Following the Maker’s Mark debacle over the last few weeks, new allegations and class action lawsuits are coming to light in several states against Anheuser-Busch/Inbev. The suits claim numerous brands in AB/InBev’s product line have allegedly received a watering down in order to increase profits and enhance inventory. While the company line is in strict denial of these allegations, several former employees (including some in high-level positions) have given testimony claiming otherwise. No doubt this will be a continuing story to watch as it develops. [Yahoo]
Elsewhere in Budweiser land, the Justice Department is currently investigating the possibility of a monopoly via a potential merger with Grupo Modelo. The New York Times ran a piece courtesy of NPR’s Adam Davidson about the ramifications of the potential merger, and what it means for the bottom line for consumers, microbrewers, and the potential megabusinesses of the future. [New York Times]
In industry news, Technomic released its latest report detailing the latest trends for the adult beverage industry. Amongst the findings: the spirits segment saw the greatest detail of growth at 3.2%, while wine remained steady with a 2.8% increase. The largest category, beer, saw a modest increase at 0.7%. But the biggest trend of them all? Flavor. New flavors in existing markets and new flavors in markets where additives previously didn’t exist seem to be picking up steam. So here’s to the future of Quadruple Smoked Raspberry Salmon Taco Flavored Gin! [Technomic]
And finally today, kudos to Auburn University for finding a new and inventive way for college-aged folks and spirits writers to claim someone “got their degree in beer” with their parent’s tuition dollars. The University will be launching brewing science courses as early as 2014. Spearheaded by the nutrition and hospitality science programs, the highly competitive course will only admit 10 students for the 18-hour program. The program would only be the second in the nation to broach the subject of suds. Cheers, War Eagles. [WNEM]
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