Sunday, March 30, 2008

Did you know that Bass has been brewed by ... Coors?

Under license, that is. It would be a safe wager that most Americans wouldn't know.

And it now appears that Coors is disingenuously driving yet another nail into the coffin of the once proud Bass, once owner of Britain's first registered trademark:

The giant American brewer Coors, owner of the former Bass breweries in Burton-on-Trent, plans to axe its visitor centre and brewing museum in the town on the grounds of cost (see previous blog and main website) -- but runs a highly successful brewing museum in Denver, Colorado. A report in the Rocky Mountain News reveals that Coors, based in Golden in Colorado, is updating the brewing museum to use state-of-the-art technology in order to attract even more visitors to the facility.

It seems clear that Coors is more committed to a museum in its home state than to the former Bass Museum it inherited in Burton.

... from Roger Protz, the 'other' British Beer writer.

Read the rest of Protz's post here. It raises an illustrative warning about breweries that increase their market share at the expense of their profit-to-cost ratio.

While many US craft breweries have raised their prices this year, many of the big companies have not. They hope to make their beers more attractive, price-wise, in the downturning economy.

How long can they maintain that small and diminishing margin of profit in the face of rising costs? How long can we small breweries survive at our higher prices versus theirs?

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