If your editor were to open a brewery tomorrow, she would give serious consideration to cans. Sure, the liquid itself would have to be great. But given that, these days, guessing whether a BA-defined craft brand is experiencing single or quadruple-digit growth can almost always be reasoned backward by looking at one factor: Does it come in cans?…

The Pacific Northwest is next in line for our regional profile series. Expect an examination of Eugene, Oregon-based Ninkasi early next week, one of the country’s fastest-growing breweries, to kick off. But first, a little perspective from SymphonyIRI on trends in Portland, home of regional staples Widmer, Deschutes and Bridgeport…

‘Round here in Texas, we know the story of Shiner’s long road to success like we know our State Song. Which is to say, perhaps, not very well. But as it were, Shiner floundered for decades before Carlos Alvarez helped re-brand the beer as one that invoked the times and terroir of Austin, and the bock craze was born…

Careful with our headlines. Last week, we published a story on craft in the convenience channel. And while it emphasized that the uptick in craft numbers and momentum in the channel was certainly still on a small base, the subject, “C-Stores the Next Frontier?” caused many to sit up and send your editor e-mails quantifying exactly what that might mean…

Buffalo Wild Wings chief Sally Smith announced news on Jim Cramer’s “Mad Money” late last month: The chain will start filling in gaps in craft strongholds, such as the West Coast, and especially California, where the 753-unit strong wings ‘n’ beer chain only has around 12. Seattle is on the radar for the year as well, and the first BW3’s has just opened in the Philly ‘burbs. Big college towns are on the ticket too; as Jim observed, BW3’s has heretofore left most of the Pac-1o area untouched…

I know you’re tired of hearing about craft’s 5% share. But how about a real, stats-grounded strategy to grow it? If you attended BBD’s March summit in Miami, you likely heard (Nielsen’s) Nick Lake’s presentation on the precarious future of the beer segment in general. The fate seems to weigh heavily on the 21-34 year olds. For one, beer is Millenials’ drink of choice, while wine and spirits steal share in other demos. That’s great, because they’ll make up 40% of the 21+ population in the next 10 years…

Remember how C.R. Goodman sold their Texas craft distributorship to Ben E. Keith about three years ago? Well, now Chuck Robertson and Ken Goodman are starting Karbach Brewing, which is gearing to open in the fry-an-egg-on-pavement capital of the Southeast, Houston. The hope to have beer out by fall, y’all…

Its earnings are regarded like the Oracle at Delphi, or a groundhog before spring: How did the three months ended March 26 do for Boston Beer Co., de facto leader of the craft industry? Not bad, given how lousy April was for everybody. Growth, pricing, and execution of the Freshest Beer Program are all rolling along, if not as furiously as perhaps hoped…

It’s one of our favorite oxymorons. The nation’s 4th largest brewer by BA’s standards — craft to IRI and many quaffers alike — has everything but signed on the dotted line to enter Ohio, perhaps this fall. Lou Romano tells us Yuengling is in the “infancy stages” of conducting due diligence in the state, so no hard timelines have been determined. However, “unless something drastic occurs,” an announcement is expected in the next few months…

At the CBC’s retailer buyer panel, the to-remain-anonymous “C-store chain guy” had surprising news: Craft is “nothing but up” in his largely “untapped channel.” The latest SIG numbers suggest an acceleration of the trend…

It’s New York’s turn. Crain’s New York Business says a new bill regarding wholesaler-small brewer relations has passed the Assembly. Recall that New York’s alcoholic beverage control law fastens brewers to a distributor within a particular market once an agreement is in place, making divorce next to impossible. The article opened with Brooklyn Brewery’s ordeal, which cost them $200,000 in legal fees to get out of an unsavory distributing deal. For the 16th largest craft brewer, it was a painful business expense. But for smaller craft brewers — “that kind of money would sink them,” Brooklyn chief Steve Hindy was quoted…

Don’t be scared when you open the latest SymphonyIRI data to April 17. The trends look dire: Beer case sales down 5% overall for the last 4 weeks, all channels! Top craft companies slightly down or soft, and the colonial slap of Sam Adams lager case sales down 7% for the current 4 weeks, and the seasonal down 20%! Craft up only 9%! Has the world gone mad – or worse, sober?…

CBD has learned that Chief Branding Officer, Greg Owsley, will leave the company after 15 years as the brewery’s top branding and marketing executive.Owsley has been the chief architect on many of the company’s most successful campaigns including the philanthropic bike festival Tour de Fat, sustainable branding advocacy, brainstorming 20-plus beer brands, the Tinkerer TV spots and the highly successful rollout of Ranger IPA…

Cider is everywhere and growing. Distributors are making an effort to push it in more accounts. More regional brands are cropping up on tap handles. And the beady-eyed, bucktoothed leader is still growing up at the front…

How does the fourth largest beer wholesaler in the nation maintain its cred with craft suppliers? Start with food, I guess. Ben E. Keith has been in business for over 100 years, founded by the namesake and stewarded later by Gaston Hallam, whose family still runs the company. Food has been its “horse” since the beginning. The multi-state institutional foodservice division does double its beverage operations; the company got into beer after Prohibition, when AB approached the corp. because of their refrigerated trucks…