Space — the final frontier — for Big Beer. After the long-anticipated, $100-billion-plus merger between Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller last year (the third largest acquisition in the history of acquisitions), AB InBev now has dominion over all of earth’s beer drinkers. The merger between the world’s two largest brewers gives this new global Beer Voltron an estimated $64 billion in annual revenue and control over a gobsmacking 29 percent of the global beer market.
In fact, with a new generation of independent craft brewers (more than 5,000 in the United States) and a host of other global beer rollups making power moves (Molson Coors, Heineken, Carlsberg, China Resources Enterprise, Sapporo Breweries Limited and onward), AB InBev doesn’t have much more room to grow in certain beer markets around the world (monopoly laws and such). Where else can AB InBev’s money-fueled rocket turn?
Extra-terrestrial beer sales.
Genius! On earth, at the recent South by Southwest Interactive Festival (which celebrates the convergence of the interactive film and music industries), AB InBev announced it wanted to make beer on and/or send beer to Mars. Why? Well, from the press release:
To bring the announcement to life, Budweiser hosted a panel discussion with Anheuser-Busch’s vice president of Innovation, Valerie Toothman, who was joined by retired Astronaut Clayton “Clay” Anderson and other space industry experts to discuss the future of space colonization. Moderated by “The Martian” star, Kate Mara, the panel covered the current challenges and solutions needed to take Budweiser on an interplanetary journey along with discussing the initial experiments and research Budweiser hopes to explore.
“With this bold, new dream Budweiser is celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit in which our iconic brand was founded upon. Through our relentless focus on quality and innovation, Budweiser can today be enjoyed in every corner of the world, but we now believe it is time for the King of Beers to set its sights on its next destination. When the dream of colonizing Mars becomes a reality, Budweiser will be there to toast the next great step for mankind,” said Ricardo Marques, vice president, Budweiser.
Bud’s calling the beer a “Microgravity Beer,” though we can’t seem to find out why or what that is (the video above is no help). Regardless, with AB InBev’s anti-competitive distributor network, it’s probably going to be slim pickings for true craft beer on Mars. I suppose just pass the vodka and Tang, and let’s get back to earth, stat.