The Future Of The Beer Cooler

A couple of major brewery merger stories came across the RSS over the last couple days, leaving us wondering what the future will look like in the beer cooler at your corner store.

First, we read on Realbeer about a possible takeover of Anheuser Busch by Belgian brewing giant InBev. Then, a story went up on Epicurious about the future of Miller after that mega-brewer merged with Coors (hint: it might leave Milwaukee).

This has us wondering whether to be sad or glad. It’s not like Budweiser, Miller and Coors exactly set the standard for good brewing. In a blind taste test could you tell them apart? Perhaps it makes sense to have the beer cooler eventually consist of one watery American brand and scores of micro-brews.

Except that it turns out these mega-corporations own a lot of the ubiquitous “boutique” brands that go for a few dollars more a six-pack than your standard domestic cans. What will a future of consolidation mean for Stella Artois (an InBev brand), for example? Will Budweiser become more Stella-like, or will Stella become more Budweiser-like, or will both stay the same?

We’re not sure what to think about this trend yet, but as long as local brands like Anchor Steam and Brooklyn keep going strong and independent, we’re not going to shed too many tears. Of course, it will probably be hard to get Milwaukeeans to share in that opinion.

InBev, A-B Rumors Hot [Realbeer]
Wisconsin: Plenty Of Brats But No Miller [Epicurious]

[Photo: via Vulcan Beverage]

The Future Of The Beer Cooler