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Quick Hits: Budweiser Brewed in Ireland, Irish Unimpressed

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Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

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Raise your glass to Budweiser brewed in Ireland.

No kidding.

Guinness, the Irish beer behemoth, is returning to its roots. It plans to build a new brewery west of Dublin in the town of Leixlip, where Arthur Guinness first brewed his dark-brown stout in 1755.

Brands to be produced at the new brewery will include Smithwicks ale, Harp larger as well as foreign brands produced under license, including Carlsberg of Denmark and, believe it or not, Budweiser. (You know - the one with the Clydesdales.)

Belgian brewer InBev agreed to buy Anheuser-Busch (BUD) for about $52 billion last summer. The deal, subject to approval by shareholders and regulators, is expected to close by the end of the year. It would create the world's largest brewer by volume. InBev makes Stalla Artois and Beck's.

Most of the new brewery in Ireland will be built on 50 acres owned by the Guinness family. An additional 23 acres will be bought from the Kildare County Council. The new plant is part of the effort by Guinness owner Diageo (DEO) to increase efficiency and cut costs to meet stiffer competition from Eastern Europe and Asia.

Diageo was created in 1997 by the merger of Guinness and Grand Metropolitan. The company's brands include Johnnie Walker scotch, Jose Cuervo tequila, and Smirnoff vodka. The company snapped up Captain Morgan, Crown Royal and VO Canadian through its purchase of Seagram's from Vivendi.

That all makes sense, but why would any two-fisted beer drinker worth his daily dose of what's been called "liquid bread" want to put down a thick Guinness and pick up a watery Bud?

If this is globalism, have another round before heading for the barricades.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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