Dear Client:   The fight between two up-and-coming Northeast companies – Loverboy and Night Shift Distributing – is heating up. Recall the crux of this distribution rights dispute going down in Massachusetts is whether fast-growing hard tea brand Loverboy has to pay fair market value — actually, whether it has to pay anything at all — … Continue reading “Loverboy Takes Dispute with Night Shift Distributing to Federal Court”

Dear Client:   Boston Beer, A-B, Constellation, Heineken… they all own or have stakes in pubs or restaurants in Miami. And it’s clear why: With a coastal population that’s roughly 70% Hispanic, and that typically grows year over year (although the last couple years have stalled a bit)… it’s a great place to both incubate ideas, … Continue reading “In Miami, Beer Cocktails are All the Rage”

Dear Client:   Last night, Modern Times founder and CEO, Jacob McKean, announced he is “stepping down” from his role as CEO, and that the California-based brewery will “immediately” begin “a formal search for new company leadership.” The abrupt resignation comes after Modern Times was repeatedly flagged as a toxic place to work in a recent … Continue reading “Modern Times’ Jacob McKean Steps Down as CEO, Amid Toxic Workplace Allegations”

Dear Client:   Longtime Sierra Nevada employee and current VP of sales at the California craft brewery, Nick Lundquist, “has chosen to resign from the company to pursue other opportunities,” per note penned to partners last night by Sierra Nevada CCO Joe Whitney. Joe thanked Nick for his “significant contributions” during his 17 years at the … Continue reading “Sierra Nevada Searching for New VP of Sales, as Nick Lundquist Resigns”

Dear Client:   Montucky Cold Snacks has so much good news this year, it’s hard to know where to start: the double digit growth, on tough comps? Their next new markets — New York and New Jersey — where people already buy Montucky merch without having drunk a drop of their beer?  What about the new … Continue reading “This Fast-Growing Brand is Finally Launching a Seltzer – And Major Markets”

Dear Client:  Molson Coors informed its distributors this week that they have decided to discontinue Leinenkugel’s Spritzen can SKUs. Now, we all know that not every craft seltzer play is going to make it. Still, it’s a bit surprising to hear this brand is being discontinued, considering its “successful” early days. The brand, which launched … Continue reading “Molson Coors Clipping Leinie’s Spritzen”

Dear Client:  Last we chatted with Athletic Brewing Company’s co-founder and CEO, Bill Shufelt, it was Dry January. They were up double digits and fielding a record number of interviews. But we wondered how the months have gone since.  Bill characterizes the midway point of 2021 as “just such a fun time as the world … Continue reading “Athletic Brewing Chief Thinks NA Beer Could Reach 10 Share of Beer or More”

Dear Client:  What beyond beer product has better margins than seltzer, is becoming a viable wine substitute, and stands to go on a run in the next year or two, outside its Southern California stronghold?Hard kombucha.  As we shared in BBD last week, hard kombucha is up 84% YTD (in Nielsen data ended 4/24), and … Continue reading “Hard Kombucha Set to Hit “a Rapid Increase””

Dear Client:  Sierra Nevada pulled out a great 2020, having grown mid-single digits to more than 1.1 million barrels in a year when many craft brewers floundered.  That’ll make 2021 comps interesting — especially in June, when they’re cycling an almost 30% growth trend. CCO Joe Whitney detailed their year so far to CBD.  “This … Continue reading “Sierra on a Rollercoaster of a Year That Could End in Big Surprises”

Dear Client:  You don’t have to be a big brewer to score a big licensing deal. Last year we saw a small New York craft brewer, Artisanal Brew Works, score a licensing agreement with Impact Confections (makers of the sour hard candies Warheads) to produce Warheads Extreme Sour beers.  And earlier this year we saw … Continue reading “Little Brewers Taking Advantage of Big Names for New Products”

Dear Client:  One of Chicago’s most popular breweries, Half Acre Beer Company, has agreed to sell its original brewery on Lincoln Avenue to an up-and-coming craft brewer in the city, Hop Butcher for the World, per Chicago Tribune. The facility is no longer needed by Half Acre, as the vast majority of beer is now … Continue reading “Half Acre Sells Original Digs to Local Brewer, Hop Butcher for the World”

Dear Client:  SLO Brewing Co. owners Hamish “Hammer” Marshall and Rod Cegelski have too much going on for us to have covered it all on Tuesday. The “drinkubator,” as the duo like to call their outfit, is seeing robust demand for their full suite of products, from Tio Rodrigo micheladas (and more) to their SLO … Continue reading “We Could Be Drinking “California Craft Whiskey” RTDs by Christmas”

Dear Client:  Hard kombucha is a small but mighty segment in beer.  The nascent segment currently only makes up 0.2% of total beer dollars, but that’s double the amount of share it had last year.  And after growing dollars by triple digits in 2020 (+128%), the segment continues to put up strong numbers thus far … Continue reading “A Top Hard Kombucha Player is Opening an East Coast Taproom”

Dear Client:  Last month we reported that Firestone Walker was buying fruit-flavored hefeweizen brand, Cali-Squeeze, from local brewer-incubators, SLO Brewing in San Luis Obispo.  But “brewers” is too narrow a definition for SLO owners Hamish Marshall and Rod Cegelski, who bought SLO Brewing Co (“born” as a brewpub in 1988) back in 2010. They reintroduced … Continue reading “Build Them, Ramp them Up, Let Them Go: Inside SLO Brew’s Incubator”

Dear Client:  As reported last week, nobody is having a better year in craft right now than New Belgium. The brewer is growing dollars by 30% YTD in IRI’s multi-outlet and convenience scans through April 18, which ranks as the second fastest-growth trend in all of beer (behind only Boston Beer). New Belgium owns three … Continue reading “The Top Growth Drivers Behind New Belgium’s Impressive Start to 2021”