Blue Moon Belgian White

Beer-a-Day #244Blue Moon Belgian White

The wife scored some gift cards to TGI Friday’s, so we popped in for dinner this evening.

It didn’t take long to remind ourselves why we don’t go there.

I was encouraged that they were advertising the Samuel Adams Octoberfest but, alas, they hadn’t kicked their stock of Summer Ale so weren’t yet serving the Octoberfest. The rest of their beer selection is fairly pedestrian. I opted to stick with water.

My wife did have a Blue Moon Belgian White and she let me have a sip of it. It was cloudier than I remember, and pretty orange for a “white” beer. The aroma was light, with maybe a little coriander, but it was hard to get past the obligatory orange slice. It was sweet with a light finish but it just didn’t “grab” me in the back of the throat like I like from my beer.

I’m glad I stuck with the water. And that I didn’t have to pay for the meal.

Blue Moon Brewing Company*

Good reads

Just a couple of quick links to interesting items that we really liked and, frankly, wished we’d written:

The Zythophile: Pernicious myths and a ban on hops
On tracking down persistent urban beer myths.

First Draft: Shotgun Wedding
Analysis and speculation of the announced merger of Miller and Coors.

I love beer: Portland Recap, Chapter 2
A bicycle tour of Portland.

SABMiller and MolsonCoors to combine U.S. operations

Associated Press: Molson Coors, SABMiller combine U.S. ops

NEW YORK – The makers of Coors and Miller Lite plan to combine their U.S. brewing operations in an effort to compete better against industry leader Anheuser-Busch.

The joint venture announced [today] will be known as MillerCoors and will have responsibility for selling brands including Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft, Coors, Coors Light and Molson Canadian in the U.S.

Anheuser-Busch Cos. accounts for about half of the U.S. market with brands such as Budweiser, Michelob and Bud Light.

SABMiller PLC will have a 58 percent economic interest in the venture and MolsonCoors Brewing Co. will own 42 percent of the new company. They will have equal voting interests, however.

Precise financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Shares of MolsonCoors climbed $6.17, or 12.1 percent, to $57 in morning trading Tuesday. SABMiller shares rose 2.3 percent to 1,499 pence ($30.57) in midday trading in London.

The joint venture will also result in cost savings of $500 million, the companies said. That savings will mainly come from reducing shipping distances, finding economies of scale in brewing operations, optimizing production and eliminating duplicate corporate and marketing services.

London-based SABMiller, which brews Miller Lite as well as a slew of European beers, and Denver-based Molson Coors, the brewer of Coors Light and the craft beer Blue Moon, will each have five representatives on its board of directors.

Pete Coors, vice chairman of Molson Coors, will serve as chairman of the new company and Molson Coors Chief Executive Leo Kiely will be the new CEO of the joint venture. Tom Long, CEO of Miller, will be appointed president and chief commercial officer.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies said they will conduct all of their U.S. business exclusively through the venture.

The companies project MillerCoors will have combined annual beer sales of 69 million U.S. barrels with revenue of about $6.6 billion.

Coors said the joint venture will allow both companies to compete for U.S. consumers who are “looking for greater choice and differentiation,” as wine and spirits continue to entice beer drinkers and imports and craft beers garner a larger share of the market.

The companies said by combining their U.S. operations, the venture will be able to invest more in marketing its brands to consumers and compete more effectively with larger brewers like Anheuser-Busch and InBev NV S.A., which imports a large number of global beers into the U.S. and is the world’s largest brewer by volume.

“Given the highly complementary nature of our U.S. assets, operations and geographic footprint, this is a logical and compelling combination that we expect will create significant value for shareholders while benefiting distributors, consumers, retailers and the market overall,” said SABMiller Chief Executive Graham Mackay.

The companies said the deal will add to both of their earnings in the second full year of combined operations.

The companies said $50 million of the total cost savings will be recorded in the first full financial year after the two companies combine. Another $350 million will be saved in the second year and the last $100 million will come in year three.

The companies added they will have to make a one-time cash outlay of $450 million to achieve those savings.

A final agreement is expected to be signed by the end of 2007 with the deal closing in mid-2008, the companies said.

