Press Clips: AB SABMiller Consolidation Rumors Cool; Flying Dog Heats Up with Dead Rise

Molson Coors CEO retirement could put consolidation rumors to rest

The idea of a mega merger between Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller Plc. may soon skunk like a bottle of Bud left out in the sun for too long.

Given the announcement that Molson Coors CEO Peter Swinburn will retire at the end of 2014, an analyst for Edward Jones told Bloomberg Businessweek that if such a merger were, in fact, “imminent,” a change in the top chair would be unlikely, hinting the company is thus not readying itself for consolidation.

“Molson Coors would be integral to a potential tie-up between A-B InBev and SABMiller because the merged company would probably need to sell off its half of the MillerCoors LLC partnership to appease regulators,” the article continues. “That means Molson Coors would have a major stake in hammering out a transaction.”

Flying Dog halts distribution to 26 states to satisfy local demand for Dead Rise

Flying Dog’s Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale, a collaboration brew with Old Bay Seasoning, another Maryland staple, has been such a hit in the brewery’s home market that it had to temporarily cease shipping beer to the other 26 states in its distribution footprint.

According to CNBC, Flying Dog spent five weeks this summer dedicating 65 percent of its total production capacity to brewing the beer to serve Maryland alone.

Jim Caruso, brewery CEO, told the website the decision to pull back from other markets was hard, but ultimately the right one to make.

“That’s one of the meanings in local,” he told the site. “Taking millions dollars in profits from one part of the country and giving it to our local beer stores and bars because this is a Maryland beer, it’s the right thing to do.”

Brooklyn Brewery plans to take residence in a different borough

Brooklyn Brewery has submitted a grant application to the New York City Regional Economic Development Council to help with a portion of the $70 million it’s looking for to build a 200,000 sq. ft. production facility on Staten Island.

As reported by the New York Post, the facility, which is expected to be complete by 2017, would be able to produce 1 million barrels of beer and create 92 full time jobs.

Over the years, Brooklyn Brewery has produced the bulk of its beer under contract at F.X. Matt in Utica, NY. The article notes that at one time, nearly 80 percent of the company’s beer was made somewhere other than Brooklyn, so a move to Staten Island would actually bring production closer to its eponymous borough.

Time is up for Watch City

One of the items being auctioned off. Photo via Eli Sherman, Waltham News Tribune, Twitter

After a tax lien was filed against Watch City Brewing Co. in November of last year, the Waltham, Mass. brewery is closing its doors for good, according to Waltham’s Wicked Local affiliate.

After the brewery temporarily shut down last month, owner Jocelyn Hughes said it was merely to repair a broken HVAC unit, but employees dismissed that as an excuse, according to the article.

An inventory auction is scheduled to take place at the establishment, which had been operating in downtown Waltham for more than 20 years, on Wednesday.

Saint Louis Startup raises more than half a million dollars on Kickstarter

Synek Draft Systems recently raised $646,535 via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to develop what is, in essence, an at-home beer dispenser, not unlike a Keurig Coffee Maker.

According to the St. Louis Business Journal, those figures amount to Synek having launched “the most well-funded Kickstarter campaign to originate from St. Louis.”

Even beyond the borders of St. Louis, the article adds, Synek is the 140th most successful campaign of all time on the site.

“We hope to see a very distinct inflection point where once we get the stamp of approval from brewers like Schlafly or New Belgium, who will tell all their followers that this is a cool piece of technology and something they think will work, we will see a huge spike in amount of interest and demand,” Synek founder Steve Young told the site.

If only it were a Keurig-like potato salad dispenser, then Synek would have really been cooking with fire or mayonnaise or whatever.

Bonus: While we’re on the topic of crowdfunding, Stone Brewing’s own Indiegogo campaign is 46 percent funded with 18 days to go. The company is hoping to raise $1 million dollars to help fund construction of its new brewery in Berlin. More than $463,000 had been raised as of press time.