Dear Client: We’ve been grokking some of the fast-movers from the new Top 50 Craft Brewer list, which hit in early March. Hershey, Pennsylvania-based Troegs is one of those brewers. In fact, they’ve been hop-scotching their way up the list the last few years, landing at No. 38 in 2016, No. 30 in 2017 and … Continue reading “What’s Driving Troegs’ Growth”

Dear Client: We caught up with Modern Times founder Jacob McKean in the wake of his small-but-blockbuster San Diego brewer, which hit the new Top 50 Craft Brewers List, at no. 45, for the first time in 2018. We wanted to know what any journo would after such a showing: What the heck are they … Continue reading “On the Modern Times”

Dear Client: About four years ago, Oskar Blues made a decision to hedge its bet among an increasingly competitive craft beer world. With the help of Boston PE firm, Fireman Capital, they acquired Perrin Brewing. Fireman took an undisclosed stake amount in Oskar Blues to help fund future acquisitions like that one, we reported back … Continue reading “CANarchy Riding High on Jai Alai”

Dear Client: It’s been said that the first round of March Madness is the least productive two-day span for America’s workforce. Some people take the end of the week off knowing they won’t get any work done with the 32 basketball games going on, others make it into the office but spend the majority of … Continue reading “Why March Madness is a Fitting Platform for Kona’s First National Campaign”

Dear Client: The first quarter of 2019 isn’t looking pretty for craft, at least in the off premise. February, in particular, shoulders a lot of the blame — and don’t look now, but craft is off to an even worse start in March. But back to February: the segment’s volume declines have only gotten steeper … Continue reading “Latest Nielsen: a February to Forget”

Dear Client: If you follow the beer business in Texas, you’ve heard the rumors surrounding Celis Brewing, which Christine Celis opened in the summer of 2017. Recall, Christine is the daughter of brewing legend, Pierre Celis, who created the iconic Hoegaarden brand, now owned by A-B. The rumors about Celis Brewing ramped up last month. … Continue reading “What’s Up With Celis Brewery?”

Dear Client: A little over a year ago, MillerCoors put forth a mandate for its craft and import division, Tenth and Blake, to outperform the industry in crafts and imports. “So far, we’ve been delivering on our promise and have no plans to let up,” Tenth and Blake president Pete Marino said at MillerCoors’ Distributor … Continue reading “MillerCoors’ Craft Breweries Up 22% in 2018; Here’s What They Have in Store for 2019”

Dear Client: Bloomberg reported yesterday that Anchor Brewing Co. could be among the first U.S. unionized craft brewer. (There are definitely others: Boston Beer’s Cincy brewery is unionized, as is Lagunitas in Chicago.) Employees at Anchor, often credited as America’s first craft brewery (and bought by Sapporo in 2017 for $85 million), voted yesterday 31-16 … Continue reading “Anchor Employees Vote to Unionize”

Dear Client: We reported last month about an apparent deal between wholesaler group, The Beer Alliance of Texas, and the Texas Craft Brewers Guild to finally allow beer to-go sales from production breweries, via potential passing of SB 312. Recall, the to go bills filed earlier this year sought “a simple addition to the current … Continue reading “Media Scuttlebutt in Texas Over Beer To-Go Sales”

Dear Client: It’s that time of year: The Brewers Association has just released the 2018 Top 50 U.S. Craft Brewing Companies. That’s the yearly ranking of BA-defined craft brewers, by volume. So it’s an index of who is gaining (and losing) volume at a faster rate than their peers. Let’s tally the latest score: The … Continue reading “Ranking the New Top 50 Craft Brewers”

Dear Client: Founders Brewing Co. co-founders Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers took to their site today to comment on pending litigation brought by a former employee who has accused the company of racial discrimination. Detroit Metro Times first reported last October that Tracy Evans,  a manager employed at the brewer’s Detroit and Grand Rapids locations, … Continue reading “Founders Responds to Lawsuit Alleging Racial Discrimination”

Dear Client: One of our favorite things to look at when a fresh set of IRI data hits our inbox is price. Who’s hiking it, and who’s dropping it low? In this latest set of IRI data, which stretches to February 24, we have brewers doing a little bit of both. [Of course, price drops … Continue reading “Price Plays in Craft; A Snapshot”

Dear Client: Craft did pretty well in this latest round of IRI, to February 24: Where its 52-week numbers are at only up 2.6% (in dollars) in multi-outlet and convenience, the YTD trend is up 3.8%. It’s still tough at the top. In fact, almost all the top five craft brands — Blue Moon, Sierra … Continue reading “IRI: Hazy Little Thing on a Tear, Other Share Gainers”

Dear Client: Last year, Craft Brew Alliance announced a new project to mine consumer insights. Dubbed the pH Experiment beverage initiative, its objective was to “explore opportunities outside of beer.” Meanwhile they also launched a consumer research projects with the Yale Center for Customer Insights and global consultancy Prophet. Now they’re codifying these initiatives in … Continue reading “CBA Turns its pH Experiment into New Growth Unit”

Dear Client: We’ve seen a whole lot of brewers dipping their toes into wine & spirits lately, but wine & spirits companies taking a crack at beer, eh, not so much. Today, however, we bring you news that bucks that trend. A fairly popular wine brand is testing three craft beers – an IPA, a … Continue reading “Popular Wine Brand Trying its Hand at Craft Beer”