Budweiser to be produced in Australia?

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 27th January 2009

Coopers, Australia’s largest independently-owned brewer, is hopeful that they will soon be producing America’s most popular beer at their South Australian brewery.

Budweiser, which is the highest selling beer in the world, is imported into Australia and distributed by Premium Beverages – which Coopers has an 80 per cent share of. As they push toward a key sales threshold, the privately-owned business is seeking to arrange a deal with the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, to brew the beers in Australia.

beer deal

“We needed to reach a threshold of more than 500,000 cases … at the rate we’re selling, we could say we would have hit it by mid 2009,” Managing Director, Dr Tim Cooper, told The Advertiser.

Discussions with the Belgian-based brewer are reportedly progressing well despite a need to start again after In Bev acquired Anheuser-Busch in November. Representatives from A-B InBev are likely to visit “shortly”, The Advertiser reported.

The Australian brewer last week announced a $6m upgrade to their Regency Park brewery, which Dr Cooper said would put them in a position to contract brew international beers. “The new pasteuriser and filter, along with the new can filler we introduced last year, will substantially upgrade our lager production capabilities and means we will be well positioned to contract brew for any international brewer with whom we may partner in the future,” he noted.

Currently, Stella Artois, brewed by Foster’s, and Becks, brewed by Lion Nathan, are the only two beer brands brewed in Australia on licence from A-B InBev; with Leffe, Hoegaarden and Grupo Modelo’s Corona (which A-B InBev has a 50 per cent stake in) among A-B InBev brands imported and distributed by Foster’s in Australia.