Dear Client:  Bart Watson comes bearing some good news in his latest blog post. After relaying some grim findings from the first two impact surveys conducted by the Brewers Association, the chief economist for the trade org is back with the results from a third impact survey, which carries a “slightly more optimistic” outlook. For … Continue reading “Craft Brewers Now Feeling a Little More Optimistic About the Future, Here’s Why”

Dear Client: How’s New Belgium fared over the crisis? Your editor sat down with CEO Steve Fechheimer for a recent Zoom interview to bring you, dear reader, the answer. Recall, we spoke with the New Belgium chief in late March, right when the brewer was beginning to see its trends in the off-premise soar due … Continue reading “Despite 2020’s Challenges, New Belgium Still Up Mid-Single Digits YTD”

Dear Client: How is Molson Coors craft portfolio, Tenth & Blake, trending?  It’s about double craft’s growth rate in scandata, Tenth and Blake chief Paul Verdu says. “YTD, our regional craft brands – just off premise business – [are] up about 20%, collective of our craft brands,” excluding Atwater (the deal isn’t completely final).  For … Continue reading “Leinie’s Growth? “Stash Exotic” Beer? Tenth & Blake’s Recent Playbook”

Dear Client: They say it’s hardest to grow at the top, but it would appear the big craft brewers rose to the challenge in 2019. Seven of the top ten craft brewers recorded production growth in 2019, per data found in the latest edition of Brewers Association magazine The New Brewer, which featured its annual … Continue reading “A Lot of Top Craft Actually Grew Last Year”

Dear Client: A little good news, among all the rubble: Some brewers are putting the pieces of their battered business back together, slowly and surely. To wit, Deschutes, which took a big hit and had to make lots of layoffs two months ago when COVID shuttered the on premise (which is roughly 40% of their … Continue reading “Deschutes Exceeding Q2 High End Projections”

Dear Client: Craft turned in another round of solid off-premise sales for the week ending May 17, per IRI scans provided by Bump Williams Consulting.  Craft dollar sales grew 22% for the week in IRI’s all channel plus liquor universe. That’s not as fast as we’ve seen in recent weeks, but enough to keep a … Continue reading “Craft Dollar Growth Tops 20% in Scans for Fourth Straight Week”

Dear Client: Before COVID, Austin Easciders was already on target with their “pretty aggressive” plan for 2020. Could the 60,000 barrel (per 2019) cidery pull out a flat year?  “Oh, yeah,” says president and GM Brad McKeever.  “We’re a strong growth company, and we were on plan the first two months of the year. And … Continue reading “Austin Eastciders Seltzer Could Play Right Behind the Big Boys’ Offerings”

Dear Client: How is the seventh largest cider brand (per Nielsen data) navigating COVID?  Austin Eastciders president and GM, Brad McKeever, gave CBD the skinny. It involves a lot of ups-and-downs: Opening a flagship new location … this summer. Negative trends overall YTD, due to on-premise closures … but triple-digit gains the last few weeks … Continue reading “Austin Eastciders Seeing Positive Trends in Half its States”

Dear Client: With all 50 states now partially lifting lockdown restrictions, craft brewers across the country are having to decide when, if, and how they should reopen their brewpubs/tasting rooms to the public. GREEN LIGHT DOESN’T MEAN “GO” FOR THREE FLOYDS. Not every craft brewer is ready and waiting for the greenlight from their state. … Continue reading “How Some Top Craft Brewers Plan to Reopen Taprooms”

Dear Client: Bart Watson rounded up some recent on-premise data, mining some insights about the way people are returning back to that channel.  The chief economist at the Brewers Association starts with the obvious observation that “the lifting of stay-at-home orders will only have a partial effect; if people were staying home before they were … Continue reading “Grokking People’s Willingness to Return to Restaurants and Bars”

Dear Client: Craft delivered another massive week of sales in scans. Recall, craft turned in its best-selling week, year to date, in the previous set of scans, doing just under $112 million for the week ending May 3 in IRI’s all channel plus liquor universe. Craft sales in the latest set of scans, provided to … Continue reading “Craft Tops $111 Million in Scans for Second Straight Week”

Dear Client: Yesterday we reported that Founders expects to navigate through COVID to end the year flat. That’s partly due to blockbuster 15-pack sales, but also, limited exposure to draft.  Prior to this, “15% of our total output was in draft” said Mike. That relatively small on-premise share vs. typical craft (which can be twice … Continue reading “Founders Contemplates the On Premise”

Dear Client: Michigan-based Founders is doing pretty dang good for a craft brewer right now. Co-founder Mike Stevens told CBD he expects to end the year around flat, at roughly 571,000 barrels — though down in profits, with the loss of on/own premise. That impressive showing largely owes to blockbuster demand for All Day IPA … Continue reading “Founders, Likely to Finish Flat, On Craft’s Future”

Dear Client: Massachusetts-based Night Shift Brewing is hitting “pause” indefinitely on its plans to build a giant facility in Philadelphia.  “It is with great personal sadness that we at Night Shift Brewing have made the incredibly hard decision to cancel our Philly expansion project,” the company announced on its website and e-mail newsletter today. The … Continue reading “Night Shift Nixes Philly Plans, But Still Growing”

Dear Client: The latest scan data for the week ending May 3 reveals a monster week for overall beer sales. In fact, it was the best week beer has had in the off-premise year to date, as total beer sales grew 32% to a little over $975 million in sales for the week, per IRI’s … Continue reading “Craft Records its Best-Selling Week Yet in Scans for 2020”