Dear Client: Full Sail has just announced James “Wheels” Wheeler as new senior VP of sales at the Oregon-based company. James comes directly from Constellation, where he worked for more than two decades — most recently as VP of business development for Constellation’s Craft & Specialty Division. Full Sail CEO Cory Comstock said James comes … Continue reading “Full Sail Snags Constellation Alum James Wheeler as Senior VP Sales”

Dear Client: With two weeks left on the clock for Anheuser-Busch InBev to make an offer for its remaining stake in Craft Brew Alliance, you can imagine the topic of conversation on CBA’s second quarter earnings call yesterday. Knowing good and well what everyone wanted to talk about, CBA chief Andy Thomas took some time … Continue reading “Offer or No Offer: CBA Prepared”

Dear Client: When MillerCoors purchased Saint Archer Brewing in 2015, it was pretty clear the acquisition wasn’t based solely off the San Diego-based brewer’s beers. That’s no knock to the brewer’s “award winning” portfolio, but at the time of the purchase, Saint Archer’s lineup of brand “ambassadors” – which included, pro skateboarders like Paul Rodriguez … Continue reading “Saint Archer Evolves into National Lifestyle Brand”

Dear Client: CBA’s latest quarter has seen lead brand Kona return to strength.  After recording a 5% drop in overall depletions and a modest 1.4% gain in Kona depletions for the first quarter of 2019, spring-time media investments and distribution drives seem to have paid off.  CBA just reported Kona’s Q2 depletions were up 8%, … Continue reading “Kona Q2 Depletions Up 8%, Driving Total CBA Depletions to Positive”

Dear Client: If you were wondering if A-B’s craft buying spree is over, wonder no more. The brewer just announced that they’ve purchased Ohio’s Platform Beer Co. for their Brewers Collective, which is now roughly 12 partners strong.  If you haven’t heard of Platform Beer Co., well, they’re already eyeing 40,000 barrels of production this … Continue reading “A-B Adds Ohio’s Platform Beer Co. to Brewers Collective”

Dear Client: This morning, the Brewers Association dropped their midyear tally for craft growth in 2019.  The category is up 4% in production volume half way through the year, which is on pace with the growth recorded over the full year in 2018, but a notch below the 2018 half-year trend, which was up 5%. … Continue reading “Craft Staying Steady, if Challenging, Up 4% At Midyear”

Dear Client: Noah Brown is back at Salt Lake City’s Uinta Brewing.  Noah left his post as director of national accounts at Uinta in April of last year, as some of you may recall, to become director of national accounts at Cincinnati’s Rhinegeist Brewery. Fun fact: Rhinegeist, which produced 100,000 barrels last year, is now … Continue reading “Noah Brown Returns to Uinta as VP of Sales”

Dear Client: Dogfish Head got the low-cal IPA ball rolling this year with Slightly Mighty – the 95-calorie, 4% ABV beer, brewed with monk fruit. It started shipping in late March, [see BBD 04-16-2019] .  A couple months after that, news hit that Anheuser-Busch’s very own Goose Island was piloting a 98-calorie, 3% ABV IPA, … Continue reading “More Top 50 Craft Brewers Eyeing Low-Cal IPAs”

Dear Client: It’s been a while since we’ve heard news on Atwater Brewery. What’s the Detroit brewer up to? Well, like a lot of brewers nowadays, they’re making a run at the hard seltzer category. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my 20 years of business in this industry, something like this come in … Continue reading “Atwater Rolling Out 100-Calorie Hard Seltzer Line”

Dear Client: As BBD reported this morning, Tamarron came out with its annual Malt Beverage Supplier Performance Survey, where distributors rate supplier performance “against supplier roles and responsibilities,” per Tamarron.  Not surprisingly, Boston took top honors again for the second year running. It snagged the top “overall average performance score,” at 3.61 (up 0.08 over … Continue reading “Boston Tops in Tamarron Again; What about Other Craft?”

Dear Client: While visiting the San Francisco Bay Area last week, we had to check out the largest area brewery, 21st Amendment. And they’re still growing, albeit slowly: Last year they did 113,000 barrels; this year, they’ll eke out a few more, producing about 116,000. Co-founder Nico Freccia was kind enough to give us a … Continue reading “San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Still Growing, Entering More Markets”

Dear Client: Odell, which just opened its first pilot brewery in Denver at RiNo Art District last year, has just announced a second location in Denver.  “The new facility, located in the Sloan’s Lake neighborhood at the corner of 17th and Perry, will feature a 10-barrel pilot brewhouse and scratch pizza kitchen,” per brewer.  Odell … Continue reading “Odell Opening Another Denver Pilot Brewery Next Year, As Innovations Pull”

Yesterday, we reported midyear trends from CANarchy, up 28% YTD in IRI, with new markets. But Boston Beer is that little publicly traded brewer with no U.S. markets to open, and has the unenviable position of having a flagship brand that is an amber-colored lager, not exactly what’s on fire these days.  But, truly (get … Continue reading “Boston On Fire: Q2 Shipments, Depletions up 17%”

Dear Client: Yesterday, we reported midyear trends from CANarchy, the consortium that represents the no. 8 Brewers Association-defined craft brewer (as of the 2018 list), having produced more than 421,000 barrels.  Given their size and continued moves, we had some big “outlook” questions for president and COO Matt Fraser. You, dear reader, are a fly … Continue reading “CANarchy COO on Consolidation, Capital and More”

Dear Client: Hidden toward the bottom of a release about CANarchy brands’ YTD growth trends (they’re up 28% YTD in IRI, far outpacing craft’s general low-single digit growth) was news of an imminent new offering from Oskar Blues: One-y, a 100-calorie hazy IPA.  The company said the innovation (and other new offerings, noted below) are … Continue reading “Oskar Blues Announces One-y, 100-Calorie Hazy IPA”