Author Topic: Anheuser Busch trying to take over the Homebrewing market?  (Read 2415 times)

Offline Robert

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Re: Anheuser Busch trying to take over the Homebrewing market?
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2019, 09:39:31 PM »
I think the fact that you just recently learned about this strongly disputes the contention that ABI is trying to control the homebrew market. If ABI had that purpose it would be more aggressive and you definitely would have heard about it sooner.

For ABI it seems a lot more like the goal is integration across all aspects of the beer and brewing world. It gives them more data, more sales opportunities and the ability to leverage scale.

I would partially agree and note that I said it was a fear of homebrewers that AB Inbev would get control, not that it had achieved that at this point, but AB InBev seeks more control in every market that it enters, does it not?

In this case, I really think the idea is what reverseapachemaster said.  There's just not enough money in the homebrewing market for it to be worth it to them.  The idea is to harvest info that can be used in other pursuits.  IMO.

If they were looking to really take over the homebrew supply market and make it impossible for anyone else to compete, I would think they would be sure to have the lowest prices on every item, everyday.  Throw in cheap or free shipping and choke off the competition.  After all, they are big enough to float the loses until they are the last shop standing.  Once the rest were gone they could jack up prices or just shut the doors and leave everyone out it in the cold.

When I've been shopping for larger items, I haven't seen them going that route.  Sometimes they have a deal, sometimes they don't.  Time will tell, but for now they seem to want to be in the game so they know what's being played.

Paul

Yep, as I mentioned earlier, I get better service elsewhere,  and in that I include better prices, and WAY better shipping rates.  ABI could surely do to the competition what the big boxes have done to the mom and pops if they cared to (as they've demonstrated in commercial brewing and beer distribution.)  I still find my family owned LHBS my best source most often.   And online, just about anybody but NB/Midwest.   I think Denny's got the right idea.   They just want to be in the loop.  For now at least.

Another benefit for ABI is NB selling their own clone kits for beers from breweries they've bought up, which promotes interest in those breweries.  They also can similarly hype South African hops and the beers using them, as they control the whole SA hop crop.  Lots of opportunities without taking out the competition.  They really just need the one outlet.

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« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 09:48:00 PM by Robert »
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Offline BrewBama

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Anheuser Busch trying to take over the Homebrewing market?
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2019, 10:29:24 PM »
I think the fact that you just recently learned about this strongly disputes the contention that ABI is trying to control the homebrew market. If ABI had that purpose it would be more aggressive and you definitely would have heard about it sooner.

For ABI it seems a lot more like the goal is integration across all aspects of the beer and brewing world. It gives them more data, more sales opportunities and the ability to leverage scale.

I would partially agree and note that I said it was a fear of homebrewers that AB Inbev would get control, not that it had achieved that at this point, but AB InBev seeks more control in every market that it enters, does it not?

In this case, I really think the idea is what reverseapachemaster said.  There's just not enough money in the homebrewing market for it to be worth it to them.  The idea is to harvest info that can be used in other pursuits.  IMO.

If they were looking to really take over the homebrew supply market and make it impossible for anyone else to compete, I would think they would be sure to have the lowest prices on every item, everyday.  Throw in cheap or free shipping and choke off the competition.  After all, they are big enough to float the loses until they are the last shop standing.  Once the rest were gone they could jack up prices or just shut the doors and leave everyone out it in the cold.

When I've been shopping for larger items, I haven't seen them going that route.  Sometimes they have a deal, sometimes they don't.  Time will tell, but for now they seem to want to be in the game so they know what's being played.

Paul

Yep, as I mentioned earlier, I get better service elsewhere,  and in that I include better prices, and WAY better shipping rates.  ABI could surely do to the competition what the big boxes have done to the mom and pops if they cared to (as they've demonstrated in commercial brewing and beer distribution.)  I still find my family owned LHBS my best source most often.   And online, just about anybody but NB/Midwest.   I think Denny's got the right idea.   They just want to be in the loop.  For now at least.

Another benefit for ABI is NB selling their own clone kits for beers from breweries they've bought up, which promotes interest in those breweries.  They also can similarly hype South African hops and the beers using them, as they control the whole SA hop crop.  Lots of opportunities without taking out the competition.  They really just need the one outlet.

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By “control[ing] the whole SA hop crop” they have eliminated competition. Likewise for “selling their own clone kits for beers from breweries they've bought up, which promotes interest in those breweries.”

Edit:  I’m neither for or against their business model, just cognizant of it.

