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January News Briefs

Submitted by on January 3, 2009 – 2:04 PMNo Comment
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Asahi Beer Sales Expected to Rise

Asahi Breweries, Japan’s top- selling beermaker, said sales by volume of beer is expected to increase 0.8 percent this year.

“Japan’s beer market is very severe,” President Hitoshi Ogita said today at a briefing in Tokyo, where the brewer of Asahi Super Dry beer is based. “Total sales for beermakers will drop, but we want to grow,” he added, without providing details of the company’s strategy.

Asahi are seeking expansion overseas, with Asahi agreeing to pay 550 million pounds ($839 million) for Cadbury Plc’s Australian drinks division, and Suntory saying it plans to spend 200 billion yen ($2.2 billion) on acquisitions in Asia and Oceania.

“It’s so hard to read the market this year, Tomonobu Tsunoyama, an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Securities Co., told Bloomberg Media. “Material costs will increase and I’m interested in how much beer companies can save in marketing and advertising costs. The top beer companies have said they can’t raise prices as consumers become more sensitive to cost increases.”

Beer sales for Asahi will probably increase to 183 million cases this year after dropping 3.1 percent to 181.5 million cases in 2008, the company said today. A case of beer in Japan is equivalent to 12.66 liters (3.34 gallons).

Bye-Bye Beer

Over 6000,000 bottles of various beers were destroyed in Nigeria. The beer destruction ceremony took place at Hawan Kalebawa. According to the Hisbah Board Commandant General, Sheikh Ibrahim Mu’azam Mai Bushira, the destruction of the beer was part of the attempt of the Hisbah command to sanitise the state from alcohol consumption, which is contrary to the principles of Shari’ah legal system.

Calling All Artists

Seattle is known for their eccentric artists and Pabst Blue Ribbon lovers, so there has to be some overlap for the “PB-Arts Contest.” People are invited to submit photography, painting, sculpture and poetry inspired by the iconic PBR can. Winning artwork will be featured in various displays, plus the grand prize winner gets $1,893 (1893 is the year PBR won its blue ribbon) and a one-year supply of the working man’s brew. Other art will be displayed in local bars. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 31. See “art gallery” at pabstblueribbon.com.