Wednesday has arrived and with it unseasonably warm weather here in the western Piedmont of NC. The big story in beer yesterday was the first hearing on the merger in front of the US Senate. I had forgotten how much I hate the beginnings of Senate hearings. Too much speechifying. I will say, that most of the senators seemed at the very least troubled by the size and scope of the merger. Anyway, here is some beer news for your perusal. Oh yeah, this is a little late this morning because there is a bug in the newest version of MS Word that crashes when you run spellcheck and in the at least 2 months since this bug has been known Microsoft has yet to see fit to create a fix for it. I used Grammarly to spell check today.
- Like I said, the senators did seem somewhat troubled by the size of the merger. In fact, one of the witnesses, a professor in antitrust law did point out that without SABMiller selling off MillerCoors, the merger would be an illegal monopoly.
- Two companies of this size merging is not going to create a more competitive marketplace as the CEO of ABInbev said yesterday. That statement is patently idiotic. It is someone pissing on your shoe and then telling you it’s raining. My only issue with this hearing is that the main effects of ABInbev are felt at the state level where the 3-tiered system of distribution is regulated. That is why I was heartened that one of the witnesses who was leery of the merger was the head of the independent wholesalers. The second tier of alcohol distribution is where any deleterious effects will be felt.
- I am honestly fascinated by the story of the fight over selling beer in Colorado grocery stores. I have no idea what the end game for this is going to be. It does highlight the fact that outside of excise taxes, the federal government has very little direct effect on beer sales.
- If you are in Charlotte Douglass Airport, especially if you are flying out towards a non-Southern destination, and you don’t stop at Bojangles for a biscuit and tea, you are a fool. These other places are fine too I guess.
- Another beer gift guide. I hate people buying me beer for presents. Not all people, just most. I have a few friends who know beer and will get me something interesting, but usually it ends badly. I would prefer to get a gift certificate or gift card to a place that sells good beer or better yet a growler. Now, I’ve read a few of these gift lists and glassware always makes an appearance. That is a simple and relatively inexpensive gift, but one of the stainless steel growlers that can keep unrefrigerated beer cold for up to 12 hours is an even better gift.