Stone Brewing is another top craft brewer pickin’ up steam in early 2017, up 18% thru Q1 in IRI data, co announced. Recall, Stone made tuff decision to lay off ~5% of its employees last year, citing “unforeseen slowdown” and increased competition from both larger and smaller brewers as main reason for decision (amid recent sizable investments in Richmond, VA and Berlin breweries). So Stone able to quickly bounce back, accelerate to double-digit growth. In fact, IRI volume up 21% thru Apr 16 (see last issue), tho $$ tracking well behind, up 13%, as avg price/case dipped another 6.5%, $3.33 to $47.76/case. Still, “2017 is off to a great start for Stone Brewing both on premise and off premise and it’s showing us that craft beer fans nationwide appreciate our genre-defining styles of IPAs and our new complementary San Diego style Pale Ale – in Stone Ripper,” said CEO Dominic Engels. “In a category that seems to be talking more and more about slowdown, we are pleased to be talking about continued double-digit growth.”
Growth was fueled most by a mix of “familiar and new” brands. Flagship Stone IPA grew 8% and big chunk of growth coming from Delicious IPA (+142%), still more than doubling to start 2017 after launching nationally in 2015. New year-round natl brews, Stone Ripper and Tangerine Express IPA, takin’ off too. Ripper is one of the top 5 new 6pks in natl IRI foodstores and Tangerine Express IPA quickly became 5th largest new draft IPA and “hottest” new 22oz bottle, according to co. Stone All IPA Mix Pack (+15%) continues to grow with addition of new Hop Revolver IPA, exclusive to the pack.
Meanwhile, Stone officially becomes a fully natl brand this mo, and is in 35 countries, “including more than 20 in Europe, plus Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Costa Rica and more.” Stone expects to produce and sell over 20K hectoliters (~17K bbls) in its Berlin brewery’s first full year.