Oriental Brewery or OB is a South Korean brewery established by the Doosan Group in 1952. It was purchased by InBev in 1998. In July 2009, it was sold by Anheuser-Busch InBev as the parent company sought to reduce its debt. It was sold to an affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.. Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB Inbev) has retained the right to purchase OB five years from its sale, at predetermined financial terms. In April 2014, AB Inbev executed its right to repurchase OB. OB became a subsidiary of AB Inbev again. Today OB produces several of Korea's most popular beverages including the OB, Cass and Cafri lager brands. All OB beers are brewed from rice, rather than the malted barley familiar to Western beer drinkers.
OB Golden Lager
- The 4th top selling beer in Korea. OB Lager is a pale, 4.4% A.B.V. pale lager available in cans and bottles, and served on draft in Korea. Originally brewed in 1948; the name was changed from OB Lager simply to OB in 2003; the recipe was altered to include rice. The name changed to OB Blue in June 2006 with another slight recipe tweak.
A pale-golden pale lager with an 4.5% ABV. Originally brewed by the Cass Brewery, the brand had been taken over by Jinro-Coors, one of the country's leading brewers. After having around 70% of the Korean lager market in the 1980s, by 1994 Cass had fallen behind Hite as Korea's top selling lager. Oriental Brewery bought the Cass brand from Jinro-Coors in 1999 and built it up again, with OB declaring a 51% market share in 2000. In 2007, the higher alcohol Cass Red was introduced. In 2011 Cass Lager became South Korea's number one selling brand, overtaking Hite.
Non-alcoholic look-alikes of Cass can be found with brand names such as "Cars" and "Cdss". Some norae-bang (song bars) establishments have been known to try and pass off these imitations as the real thing, as Korean law prohibits noraebangs marked as such from selling alcoholic drinks within its premises (as opposed to noraejujeom establishments which are allowed to sell alcohol).
- Cass Light is a low-carb pale lager with 4.0% ABV.
- Cass X2 is 2.9% ABV.
- It is an OB Lager with 30% lower calories with 4.2% ABV.
- A pale lager with 6.9% ABV, this lager contains higher amount of alcohol.
- Cafri (ABV 4.2%) is perhaps the lightest of all mainstream Korean beers. It is widely available in clear 330 ml (11.2 U.S. fl oz; 11.6 imp fl oz) long-neck bottles but falls behind OB, Cass and Hite in popularity.
- Press release: Acquisition of Oriental Brewery, 1 April 2014
- "Beer Market in Flux as Imports Gain Popularity". The Chosun Ilbo. Retrieved April 7, 2011.