brand and bottle

Japan's Suntory Celebrates Rolling Stones' 50th With Limited Edition Whisky

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 8, 2012 03:14 PM

There’s lots of hoopla going around to celebrate the Rolling Stones turning 50. Concerts are coming up next week in London and in early December in Newark, New Jersey. A new 3-disc, 50-song greatest-hits box set, GRRR!, comes out next week as well. A new documentary about the band, Crossfire Hurricane, is hitting HBO and the BBC and theaters next week, joining another documentary on the band that's now playing theaters, Charlie Is My Darling.

And keep your eyes peeled for the massive Stones coffee-table book. Right about now, you can’t escape the Stones — heck, you can even drink up to Mick, Keith and the boys with a special line of drinks being sold in Japan.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

AB InBev Woos Beer-Drinkers With Crowdsourced, Locally Developed Bud Flavors

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 5, 2012 06:33 PM

Budweiser was introduced in 1876 when company founder Adolphus Busch set out to create the United States' first truly national beer brand – brewed to be universally popular and transcend regional tastes — so it's no doubt still smarting from Bloomberg Businessweek's cover story on "The Plot to Destroy America's Beer" (sample quote: "Many people in the U.S. aren’t thrilled that a foreign company now owns Budweiser, America’s beer").

Anheuser Busch InBev is busy with another challenge. Bud's twelve American brewmasters just wrapped the Project 12 Beer contest, for which they "were challenged with coming up with a distinctive beer recipe worthy of the Budweiser name." The three winning beers, named for the zipcodes in which they were developed (Los Angeles, St. Louis and Williamsburg, Virginia), are now rolling out across the U.S. on a limited basis in a 12-bottle package.

The project, which launched in the spring, is described by AB InBev as the biggest focus group in the brand's history, "maybe even beer history," thanks to a summer-long sampling program that invited the public to vote for their favorite brew — re-engaging beer-drinkers with the brand and inspiring its brewmasters. The bigger challenge now, of course, is building on that momentum. That's why Budweiser is spinning one of the Project 12 brews into a new beer called Black Crown.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Armageddon: The World's Strongest, Priciest, Inherently Scottish Beer

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 16, 2012 06:02 PM

A typical Budweiser has 5.3 percent alcohol. Sam Adams Boston Lager: 4.8 percent. Coors Light: 4.2. Armageddon: 65. No wonder the measuring-tape holders at the Guinness Book of World Records are reportedly checking to see if the new brew out of Scotland sets a new high for alcohol content in a beer. 

If so, it will have beaten out a brewery in Holland that produced Start The Future, which featured 60 percent alcohol, since July of 2010. According to the UK's Daily Mail, the battle for the top percentage has been raging for the last three years, started by Scotland’s BrewDog with the fabulously named Tactical Nuclear Penguin brew, which boasted 32 percent alcohol content.

That was followed by Germany’s Schorschbock with 40 percent alcohol and then BrewDog’s Sink the Bismarck, which only upped the ante by one percentage point. A German brewer answered the call with a  44 percent beer but then was trumped again by BrewDog with the 55 percent End of History brew. That one was the most difficult one to get since only 12 bottles produced. However, it was the most uniquely packaged. The Daily Mail reports that each was sold inside a stuffed squirrel.

Now they're all quaking in their boots at Armageddon, which just launched at the Inverness Beer Festival.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Zombie Branding: Grain Belt Rises From Dead with Brain Belt Beer

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 16, 2012 11:02 AM

The Zombie Pub Crawl this year was shooting for a Guinness record. The event, in its eighth year, has grown from a disorganized group of 150 "zombies" traipsing between Minneapolis-St. Paul bars to a 2011 attendance record of 30,000. It is billed as "a cross between Mardi Gras and a George Romero movie."

