Suds With Securb – State of the Brewnion

There is some really strange stuff going on in the world of beer these days. Beer costs are shooting through the roof making some of our favorite microbrews inaccessible to the average consumer.

I am seeing six packs going for $14 – $16 dollars, when I got into this game six packs of microbrews were a few dollars more than premium domestic lagers. I know the smaller brewers would love to compete but it is very difficult with the perfect economic storm they are circumnavigating.

The first blow was the hop shortage. The costs of most hops have tripled. The surplus from the 2006 hop harvest was lost in a warehouse fire. Making this situation direr was a horrible hops harvest in 2007 due to hail storms in Europe. If the latter two situations weren’t enough a lot of hop farm land has been sold in the Northwest to make way for subdivisions.

Recipes are changing and I can taste the difference in some of my favorite brews. Even yours truly could not find Warrior hops for one of my favorite IIPA recipes this year. No, it wasn’t the fact that I couldn’t afford them, I couldn’t find them.

Being an American I am not accustomed to being told I can’t by any commodity. This is the first time in my life I have had to deal with this.

Let’s pile on the brewer skyrocketing grain costs. Barley, wheat and rice costs are through the roof. Rice? Yes take a look at the label of that macro brewed beer in your hand, barley, hops, yeast and rice.

The last blow to the industry of course is transportation costs. There is no reason for me to drone on about the costs of gas. Border city drivers are traveling to Mexico for saving of up to $2 per gallon. I do know that some of these drivers are commercial; I am hoping some of them are brewers.

So profit margins are shrinking along with the once powerful dollar and what happens next? InBev steps in and wants to make a hostile takeover of the largest and most beloved brewery in America.

These Belgium raiders took an unsuccessful run at Anheuser-Busch. August Busch IV has stated AB is not interested and the company will not be sold on his watch. Just because the dollar is week it doesn’t mean that the US is a giant yard sale for foreign interests.

Abu Dhabi Investment Council is buying up Manhattan like it is a monopoly board including their current bid for the Chrysler Building. Foreign investors are taking over private U.S. companies, equity funds, and real property at an alarming rate. Now foreign interests have come for Budweiser?

Hell no! This has to be stopped. All of you A-B haters out there that think A-B is an evil empire will have a lot more to fear if InBev gets control of A – B. How much interest in American issues do you think a Belgium company will have?

This buyout will give InBev way too much control over the U.S. beer market, that includes our commodity, job and financial markets. Do we need a foreign entity controlling how much you and I will pay for a bag of rice next year? How much you will pay for a loaf of bread?

Washington needs to step up and block this deal. United States House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade Chairman Sandy Levin needs to get involved with this deal and block it.

Sandy there is 66 breweries in your home state of Michigan. Don’t give InBev the keys to the biggest bulldozer in the industry because they will use it to plow over the smaller brewers.

So Bud hater or lover you have to be against the InBev deal. You beer snobs will end up with fewer options and you dedicated Bud lovers will finally be drinking a foreign beer.