"Is beer the new wine?"
The answer is a resounding no. Beer stands (or falls) on it own merits; there's no need to display creeping wine envy.
The entire thing is wrong. A wine is a wine, an orange is an orange, a beer is a beer. "A rose by any other name", went the line.
On the other hand, if the answer is a comparison of business trends, well then, maybe.
Both product categories were dominated by a few large players (and really still are) focused on making rather generic products sold mostly on price point rather than quality. <...> In many respects America’s small brewers embarked on a similar approach beginning in the late 80’s. People who once thought all beer was pale yellow and very light now understand the difference between Pale Ale, Stout, and Weizen.
Chateau Montelena was one of the first American white wines to be acclaimed by international judges as the equal or superior of white Bordeaux. The California winery was purchased, earlier this year, by Cos d’Estournel, a top-flight Bordeaux wine producer.
Except ... it wasn't!
Montelena announced today that the sales agreement with Michel Reybier, the owner of Cos d’Estournel, a leading Bordeaux producer in St.-Estèphe, has been canceled. The Barrett family, which has owned Montelena since 1972, will continue to own and operate the winery, and Montelena is no longer for sale.
“Reybier Investments has been unable to meet its obligations under its contract with the Barrett family,’’ the statement said.
New York Times
November 5, 2008
Does this reversal of fortunes for an international wine buyout have a portend for the beer industry?
If the reason —unspecified— has to do with an inability to secure financing, then the answer might be —again— maybe.
InBev —who earlier this year tendered an offer to purchase Anheuser-Busch lock, stock, and beer barrel— is much larger, by far, than Cos d’Estournel.
But InBev has recently been experiencing difficulty in securing the $52 billion dollars it needs to complete the purchase.