Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Heineken buys Scottish & Newcastle – Do we care?

By William Brand
Friday, January 25th, 2008 at 10:52 pm in Uncategorized.

Newcastle Brown Ale bottle capI don’t think it means a damn thing to us. A big English brewing chain has been devoured by a couple of bigger monoliths, just like that corporation gobbled lots of smaller breweries in years past.

But, if you haven’t already heard it or read about it, here’s the news: Mega-brewers Heineken and Carlsberg have ended a bidding war and paid $15.3 billion for UK brewer Scottish & Newcastle, makes of Newcastle Brown Ale, McEwan’s and Strongbow cider among about 50 other brands.

Here’s the story in the word’s of England’s Campaign For Real Ale beer writer and author Roger Protz:

“Scottish & Newcastle, the only remaining British-owned national brewer, has fallen to a takeover bid worth £7.8bn from a consortium of Carlsberg and Heineken.

“What is the future for the S&N breweries in Britain? The Danes and the Dutch said at the outset of their bid that they would breakup S&N’s British operation, so the future is bleak for breweries in Gateshead, Manchester, Reading and Tadcaster. The fact that Carlsberg, which has long experience of the British beer market, has opted to run S&N’s French Kronenbourg operation, does not augur well for the British breweries. They will be run by Heineken, which has never brewed in Britain. Its beer was brewed under contract by Whitbread and now all Heineken sold in Britain is imported from the Netherlands… READ MORE FROM ROGER’S EXCELLENT BLOG HERE…”

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