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    Craft Brew News # 38 – Can’t Trade Beer on Facebook and More BrewDog Drama

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    Craft Brew News 08/02/19

    (courtesy of Brewbound www.brewbound.com)

    Peter Coors Op-Ed Calls for Government to Intervene on Aluminum Pricing

    Molson Coors vice chairman Peter Coors penned an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal this week, urging President Trump to stop the “manipulative business practices that appear to permeate” in the aluminum market.

    Coors wrote that the Trump administration’s decision to lift the 10 percent tariff imposed on Canadian and Mexican aluminum imports in May has made 77 percent of imported aluminum tariff-free, though still priced as if tariffs were imposed on it.

    He wrote “The aluminum market is dominated by a handful of companies that employ archaic and opaque pricing mechanisms,”. “They are exploiting the aluminum tariffs to profit at the expense of the end user, raising their prices to match tariff prices.”

    Coors said Molson Coors pays nearly 20 percent more for aluminum than it did a year ago
    He wrote “This metal is too critical to America’s strategic goals to be left to the whims of speculators and the manipulation of a cozy clique of suppliers,”

    Facebook Imposes New Alcohol Restrictions

    Facebook announced a policy this week to restrict alcohol and tobacco-related content. A company spokeswoman told CNN that the new policy blocks private sales, trades, transfers and gifting of these products on Facebook and Instagram. Content related to the sale or transfer of such products will be limited to those over 18.

    While Facebook Marketplace already bans alcohol and tobacco sales, this new policy will target posts by private users, using “ a combination of technology, human review and reports from our community to find and remove any content that violates these policies,” said the spokeswoman.
    Thus, the new restrictions will apply to sales between private users under age 18 in Facebook beer trading groups.

    Stockholder Alleges Anheuser-Busch Artificially Inflated Share Prices

    The City of Sterling Heights General Employees’ Retirement System has accused Anheuser-Busch of a scheme to artificially inflate its shares. The system filed a complaint against A-B with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on June 21, claiming the world’s largest beer manufacturer violated the Securities and Exchange Act, according to Legal Newsline.

    The plaintiff alleges that when InBev acquired Anheuser-Busch in 2008, it caused substantial debt for A-B, despite telling investors “they had been deleveraging Anheuser-Busch in a manner that was consistent with the company’s internal targets.” The lawsuit claims that this misled investors about the company’s finances. A-B stated in its Q3 earnings results last year it had “slashed its dividend by 50 percent to ‘accelerate deleveraging toward our optimal capital structure of around a 2x net debt to EBITDA ratio.’” The suit claims A-B share prices declined in response to this announcement.

    The system, which is seeking jury trial, claims A-B’s actions misled the public about the company and its value, which affected the retirement system.

    BrewDog CEO Exits

    After just five months, Andy Shaw has departed the “CEO of Beer” role at BrewDog, The Grocer reported.

    Shaw, the former managing director of UK Red Bull, was hired in February to head global beer sales and marketing. BrewDog did not disclose the reason for his departure.

    “We would like to thank Andy for all the hard work during his time with us and wish him all the best for the future,” BrewDog CEO James Watt told the outlet.

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