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« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 10:41:46 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline Robert

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Re: Anheuser Busch trying to take over the Homebrewing market?
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2019, 10:42:53 PM »
Right, but they don't benefit from further taking over the homebrew marketplace.   They have an online outlet.  They don't have to engage in the hassle of wider licensing or distribution of their kits.  They can promote the products they already control.  There's really no tempting money for them, as has been mentioned, in the general homebrew supply business, as there is in controlling commercial production and supply chain.   I wouldn't worry about them running down my LHBS.  They're after bigger fish.  But they can both learn from homebrewers what the interests and trends are, as Denny suggests,  and influence the influencers, if you will.  It's all about promotion, as I see it.

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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Anheuser Busch trying to take over the Homebrewing market?
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2019, 03:27:55 PM »
I would partially agree and note that I said it was a fear of homebrewers that AB Inbev would get control, not that it had achieved that at this point, but AB InBev seeks more control in every market that it enters, does it not?

I don't think that is true. ABI invested in RateBeer but I haven't seen them push to control online beer reviews or beer forums. ABI invested in one of the beer journalism sites (Good Beer Hunting?) but hasn't pushed to control that market. ABI bought out NB/MW but two of its largest competitors (MoreBeer, Adventures in Homebrewing) have both expanded since that acquisition.
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Re: Anheuser Busch trying to take over the Homebrewing market?
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2019, 03:00:17 AM »
AB InBev owns ZX Ventures which owns Northern Brewer and Midwest Supplies and has other homebrew investments.

I bet ZX Ventures is semi-autonomous and is just an investment arm to AB InBev corporate. AB InBev probably only cares about ZX’s ROI. They don’t have time to worry about which malt or hops or kit we prefer from the homebrew store. They can get that information much easier by purchasing market trend data.

Offline Robert

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Re: Anheuser Busch trying to take over the Homebrewing market?
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2019, 03:05:49 AM »
AB InBev owns ZX Ventures which owns Northern Brewer and Midwest Supplies and has other homebrew investments.

I bet ZX Ventures is semi-autonomous and is just an investment arm to AB InBev corporate. AB InBev probably only cares about ZX’s ROI. They don’t have time to worry about which malt or hops or kit we prefer from the homebrew store. They can get that information much easier by purchasing market trend data.
Interesting,  I had no idea how this was structured.   Does this support my suspicion that it's all image and promotion -- ABI isn't getting anything they couldn't get otherwise, except maybe portraying themselves as part of the scene, not the enemy?  (That ROI wouldn't, as addressed earlier, be significant to them.)

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« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 03:13:48 AM by Robert »
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Anheuser Busch trying to take over the Homebrewing market?
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2019, 03:20:15 AM »
AB InBev owns ZX Ventures which owns Northern Brewer and Midwest Supplies and has other homebrew investments.

I bet ZX Ventures is semi-autonomous and is just an investment arm to AB InBev corporate. AB InBev probably only cares about ZX’s ROI. They don’t have time to worry about which malt or hops or kit we prefer from the homebrew store. They can get that information much easier by purchasing market trend data.
Interesting,  I had no idea how this was structured.   Does this support my suspicion that it's all image and promotion -- ABI isn't getting anything they couldn't get otherwise, except maybe portraying themselves as part of the scene, not the enemy?  (That ROI wouldn't, as addressed earlier, be significant to them.)

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But where does AB InBev ever publicly acknowledge owning these businesses? They keep it under wraps by owning them through a shell company and they never promote the fact that they are involved with homebrew.

Edit: we are people who take an unusually high interest in beer. That is why we know. Most beer drinkers have no idea.

Offline Robert

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Re: Anheuser Busch trying to take over the Homebrewing market?
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2019, 03:32:31 AM »
But we are indeed the only ones who would know or care about their involvement with homebrew,  and we do know despite the obscuring shell arrangement, hence the origin of this thread.  By my analysis, we are the very ones they want to ingratiate themselves to.  Even if the reasons are elusive.

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Offline BrewnWKopperKat

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Re: Anheuser Busch trying to take over the Homebrewing market?
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2019, 11:38:54 AM »
Web sites (and web searches) change over time.  I haven't spent much time on the NB ownership topic recently, but had a few minutes this morning to take a look.

This

https://www.beveragedaily.com/Article/2018/04/16/AB-InBev-We-see-homebrewing-as-a-natural-expansion-of-craft-brewing

may be an interesting read for those interested the possible directions of the home brewing hobby. 

Starting at the AB InBev home page, I was able to get to this https://www.ab-inbev.com/what-we-do/innovation.html by "clicking around". ZX Ventures is listed on the right side.  A site specific seach ("homebrewing" site:zx-ventures.com) will establish the link to NB.  I don't remember this being as easy a couple of years ago - as I mentioned earlier, web sites and web search results do change over time.

