I just read a great article today talking about what I was starting to notice: The big guys are making beer and not using their name on the bottles. It is craft beer, but with the distribution channels that all the big guys have, its very easy to get market penetration. Here is some of the article.. and as always you can click below to read the entire article.
Giant brewers think small
Major producers use size to muscle into the craft-beer market.
For years, makers of small-batch “craft” beers have been chipping away at the market share of America’s three beer giants. Now, the big brewers are craftily playing the same game, and winning back much of the momentum.
The major brewers generally avoid using the parent company’s name on the labels for their craft beers. Anheuser-Busch Cos., for example, lists Green Valley Brewing Co. as the maker of its Wild Hop Lager, an organic beer. Sunset Wheat from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., is owned by SABMiller PLC. Blue Moon Brewing Co. is a fully-owned subsidiary of Molson Coors Brewing Co., but the parent company isn’t mentioned on its beer labels.
Through the first eight months of this year, retail sales of craft beers made by those companies or their affiliates grew at nearly three times the rate of independent craft brews, according to market-research firm Nielsen Co.
Sales of craft beers affiliated with the big three brewers in grocery, drug, convenience and major-market liquor stores surged 45 percent to $177 million through Aug. 25 against year-earlier levels, excluding sales at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Nielsen found. (Wal-Mart doesn’t supply sales data to Nielsen or any other data-tracking firm.) Sales of independent craft brands rose 16 percent to $531 million.
Read the rest of the article here