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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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Been a long time since craft’s seen this much red at the top. Twelve of top-16 craft brands down in SoCal IRI yr-to-date thru 2/19.  In most cases, brands declining nationally declined more so here. Blue Moon Belgian White down 16%, Shock Top Belgian White down 35%, NBB Fat Tire down 18.5%, Sierra Torpedo IPA and Boston Lager down 15%, Kona Longboard down 13%.  Sierra Pale (-6%) actually a little better here than nationally.  But perhaps most surprising is brands we’re not used to seeing down struggling big time.  Most notably, both Ballast Point Sculpin (-24%) and Grapefruit Sculpin (-17%) are down double-digits.  Then too, Stone IPA $$ down 2%, and Kona Big Wave Golden Ale and Hopper Variety Pk down 1% and 8% respectively.  Each of those brands grew strong double-digits nationally in 2016 IRI. Meanwhile, top-2 craft brands in SoCal, Firestone 805 Blonde (+10%) and Lagunitas IPA (+17%) both growin’ solidly, albeit at slower paces than previous year.  That’s right, both of these brands larger than Blue Moon Belgian White here.  Stone Delicious IPA is outlier of the bunch, flying up 183% tho sales starting to lap roll out as well.  Lagunitas Little Sumpin up 10.5%.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 20
Craft cans kept up speedy 53% growth pace in 2016 supers, snagging another 5.1 share of total craft $$ to 16.8, Dan noted (just as BA’s Bart Watson depicted in recent blog post – see Feb 14 issue).  Indeed, can formats gained across the board as 6pk cans (+62%) now #3 largest craft format and made up over half of total cans gain; 12pk 12oz cans (+26%), 4pk 16oz cans (+55%) and 15pk 12oz cans (+132%) made up majority of the rest, tho interestingly 4pk 12oz cans (+63%), 6pk of 16oz cans (+233%) and single 12oz can (+120%) comin’ on strong off tiny bases.  Meanwhile, total craft glass $$ sales were up just 0.5% suggesting that volume actually down in IRI supers last year.  While largest format, 6pk bottles, were able to grow 2.5%, 12pk bottles $$ declined 2% and 22oz bottles dipped 0.4%.  Only bottle formats that grew solidly were 12oz singles (+11.5%), 24pk 12oz (+8%), and single 17oz bottles (+18%), collectively making up a little over 1.3 share of total craft sales in this channel. Looking at top-5 craft can vendors, Founders continues its ascension, now making up about 6% of all craft can sales in IRI supers.…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 19
“Through false and deceptive advertising, Craft Brew intentionally misleads consumers into believing that Kona Brewing Company beer…is a local beer made in Hawaii.  In actuality, the beer is made in the continental United States.”  That’s gist of a 28-page complaint filed by two California plaintiffs seeking class action status, a declaration that Craft Brew Alliance is deceiving consumers and, of course, money.  Plaintiffs charge that Hawaii-soaked imagery used by CBA in selling Kona portfolio misrepresents brands (other than draft sold in HI) brewed in OR, WA, TN and NH.  As result, consumers willing to pay more for brands actually made in HI “overcharged” during period of 4 yrs prior to filing of suit.  That’s even as plaintiffs acknowledge that Kona labels include US brewing locations (by city, state) and Kona’s website specifically discloses that beers are brewed in other states.  Still, the ads and labels add up to misrepresentation, they insist.  Specifically, plaintiffs say CBA violated CA’s false advertising, consumer legal remedy, unfair competition, express warranty, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment statutes.  Similar suits have been filed in Calif and other courts against other suppliers.  Some have led to settlements, reaping (very) modest awards to drinkers, and substantial fees to…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 18
Not much positive from the financial community following Boston Beer’s Q4 report and conference call yesterday.  Headlines ranged from “Still Can’t Shake Those Boston Blues,” (Cowen’s Vivien Azer), “Hopscape not an Escape,” (Goldman Sachs’ Judy Hong), “Too Much Uncertainty for Our Taste,” (RBC’s Nik Modi), “Rough Road Ahead,” (CSLA’s Caroline Levy), to “Major Change in Strategic Mindset Needed,” (SIG’s Pablo Zuanic).  Several analysts pointed to Sam Adams’ overreliance on seasonals as a major issue, ~55% of total sales in scans, both Caroline and Pablo noted.  “Missteps” on Hopscape are “concerning,” sez Judy, and this is “the first time we can point to obviously poor execution at the company,” said Caroline. (Editor’s note: Boston’s not alone in reliance on seasonals, as CBN has been reporting.)  Also, innovations aren’t providing as large a lift as in previous years, (i.e. new Rebel launches and Truly Spiked seltzer).  And cider category remains weak, while Angry Orchard makes up over 1/4 of total Boston sales in scans (see last issue).   There’s a “lack of confidence on [Sam Adams’] core brands,” particularly Boston Lager, sez Pablo, and co should look to escape “fixation with its own ‘craft mentality.’”  In fact, Boston Lager trends improved in…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 17
Just a couple weeks ago, craft was eking out slight gains in Jan scans, with volume up 0.5% and $$ up 2.1% in Nielsen All Outlet data thru Jan 28.  But all of a sudden, craft volume down 3.4% and $$ down 1.4% for 4 wks thru Feb 11, implying steeper declines for latest 2 wks (surrounding Super Bowl weekend).  In fact, this 4 week total volume decline, -235K cases, is steepest drop for craft in a while (biggest 4-wk drop last yr was less than 200K CEs thru Dec 24).    Largest craft brand families continue to drag down total trend even further.  Sam Adams (-22.5%) and Sierra Nevada (-19%) volume together declined more than total segment for 4 wks.  Shock Top volume down a whopping 39% and Blue Moon franchise down 4%.  So those 4 are collectively down nearly 442K cases and over $13 mil for 4 wks in this data set – down 0.4 share of total beer volume and 0.6 share of $$.  Meanwhile, New Belgium managed to maintain +2.4% growth rate for 4 wks and YTD.  And Leinie Shandy franchise up 24% for 4 wks behind strong Leinie Grapefruit Shandy sales.  But keep in mind,…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 16
“The theme for tonight’s dinner is independence,” Brewers Assn CEO/prexy Bob Pease said kicking off dinner for journalists and media folks in NYC last night. “There are people out there that will tell you that independence doesn’t matter,” he said. “It does.” It was more than just theme, though. He and other speakers, including current BA board chairman and Allagash founder Rob Tod, repeatedly (and specifically) rebutted claims to the contrary from AB’s SAMCOM meeting earlier this wk. Even tho craft surpassed 24 mil bbls, Rob noted that “you could brew all of that volume in 2 or 3 breweries.” But instead, it comes from over 5,000, making craft “very, very inefficient” and therefore “extremely impactful” for a much larger number of communities, providing “tens of thousands of jobs.” That’s actually up to over 121K jobs directly at BA-defined craft breweries and brewpubs, BA’s craft beer program director Julia Herz chimed in. So again, particularly for those communities, “independence matters a lot,” Rob reiterated. Indeed, following busy period of craft acquisitions, “the independence pillar of [BA’s craft] definition has been rising in importance,” he said later. Attraction of new craft consumers to small brewery taprooms – a point Bob’s made…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 15