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Bottler News

Tracking Competitor Developments


BrewDog Partners With Asahi To Gain A Foothold In Japan

The Scottish multinational craft brewer and pub chain’s joint venture with Japan’s Asahi is an attempt to boost Japanese sales – by fivefold over six years – ahead of a planned London IPO. The JV will market and distribute BrewDog beers such as Punk IPA, Hazy Jane and Elvis Juice, using Asahi’s distribution capability to goose supermarket sales. BrewDog, which already owns a bar in Tokyo, could later establish a brewery in Japan. The brewer is meeting with bankers about a likely London listing, having appointed Rothschild as independent adviser to the IPO process.


Japan’s “Strong Zero” Cocktail Mix Heads To Australia

Described as a Beam Suntory “cult favorite” in Japan, Australian drinkers will see it on store shelves as Minus 196, a lemony mixture of shochu, vodka, and soda blended in a premix. Beam Suntory uses a technique involving a whole lemon mixed in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -196°C. It is then pulverized and soaked it in alcohol. Minus 196 Double Lemon – with a six percent ABV sells for $22 a four-pack and $47 a 10 pack (RRP). 


Carlsberg India Taps Wheat Beer Segment

The New Delhi-based brewer has launched premium-priced Tuborg White wheat beer across the western-central state of Maharashtra in 500 ml cans and 330 ml glass bottles. India’s wheat beer market has expanded with the entry of the Bira, Simba, and White Owl brands to meet the demands of young drinkers seeking newer varieties of alcoholic beverages. Craft beers especially have helped shape consumption of wheat beer in the country. Carlsberg India sells brand such as Carlsberg Smooth, Carlsberg Elephant, Tuborg Green, Tuborg Strong, and Tuborg Classic in the country, largely operating in the strong beer segment.


Carlsberg To Work With KHS Group To Enhance Beer Quality In China

After joining forces to install two beer canning lines in China, the Danish brewer and the German supplier of filling and packaging systems (Dortmund) announced plans involving a new streamlined layout and production design for canning. The new systems would be implemented across all of Carlsberg’s Chinese factories to “improve the quality of local beers in the long term” with “constant modernization of existing plant equipment.” The core of the canning line is the ultramodern can filler that processes up to 90,000 0.33-liter cans or a maximum of 60,000 0.5-liter cans per hour, ranging from local brands to Carlsberg’s popular global drinks products.

Other News

Beer Companies Dabble In Seltzers, Cocktails, Spirits

For example, Boston Beer Company, parent company of Samuel Adams Beer, has partnered with both Beam Suntory and PepsiCo to create new products that take it beyond the confines of beer brewing. The partnership with Beam Suntory will develop RTD beverages under the Sauza tequila brand, and create Truly Seltzer-flavored Pinnacle vodka flavors. The relationship with PepsiCo is expected to result in a line of no-sugar hard (five percent ABV) Mountain Dew in classic, black cherry, and watermelon flavors. This month, Molson Coors is launching into the ultra-premium whiskey market with a blended American whiskey called Five Trail, a 95-proof (47.5 percent ABV) spirit, made in partnership with Bardstown Bourbon in Kentucky. The 750 ml bottle will have a suggested retail price of $59.99.


Competition Commission Of India Punishes Two Big Brewers For Price Fixing

India's antitrust watchdog fined Heineken-controlled United Breweries $102 million and the local unit of Denmark's Carlsberg $16 million in a case related to cartelization of beer prices in the country. The fines were imposed after a lengthy probe that involved CCI raids on the offices of the brewers. The raids were spurred by rival Anheuser Busch InBev information given to the watchdog that it had detected an industry cartel in India after it acquired operations of SABMiller Plc. The CCI investigation agreed, finding that the companies collectively strategized in seeking price increases in several states, forging a cartel.


Suntory Debuts Whisky Made With 61-Year-Old Components

The company’s Yamazaki 55 – bottled in 2020 and available in three world markets – “honors the legacy of three generations of master blenders” while celebrating the Japanese “Showa” era of the 1960s. A blend of single malt whiskies featuring components distilled in 1960, the product was aged in Mizunara casks until 1964, when it was transferred to and aged in white oak casks. Yamazaki 55 will be available in very limited quantities at a suggested retail price of $60,000.
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