Rumors of this were circulating back in June.

I guess Mackay’s comments that “Craft Beer Will Fade” really make sense in this context. Wishful thinking indeed. I guess he doesn’t believe that A-B will fade instead.

I can’t see how this is good for beer drinkers. Good for investors, of course, but offering new and better products to consumers is an afterthought.

File under “irony”

The Coors Event Center is located on the University of Colorado campus and the home of the Buffaloes’ Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams.

The arena was given that moniker in 1990, in exchange for a $5 million contribution from the Adolph Coors Foundation.

Recently, it was announced that beer would no longer be served at University basketball games.

No more beer at games in Coors Event Center

As a CPU coolant, the Silver Bullet isn’t

Here’s another instance of beer intersecting with technology.

The staff at Tom’s Hardware decided to see which of four beers from different countries, when combined with a little antifreeze, would be the most efficient coolant of an overclocked CPU.

International Beer CPU Coolant Competition

In spite of billing itself as “The Coldest Beer on Earth” and “As Cold as the Rockies”, Coors Light came in dead last against Guinness, Franziskaner Hefe-weissbier, and Molson’s Canadian.

(via InfoWorld Tech Watch)

Molson Coors three years later

Molson CoorsThe Toronto Globe and Mail offers their analysis of the Molson-Coors merger three years after it was announced.

The verdict? It’s working.

So, while [investors and brokerage firms] were sleeping, here’s what they missed: The merger is working. After a difficult start, Molson Coors has got its act together. It has cut costs, refinanced debt, opened a new brewery in Virginia and sold more silver bullets to beer-drinking Canucks than ever before. The stock market has responded: In the past year, Molson Coors shareholders have made 38 per cent, including dividends, beating returns from Anheuser-Busch and Heineken.

Molson Coors, three years on

Molson Coors

(via Click A Bottle)

Beer News Sampler

Baltika eyes Heineken’s No.1 spot in European beer
Baltika, Russia’s largest brewer, wants to dislodge Heineken from the top of the European beer market, despite a recent slowdown in the Russian domestic market.

Biofuel boom sparks beer price fight
As German barley farmers abandon their usual crops in favor of subsidized biofuel crops, like corn (maize), brewers scramble to keep costs in line to prevent alienating their consumers.

Brewery workers walk off job
More than 100 workers of the Canadian Autoworkers Union walked off the job early at Edmonton’s Molson Coors brewery the morning of May 30. While the company says it has plenty of supply, union leaders think beer drinkers in Western Canada may have a bit of a time of it this summer.

Quick Tip: Leftover Beer
Not that this would ever happen to any of us, but leftover beer can be used to give some extra nutrients to your plants.

Teamsters brewing boycott of Yuengling beer
A typical “he said, he said” scenario. Yuengling workers vote to leave the union. Teamsters strike. Marketplace yawns. The Teamsters claim management threatened to shut down the company and want lawmakers to intervene. The company says that workers decided to decertify on their own.

Anheuser-Busch Brewing Drinking Water
A-B is canning potable water to have available in the event of a major hurricane or other large disaster.

Strange bedfellows. SABMiller and Molson Coors teaming up?

Don’t know how I missed this June 1 article from the Associated Press, but apparently the parent of Miller Brewing Company is possibly looking to partner with Molson Coors.

The parent of Miller Brewing Co. has indicated it may pursue a business relationship with Molson Coors Brewing Co. as it works to improve U.S. operations, Thomson Financial has reported.

Norman Adami, president of SABMiller PLC’s Americas division, said he sees cost efficiencies in a “potential tie-up” between the two brewing giants, the news service reported this week from London.

SABMiller says it’s interested in Molson-Coors partnership

(via Sioux Brew)

Beer train derails in Denver

Coors Light Silver Bullet TrainBNSF Railway workers lost control of thirty-odd railcars that rolled downhill and crashed into a parked locomotive. Two tanker cars lost their contents. One, asphalt. The other, Coors beer.

No one was hurt and BNSF Railway mainline operations were not affected.

No comment as of yet from Pete Coors.

Original Associated Press story

(via N2K News)

Update: Flickr user Seetwist has about two dozen photographs of the aftermath.