And this year, local brewer August Schell produced an exclusive brew for the local undead, "Brain Belt," gleefully ripping the heart (in a loving way) in one of America's beer-savvier heartland states, and tapping into the ongoing love affair between marketers and zombies.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

SABMiller Outlines Africa Beer Strategy

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 10, 2012 10:46 AM

SABMiller this week updated its Africa strategy: "Double the price of beer, Halve the price of beer and Go Farming." Double the price is explained above with a case study on its Castle Lite brand; the other two pillars were explained in two other videos, explained as:

Halve the Price of Beer: Halve the price of beer refers to our strategy of innovating and producing more affordable beers using local ingredients and creating an entry point into commercial beers for consumers who are trading out of informal alcohol and entering the formal alcohol market. In this short film we introduce the strategic context and look at how our traditional beer Chibuku Shake Shake has grown in Zambia and showcases how we are innovating to extend our reach to more consumers through PET in our new offer Chibuku Super.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Heineken Puts a Fresh Star on Its Bottle

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 9, 2012 01:01 PM

Heineken isn’t just James Bond's new beer of choice, with a swanky limited edition collectors' edition in Europe whetting fans' thirst for the upcoming Skyfall movie. The brand also is consumed by enough Americans to make it the nation’s top upscale beer import. And the Dutch brewer wants to keep spreading the brand love.

With that in mind, Heineken has partnered with New York's up and coming Public School fashion label to create a limited-edition camouflage duffel bag in honor of the third annual “Heineken 100,” which honors “tastemakers,” according to a press release. The pair previously collaborated on a limited-edition T-shirt that you may have missed.

"We chose Public School as a partner because their clientele, like ours, are open-minded, confident, resourceful men who know quality, seek out new experiences and are ever-evolving in all aspects of their life," said (Bond-worthy named) Olga Osminkina, senior brand director of Heineken USA. "We hope this is one of many future collaborations with innovative and accomplished designers who align perfectly with the aspirations of the Heineken consumer."

The brewer is all about new looks these days as it also has redesigned its packaging for the first time since 1946 — meaning that James Bond isn't the only star on its bottle. The brand's new “Star Bottle” design (see below) that's coming to the U.S. is now rolling out to some vendors in New York and is scheduled to be on shelves in the rest of the country by March of next year.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

The Buy of the Tiger: Heineken Bags Asian Brewery Stake

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 28, 2012 02:47 PM

Execs at Heineken are likely going to have a big weekend toasting themselves. Following a two-month battle, the Amsterdam-based brewer has fought off a Thai rival and spent $4.6 billion to buy a 39.7 percent stake in Asian Pacific Breweries from Fraser & Neave. This, along with a few other purchases, gives Heineken 95 percent control of Asian Pacific Breweries and a big step up in the market that is most coveted in today’s marketplace: Asia.

Heineken already had a 42 percent stake in Asian Pacific, which manufactures such brews as Tiger, Bintang and Tui, among plenty of others, and was the Asian distributor of Heineken. But then it pulled out the $4 billion as well as another $2.1 billion that it paid out to other minority owners to up its ownership stake way up, the Associated Press reports.

According to the AP, Heineken CEO Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said the famed brewer wanted "to move big and bold on the region, which is still a growth market for decades to come, for beer and premium beer." His expectation is that premium beer sales in China will go up 12 percent every year all the way through 2020.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Wigle Whiskey Warms Up Pittsburgh

Posted by Matthew Moore on September 24, 2012 05:32 PM

Back in 1794, Philip Wigle was sentenced to hang for committing high treason during the Whiskey Rebellion. His crime? Wigle beat up a tax collector to prevent him from collecting taxes on farmers in Western Pennsylvania who made their living by turning grain into whiskey. Over 200 years later, Wigle's memory is honored by a young distillery in Pittsburgh called Wigle Whiskey.

On a recent trip to Pittsburgh, brandchannel dispatched a grateful scribe to catch up with Mark Meyer, a lawyer with a dream (inspired by a trip north of the border, as the Wall Street Journal found out) who founded Wigle Whiskey, to chat about launching an artisanal brand and sample his craft.

brandchannel: How important is branding in the whiskey business?

Mark Meyer: Branding is extremely important. Unlike wine, people seem to develop a loyalty to certain brands of whiskey. One of the reasons we decided to start our distillery is because Western Pennsylvania was once the home of American Whiskey. Whiskey is very much a part of the history and culture of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.Continue reading...

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