Dear Client: In March we reported on Kona’s first ever national TV campaign during March Madness. That coincided with their biggest ever wholesaler distribution drive. They called the drive “Dawn Patrol,” seeking to get plenty of Kona on shelves given the nationwide media and 25th anniversary promotions. So how did it move the needle for … Continue reading “The Results From Kona’s Biggest Distribution Drive, “Dawn Patrol””

Dear Client: Want to know how often craft beer consumers are drinking? Or how often they’re hitting up brewpubs and breweries? How about their monthly spend on craft beer? Well, a recent poll from C+R Research has you covered. The market insights agency recently polled 2,000 Americans between the ages of 21 to 70 to … Continue reading “Step Into the Mind of a Craft Beer Consumer”

Dear Client: Last week’s annual Meeting of the Malts event in Hershey, Pennsylvania, featured a panel on some of the best-known craft brewers, highlighting just how different some of their models are. Still, some things seem to be converging, as consumers seem to want more new and “refreshing” brews. A general panel discussion featured Bryant … Continue reading “Meeting of Malts Panel on Innovation: Who is Doing What?”

Dear Client: On Friday, The Texas House passed two controversial amendments to a broader beverage alcohol-facing bill. That bill focuses on The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which reportedly must pass during this session in order for the agency to avoid being shut down.   “The two amendments proposed by state Reps. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, and … Continue reading “In Texas, To-Go and Earlier Sunday Sales in Play”

Dear Client How big a brand is Firestone Walker Brewing’s 805 Blonde Ale in California? As big as craft comes. The brand, born in 2013, is now the no. 1 craft brand in California. But, “we intentionally position it to be the anti-craft in a sense,” says Firestone Walker’s VP sales and marketing, Dave Macon. … Continue reading “For 805, There’s More Runway Beyond Craft”

Dear Client: Truly got a lot of press on the Boston Q1 earnings call yesterday. What about Sam Adams? Certainly, management fielded questions on that, and is making moves to return it to growth. They’ve retooled packaging, are tweaking messaging, and, of course, hired a new CMO earlier this year, industry vet Lesya Lysyj, who … Continue reading “Boston Chiefs on Levers to Sam Adams Growth”

Dear Client: Boston Beer Q1 2019 earnings just hit. Q1 depletions were up 11% (note, on last quarter’s earnings call, Boston had estimated YTD 2019 depletions through the six weeks ended February 9 up 12%). And Q1 shipments? Those were up an eye-popping 32.5% (to 1.1 million barrels), driving net revenues up 32.1%. Now remember, … Continue reading “Boston Q1 Shipments and Revs up 32%”

Dear Client: Listening to the Clash as I write this, a propos of nothing.  This is a hot topic as many craft brewers trying to decide whether to circle the wagons and hold pat, or attempt to grow through territory expansion.  Kimberly Clements and Dan Lust of PINTS, LLC (who consult with craft brewers and … Continue reading “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

Dear Client: Today, fast-growing craft collective CANarchy has announced Tony Short to the post of CEO. He’s a vet in both supplier and distributor tiers. The Fireman Capital-backed company, with brands like Oskar Blues, Cigar City, Perrin and more, is adding to its leadership as it continues to grow. Last year it hit 421,222 barrels, … Continue reading “CANarchy Appoints A-B Vet as CEO”

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 … Continue reading “A Major Coup for Blue Moon: Red Lobster”

Dear Client: Modern Times has taken to crowdfunding platform Wefunder to invite fans to join them as owners of the company. The San Diego-based brewery, as you may recall, is already employee-owned, having announced back in the summer of 2017 that 30% of Modern Times would be held in an employee-stock ownership program. Now they’re … Continue reading “Employee Owned Modern Times Now Opening Ownership to Fans”

Dear Client: The latest set of scan data from Nielsen, which covers the four weeks to April 6, is about as ugly as we’ve seen for craft. Yes, there’s a bit of a timing issue to blame here, as Easter fell on April 1 in 2018. Still, total craft volume, as measured by Nielsen, dropped … Continue reading “Craft Takes a Nosedive in Latest Nielsen”

Dear Client: Who is moving, who is growing, and what’s the overall mandate at A-B’s Brewers Collective, their craft business unit? We caught up with Brewers Collective chief, Marcelo “Mika” Michaelis, on it all. This is part II of our conversation. As you may know, at least in IRI, Brewers Collective is the no.1 craft … Continue reading “What’s Moving at the Brewers Collective”

Dear Client: We can’t talk about the state of the union of craft, as we have been this week, without mentioning A-B’s Brewers Collective. Brewers Collective (formerly known as A-B’s High End) is the new name of A-B’s band of 11 craft breweries (plus Virtue Cider), led now by Marcelo “Mika” Michaelis.   In fact, … Continue reading “A-B Brewers Collective Testing More Very Low Cal Craft”

Dear Client: As reported earlier this month, the Brewers Association pegged 2018 craft volume growth at just under 4% last year. During CBC’s annual “Bart and Paul Show” on the state of the industry, BA economist Bart Watson put that into perspective. “4% growth in a category the size of ours is a lot of … Continue reading “Bart and Paul Show: We Need New Drinkers!”