Asahi Buys VB & Carlton Draught Brewers CUB for $16 Billion

You can get it wheeling. You can get it dealing. You can get it selling out to a foreign corporate behemoth. As a matter of fact…

Yep, if you thought that sinking a cold Victoria Bitter – famously the beer required for a hard-earned thirst – was an act of quintessential Aussieness, you may have to reconsider your preconceptions. Because Japan’s Asahi, makers of a damn fine beer themselves, has bought out Carlton and United Breweries for AUD$16 billion.

Yes. Sixteen BILLION. Turns out selling beer can be pretty lucrative.

What the sale means is that all those good old-fashioned Aussie beers like VB. Carlton Draught, Crown, Melbourne Bitter and more are now in the hands of the Japanese. Which will no doubt outrage someone with a blog somewhere.

Now, it does seem a bit weird to think that a beer called Victoria Bitter could be Japanese, but those hand-wringing over the departure of yet another true-blue icon to foreign shores would be well-advised to stop a moment and reflect on the fact that the company that sold CUB to Asahi is Anheuser-Busch InBev – a Belgian conglomerate. “It’s a sad day when a true-blue Aussie icon changes hands due to the Belgians’ desire to relieve their debt burden” is a harder sell to the scandalised-patriot crowd, but them’s the facts.

And I think we can be fairly sure the beer’s going to stay the same, whoever owns it.