Union-made Naked & Famous WHEN?
Plus: Fugazi versions of dot-com era big-dick bottles!
Breaking down craft beer’s big new “jobs report.” Late last month, the Brewers Association released its 2023 salary and HR benchmarking reports, so I dug into some of the interesting items therein in my column this week at VinePair. Here’s something: only 87.7% of breweries who responded to the (not-very-well-responded-to) HR survey offer their workers shift beers. So uh… what the fuck, 12.3% of responding breweries?
Anheuser-Busch InBev announced a billion-dollar buyback, and the Teamsters walked out. On Tuesday, the macrobrewer reported its third-quarter earnings—they’re up overall, but the U.S. is still down—and told Wall Street it’s planning a $1 billion stock buyback, and offering to buy back $3 billion in bonds, too. On Friday evening, the union sent out a release blasting ABI for the “arrogance” to refuse negotiating over an “unfair, costly two-tier health benefits system” even as it “shower[s] Wall Street with billions.” Bargaining has been underway for less than a month and a half; now, Teamsters say they won’t return to the table until “the company meets its members’ critical demands.” If I were ABI, having the year it’s having, I simply would not be fucking around with the Teamsters, having the year they’re having. But what do I know!
Guy Fieri is launching a spiked fruit punch. It’s called Flavortown Spiked Fruit Punch (of course), it’s made by Two Roads Brewing Co. (sure), and it’s malt-, not spirits-based (kinda-odd because he already owns a tequila brand?)
Constellation Brands is throwing its weight around in the middle tier. Kate Bernot’s new report for Good Beer Hunting lays out all the ways that the ascendance of the macrobrewer’s Mexican imports (Modelo chief among them) is giving it increasing hand over wholesalers and retailers. Constellation has been pressing that advantage all year, and just won a year-long lawsuit with an ABI-aligned wholesaler (a “red house”) over transferring its portfolio—a frightening precedent for beleaguered Bud Light handlers nationwide.