Blog: Olly WehringA taste of things to come for US brewers

Olly Wehring | 2 January 2007

A warm welcome back to you all after what, hopefully, was a relaxing break over Christmas and the New Year. We’re also back at our desks bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and other such animal-related adjectives.

Only two days in, and it already looks like it could be a good year for brewers in the US. The nation’s beer makers have had slim pickings in recent years, as wine and spirits producers have slowly won back market share.

But a new law in California, introduced last week, looks to have levelled the playing field for all alcoholic drinks makers alike. So, how are the brewers going to draw level with wine and spirits producers? Easy – by offering consumers free beer.

Under Californian law, wine and spirits companies have been able to provide free tastings to consumers, while brewers have not been allowed the privilege. That all changed yesterday (1 January), however.

So, the company’s brewers must welcome this - granted, quite minor - breakthrough. You’d think… Some small brewers claim the idea will give the larger companies an unfair advantage in marketing. You can’t please everyone, I guess.

One other group, meanwhile, has warned that it could lead to out-of-control drinking at bars.

So much for consumers being more intelligent than we like to think, eh?


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