CBA 2010 Sales up 6%

April 1, 2011

CBA 2010 Sales up 6%

Dear Client:

Craft Brewers Alliance filed 2010 numbers yesterday, though the conference call won’t happen until Tuesday. Some highlights from the statement:

SALES, SHIPMENTS UP. Net sales for the year ended Dec. 31, 2010 were $131.7 million, up 6% from $124.7 million in 2009, due to price increases for products sold to wholesalers, increased revenues from the company’s restaurants and pubs following the merger with Kona Brewing Co., and an increase in contract brewing revenues. Total shipments for 2010 were 607,800 barrels, an increase of 20,300 barrels, or 4 percent, from 587,500 barrels for 2009, mostly from contact brew growth. Depletion growth for the year was 2 percent.

MORE ON THE A-B DEAL. The statement also referenced the recent agreement with A-B, wherein A-B has agreed to pay CBA $16.3 million in cash for the company’s interest in Fulton Street Brewery and $150,000 to cover a portion of its transaction costs.

But CBA believes the loss of the company’s share of earnings from FSB will partially offset any increase in sales revenues resulting from reduced distribution fees that are also part of the deal. The company’s share of FSB’s earnings was $696,000 for 2010. But CBA estimates that, had the proposed deal been in place throughout 2010, the increase in 2010 sales revenues resulting from the reduced distribution fees would have been approximately $2.1 million. This reduction in distribution fees would be in addition to a reduction in fees already secured by the company in its agreement with A-B reached during the third quarter of 2010.


SOFT PRICING TRENDS. YTD Symphony IRI no.’s ended March 20 for all channels show the overall beer industry up 51 cents in average price per case change YA. Craft, however, has been sliding slightly backward: YTD, average price per case change YA is up 45 cents, but only up 36 cents for the 4 weeks ending March 20 (v. 50 overall). And though PABs are hot-sellers, YTD average price per case vs. YA is down 13 cents.

POPULAR STYLES. YTD, top craft styles are IPA (up almost 40% in case sales); the catchall “other specialties,” up almost 49%; Belgians, golden ales and variety packs are up around the 30ish% mark too. Stouts up a whopping 70% (Bridgeport Black Strap, Southern Star Buried Hatchet, Allagash Black Belgian Style Stout among hottest in 52-week no.’s for food channel alone, up triple or quad. digits in case sales for latest [Feb] brand-specific numbers). But that smaller beer trend pundits have been promising is starting to materialize: “Other pale lagers” are up 38% (with the new Kona Longboard leading the charge), and craft pilsner (Boulevard and Victory strong here) up a whopping almost 56%. But it doesn’t seem to apply to craft light beer (which of course does not include Yuengling). They’re down almost 16% in case sales YTD.

And here’s a sign of the times: “Craft unknown” up 35%. The weirder and non-conforming, the better, it seems.


Makers of Sisyphus barleywine, Firemans #4 and more will likely reach around 51,000 barrels by the end of the year, says chief brewer Erik Ogershok to CBD. They’re getting two new 480-barrel fermenters in May to “keep up with constantly increasing growth.” The company did 23,117 barrels in 2009 and 31,082 last year. But don’t wait for it at a state near you: Real Ale only distributes in Texas. “We like the New Glarus model,” says Erik. New Glarus, of course, did around 92,000 barrels in the Wisconsin market alone last year.

The Blanco, Texas-based brewery founded in 1996 does especially well with the seasonal program. According to IRI numbers, Real Ale seasonals were up 696% in dollar sales for 2010; last year’s 52-week numbers ended May 20 were up 349%; this year’s spring/early summer release is eminent. Devil’s Backbone Belgian inspired tripel is on the verge of release in April. And they’re to launch Lost Gold IPA in bottles for the first time. “Lost Gold has been one of our most popular seasonal beers and due to this it has been added to our stable of year round brands,” says Erik. Kegs of Lost Gold have been available since SXSW, but the bottles should be hitting shelves around the middle of April.


MORE SHENNANIGANS WITH WOOD are coming from craft brewers lately, and Westword is reporting that Avery has gotten its hands on some absinthe barrels from Denver microdistillery Leopold Brothers.

A NEW 3% SALES TAX ON ALC BEVS has passed the Maryland Senate, according to CityBizList Baltimore. If ultimately passed, it will bring sales tax on beer wine and spirits up to 9%. “The extra sales tax is phased in 1% a year over three years, and will be collected by bars, restaurants and liquor stores,” according to the story. It would not apply to wholesalers. The bill now heads to the House of Delegates.

BROOKLYN IS STARTING TO OFFER WEEKDAY TOURS beginning Monday, April 4. Called “Small Batch Brewery Tours,” they’ll be offered on a reservation-only basis from 5 – 7p.m., Monday-Thursday, at $8 per person.

SAINT ARNOLD’S WEEDWACKER, a re-yeasted version of Saint
Arnold Fancy Lawnmower Beer, will debut in 12 oz. bottles and replace Texas Wheat starting this summer (in bottles and draft).

Until tomorrow, Jenn

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”
~Mother Teresa

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