You may have heard whispers of Budweiser buying Miller and Coors -- or at least the parent companies. And you may be a little uneasy about the prospect of the big three American beers teaming up in a hop-infused alliance to control the destinies of beer guzzlers everywhere. Well, it happened. But really, it won't mean much for you.
Chill out. Take a breath. Drink a domestic beer. This major acquisition -- Anheuser-Busch InBev purchasing SABMiller to the tune of $106 billion -- certainly gives InBev a stranglehold on the global beer market, with roughly one-third of global beers being sold connected to the AB InBev umbrella.
But, if you're buying beer domestically, you'll probably never notice anything has changed. In fact, InBev wont even be controlling the Miller and Coors you buy here in the United States; as was expected, one stipulation of the mega-deal was the sale of SABMiller's 58% stake in MillerCoors to MolsonCoors, which now owns the majority of MillerCoors.
OK, so that last sentence was probably super confusing. SABMiller owned the majority stake in MillerCoors -- makers of Miller and Coors beers -- with MolsonCoors. When SABMiller was sold to AB InBev on Wednesday, it was required to sell the domestic rights to MillerCoors (to ensure AB InBev didn't have nearly total control of the US beer market). Instead of having to sell the shares to an outsider, it was able to sell the shares to MolsonCoors, who already owned the rest of the shares in the company anyway. This makes MolsonCoors (who also make Molson, duh) the second-largest brewer in the United States. So essentially, no, Miller/Coors/Bud will not be under the same roof -- and your drinking habits (in that arena, at least) should not be changed.
So what will change? Essentially, the move from InBev's perspective is to position the brand as a global brewing superpower -- particularly in the growing African and Asian markets. InBev will take over brands like Peroni, Pilsner Urquell, and Aguila and other "local" brands across the country and the world.
Bottom line: AB InBev owns a metric shit ton of the world's beer right now, but it isn't controlling sale of Miller or Coors in the US. And no, there won't be any Bud High Life, Miller Bud Lime, Blue Moon Coors Shandy Infusions, or Corona Ultra spiked with Coors. It's just a beer-industry money shift, but your suds will be pretty much the same.
Wil Fulton is a Staff Writer for Thrillist. He would love a Corona Ultra spiked with Coors. Follow him @wilfulton
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