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Craft Brew News

Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS brings you a new e-letter to cover the hottest segment in the beer biz, craft, in-depth, as it deserves:

CRAFT BREW NEWS


As a subscriber, you get breaking news and much more: numbers, insights, analysis, people, events and perspectives that only BMI can provide. All brought to you in a lively, easy-to-read style. Craft Brew News brings you the knowledge you need to compete effectively in this dynamic segment.

You get accurate, reliable and relevant info to help you make key business decisions: Competitive trends, coverage of key events, interviews with key players, profiles, media coverage and much more. Craft Brew News also includes out-of-the-box features and items only found in the singular world of craft beer, from brand collaborations to unique events and promotions.

Craft Brew News is an e-letter published at least once a week, 60+ times a year, including flashes whenever need-to-know info breaks. CBN will also include occasional forays into the exciting world of specialty imports as well as big brewer efforts to compete in the craft arena. This publication synthesizes what you need to know about craft, helping you avoid information overload, while giving you data and insights you need to maximize your business opportunities.

Subscribe today and get Craft Brew News for the low introductory price of just $225 per year, available for a limited time only. Call for special discounted multiple copy rates. And remember you subscribe at no risk. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. If at any time you are dissatisfied with CBN, we'll refund the unused portion of your subscription.

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Longtime craft leaders poo-pooed the doom and gloom, agreeing that something’s changed in the space but refusing to lose focus or drop their view of big long-term upside for craft during panel discussion at our Spring Conference earlier this week. Craft is “going through an iteration,” be it “4.0 or 5.0,” Brooklyn Brewery CEO Eric Ottaway said. “There is still a huge pie of, or number of gallons of beverage alcohol drinking opportunity” for craft beer to take, New Belgium executive chair/co-founder Kim Jordan said. To do that, it’s “really important that we figure out how to remain credible and hip and sticky, attractive and something that beer drinkers want to be attached to,” she continued. “And we’re trying to balance that with also being more organized and business-like for our customers.” Folks ask Karl Strauss CEO Chris Cramer all the time, “is this the toughest time in the industry?” His reply: “Hell no. It was a lot worse 28 years ago when there was no market for craft,” when “every single customer coming in was a cold call.” He still thinks “people are going to be converted” from mainstream beer and that “ultimately craft ends up nationally where some…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 44
Another record hop crop could be on the way after US hop growers planted over 5,000 more acres this spring. Looks like over 58K acres of hops planted across US, up 9.8% over last year’s acreage, Hop Growers of America announced early this month. That’s nearly double a historic low of about 29,700 acres in 2012. This massive expansion largely precipitated by the growth of craft in the US, as much of the acreage put in the ground devoted to aroma hop varieties, used in large quantities by small brewers, rather than alpha varieties grown largely for bitterness. During this time, the US took over as the world’s top hop-producing country from Germany. German hop acreage also up about 5%, Intl Hop Growers Convention stats show. And worldwide acreage also up. But total acreage added in US since 2012 “is larger than the total acreage of any other hop-growing country in the world, outside of our own and Germany,” HGA exec director Ann George said in statement. For first time in years, US acreage devoted to alpha varieties will also grow this year, HGA noted. That’s quite a shift. Aroma varieties went from about 40% of total hop acreage strung…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 43
Florida’s Funky Buddha Brewery quickly grew into prominence in-state, pulling away as state’s second largest brewing co.  Funky Buddha grew over 40% to 27K bbls last yr and expects to grow 30% to 35K bbls in 2017, brand director John Linn told CBN. FL still makes up 99% of total sales, while tiny bit of volume heads up to NJ (thru Kohler and Shore Point) and NYC (via Manhattan Beer). But fast-paced growth “probably” means Funky Buddha will hit current 42K bbls/yr capacity by 2018. So co’s “looking at different options” for capacity expansions, working with a consulting group to figure out “layout we would need to get to a larger size.” Funky Buddha’s also “looking” at potential mkt expansions, but “near future kind of depends on how closely we hit our plan,” said John. Other than FL to northeast connection, “next logical step” will be GA, Carolinas and Tenn, natch, where it’s in closer proximity and has relationships with some of same chain partners. NYC and NJ biz currently all goes to Anthony’s Coal Fire Pizza chain that has outlets in northeast and in FL. But it becomes question of “how much actual capacity we have for other territories.”…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 42
AB’s announcement it’ll acquire Asheville, NC’s Wicked Weed struck a chord. Now 10 such announcements in, AB’s learned what to say and what not to say and how to prep founders on the inevitable pushback from members of the craft cognoscenti. But so too have many of those folks figured out how to better communicate their misgivings. So amidst hollers of “sell-out” and promises of boycotts from a relatively small community of super-engaged consumers, more measured responses appeared. Brewers across the US who collaborated with Wicked Weed said they’d stop selling its brands or end planned and in-progress collaboration projects, like Texas’ Jester King, Calif’s Rare Barrel and Colo’s Black Project. In each case, the people behind these brands underlined their respect for Wicked Weed’s people, hoped to remain friends even, but acknowledged that “we don’t feel we are able to to have a business relationship with Wicked Weed because that connection, ultimately, is one with ABInBev,” as Black Project put it. Publications like Denver’s Westword, the Washington Post and of course the Asheville Citizen-Times reported the backlash, including promises from multiple retailers to sell off all remaining Wicked Weed beer (some heavily discounted) and not buy it again. Quickly, many brewers who…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 41
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…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 38
Boston Beer’s “efforts to rejuvenate the spring seasonal business basically did not succeed,” CEO Martin Roper conceded during investor call yesterday. “And that dragged our Sam Adams business down very significantly,” taking “a huge hit in Q1.” But he, founder/chairman Jim Koch and other execs have hope. “We believe we’ve got a good chance at stabilizing” seasonal biz, perhaps even getting it back to flat during Q2. Getting its overall biz (let alone Sam Adams) back to growth ain’t gonna be easy. Recall, total Boston shipments off 15% in Q1 and Sam Adams took biggest hit. Total depletions off 14% in 1st qtr and barely better, -13% thru Apr 15, as we wrote last issue. But Boston believes it’s got “all of our ducks in a row” for Q2. It’s had a “very clean cut over” from 2d spring seasonal Fresh as Helles to Summer Ale, which it’s got “significant investment behind” this yr. So execs maintained full-yr guidance of volume anywhere from -7% to +1%. They also offered more color to Martin’s suggestion of “tactical pricing in key markets to address competitor initiatives and secure key holiday activation,” in quarterly results release. “I don’t see major pressures in the…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 37