Dear Client: If you haven’t checked in on the rankings for the top ten craft brands in IRI’s multi-outlet and convenience channel in a while, you’re in for some surprises. A year ago, per IRI data to May 20, 2018, the top ten brands by dollar sales looked like this: Blue Moon Belgian WhiteSierra Nevada … Continue reading “The Three Craft Brands Rising Up the Ranks”

Dear Client: How did Allagash end 2018 up, when so many other breweries of its size and age lost traction? The 100,000-barrel, almost 25-year-old brewer saw growth in its core lineup last year.   In fact: “Our core beers grew over 2% in 2018 with no new product launches and no new territories,” sales chief … Continue reading “Allagash Cans Will Help the Brewer Unlock the Off Premise”

Dear Client: The New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control has issued yet another set of guidelines for the state’s on-site tasting rooms. It’s the latest of ABC’s several attempts to balance limited brewery licenses and the interests of local bars and restaurants, who have complained of unfair competition by craft brewery taprooms. Technically, it’s … Continue reading “Quagmire In New Jersey: Brewers Call for Legislative Overhaul After Latest ABC Ruling”

Dear Client: We all knew that craft regionals generally had another tough year in 2018. Now we know how tough: the 231 regionals, defined as those doing 15,000 or more barrels a year, were down 0.1% last year, per the Brewers Association.   And judging by the Brewers Association’s Top 50 craft brewers list, published … Continue reading “Here Are the Big Craft Brewers That Actually Grew in 2018”

Dear Client: Deschutes’ latest campaign is a trip. A slate of digital commercials set to drop next week take on what the brewer’s marketing chief calls a “healthy tension” between beer and cannabis in the Pac Northwest, the latter which has now been legal in Washington and Oregon for a couple years (summer 2014 and … Continue reading “Deschutes Tackles “Healthy Tension” Between Weed and Beer in New Campaign”

Dear Client: We wrote last week that beer to go is all but inevitable now in Texas, and indeed it’s moving along. Contingent upon the House concurring and the Governor’s signature on the bill, Beer-To-Go sales are expected to begin September 1, 2019. HOW WE GOT HERE. As we reported last week in BBD, a … Continue reading “Once a Pipe Dream, Texas Beer-To-Go Could Start as Early as September”

Dear Client: The Ohio Craft Brewers Association reported today that local craft breweries contributed an economic impact of almost $1 billion ($967 million) in 2018, up 39% from 2015 figures. The agency also reported an exponential jump in the number of producers since then. There were 135 craft brewers operating in Ohio, producing roughly 1.2 … Continue reading “Ohio Brewers More Than Doubled and Added 200K Barrels Since 2015 – Mostly Via Taprooms”

Dear Client: Move over, Slightly Mighty and All Day IPA. There’s another low-cal IPA in town. At least, it’s piloting in Chicago. Goose Island “So-Lo” IPA will make its debut in the Windy City this summer. It’s 98 calories and 3% ABV, brewed with Idaho 7 hops (not from their Elk Mountain hop farm, we’re … Continue reading “Goose Island Piloting New Low-Cal IPA, “So-Lo” in Chicago”

Dear Client: Wisconsin Brewing Company delivered a double dose of big news to the Wisconsin State Journal this morning. The six-year-old brewery out of Verona, WI shared with the paper its plans to acquire fellow Wisconsin brewer, Lake Louie Brewing Co., and undergo a $6 million expansion this fall as a part of its foray … Continue reading “More Craft on Craft Action: Wisconsin Brewing Co. to Acquire Lake Louie”

Dear Client: One Ohio craft brewer seems to have an answer to the tension that own-premise operations can cause between a brewer and its retail partners. Cincinnati, Ohio’s 4-year-old Urban Artifact seems the stuff of destination breweries. Their brewery taproom is housed inside a historic church. They also have a full bar and live music. … Continue reading “One Brewer’s Answer to Rising Tension with Retailers Over Taprooms”

Dear Client: We all know craft growth is getting harder to come by, and depending on where you sell your beer, growth may be even more difficult to muster. So where are the opportunities for craft these days? We reached out to the good folks over at Nielsen to figure out just that. Caitlyn Battaglia, … Continue reading “Hunting for New Markets? Check These Out”

Dear Client: Today, an activist shareholder of Craft Brew Alliance issued a note to the Board, urging it to pursue a sale to Anheuser-Busch InBev or another company. David Cohen, founder of private investment fund, Midwood Capital, penned the letter today, made public in a release. The communication seeks to highlight “the substantial gap between … Continue reading “Activist Investor Pushes CBA Sale”

Dear Client: How did Minnesota’s Surly Brewing Co. jump from 39 to 34 on the most recent Top 50 Craft Brewers list? It wasn’t new markets. We caught up with Bill Manley, now the brewer’s VP of Marketing, who came over from Sierra Nevada at the beginning of last year (where he’d spent about a … Continue reading “Surly, the 34th Largest BA Craft Brewer, Just Now Hitting 6 Packs”

Dear Client: Great Lakes Brewing is searching for a new CEO. The industry newcomer that served as chief of the Cleveland-based brewery since late 2015, Bill Boor, has returned to the non-beer business world. During Bill’s time at Great Lakes, the company maintained its position as a Top 20 BA-defined craft brewer, laid the groundwork … Continue reading “Great Lakes CEO, Bill Boor, Unexpectedly Out the Door”

Dear Client: Yesterday’s news that Boston Beer would acquire Dogfish Head is undoubtedly the story of the year so far. How did that play with readers, analysts, association heads and consumers? Here’s the quick pulse:   BA: THEY WILL “NO DOUBT CONTINUE TO CHAMPION FOR BREWERIES.”  Naturally, Brewers Association chief, Bob Pease, put out a … Continue reading “What People Are Saying About Boston and Dogfish”