Diageo inaugurated new barrel house and brewery in Maryland, US

Diageo Beer Company opened a new brewery in Maryland, US.

Called the Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House, the project involved an investment of $90m.

Located ten miles from downtown Baltimore and 30 miles northeast of Washington DC, the brewery will help produce Guinness Blonde beer and other new Guinness beverages for the US market.

Humm Kombucha developed new process for brewing low-alcohol kombucha

US-based Humm Kombucha developed a new fermentation process that produces low-alcohol kombucha.

Humm Kombucha claims that its patent-pending process improves flavour while maintaining low alcohol levels below the government standard of 0.5% alcohol-by-volume (ABV).

Humm Kombucha co-founder and CEO Jamie Danek said: “When we started Humm, we thought if we could make a product that was delicious and helped people feel better, it would be a game changer.”

MillerCoors to stop production of light beer brand Two Hats

US-based brewing company MillerCoors announced plans to cease production of light beer brand Two Hats to focus on other growing brands in its portfolio.

The decision followed decreasing volumes and profits registered during Q2 2018.

In a note to employees and distributors, MillerCoors’ national craft and innovation vice-president Bryan Ferschinger and sales and distributor operations president Kevin Doyle wrote: “We believe industry growth requires healthy brands across all segments, and we won’t stop trying to be part of the solution to growing beer.”

Scotch whisky awarded certification trademark in South Africa

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) granted a certification trademark to Scotch Whisky in South Africa, which is the beverage’s seventh largest market in terms of volume.

The certification trademark is one of the first foreign registrations in South Africa, which will allow for tougher enforcement against counterfeit Scotch Whisky products.

It is reported that the UK earns £139 every second from exports of Scotch Whisky, which is equivalent to more than £4bn a year.

Heineken and China Resources to create long-term strategic partnership

Dutch brewing company Heineken China signed non-binding agreements with China Resources Enterprise (CRE) and China Resources Beer (CR Beer) to create a long-term strategic partnership for Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Under the agreement, Heineken will invest HK$24.3bn ($3.9bn) to acquire a 40% stake in CR Beer’s parent company CRH, which is owned by CRE.

In exchange, CRE will acquire a 0.9% stake in Heineken China for €464m.

Food-service brands developer Focus Brands to acquire Jamba for $200m

US-based food-service brands developer Focus Brands (FBI) signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire Jamba, the parent company of Jamba Juice.

Worth around $200m, the agreement will see a subsidiary of FBI commence a tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of Jamba common stock for $13 per share in cash.

To fund this acquisition, FBI will use available cash-on-hand alongside borrowing capacity under its existing credit facilities.

Carlsberg increased stake in Cambodian brewery Cambrew

Denmark-based brewer Carlsberg Group increased its ownership in Cambodian brewery Cambrew by 25%, increasing its total stake from 50% to 75%.

The remaining 25% stake will be retained by Cambrew.

Cambrew is one of the largest breweries in Cambodia. Its Angkor Premium Beer is a popular brand among Cambodian consumers, and it also produces and bottles Pepsi for the Cambodian market.

Mexican beverage firm Coca-Cola FEMSA to sell 51% stake in CCFPI

Mexican beverage firm Coca-Cola FEMSA announced plans to sell its stake in Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines (CCFPI) to The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC).

TCCC will acquire a 51% stake as part of the transaction, which represents all of Coca-Cola FEMSA shares in CCFPI.

The price would be determined according to an agreed formula, which cannot be more than the aggregate enterprise value of the original acquisition.

Molson Coors Canada and Hexo partnered for cannabis-infused beverages

Molson Coors Canada and cannabis producer The Hydropothecary Corporation (Hexo) signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture (JV) for developing non-alcoholic and cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market.

The JV will operate as an independent business unit with its own board of directors and management team.

Molson Coors Canada will hold a 57.5% controlling stake in the JV, while Hexo will retain the remaining ownership interest.

PepsiCo to acquire carbonated water machines supplier SodaStream for $3.2bn

Global food and beverage company PepsiCo signed an agreement to acquire Israeli carbonated water machines manufacturer SodaStream in a deal valued at $3.2bn.

Under the terms of the agreement, PepsiCo agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of SodaStream for $144 per share in cash.

SodaStream CEO and director Daniel Birnbaum said: “Today marks an important milestone in the SodaStream journey. It is a validation of our mission to bring healthy, convenient and environmentally friendly beverage solutions to consumers around the world.”