(Marketwatch) In a global beer marketplace, it doesn’t pay to focus strictly on the U.S. beer industry.

On May 10, I received a message via Twitter TWTR, +1.20% from a longtime reader in Colorado:

@Notteham Any truth to the rumor regarding ABI buying every pound of South African hops?

That’s not a far-fetched question. As The Wall Street Journal’s Tripp Mickle wrote last year, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s BUD, +0.79% $108 billion takeover of SABMiller included the latter’s considerable hop holdings in South Africa, SAB Hop Farms. South Africa produced 1.81 million pounds of hops last year, more than the U.S. when excluding Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

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