, I had a request from my editor at winemag.com to quickly pull together a round-up of diverse and geographically scattered U.S. Oktoberfest celebrations, which is now online over here;

–          After a late night with Tim, there was more work in the morning, lunch with Mr. Webb and then more work well into the evening;

–          What I recall of Wednesday was busy, and punctuated with an all-too-brief visit from my sister, but such was my sleepless haze that it’s all a bit vague.

Which brings us to today, and these bits of interesting beer news:

–          The mid-sized British brewer Wells & Young’s has purchased the Younger’s and McEwan’s brands from Heineken, which will significantly strengthen their overall sales, but in my opinion, unless the beers themselves are rather significantly changed, do nothing to further the company’s brewing credibility;

–          Kirin of Japan has made an offer for the remainder of South American brewer, Schincariol, which is to say the minority part they don’t already own. This will, of course, cement their ownership of Brazil’s number two brewer, but also firmly place all three of Brazil’s top brewing countries under the yolk of large multinationals, including Anheuser-Busch Inbev and Heineken, which respectively own number one and three brewers, the latter through their Mexican arm, FEMSA;

–          And in what I can only figure is a singularly odd move, Diageo is moving production of Red Stripe for the U.S. market to Pennsylvania, where it will be brewed under contract by City Brewing. Ah, to dream of the tropical beaches of Latrobe!

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