What happens when the bubbles burst

Here are a few excerpts from this week's news stories about the latest trials and tribulations in the global beer market:

BRUSSELS, Belgium (Dow Jones) -- Anheuser-Busch InBev said Thursday it may lay off 263 workers in Belgium because Belgians are drinking less and less beer. The world's largest brewer, based in Leuven, Belgium, said the changes were necessary to ...

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- U.S. wine and spirits maker Constellation Brands Inc. reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as it cut costs, but investors remained concerned by the disappointing results of a joint venture with Mexico's leading brewer. The company, whose wine brands include Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois and Ravenswood, said sales of its branded wines and the beers it imports had fallen in North America. The company's sales and profit margins have suffered as many consumers seek out lower-priced drinks in the economic downturn.

LONDON (The Telegraph) -- As the recession continues, many of the country's biggest brewers have unveiled a fresh round of increases in the cost of popular beers, reports suggested. Guinness producer Diageo warned that the recommended retail price of a pint would rise 10 pence to £3.03 on February 1.

BRUSSELS, Belgium (The Telegraph) -- Brewing giant InBev has announced it will increase the wholesale price of all its drinks products by an average of 4 pence a pint from February 1. The company, whose brands include Stella Artois, Beck's, Budweiser, Staropramen and Leffe, said that the rises were "within the context of continuing difficult market conditions and a challenging economic climate."

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