Big news. Boston Beer reported a third quarter depletions increase of 11% for Q3 and and 8% YTD, for which Jim Koch ‘n’ Co. sang the praises of Oktoberfest, which stole a bit of thunder from Lager, but only this quarter. They’re also planning a new spring seasonal…

The Winking Lizard Tavern is well-known in the Midwest and beyond as a destination craft chain. The 14-unit chain is one of the biggest on-premise accounts for brands from Dogfish to Labatt, besides smaller regional players, but it still services the domestic/light beer drinker – though increasingly, less so..

Magic Hat founder Alan Newman is being backed by Boston Beer Company to engineer a new project. The TBD endeavor, flying under the working title “Alchemy and Science,” so far consists of a week-old contract and a blank slate, Alan and Jim Koch tell CBD…

What’s interesting about Golden Road brewery isn’t just that it’s shaping up to be a blockbuster craft launch in the heretofore wasteland, USA, of craft beer that has been Los Angeles. It’s the way co-founder Meg Gill brought her baby to market, distribution-mind first. It’s paying off…

Is it a fluke that the only two restaurants on Forbes’ recently released list of “The Top 20 Small Public Companies in America” are craft-centric casual dining chains? The two are Buffalo Wild Wings of Minneapolis and BJ’s Restaurants (and brewery) of Santa Ana, California. They share ranks largely with high tech, chemical and non-food retail outfits…

Those 7:30 a.m. sessions can be killer at NBWA, especially when they address franchise law and legal developments. But such a session at last week’s conference addressed some imminent legal challenges that suppliers and distributors absolutely need to know…

Last week’s NBWA Convention panel on social media activation coined a catchy term for three tiers chasing digital gold. “SoLoMo” stands for the social, local and mobile components that emerging platforms expert Mark Silva says every beer marketing campaign should contain. He gave a laundry list of reasons, including this one: 16% of Google’s searches are now mobile and 1/3 of those are for local- based content, often from people looking for restaurants, bars and stores as well as inventory availability…

You go to the Boston speeches for the quotes. You want to know if Jim, Martin and Co. will take price (they have) and if their flagships are up (they are: “really strongly” with Oktoberfest and Boston Lager, and Brewmaster’s Series is up too says Jim; the third quarter is looking better than the first half)…

Is Walmart good for craft? It better be. Ex CEO Lee Scott took the stage to deliver NBWA’s endnote and let the audience know, among other things, that craft will have a bigger place in the $420 billion chain…

Dashing demographer Bob Schmidt and more served some sobering demos at the NBWA Sunday education session on changing household trends and high-end beer opportunities. The imperatives: We’ve got to start paying attention to Mexicans and female shoppers, whether you’re trying to get the latter to drink higher-end beer or influencing what to buy for their sons at home. Read on…

Should distributors pay for hot craft brands? Do craft suppliers want any part of brewer-owned branches? Consultant Bump Williams went straight to this and more at this morning’s NBWA Convention craft panel with with Ninkasi’s Nikos Ridge, Allagash’s Rob Tod, Boulevard’s Bob Sullivan and Dick Yuengling…

SymphonyIRI numbers are out for the latest 4 weeks to Oct. 2, and the story is price. Back up and bear with me: For the 4-week period ended August 7, craft’s average price per case was up $0.39 versus up $0.44 for the category. The next period ended September 4 saw a sad price bump of only $0.14 compared to the category’s $0.55…

How do you know when cider’s really arrived? SIG numbers certainly seem to say so. Yes, it’s on a small base, but cider’s growth is outpacing that of craft, and its progressive pricing power blows it away: three-channel data from the latest SIG numbers (4-week period ended Oct. 2, on a base of 128,000 cases) have cider’s price per case up $1.33. The “craft” cider segment, as some call it, has inevitably benefitted from craft’s promotion of innovative, artisanal beverages…

Alaskan is one of those craft breweries that everyone is after. Alaskan Smoked Porter has the winningest record at GABF, having secured 20 medals since 1988. Possibly because of this and their distinct terroir, hailing from the land of caribou and Sarah Palin, they are also among the most courted among the distributors of “The Lower 48…

What makes a Craft Beer Distributor of the Year, by NBWA/BA standards? The news release crowning MillerCoors house Powers Distributing Company (or more specifically, its 2004-formed specialty International Beverage Company) praised its social media prowess, attention to beer and food, and retail staff training and support featuring not one but two Certified Cicerones, the middle, hardcore level of Mr. Ray Daniels’ program…