A Major Coup for Blue Moon: Red Lobster

Dear Client:

Blue Moon has a goal of being the no. 1 tap handle in America. (As we understand, it’s currently no. 2.)

To that end, they’ve just secured a big win. Red Lobster, one of the last of a relatively endangered species — the major casual dining chains — is subbing its Shock Top handles out for Blue Moon, in units with three or more tap handles.  

It’s a big deal. “Blue Moon Belgian White will be mandated to replace Shock Top in all 641 Red Lobster locations that have three or more tap handles,” per memo to MillerCoors distributors. “This is a 100,000-case annual opportunity!”

The transition coincides with the restaurant’s conversion to a new menu on May 27. But the network won’t wait to make the transition: “We have the green light from Red Lobster to get Blue Moon in accounts and on draught early, as Shock Top inventory depletes,” per note.

They are aiming for 90% conversion in short order.

MODERN TIMES FOUNDER EXPLAINS THE WHY OF THEIR CROWDFUNDING PLAY, PLUS MORE UP THEIR SLEEVE

Yesterday we reported that San Diego-based Modern Times started a Wefunder campaign.

Per yesterday’s CBD, the company, which is already a partial ESOP, is selling shares based on a company valuation of $264 million in a campaign that goes live on Monday. Fans can buy a common share for $253.

A press release that hit after we published outlined their need.

“We’ve become a multi-state juggernaut in our industry, with

production north of 68,000 barrels in 2018—over 800% of what we’d initially projected to produce in our 5th year,” it said.

“In short, we’ve reached a scale that requires a new approach, and—rather than involve traditional private equity or other large investors—we’re choosing to give our fans a chance to invest in the company that they’ve

done so much to help build.”

Founder Jacob McKean told CBD more about their rationale.

“We have 5 projects we’re trying to complete by the end of the year,” he said. “So bringing in some equity capital now will help us make that happen.”

Those projects include Santa Barbara (a tasting room with food), Oakland (tasting room without food), and Anaheim (brewery with tasting room and food), plus two expansions to existing tasting rooms (Point Loma and Portland.)

So far, other than their start-up equity round, everything has been financed by loans and cash flow.

Would they ever look to bring on other types of funding? “We’re going to see how this goes before making any decisions about other funding options,” he told us.

Indeed, there will be a couple more campaigns or efforts to raise money later this year.  “As a first step in this project, we’re going to be launching what’s called a Regulation CF Raise on the WeFunder platform, potentially followed by a more substantial capital raise later this Year,” per statement. “We can only accept up to $1,070,000 under Regulation CF, but we may accept additional funds under other securities law exemptions related to accredited investors.”

THIS KINDA SOUNDS LIKE THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG. Modern Times has grown quite quickly in a half-decade, in that time becoming a top 50 craft brewer, with a diversified model that includes not only beer and brewpubs but also coffee and — who knows what else?

“We anticipate that the added capital and anticipated growth from the use of that capital will allow us to advance the timeline of buying back shares for our employee-owners, while simultaneously growing the company,” per announcement. “We also project that it will make our beer, coffee, and food more delicious, more available, and allow us to unleash the full potential of our visual magicians in creating some eye-poppingly luxurious environments in which to serve them. In short: This isn’t even our final form.”

Stay tuned.

NEW BELGIUM’S NEW DIGS IN DENVER AIRPORT NOW OPEN

New Belgium’s long-awaited spot in the Denver International Airport is finally here.

The newly built space, which is the result of a partnership between the brewer and High Flying Foods — a Bay Area-based company that specializes in the airport concessions industry — is located in Concourse B at DIA and features a 125-seat venue with a full bar and kitchen.

TO DRINK. While visitors will have the option to order wine and spirits, let’s be real, it’s all about the beer. The new spot will hold a 20-handle tap system, which is anchored by Fat Tire, Voodoo Ranger IPA, and many of New Belgium’s 15 year-round offerings. The company said it will also rotate their wood cellar beers and seasonal/limited release throughout the year. Plus, visitors will have the ability to order “first-to-market beers and rare one-offs as well as beer-centric cocktails.”

TO EAT. “Relentlessly local American food is the best way to describe the menu, which will change seasonally,” according to the creator of the menu and executive chef, Paul C. Reilly. “We’re proud to showcase not only New Belgium beer, but the food and spirits of over 20 Colorado purveyors.”

TO DO. On top of the beer and food, the spot will hold a “jumbotron” array at the bar for sports fans, and “custom branded shuffleboards” for those looking to eat, drink and play. The space will also hold a merch section, carrying a range of New Belgium branded items, such as brewery t-shirts, hats and globe glasses.

ED. NOTE:  We are taking tomorrow off for Good Friday (unless big news breaks).  We hope you and yours have a wonderful Easter weekend, and we’ll be back at you on Monday with more insightful news.

Until Monday,

Jenn, Jordan, and Harry

“If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater, suggest that he wear a tail.” – Fran Lebowitz

———- Sell Day Calendar ———-

Today’s Sell Day: 13

Sell days this month: 22

Sell days this month last year: 21

This month ends on a: Tues.

This month last year ended on a: Mon.

YTD sell days Over/Under:  0