A-B Stands for Already Busy

Poor Best  

It seems our friends at Anheuser-Busch have been very busy in this very short year.  2007 is barely two weeks old and yet Mr. August A. Busch IV and his tiny little brewery are already making some waves.  A-B will be making two new additions to the family and they have some spiffy new bottles to coincide with the NFL playoffs and impending Super Bowl.  It seems the newly appointed president has no intentions of letting his company’s sales slump - it also seems, A-B will be snatching up (at least a piece) of every brewery up for sale.

The newest conquests in A-B’s quest to own every beer manufactured on the planet are Old Dominion and Czechvar.  Old Dominion is fairly strong player in the craft beer world of the Northwest.  Operating mainly in the Virginia and Maryland markets, Old Dominion is well-known for its popularity amongst locals, a stable of the “true pubs” of the area.  While the company will not fall squarely into the hands of A-B (a fairly complicated deal involving A-B, Ram’s Head and Fordham.  Old Dominion will become the latest in A-B’s ever-expanding roster of craft beers joining Redhook, Widmer, Kona and Goose Island.

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The deal to acquire the rights to distribute Czechvar in the United States is evidence of A-B’s desire to acquire foreign labels.  The reason being, A-B has been in legal battles with Czechbar’s brewer, Budvar, for decades.  Budvar has long claimed the rights to the name Budweiser and is embroiled in legal battles across the globe with A-B.  It seems the latest Busch to run the A-B empire is willing to look the other way to bring a great import stateside.  Coincidentally, A-B is probably the only company capable of taking the Czechvar brand coast to coast in the US.  A-B’s incredible distribution channel is the only way coast to coast distribution is possible for Czechvar, since Budvar’s master brewmeister created a 105-day sell date.

Finally, in more light-hearted, less-businessy news, A-B will have some new and unique packaging for their Budweiser and Bud Light brands.  The South Florida market will get its hands on some gridiron-inspired 12-ounce bottles just in time for the NFL’s playoffs.  A-B began distributing the bottles in late December.  The same market will also be the first to see the 16-ounce Budweiser Select aluminum “club bottle”.  Many of you have undoubtely seen the blue and red variations for Bud Light and Budwesier, respectfully.

Stay tuned for more interesting updates in the world of A-B!