Thursday, 12 June 2008

InBev Bids for A-B

There's a bit of me that says the InBev plan to take over Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch is a bit like when a wasp lands on a nettle - someone's going to get stung and you don't really mind who!

However, joking aside, since I first heard this rumour six weeks ago it has raised some serious concerns for me about the global domination of the beer market by one company.

Although I have a lot of respect for InBev UK's, often successful, attempts to galvanise the speciality market - despite having the increasingly heavy weight of Stella around their neck - there have been some poor decisions at an international level which, in my mind, raise questions about InBev's genuine commitment to quality over quantity.

The attempts to close the Hoegaarden brewery last year and the brand cuts in its speciality brand portfolio in the UK - not to mention brewing whatever it is they think is Bass - are bad enough but just as A-B is really starting to take its more craft brew brands seriously (I am informed by sources Stateside) it would be a real shame if they were to be swallowed by a company which doesn't seem to get ale.

Anyway, off the heavy stuff for two reasons, firstly I'm not sure InBev will pull it off and secondly because I could go on forever about this sort of takeover, but - just in case InBev manages it - I'd like to hear suggestions on what the new name could be (keep it relatively clean please!). BudBev, InBud, A-Bev?

What's your suggestion?


  1. Either way, it's going to be funny. The company began life in Antwerp and 'In-bev' sounds like slang in that city for cunnilingus.

  2. Laurent Mousson13 June 2008 at 08:05

    Hmmm ImheuserBevsch ? ;o) or should they just scrap the lot and forge a crappy-trendy brand win a "whatever+tis" name ?

  3. How about Bev-Busch. :-)

    When I read about this merger I try to decide how I feel about it, and still haven't come up with an answer. The only thing I am concerned about is the fact there will be one less big player on the scene, never a good thing when one considers the competition factor.

  4. can;t keep pace with the English sense of humore. Wasps and nettles. Wow! Amen to that. william Brand

  5. InBusch, of course ...

    Three decades of observing big brewers (and other FMCG companies as well) has made me realise that their marketing strategies are always driven by some 28-year-old brand manager determined to make her/his mark on the brand, which means scrapping the strategy that his/her predecessor had and striking out in a new direction for no good reason other than to be different to what has gone on before. Three to four years later that brand manager is moved up/out/sideways and a new one arrives, determined once again to stamp THEIR new mark on the brand, which therefore lurches off in another new direction. So under one brand manager it'll be all about speciality beers, under the next one the emphasis will be on reaching as many people as possible, and so on, zigging and zagging and getting nowhere ...

  6. Fatman, thanks for that piece of information - that's priceless!

  7. It doesn't Stonch, it was just designed to be a bit of fun!

  8. I'll be doing beer walks around the GBBF so do try and find me if you're there, I'll be doing them every evening.