Last Call: Amazon Prime Delivers Beer in Cincinnati and Columbus; A-B Sued over Spuds Mackenzie Ad


Amazon Prime Adds Alcohol Deliveries in Cincinnati, Columbus

Home delivery of beer and wine is now available for Amazon Prime members in Cincinnati and Columbus.

The e-commerce giant announced earlier this week that it is now offering free two-hour delivery and $7.99 one-hour delivery to members in those Ohio cities. The offerings range from Bud Light and Veuve Clicquot to products from Great Lakes Brewing Company and Rhinegeist.

“Whether you run out of wine at your dinner party or need more chilled champagne for mimosas at a family brunch, Prime Now can save customers time with superfast delivery so they can skip a trip to the store,” Stephenie Landry, vice president of Prime Now worldwide, said in a press release.


Anheuser-Busch Sued Over Spuds MacKenzie Super Bowl Commercial

A businessman is calling a party foul on Anheuser-Busch for resurrecting Spuds MacKenzie in this year’s Bud Light Super Bowl commercial, according to Ad Age.

In a civil lawsuit filed Wednesday, Spuds Ventures claims the Super Bowl ad featuring the 1980s pop-culture party dog “infringes upon the federally registered and unregistered trademarks for Spuds MacKenzie that are currently owned and used by the plaintiff for pubs and restaurant services as well as pet products, apparel and other items.”

ABI’s response: “Anheuser-Busch created the Spuds MacKenzie character and used it in Bud Light commercials and promotions. The plaintiff’s only trademark registration for ‘Spuds MacKenzie’ covers pet dietary supplements and grooming supplies. We believe the lawsuit is without merit and intend to vigorously defend against it.”

North Carolina Lawmakers Want Eden Brewery Reopened

North Carolina politicians are asking U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to require Anheuser-Busch InBev to sell the now shuttered Eden brewery to a competitor, the Triad Business Journal is reporting.

North Carolina AG Josh Tein and state Senate leader Phil Berger are leading an effort to revive the 8.8 million barrel brewery, which was closed in September, and bring back hundreds of jobs in the process.

“More than 500 people have lost their jobs and livelihoods in Rockingham County and there is absolutely no reason why multinational conglomerates should force Eden’s state-of-the-art brewing facility to sit empty and rot away simply because they don’t want competition,” Berger said in a press release. “We hope our U.S. Justice Department will require mandatory divestiture of this brewery like it did during a smaller merger of beer companies three years ago and keep American jobs in America.”

The Eden brewery was closed one month before the merger between ABI and SABMiller was finalized in October.


Saint Arnold Brewery Looks to Expand

Houston craft beer pioneer Saint Arnold is proposing a 20,000 sq. ft. expansion project called Saint Arnoldville, according to the Houston Business Journal.

The project would expand the brewery to the west while also adding a new, 100-seat restaurant, outdoor deck, biergarten and an “Art Car display” (in honor of Art Car IPA) of painted cars along Lyons Avenue, the outlet reported.

“We want it to be distinctly Saint Arnold — not just a place you walk into and think that it could be any brewery,” founder Brock Wagner told the newspaper.

The project is reportedly awaiting approval from the city of Houston.


Constellation Brands Lands White Sox Sponsorship for Modelo Especial

The Chicago White Sox’s longtime partnership with Miller Brewing has come to a close. Batting cleanup, Constellation Brands swooped in with a three-year, seven-figure sponsorship deal for Modelo Especial with the ballclub, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The deal includes a new Casa Modelo bar to be located in the left-field concourse along with advertising throughout the stadium.

The deal gives Modelo access to a growing Latino fan base in Chicago; about 15 percent of White Sox fans who attend games are Hispanic, according to the franchise’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, Brooks Boyer.

“Our Hispanic consumers, many of them are big baseball fans, but this also gives us an opportunity to introduce our brand to people who may not be as familiar with it,” Ann Legan, vice president of brand marketing for Constellation Brands’ beer division, told the outlet.

Constellation has recently struck similar deals with the Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Rams and Anaheim Angels.


Short’s Brewing Denies Sale Rumors

Michigan-based Short’s Brewing was the subject of some M&A talk last week, but the Bellaire-based brewery has denied rumors of a sale

“We’ve been approached for years about selling and it hasn’t been something we’ve explored before,” Short’s marketing coordinator Gillian Cobb told Michigan Live. “We’ve had conversations about the benefit of a possible future partnership that would not involve loss of control or enough shares to get near the Brewer’s Association craft definition. But we don’t have anything to report at this time.”

The rumor, that Heineken would be purchasing Short’s, first surfaced on a Reddit thread five days ago.

Short’s partner Scott Newman-Bale told the outlet that the brewery has “been approached numerous times, a lot more over the last few years.”

“We’ve always declined, and we have no agreed upon deal at this time,” he added. “We get approached, and we always talk to them. We’ve never closed that door, we think it’s always an important discussion to have, and we’ll continue to have them. But at this time, we have no announcement to make.”


Mikkeller San Diego’s Head Brewer Resigns

Bill Batten announced last week that he’s leaving his post as head brewer of Mikkeller San Diego.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I am letting everyone know that I have resigned from Mikkeller Brewing SD,” Batten, formerly of AleSmith, wrote on Facebook. “Due to a difference in creative vision I have decided to step down and pursue my passion elsewhere. I know that Chris Gillogly, Daniel Cady, Jacobo Mendoza, and the rest of the crew will absolutely fucking kill it at what they are doing over there and keep Mikkel’s vision alive. Cheers guys and keep on rocking!”

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Mikkeller owner Mikkel Borg Bjergsø expressed frustration in January with how his U.S. outpost, which opened in April 2016, had launched onto a crowded San Diego beer scene.

“It’s difficult to come to San Diego as a Danish brewer and think you can do a better West Coast IPA,” he told the outlet. “I know that’s not possible.”

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ABI Chief Sales Officer Departs

Anheuser-Busch InBev chief sales officer Luiz Edmond has departed the company after more than a quarter of a century to “pursue other interests,” according to the St. Louis Business Journal.

Edmond, who most recently served as chief sales officer for the past two years, officially left the company in December, and Michel Doukeris replaced him on January 1.

Edmond had previously served as North America zone president and CEO of Anheuser-Busch, Latin America North zone president and AmBev CEO.

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Historic Haffenreffer Brewery Smokestack Restored

A public art project has restored the Haffenreffer Brewery smokestack in Boston’s Jamaica Plain. For three decades, the top of the smokestack was missing the “H-A-F” in Haffenreffer, but the project, led by artist Robert Maloney with the help of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation and the George B. Henderson Foundation, has restored the name.

The restored smokestack was unveiled last week during a public ceremony with the Haffenreffer family, including 93-year-old Katherine Haffenreffer Selle. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also declared March 2 “Haffenreffer Brewers Day” in the City of Boston.

Bud Light Targets Women with Lime-A-Rita Campaign

Bud Light has launched a new campaign aimed at female consumers with a tagline of “Make it a margarita moment.”

The commercials each have the same theme: A group of women telling stories and drinking Lime-A-Ritas and then it turns into “one of those nights.”

Watch the new spots below.


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