Dear Client: The cross-category deals get more and more interesting as 2022 grinds closer to a close. News crossed the wires this morning that cannabis giant Tilray, which you may recall owns SweetWater, Green Flash, Alpine Beer and Breckenridge Distillery, is purchasing New York craft brand Montauk Brewing Co. Arlington Capital Advisors advised Montauk Brewing … Continue reading “Tilray Buying Montauk”

Dear Client: Firestone Walker sales chief Kristen Demergian took the stage at the inaugural California Family Beer Distributors meeting this week in Palm Desert, California.  She was definitely “on message” for this gathering.  “805 was built in your hands and wouldn’t be here today without the three-tier system,” she said. “805 would not be a … Continue reading “Firestone Walker Sales Chief on their Golden Goose, 805: “If We Treat it like Craft, it Will be Down””

Dear Client: Bev alc suppliers that put off paper work could face new punitive measures from the TTB, according to a recent post in JD Supra. The post, which highlights how stepped up enforcement is on the way from the TTB, cautioned suppliers from falling into potential traps, like submitting late paperwork on ownership changes … Continue reading “TTB to Start Cracking Skulls on Paperwork?”

Dear Client: If you’re privy to NielsenIQ scans, you might have noticed that craft dollars have been inching close to flat in the latest four-week cuts. The segment’s dollars declined 0.7% in the four weeks to October 15, and were down only 0.6% in the four weeks to October 22. Do these trends suggest that … Continue reading “Despite Recent Improvement in Scans, Craft Still Hurting”

Dear Client: California craft brewer, The Lost Abbey, shared an update on Facebook today on its “operational plans moving forward.” The highly-acclaimed brewer isn’t going away, but it is getting smaller. In fact, “we’re trying to be as small as we can possibly be because being big is tougher than nails right now,” the post … Continue reading “The Lost Abbey to Right Size Operations”

Dear Client: Like a lot of craft brewers, Chicago-based Revolution Brewing has seen a challenging  year for package trends. Unlike many brewers, however, they’ve seen a big lift in draft.  Some of that is owed to their successful new launch, Freedom Lemonade, which brought a few welcome surprises for the brewer. Now they are parlaying … Continue reading “Revolution Banking on Lemonade Combo Pack and a Middle Ground IPA in 2023”

Dear Client: October was a tough month for Beer Purchasers’ Index trends (which measures how much distributors are buying). Overall, beer logged an index of 37, with “at risk” inventory hitting 56. That’s significantly below the “50” mark that signifies segment expansion — and also below September’s overall index of 45.5.  What’s dragging down the … Continue reading “Craft Reaches BPI Low of 23”

Dear Client: Boston Beer founder Jim Koch filled in for Dogfish Head co-founder Sam Calagione, who was stuck in Philly in a storm, at their Mid-Atlantic region distributor meeting earlier this week, and it was entertaining watching Jim present what are clearly Sam’s slides (invoking Herman Melville and the like), but he pulled it off … Continue reading “Dogfish Head’s New Innovations”

Dear Client: At Boston Beer Co.’s annual distributor meetings this week — where your editor, in a major faux pas, dressed as Paul Revere to go unnoticed — founder and chairman Jim Koch dramatically announced that traditional beer, “as we know it,” won’t likely grow again in our lifetime. But while Boston Beer placed much … Continue reading “Seasonals are Sam Adams Top Bet for ’23”

Dear Client: It seems like everyone and their tio is coming out with a tequila RTD.  The latest is from Boston Beverage — er, Beer Co., which has just announced its first tequila-based RTD, dubbed Loma Vista Tequila Soda. It’s rolling out this week in a handful of markets, including Austin, Fort Collins, Kansas City, … Continue reading “Boston Launching Loma Vista Tequila Soda in a Handful of Markets”

Dear Client: “Who doesn’t love variety? Choose the -veza, -vida or the -fiesta, it’s all Buena!”  10 years ago, few if any in the craft world could have guessed such a line would be written in a Stone Brewing Co. press release (let alone the fact that they’ve by now been acquired by Sapporo for … Continue reading “Stone Rolling Tequila-Based Buenafiesta Margaritas in SoCal”

Dear Client: Leading hard kombucha producer JuneShine is making moves to further cement its position as a leading lifestyle brand in the category, opening a kombucha tap room/cocktail bar imminently in New York City, and expanding the reach of its spirit-based RTD line — with more packs and distribution.  The San Diego-based company, which will … Continue reading “JuneShine Making Moves: NYC Taproom Imminent, Canned Cocktails Climbing Ranks”

Dear Client: Boston just reported Q3 results, and they slightly outpaced last quarter (albeit, on easier YA comps, starting to cycle when seltzer went south last year).  Depletions were down 6% (vs. Q2 at -7%), but shipments were up 1.4%, to 2.3 million barrels (vs. slightly down in Q2). Net revenue was up 6.2%.  Only … Continue reading “Boston Q3 Depletions Down 6%, Shipments up 1.4%; $27 Mill Impairment Charge on Dogfish”

Dear Client: What drew us to profile Country Luau — a low-calorie, spirit-based RTD in flavors like Mango Mosa with premium vodka and Yuzu Ranch Water with Blanco Tequila — wasn’t necessarily the brand. It was founder Adam Kost’s background. Adam has held many prominent roles in the packaged beverage industry. He was global director … Continue reading “Behind an Industry Vet’s New RTD Play: Country Luau Spirits”

Dear Client: In a morning session on “must carry” non-alc brands at NBWA, Blue Moon creator-turned-alcohol-free-craft-beer brand founder Keith Villa pondered the potential size of the non-alc and cannabis beverage markets.  Readers may recall that Keith’s Ceria Brewing Company brand offers both alcohol-free non-alc beers, as well as versions infused with THC and CBD at … Continue reading “Keith Villa Sizes his Sandboxes”