Dear Client: After 5 years leading Lagunitas, Maria Stipp is stepping down as CEO, the California-based, Heineken-owned company announced this morning.  Dennis Peek, Managing Director Heineken Canada, will assume the CEO position on February 21. “Maria has decided to pursue a different challenge in her career. I would like to thank Maria for her leadership … Continue reading “Lagunitas Getting a New CEO from Heineken Canada”

Dear Client: For the seventh straight quarter now, Boston Beer is posting double-digit growth. For Q4, the company reported depletions up 25%, and 22% for the year. (Recall, Boston Q3 depletions had been up 30% for the quarter.)  Excluding Dogfish Head, they’re a touch lower, but still stellar: Up 19% for both time periods.  Shipments … Continue reading “Boston Q4 Depletions Up 25%, But Seltzer is Expensive to Produce”

Dear Client: There aren’t a lot of regional craft brewers that have been around for 20 or more years that can say they are growing their flagship brand by double digits. And there are almost none that can say they are doing so with a barrel-aged beer as their flagship… Almost none.  Alltech Lexington Brewing … Continue reading “Alltech Lexington Brewing Betting on Barrel-Aged Hard Tea”

Dear Client: Lagunitas Brewing has filed a lawsuit against Global Keg Rental, claiming the logistics company is “wrongfully refusing to return” nearly 25,000 kegs back to the California brewer. The brewer took to Sacramento County Superior Court last week “seeking an order to release the kegs as well as $2.9 million in damages,” reports the … Continue reading “Lagunitas Files Suit Against Global Keg For “Refusing” to Return Nearly 25,000 Kegs”

Dear Client: Flying Fish is completely changing, to keep up with the times.  The New Jersey brewery was not long ago known for its beer bottles named after various exits of the New Jersey Turnpike, and traditional beer styles like abbey dubbels and tripels (like Exit 4).  Today’s Flying Fish has revamped its brands into … Continue reading “Flying Fish is a Whole New Company Now”

Dear Client: There was little about craft on today’s Molson Coors Beverage Company Q4 earnings call, but chief Gavin Hattersley did run down Tenth & Blake’s craft trends, which they’ve repeatedly said are outperforming the larger craft market.  “Tenth and Blake outperformed the US craft market in 2019, growing 16% in AC nielsen vs. a … Continue reading “Blue Moon Light Sky Exceeding Early Expectations, says Gavin”

Dear Client: Those outside the Northeast may not be too familiar with Cape May, a little beach town at the tip of South Jersey’s Cape May peninsula. But for people in the surrounding area, it’s a picturesque calling card, with a quaint lighthouse, Victorian houses, and a very pedestrian, brick-clad shopping square. Stone horse hitching … Continue reading “Cape May Brewing Co. Eyes 30K-Plus Barrels in Barely Three States”

Dear Client: The first batch of IRI data for the new year has come through, and it looks like craft could finally turn flat in 2020, or worse. Though we’ve now been talking about craft’s slowed growth for years, it hasn’t often (if ever, in the last 15 or so years) dipped to just 1.1% … Continue reading “IRI: Craft Barely Clings to Growth, But Check Out These Rocket Ships”

Dear Client: Massachusetts’ Wormtown is turning 10.  But unlike many regional brewers who have been around for awhile, they’re still up double digits, and they’re not doing it via new markets.  They packaged and produced close to 32,000 barrels last year, and finished up 25.5%. “82% of that was our flagship, Be Hoppy, which was … Continue reading “Wormtown GM: “There’s Just So Much More Opportunity” in Boston”

Dear Client: Today, Craft Brew Alliance filed an 8-K report revealing that the Department of Justice has asked for more information pursuant to their pending deal to become wholly owned by A-B, first announced in mid-November.  Per the filing, A-B and CBA filed the required notification and report forms under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act … Continue reading “DOJ Asks for More Info Surrounding A-B Takeover of CBA”

Dear Client: Gambrinus-owned Shiner put one of its big new bets for 2020, Shiner Weisse ‘N’ Easy, in diminutive 6.3 oz. cans last week, ahead of its full rollout.  Recall, the brew is a low-cal wheat beer brewed with Texas Dewberries [see CBD 12-12-2019]. “Weisse ‘N’ Easy is shipping now across the state and select … Continue reading “Shiner Tests New Weisse ‘N’ Easy in 6.3 oz. Cans”

Dear Client: Late last year came news that Brooklyn Brewery was gearing up to build out its first tasting room outside of Williamsburg. Outside of Williamsburg would be correct: The brewer had plans to open up a tasting room nearly 7,000 miles away in Tokyo, Japan. (Roughly 50% of Brooklyn’s total business is now done … Continue reading “Brooklyn Brewery Opens Tasting Room/Bar in Tokyo”

Dear Client: One of the oldest craft breweries in the Midwest has fallen under new ownership. News hit Friday afternoon that founder and owner of Milwaukee’s Sprecher Brewing Company, Randy Sprecher, had sold his 35-year-old company to a local group of investors. WHY? As Randy tells it, it was time. “I’m 73. Who has a … Continue reading “Sprecher Sold to Local Set of Investors”

Dear Client: After ten years and some change, Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing is finally putting its famed farmhouse-ale, Tank 7, into cans.  The brand’s entrance into cans is set to receive a lot of support in the coming months too, as the brewer is partnering up with Paramount Studios on a limited-edition four-pack of 16 … Continue reading “Boulevard Talks Tank 7 Going into Cans, and Big Partnerships for 2020”

Dear Client: Rhinegeist’s national sales director, Matt Steinke, shared some big news about the brewer, which closed the year at more than 106,000 barrels. “We grew, which is exciting in the current landscape,” he said, especially as they didn’t really open any big new markets. They did open Nashville, Tennesese, with Bounty Bev. “So with … Continue reading “Rhinegeist Still Growing, Innovating in Tough Market”