"The ZX Ventures Homebrewing team operates and supports Northern Brewer, the #1 homebrew equipment and ingredient supplies in the US. The goal is to make homebrewing as popular and accessible as cooking, turning beer enthusiasts into brewers. Through online and retail stores, homebrewing supplies and equipment are sold directly to consumers." -- https://zx-ventures.com/working-at-zx-ventures




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Re: Anheuser Busch trying to take over the Homebrewing market?
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2019, 11:52:18 AM »
Good stuff, thanks.  ABInbev wants to sell you beer, or evidently, what it takes for you to make beer.  In that context, let’s hope that there remains room for the others who just do the latter!
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: Anheuser Busch trying to take over the Homebrewing market?
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2019, 12:30:45 PM »
But where does AB InBev ever publicly acknowledge owning these businesses? They keep it under wraps by owning them through a shell company and they never promote the fact that they are involved with homebrew.

Edit: we are people who take an unusually high interest in beer. That is why we know. Most beer drinkers have no idea.

Considering the way many craft beer drinkers view AB/Inbev, and Macro beer in general, can you blame them? As a community we're brutal even on the good Macro breweries like Guinness, let alone shadier ones like AB/Inbev who've directly tried to raise our ire.
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Re: Anheuser Busch trying to take over the Homebrewing market?
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2019, 05:49:09 PM »
The more insidious part to me, rather than ABI's control of NB/MW via ZX, is their control of October, the previous control over The Beer Necessities (before they shut it down), investment into RateBeer and their very cozy relationship with the folks behind GoodBeerHunting.

Talk about controlling even more of the picture - let's control the outlets talking about beer.

Joel had a pretty interesting take on it here: https://www.joshnoel.net/blog/2018/12/20/october-anheuser-busch-craft-beer

Over on facebook that started a bit of a row when the Managing Editor got into the fray decrying that people had a bad impression of October because of ABI's investment, which shocker - how can you trust the independence of a news stream when it's major backer is the biggest player in the field you cover? Damn shame, because they have some really good material there too.
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Offline santoch

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Re: Anheuser Busch trying to take over the Homebrewing market?
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2019, 05:25:37 AM »
I haven't bought an Elysian beer since the takeover.  Same with Goose & 10 Barrel.
I HATE how I can go into a restaurant or bar and all the taps are AB-Inbev across the board.  They control the distributors, the press, the homebrew shops, the aisles in the supermarkets, everything.  It sucks.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Anheuser Busch trying to take over the Homebrewing market?
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2019, 04:25:56 PM »
The more insidious part to me, rather than ABI's control of NB/MW via ZX, is their control of October, the previous control over The Beer Necessities (before they shut it down), investment into RateBeer and their very cozy relationship with the folks behind GoodBeerHunting.

Talk about controlling even more of the picture - let's control the outlets talking about beer.

Joel had a pretty interesting take on it here: https://www.joshnoel.net/blog/2018/12/20/october-anheuser-busch-craft-beer

Over on facebook that started a bit of a row when the Managing Editor got into the fray decrying that people had a bad impression of October because of ABI's investment, which shocker - how can you trust the independence of a news stream when it's major backer is the biggest player in the field you cover? Damn shame, because they have some really good material there too.

In these situations the media outlets should have to disclose that they constitute advertising for ABI at least every time they discuss one of their products.

This is similar to the problems highlighted by the Fyre Festival documentaries (Netflix, Hulu) that there is a lot of undisclosed advertising through Instagram and other social media outlets that are definitely paid advertisements masquerading as organic content. The FCC is looking at regulating those posts to require disclosure on social media. The same should be true for these beer media outlets.
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Re: Anheuser Busch trying to take over the Homebrewing market?
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2019, 06:55:28 PM »
In these situations the media outlets should have to disclose that they constitute advertising for ABI at least every time they discuss one of their products.

That's the fun part - they do - https://oct.co/about
Quote
As the American conception of beer evolves, so do we, its drinkers and critics.

October aims to capture the spirit, ambition, and wort-soaked labor of the gambrinus pursuit — the making and drinking of the good life. Through essays, travels, events, and an objective look at what makes beer so damn good, our hope is that you’ll find resonance here, something of unusual quaffability, as part of the drinking class. 

A project supported by ZX Ventures (Ab-Inbev's new venture capital team), and led by Pitchfork's Slow Focus Studio (Condé Nast), Good Beer Hunting, and BeerGraphs, we’re bringing together a group of people with expertise in publishing, culture, and of course, beer. Our goal is to tell stories at the intersections where beer becomes part of a bigger picture, as it does in both past and present. So while we’ll be ambitious in our view of the future, forgive us for being a bit nostalgic at times too.

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