Dear Client:  Last we chatted with Athletic Brewing Company’s co-founder and CEO, Bill Shufelt, it was Dry January. They were up double digits and fielding a record number of interviews. But we wondered how the months have gone since.  Bill characterizes the midway point of 2021 as “just such a fun time as the world … Continue reading “Athletic Brewing Chief Thinks NA Beer Could Reach 10 Share of Beer or More”

Dear Client:  What beyond beer product has better margins than seltzer, is becoming a viable wine substitute, and stands to go on a run in the next year or two, outside its Southern California stronghold?Hard kombucha.  As we shared in BBD last week, hard kombucha is up 84% YTD (in Nielsen data ended 4/24), and … Continue reading “Hard Kombucha Set to Hit “a Rapid Increase””

Dear Client:  Sierra Nevada pulled out a great 2020, having grown mid-single digits to more than 1.1 million barrels in a year when many craft brewers floundered.  That’ll make 2021 comps interesting — especially in June, when they’re cycling an almost 30% growth trend. CCO Joe Whitney detailed their year so far to CBD.  “This … Continue reading “Sierra on a Rollercoaster of a Year That Could End in Big Surprises”

Dear Client:  You don’t have to be a big brewer to score a big licensing deal. Last year we saw a small New York craft brewer, Artisanal Brew Works, score a licensing agreement with Impact Confections (makers of the sour hard candies Warheads) to produce Warheads Extreme Sour beers.  And earlier this year we saw … Continue reading “Little Brewers Taking Advantage of Big Names for New Products”

Dear Client:  One of Chicago’s most popular breweries, Half Acre Beer Company, has agreed to sell its original brewery on Lincoln Avenue to an up-and-coming craft brewer in the city, Hop Butcher for the World, per Chicago Tribune. The facility is no longer needed by Half Acre, as the vast majority of beer is now … Continue reading “Half Acre Sells Original Digs to Local Brewer, Hop Butcher for the World”

Dear Client:  SLO Brewing Co. owners Hamish “Hammer” Marshall and Rod Cegelski have too much going on for us to have covered it all on Tuesday. The “drinkubator,” as the duo like to call their outfit, is seeing robust demand for their full suite of products, from Tio Rodrigo micheladas (and more) to their SLO … Continue reading “We Could Be Drinking “California Craft Whiskey” RTDs by Christmas”

Dear Client:  Hard kombucha is a small but mighty segment in beer.  The nascent segment currently only makes up 0.2% of total beer dollars, but that’s double the amount of share it had last year.  And after growing dollars by triple digits in 2020 (+128%), the segment continues to put up strong numbers thus far … Continue reading “A Top Hard Kombucha Player is Opening an East Coast Taproom”

Dear Client:  Last month we reported that Firestone Walker was buying fruit-flavored hefeweizen brand, Cali-Squeeze, from local brewer-incubators, SLO Brewing in San Luis Obispo.  But “brewers” is too narrow a definition for SLO owners Hamish Marshall and Rod Cegelski, who bought SLO Brewing Co (“born” as a brewpub in 1988) back in 2010. They reintroduced … Continue reading “Build Them, Ramp them Up, Let Them Go: Inside SLO Brew’s Incubator”

Dear Client:  As reported last week, nobody is having a better year in craft right now than New Belgium. The brewer is growing dollars by 30% YTD in IRI’s multi-outlet and convenience scans through April 18, which ranks as the second fastest-growth trend in all of beer (behind only Boston Beer). New Belgium owns three … Continue reading “The Top Growth Drivers Behind New Belgium’s Impressive Start to 2021”

Dear Client:  Despite a 4.5% drop in dollar growth in the latest four weeks (due to the lapping of last year’s pantry loading comps), craft is still hanging on to mid-single-digit dollar growth YTD (+6.4%) in IRI multi-outlet and convenience scans to April 18. All in, the craft segment (as defined by IRI) has generated … Continue reading “The Brands Stacking Dollars in Latest IRI”

Dear Client:  Like most segments, craft has gotten off to a rough start in the off-premise this spring, thanks to the cycling of last year’s pantry loading comps, which began in mid-March. The segment’s volume is down 6.7% and its dollars are down 4.5% in the latest four weeks to April 18, per IRI multi-outlet … Continue reading “New Belgium Now Nearly a Top Ten Player in the Off-Premise”

Dear Client:  As the beyond beer movement has accelerated since the 2016-ish arrival of hard seltzer, so too have contract producers.  Case in point: fourth-generation-led, upstate New York-based F.X. Matt Brewery announced today the completion of its $34.7 million brewhouse and tank farm expansion, “with plans for another $11 million in brewery investments.” And as … Continue reading “F.X. Matt Announces Multi-Million Expansion Efforts, Investment from Brooklyn Brewery”

Dear Client:    When the Brewers Association released the Top 50 Craft Brewers list for 2020 late last month, one might have assumed that Modern Times mustered some growth over the hellish year, as the California brewer climbed four spots on the latest list moving from the 44th position in 2019 to the 40th spot in … Continue reading “As Draft Comes Back and Innovation Rolls, Modern Times Eyes Growth”

Dear Client:    Late last year we highlighted a fast-growing regional seltzer brand out of Philadelphia that had caught our eye, in Two Robbers Hard Seltzer, [see CBD 11-19-2020]. As we reported then, the brand, which arrived on the scene in the summer of 2019, had already become a top seltzer in its home market of … Continue reading “Two Robbers Ready to Reach “New Heights,” After $6 Million Funding Round”

Dear Client:    After Victory Brewing’s announcement to dive into the hard seltzer space earlier this week with Victory Waves, we noted that Sixpoint Brewery was now the only company inside the Artisanal Brewing Ventures portfolio without a hard seltzer splay, [see CBD 04-20-2021]. Well, here we are three days later, and that observation is no … Continue reading “Sixpoint Announces New Seltzer Line, Completing ABV’s Regional Seltzer Strategy”