Two of the world’s largest beer companies are reportedly close to forming a massive behemoth.
If the deal goes through, Budweiser owner AB InBev and Miller maker SABMiller would control 30% of the world’s beer brands.
The influence over the US beer market would be even more impressive, as the companies would control eight of the 10 most popular beer brands in America.
Those include Bud Light, Budweiser, Miller Lite, Corona, Natural Light, Busch Light, Michelob Ultra, and Busch.
If the deal goes through, companies would be worth a combined $US275 billion.
But the merger might not benefit AB InBev and SABMiller.
According to Business Insider’s Melissa Stanger, the deal could unexpectedly help craft breweries.
“There’s a unique camaraderie among craft brewers and drinkers alike in creating and sharing a complexity of flavours that can’t typically be found in beer produced at the largest scale,” she writes.
“People take beer very personally,” Brewers Association director Paul Gatza told Business Insider. “When something happens to their favourite beer or their ability to get it, or something helps or hurts a brewer they care about, they internalize it and want to do something about it. People may see [the merger] as a time to rally around their local brewery.”
Budweiser is quickly losing its status as the most iconic beer brand in America.
A recent company study found that 44% of drinkers age 21 to 27 have never tried the brand, reports Tripp Mickle at The Wall Street Journal.
Budweiser is the third-most-popular beer brand in America, behind Bud Light and Coors Light. It has recently also been challenged by craft beer, which is hugely popular with millennials.
At the brand’s peak, in 1988, it was selling 50 million barrels of beer a year. That number has declined to 16 million barrels.
Budweiser is trying to acquire craft breweries to make up the difference. The company has also acquired Elysian Brewing Co., which has a pumpkin-peach ale.
Anheuser-Busch also owns brands like ZiegenBock in Texas and Kokanee in Canada.
SABMiller has also stepped up craft beer production.
The company owns Blue Moon Belgian White, America’s most popular craft beer. The company told the Financial Times it plans to acquire even more craft properties.
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