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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...

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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...

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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...

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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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Disney Greenlights Alcohol Sales at the Magic Kingdom

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 17, 2012 12:25 PM

When Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park opened in 1971, getting a beer or glass of wine on the premises after a day of dragging kids around to see the animatronic weirdness of the Country Bear Jamboree and ride like lunatics on Space Mountain was a total fantasy. It’s remained that way since then but, as any Disney fan can tell you, event the craziest dreams come true.

Some beer and wine lover must have been wishing on a star somewhere because, starting in November, Orlando visitors to the Magic Kingdom will be able to finally get a little bit of alcohol with their dinner. Fittingly, park guests will have to visit New Fantasyland in order to get it. The park will limit the output to dinnertime at one new restaurant, the new French-themed Be Our Guest, which is a brand offshoot of the 1991 film, Beauty and the Beast.

The Disney Parks blog raised eyebrows by slipping in the news in a pre-opening update thusly:Continue reading...

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Top This Product Launch: Ardbeg Takes Whisky Into Space

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 6, 2012 05:11 PM

Space travel has long been a subject of fascination, so private-sector companies such as Virgin Galactic have sprung up to try and eventually put mere mortals up into the high frontier where Neil Armstrong made history. Now we've got something to toast the late Armstrong with.

Scottish whisky maker Ardbeg has turned out a limited-edition whisky, Ardbeg Galileo, to make some noise and hopefully a few sales from a curious experiment the company is involved in.

According to the BBC, Texas-based space research company NanoRacks asked Ardbeg to be involved in a two-year space experiment late last year. Soon after, vials filled with chemical compounds from Ardbeg’s distillery were shot up to the International Space Station on a Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan. The chemicals will undergo the experiment in near zero gravity while Ardbeg oversees the same experiment here on Earth.

Ardbeg, naturally, couldn't miss this galactic marketing opportunity. Its limited-edition Ardbeg Galileo, marketed to "astro-nuts," is described as a “12-year-old single malt whisky (from) a vatting of different styles of Ardbeg laid down in 1999,” the BBC notes. Talk about whisky-a-go-go.Continue reading...

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Cap in Hand, SABMiller Apologizes For Reformulating Australia’s VB Beer

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 6, 2012 04:09 PM

Victoria Bitter beer used to rule the roost in Australia, but that was before some marketing genius at Carlton & United Breweries decided to go all New Coke on the poor suspecting brewski drinkers Down Under and changed their beloved VB's recipe. It turned out, of course, to not be such a good idea. Why mess with success?

That was way back in 2007 and, since then, VB has, of course, fallen to second place in Australia behind Kirin Holdings Co.’s XXXX Gold, according to Bloomberg Businessweek

SABMiller acquired Carlton & United last year and now they are undoing the damage done, Businessweek reports. The old formula will be back in action starting in October and the alcohol content will go up from 4.6 percent to 4.9 percent from October this year.

To commemorate the event, SAB bought ads in Australia’s largest daily newspaper, the Herald Sun, that read, “We Got It Wrong.” Thanks for the newsflash, fellas.Continue reading...

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