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EARTHQUAKE: ABI buys Northern Brewer,Midwest Supply

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Boatboy24

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Ha! Loved this comment:

Maybe they’ll offer a sweet Bud Light clone kit! Just what every home brewer has always wanted.
 

jswordy

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I dunno, man. The NB folks say nothing will change at NB or Midwest Supply. But you look at the ZX Ventures site and read it, aaaand ... I think things are gonna change, and if you're a competitor, the change won't be good...

http://zx-ventures.com/

People may gripe now but they will buy from them.
 

Mismost

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If you're gonna get bought out, this seems like a good fit. I've always been satisfied with Northern and Midwest. If the pricing and service levels are there, I will be too. I see some synergy here...the power of bulk buying, the brewing expertise, very similar businesses....better than if they were bought out by someone like PayLess Shoes!

Maybe we can get our hands on some of that famous Beech Wood for aging our beers....who knows!
 

Bartman

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I'm curious for the prospects of my LHBS - Fine Vine Wines. I'll have to check with the owner to see if he thinks this is a good thing or a bad thing for his business.
 

dcbrown73

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I dunno, man. The NB folks say nothing will change at NB or Midwest Supply. But you look at the ZX Ventures site and read it, aaaand ... I think things are gonna change, and if you're a competitor, the change won't be good...

http://zx-ventures.com/

People may gripe now but they will buy from them.
Acquiring companies always say that before they pull the rug out. hah.
 

Whitehrs

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Rumors swirled last week, just confirmed:

ABI has acquired Northern Brewer and Midwest Supply, the two mega-heavyweights in the homebrewing and winemaking supply business nationally.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/anheuser-busch-inbev-acquires-northern-brewer-midwest-supplies.html

My favorite argument is that (paraphrase) "they changed Becks, and now it tastes like crap." (end paraphrase). Becks has always been nothing but pilsner headache beer. it has always tasted like crap.. So, how have they changed it.
 

fenderbass

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I remember reading the history on AB, and I think I remember reading that the company shifted to producing malt extract through Prohibition. Essentially, they became a homebrew supply given that they had the existing supply chain. If I remember correctly, they pre-Prohibition world of the beer world changed radically so that AB could no longer own any bars (or have close affiliation with them). I'm not a big fan of AB and their tactics, but I just found it interesting that they are returning to their Prohibition activities.
 

Redbird1

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I haven't bought from Northern Brewer / Midwest ever since they released the dangerously thin Big Mouth Bubbler and refused to accept responsibility and denied there was any issue. They were extremely negligent in continuing to sell them even after many reports of them being dangerous. There is a thread on Homebrewtalk about all of the injuries resulting from failed BMB under normal usage. People got seriously hurt and one poster even has permanent damage to his thumb.

I've happily paid more since then to buy elsewhere. I'm not supporting a company with such poor ethical standards.

Edit: They must have changed their practice of filtering negative reviews. I haven't shopped there in a long time, so I'm glad to see that has changed.
 
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jswordy

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My favorite argument is that (paraphrase) "they changed Becks, and now it tastes like crap." (end paraphrase). Becks has always been nothing but pilsner headache beer. it has always tasted like crap.. So, how have they changed it.
Everybody has their own ABI acquisition sob story. Mine is Rolling Rock. Now an ABI price-line beer, it is a mere shadow of what it once was as a premium label. And - no matter what anyone else thinks of the brand - I miss it.
 

jswordy

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Acquiring companies always say that before they pull the rug out. hah.
I have personal career experience with what happens internally when owns trot the word "disruptive" out and start throwing it casually around. It is not good.

I think this will be categorically disruptive, too, meaning it will eventually pressure everyone from national competitors to local sources.
 

ceeaton

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Everybody has their own ABI acquisition sob story. Mine is Rolling Rock. Now an ABI price-line beer, it is a mere shadow of what it once was as a premium label. And - no matter what anyone else thinks of the brand - I miss it.
I thought I was the only one who noticed RR's quality issues. Just isn't the same, haven't bought a case in quite some time. Was sort of a cult beer up in our area, I'm too out of touch as a parent of four kids to know where it stands now. Just don't hang out in bars any more (no money, no time, happier at home).
 

Whitehrs

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I know this isn't going to make me any friends here, but I'll just be glad if they drop the prices on gear, and recipe kits..
 

jswordy

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I thought I was the only one who noticed RR's quality issues. Just isn't the same, haven't bought a case in quite some time. Was sort of a cult beer up in our area, I'm too out of touch as a parent of four kids to know where it stands now. Just don't hang out in bars any more (no money, no time, happier at home).
You don't go from $7 a six-pack to $8.99 a 12-pack and not make some sacrifices. It still has a wee bit of the distinctive flavor, probably from the yeast profiles, but not at all like it was in the 1990s. I can tip up a RR now and just let it go right down similar to Bud Light. Could not do that in the '90s, and didn't want to because of the flavor.

I wish I had some of that original yeast.

This says it all, and this disclaimer was not on the pre-buy bottles:

"To honor the tradition of this great brand..."



 
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jswordy

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I am scratching my head trying to make sense of this acquisition.
If you go back to Prohibition, Augie Busch converted his company to selling LME at that time to still produce but skirt the laws, so there is a company history way back of selling supplies.

To me, the sense comes when you realize the word "disruptive." This is going to eventually be a major shock to the sector. They have the power to become literally the Wal-Mart of home brewing, and if you look at what ABI has done in so much of the beer industry, they might have the actual will to do it, too.

That will squeeze all the smaller online and local competitors, and put a huge competitive weight on Carlsen and the other suppliers, most of whom also supply the brewery industry.

Plus, the way they acquire through this subsidiary company avoids regulatory issues because this area is not as consolidated as beer is. We may see other larger home brew and winery supply retailers selling to ABI, too.

Seems to me ABI is clearly learning some things from watching Constellation Brands.
 

jgmann67

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You don't go from $7 a six-pack to $8.99 a 12-pack and not make some sacrifices. It still has a wee bit of the distinctive flavor, probably from the yeast profiles, but not at all like it was in the 1990s. I can tip up a RR now and just let it go right down similar to Bud Light. Could not do that in the '90s, and didn't want to because of the flavor.

I wish I had some of that original yeast.

This says it all, and this disclaimer was not on the pre-buy bottles:

"To honor the tradition of this great brand..."




When AB bought RR, they shut down operations in Latrobe, PA and moved (I believe) to Newark, NJ. It was SOP for AB to buy a competing brand and then kill it.

There was a point in history that AB was in negotiations to buy Yuengling (America's Oldest Brewery). As the legend goes, **** Yuengling sought a face-to-face and a handshake from Auggie. Auggie refused, and **** told him he could go £#€% himself, **** would never sell to him.

Instead, **** expanded markets up and down the Eastern seaboard and as West into Ohio. Now, Yuengling is the largest American-owned brewing company in the US. All I can say - if it's true, thanks Auggie.

(Where you see ****, think nickname for Richard).
 
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ceeaton

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(Where you see ****, think nickname for Richard).
Yes, he goes by that nickname. I went to college with his nephew (David), who I believe started the Ice Cream branch back up not too long ago. Haven't seen it in stores around here yet, but I'm not much of a dessert eater, a good beer or glass of wine equals dessert to me.
 

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