New Glarus continues to raise the bar for how high a craft brewer can climb within one state, posting strong growth yet again so far in 2017; total biz up 12% YTD, co-founder/prexy Deb Carey and COO Drew Cochrane shared with CBN. “Things are going really well” and cans in particular “are taking off better than expected,” Deb highlighted. Recall, co elected to start with #2 brand Moon Man Pale Ale in cans last yr and hold off a bit on flagship Spotted Cow, which made wholesalers “really motivated to get Cow,” said Deb. So Moon Man sales grew 35% in 2016 and is up 26% YTD. Spotted Cow grew low-double-digits last yr and accelerated to +16% this yr with additional can boost. And Two Women Lager is flyin’ with virtually “no support,” Deb added. Biggest “hurdles” are trying to keep up with growth on production side. New cellar for bottles “didn’t come online like we hoped for” and “impacted July and August bottle sales.” But that makes for easier bottle comps next yr, Deb thought. Also recall, New Glarus is in process of boosting annual brewing capacity by 50%, hopefully by year-end, tho could push back to into early 2018, she acknowledged (see Jul 14 issue).
Editor’s note: Recall, New Glarus surpassed Pabst as 3d largest supplier in Wisconsin last yr, selling 214K bbls and reaching over 4 share of state shipments. If trends continue, New Glarus will ship close to 240K bbls in 2017 and gain even higher share of both total Wisc beer and Wisc craft. Indeed, even as largest and most established craft co in-state by far, New Glarus gained ~4 share of Wisc craft shipments to 54.4, per Wisc Dept of Revenue/Beer Institute stats. (excerpt)