In what promises to be a bigger story as the year trollops on (Paul Gatza revealed at CBC that a whopping 94% of regional breweries are up), Allagash’s Rob Tod told CBD that they’re pulling out of Texas and Washington in the next couple of months. Rob says sales projections for the year were in the 30%-over range, but depletions out of wholesaler warehouses have been exceeding 50% the last couple of months…

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

After yesterday’s manifesto-lite on this watershed M&A year, many of you wanted to weigh in. One truth squadder highlighted an issue that hasn’t gotten much light: Do franchise laws in fact devalue craft companies?…

Some shaken up after Monday’s A-B Goose Island announcement. From the trenches, we’ve heard two opinions: 1. It’s a game changer. 2. It’s not news: Goose Island

Is it such a stretch to think Millennials might share some beer with their elders? If (big if) craft can tap Boomers, the gains are clear. Ex MillerCoors marketing insights guy Mike Kallenberger painted a picture at CBC: 76 million Boomers drink beer at least once a week. If each decided to drink just one more craft beer per week, it would result in an extra 3 million barrels per year, which is of course larger than Boston Beer Co. …

Goose Island announced this morning it has agreed to be acquired by Anheuser-Busch, its current distribution partner. The deal

Brewpubs, microbreweries, regionals. Brewers Association director Paul Gatza broke ’em all down at yesterday’s epic opening session at the Craft Brewers Conference in San Francisco that ended with a fireside chat between Ken Grossman and the ever-eloquent Fritz Maytag, who ended with a zinger: “This whole thing about micro, regional and craft, I must say, I’ve just had enough of it.”…

Bell’s Brewery sent a cease and desist letter to Northern Brewer regarding their use of Two Hearted in a homebrew kit. According to a statement posted yesterday, the issuance was “sent out at a time when Bell’s is having to defend its trademarks (including Two Hearted) on several fronts,” wrote Larry on the brewery’s home page. “Upon learning of Three Hearted we moved to defend an asset that we own and have owned for many years.” The crux, it seemed, was that Bell’s was never contacted for permission to use the name of their hoppy American strong ale…

Sobering stuff, ironically, at the Lagunitas portion of the pre CBC journalist retreat today. First, Tony Magee talked about the $9.5 million brewhouse expansion that we reported on in BBD last week, likening the 7-month process of the normally two-year augmentation to an “open heart transplant on an awake patient … on the back of a galloping horse.” Classic Tony…

The Brewers Association today issued a new position statement on the “Importance of an Independent Three-Tier Beer Distribution System.” While it hasn’t changed too much, one issue that the BA membership has been more vocal about lately — particularly as it has come up in legislation in several states — is the importance of the right of small brewers to be able to self-distribute, up to a certain barrelage at least. The BA says in the new statement that…

The Brewers Association just announced that indie craft brewers achieved 11% growth and retail sales dollars increase 12% in 2010….

Plus, some thoughts on access to market…

New publication to focus on the fatest growing segment of the alcohol business.

You can’t keep a good man down. Or you can’t keep a down man good. Or something. Anyway, Jim Koch’s Boston Beer posted another rocking quarter, with core shipments and depletions up around 12%. But orders-in-hand are quite slower (against tough comps), with expected shipments through April only up 6%, and BBC doesn’t see a lot of pricing or mix improvement in 2011, with revenue per barrel only expected to be around 1%. Meh, I don’t buy it. Revs per hecto, as the cool beer industry call it now, will be more that that trust me. That lower estimate

The Supreme Court has decided that they will not hear the Texas case of Wine Country Gift Baskets.com v. Steen, giving a sigh of relief to distributors. After postponing its order for two weeks, the US Supreme Court has denied cert for out-of-state retailers seeking to ship directly to Texas residents. You’ll recall that the Fifth Circuit Court ruled that Texas does not violate the Commerce Clause by allowing in-state retailers to ship direct to consumers