By the middle of 1984 the Melbourne-based company, Elders IXL, had taken control of CUB, and the spread of Foster’s Lager as an international beer gained momentum. Under new direction the company embarked on grand schemes of expansion through the purchase in September 1986 of the Courage Breweries in the United Kingdom (subsequently resold), and the Canadian brewer, Carling O’Keefe Ltd of Toronto, early in 1987.
While Fosters Lager was the biggest selling beer in pubs in London, the seventh highest in Europe and a big seller in the USA, it represents a measly 1 to 2 percent of beer sales in its home country, and is available in less than 6 percent of Australia’s 5000 hotels.
Foster’s first arrived in the UK in 1971 through an extremely successful film called ‘The Adventures of Barry McKenzie’. The main character almost spent the whole film with a Foster’s in his hand. In 1972 Foster’s beer made it to the USA by sponsoring sports events such as the America’s Cup challenge or sportmen such as John Newcombe, who once said that drank five cans after each tennis match! But Foster’s amazing success is thanks to Paul Hogan, (later Crocodile Dundee), who appeared on a Foster’s commercial that went like this:
“G’Day. They’ve asked me over from Oz to introduce youse all to Foster’s Draught, here it is. Cripes! I’d better start with the basics. It’s a light, golden liquid, like, except for the white bit on top, the head, and it’s brewed from malt, yeast and hops. Technical term is Lager. That’s L-A-G-E-R. But everyone calls it Foster’s. Ahhhh, ripper! Tastes like an angel cryin’ on yer tongue. Foster’s.”
This poster was used in the USA for their POS outlets.
On 13 November 1990, Carlton & United Breweries became Foster’s Brewing Group Ltd. During 1993 and 1995, the company opened three breweries in China and purchased two breweries in Vietnam followed by a brewery in Samoa in 1998. All of these offshore breweries were sold in 2006.
The greatest change in ownership of an Australian brewery occured in late 2011, when Foster’s Brewing Group Ltd was taken over by the London based international brewing giant SABMiller. An icon in Australia’s brewing history, Foster’s is no longer an Australian owned brand; as also the company which started in 1907, Carlton & United Breweries Pty Ltd, affectionately known for generations simply as CUB.
In March 2012, Coca-Cola Amital purchased the Fiji Brewery from SABMiller, formerly owned by Foster’s Brewing Group. Since then it has changed hands many times which is still ongoing.
The Foster’s global brand has been sold into North America and a separate company in Europe. I still regards Foster’s as Australian so I have included this poster as an Aussie poster.