Dear Client:  Like most segments, craft has gotten off to a rough start in the off-premise this spring, thanks to the cycling of last year’s pantry loading comps, which began in mid-March. The segment’s volume is down 6.7% and its dollars are down 4.5% in the latest four weeks to April 18, per IRI multi-outlet … Continue reading “New Belgium Now Nearly a Top Ten Player in the Off-Premise”

Dear Client:  As the beyond beer movement has accelerated since the 2016-ish arrival of hard seltzer, so too have contract producers.  Case in point: fourth-generation-led, upstate New York-based F.X. Matt Brewery announced today the completion of its $34.7 million brewhouse and tank farm expansion, “with plans for another $11 million in brewery investments.” And as … Continue reading “F.X. Matt Announces Multi-Million Expansion Efforts, Investment from Brooklyn Brewery”

Dear Client:    When the Brewers Association released the Top 50 Craft Brewers list for 2020 late last month, one might have assumed that Modern Times mustered some growth over the hellish year, as the California brewer climbed four spots on the latest list moving from the 44th position in 2019 to the 40th spot in … Continue reading “As Draft Comes Back and Innovation Rolls, Modern Times Eyes Growth”

Dear Client:    Late last year we highlighted a fast-growing regional seltzer brand out of Philadelphia that had caught our eye, in Two Robbers Hard Seltzer, [see CBD 11-19-2020]. As we reported then, the brand, which arrived on the scene in the summer of 2019, had already become a top seltzer in its home market of … Continue reading “Two Robbers Ready to Reach “New Heights,” After $6 Million Funding Round”

Dear Client:    After Victory Brewing’s announcement to dive into the hard seltzer space earlier this week with Victory Waves, we noted that Sixpoint Brewery was now the only company inside the Artisanal Brewing Ventures portfolio without a hard seltzer splay, [see CBD 04-20-2021]. Well, here we are three days later, and that observation is no … Continue reading “Sixpoint Announces New Seltzer Line, Completing ABV’s Regional Seltzer Strategy”

Dear Client:    Boston keeps besting itself. Despite lapping some 2020 pandemic pantry loading weeks in their Q1 period this year, they nonetheless pulled out first quarter depletion growth of 48% (almost doubling their Q4 depletion trend of 26%). Shipments were up a hair over 60%, to 2.3 million barrels.  The showing caused Boston to revise … Continue reading “Boston Beer Has a Red Hot Q1, And it Ain’t Even Summer”

Dear Client:    NBWA chief economist Lester Jones showed a more volatile trend line for seltzer in 2021 at yesterday’s Fintech Q1 roundup.  Volatile, indeed. We checked in with one of the fast-growing, strong regional seltzer brands, Willie’s Superbrew, and get this… While Willie’s total business is up overall this year in scandata, says Nico, in … Continue reading “Willie’s Superbrew: Itchin’ For Seltzer Category Maturation”

Dear Client:    Craft is “holding its own” so far through 2021, according to NBWA chief economist Lester Jones, who highlighted first quarter industry trends on a Fintech Webinar today. Indeed, craft is one of the few segments to gain share YTD in 2021, according to Fintech’s own data, which is comprised of distributor sales to … Continue reading “Craft “Holding its Own” So Far in 2021, Says Lester”

Dear Client:    Last fall, we reported Dogfish Head’s foray into the non-alc segment with Lemon Quest, their “fruited wheat brew” featuring lemon puree, blueberry juice, acai berries, monk fruit, sea salt and Hopsteiner Polyphenol-Rich Hop Pellets. The brew will hit next month in 6-pack 12 oz. slim cans, at 9o calories a bottle, focused on … Continue reading “Get Ready For DFH Non Alc, Lemon Quest”

Dear Client:    Last month, we highlighted the hard seltzer smoothie brand, Smooj, that’s taken the popular beer-rating site/app, Untappd, by storm. In case you missed it, Smooj is a brand developed by HOMES Brewery out of Ann Arbor, Michigan that was introduced in HOMES brewpub/online site less than a year ago. Fast-forward to now and … Continue reading “The Story Behind Smooj, and What’s Next for the Breakout Brand”

Dear Client:    Firestone Walker co-founder David Walker just shared that the company has purchased what he’s calling a “small but mighty beer brand” dubbed “Cali-Squeeze” from their “good neighbors, Hamish [Marshall] and Rod [Cegelski],” at the SLO Brewing Co.  “It’s a natural addition to our beer portfolio for so many reasons and keeps us in … Continue reading “Firestone Walker Buys Cali-Squeeze Brand From SLO Brewing”

Dear Client:    Molson Coors has just announced an equity investment in Wilmington, North Carolina-based brewery TRU Colors. If you’ve never heard of TRU Colors’ beer before, that’s because it hasn’t hit the market yet. In fact, TRU Colors is currently wrapping up construction of its 56,000-square-foot facility in Wilmington, which will hold a brewhouse capable … Continue reading “Molson Coors Takes Stake in Social Impact Company and Brewery, Tru Colors”

Dear Client:    Toppling Goliath has been in the news a few times in the last month or so. First, we reported that the Decorah, Iowa-based brewer was opening Texas with Ben E. Keith (and Arizona with Scout Distributing, where the wholesaler just set up shop). Shortly after, they jumped on to the Brewers Association’s Top … Continue reading “Fly on the Wall with Toppling Goliath Chief Clark Lewey”

Dear Client:    One of the biggest expansion projects we’ve seen lined up for a craft brewer this year is coming from a brewer that isn’t all that big. Yes, Dallas-based Community Beer Co., which reportedly produced a little under 18,000 barrels in 2019, has unveiled plans to relocate into a massive new 70,000-square-foot facility located … Continue reading “Community Beer Co. Unveils Plans for Massive New Digs in Dallas”

Dear Client:    Two of Anheuser-Busch’s Brewers Collective members are gaining serious share as regional ready-to-drink players. Devils Backbone and 10 Barrel, which both run distilleries in addition to brewery operations, are making in-roads across the United States with their spirits-based cocktails. DEVILS BACKBONE HITS TOP 20 FOR CANNED COCKTAILS. Virginia-based Devils Backbone opened its distillery … Continue reading “Devils Backbone, 10 Barrel Becoming Big Regional RTD Players”