Here are the ten most-popular articles by just-drinks regular beer commentators in 2016

Here are the ten most-popular articles by just-drinks' regular beer commentators in 2016

With the end of the year looming, just-drinks takes a look back at 2016. Here are the ten most-read comment pieces written by our beer commentators over the last 12 months.

10. How has craft beer put the squeeze on world beers?

With pressure from above, from the global brewers, and from below, thanks to craft brewers, the 'world beers' segment has been feeling the squeeze of late. In his latest just-drinks column, beer commentator Stephen Beaumont considers how the mid-sized companies can ease the pressure.

9. Is Heineken risking its brand image with new H41 beer?

It takes a lot for Heineken to meddle with its hard-won brand equity. So when it does, it's worth paying attention to the reasons why. Today, the company unveiled a new beer deemed worthy enough to wear the Heineken label. H41 has been available at Heineken's visitors centre in Amsterdam since December but from this month will roll out in Italy before hitting selected retailers in the Netherlands.

8. Job cuts may not be the whole story at work-intense Anheuser-Busch InBev

Is Carlos Brito's job in danger? No, this is not news of an Anheuser-Busch InBev investor revolt or management shake-up. I just played an interactive online game that supposedly gives a taste of management at the world's biggest brewer. According to the results, I'm in the top bracket of potential recruits - what the game terms as a "big show". 

7. The trends set to drive beer's future

The Great American Beer Festival returned, earlier this month. just-drinks' beer commentator, Stephen Beaumont travelled to Denver to report from the three-day event and gauge the health of the beer category in the US.

6. Is there a future for the global beer brand?

Can you think of a global beer brand? One that is not hamstrung by being limited to certain regions? It's not easy. Indeed, Stephen Beaumont found it equally difficult, until about two weeks ago.

5. From crass to craft - The aluminium can's role in the future of beer

In the beer category, the aluminium can was until recently considered the bastion of the big brand. Here in the UK, this continues to be the case: There are still stacks of them flanking supermarket entrances in all their 20x44cl pack glory.

4. It isn't just men who like beer

Back in the 1990s, a demographic peculiarity began to make itself apparent at beer festivals in the US and Canada. Rather than attracting what most would have considered the predictable scores of male beer drinkers, these festivals, heavily populated by what we then called 'microbreweries', began to be increasingly patronised by females.

3. Who cares if Anheuser-Busch InBev buys more craft brewers?

This week, Anheuser-Busch InBev bought another US craft brewer, Devils Backbone. Two years ago, this news would have sparked a slew of interest. When AB InBev went on its 2014 craft brewery spree in an M&A-packed 12 months that saw it pick up Blue Point Brewing, Elysian Brewing Co and 10 Barrel Brewing Co, trade media - ourselves included - covered each buy with analysis, comment and follow-ups. This time around, not so much.

2. The decline of the flagship beer brand

It's seven o'clock in the morning, and the gathering crowd already boasts a few dozen hardy souls. By the time sales actually commence in a few hours, there will be many times that number standing patiently in a line that will snake from the door down the block and likely around the corner. Or, at least, organisers hope the assembled throng will be patient – bad behaviour in lines such as these has been unfortunately growing increasingly common.

1. So long, SAB - Anheuser-Busch InBev and the death of SABMiller

I'll spare you the 'Fat Lady' analogies but, if you have been hearing singing this week, it's likely to be Anheuser-Busch InBev staff in a good, post-deal-closure mood. Earlier this week, trading in SAB's shares came to an end, with the company's listings in Johannesburg and London being cancelled. The process that started 385 days ago has finally - finally - come to an end. Anheuser-Busch InBev has completed its acquisition of SABMiller.

For the full list of just-drinks' Top Tens for 2016, click here

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