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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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Zx Ventures, the private equity investment arm of Anheuser Busch InBev’s global disruption unit, has a minority stake in PicoBrew, countertop homebrewing appliance often ballyhooed as “Keurig of homebrew,” the co confirmed today. That confirmation came at same time as announcment of ABI’s new JV with Keurig Green Mountain to develop an “in-home alcohol drink system,” as reported in sister-pubs INSIGHTS Express and Beverage Business INSIGHTS earlier today. But for craft lovers, investment in PicoBrew likely to generate a bit more interest as it represents at least the 3d investment by ABI’s Zx into innovations targeted at expanding accessibility to home beer making. Recall, Zx also invested in largest online homebrew supply retailer, Northern Brewer/Midwest Supplies, a story Craft Brew News broke in Oct (see vol 7, #86). In late Nov, we also wrote of Zx’s investment in Whym, a co that sells specialty ingredients alongside pre-brewed “beer base” to personalize at home. And now PicoBrew. The appliance simplifies homebrewing significantly, allowing users to insert pre-packaged ingredients into the machine and basically leave it alone as it brews, transfers liquid to attached fermentation and serving vessels. The co works with dozens of small brewers, including Rogue, Abita and 21st Amendment,…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 2
Small US brewers quickly jumped on board when Oskar Blues and Ball Corp announced debut of Crowler package and custom sealing machines for the 32-oz cans in 2014 and now one of top US grocery chains is trying it out too. Kroger is testing Crowler fills at the 12-tap station set up for growler fills in its Memphis store, The Commercial Appeal reported this week. That test competes with nearby indie liquor store that started up with Crowlers 2 yrs ago and fills 135-200 of the large cans per week. And so far, so good, a Kroger spokesperson said. Tennessee now has 25 Crowler-sealing machines, Oskar Blues spokesperson Jason Dan told the paper. But it ain’t anywhere close to other top states, he shared with Craft Brew News. As with most products, Calif is home to most Crowler machines, at almost 100. But top craft states like Oreg and Colo, plus big Pennsy and NY markets also among top states for Crowlers, according to Jason. He estimates about a quarter of the machines out there are at retail accounts. At $3,900 a pop, Oskar’s sold almost a thousand of the machines nationally since launching in 2014, he told the paper.…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 1
Another year-end recap for one of AB’s acquisitions hit the wires recently.  Devils Backbone “produced about 75,000 barrels” in 2016 and next year it expects “somewhere around 95,000 barrels,” reported Lynchburg News & Advance after talking to founder Steve Crandall.  So DBB grew about 21% in 2016 vs last yr.  Revenue growth rate reportedly a bit behind, up 18-20%, according to paper.  Keep in mind, before acquisition was announced in Apr, Steve and co told CBN it could reach 95K bbls in 2016 (see Mar 1 issue), so growth trajectory slowed quite a bit since.  Deal didn’t close until Sep, which perhaps stalled DBB’s expansion plans.  But now it’s all systems go.  AB’s “funding our dream,” as Steve put it, including cap expansions at outpost facility to 150K bbls (“deal basically included $25 million for us to build out the dream,” he said), a $3 mil distillery, souring/barrel-aging capabilities, new mkts and new jobs (among other things).  Gotta note, this will be AB’s first fully-owned distillery that we know of.      As you’d prolly expect, Devils Backbone will enter several new mkts in 2017 including SC, GA, FL, KY, OH, NJ, NY and more of PA and TN, noted paper. …

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 7
  • Issue # 108
More signs that Dec not so hot turned up in quick update from Morgan Stanley’s Dara Mohsenian based on Nielsen all-outlet plus convenience data thru 12/17. First, total beer slipped into negative territory for 4 wks, $$ sales down just slightly, even tho it’s still up over 2% for 12 wks. Trends of couple of largest craft brand families headed in wrong direction too. Sam Adams brands had been doing a bit better: -6.4% for 12 wks compared to -7.1% for 52 wks thru 12/17. But 4-wk decline actually slightly steeper than 52-wks, -7.4%. So now Boston Beer’s oldest brand family just 40% of the co’s brand mix in Nielsen data (tho Sam a much bigger part of Boston’s on-premise biz still). Note very similar pattern for Blue Moon during same periods. Short- and long-term trends almost identical -2.8% and -2.7% for 4- and 52-wks, respectively, while 12-wk trend over a point better. At same time, Ballast Point still strong and up double-digits for all periods. But it’s not maintaining massive 77% gain for 52 wks. For 12 wks, Ballast up about 43% in off-premise scans, +27% for 4 wks.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 7
  • Issue # 108
In big Southern Calif market, above premium segments already close to 70 share of off-premise $$, according to snapshot of Nielsen all-outlet off-premise data for 13 wks thru Dec 3, and craft a key part of ongoing premiumization there, as elsewhere. Above premium segments gaining 2 share of $$ in SoCal; craft is half that, up 1 full share point to 19.5 (imports bigger, gaining more share, natch). Craft $$ up about 5.5% for 13 wks thru 12/3. While craft in national scans this year largely a story about biggest brands dippin’, not so in SoCal. In fact, three of largest craft brands there over 16 share of segment $$ for 13 wks, gaining over 3 points. That’s led by newish top dog in the area, Firestone Walker 805. It’s now #15 beer brand by $$ in SoCal, up over 40% this period. And that growth, about $1.2 mil, was almost 40% of total craft growth for 13 wks. That put 805 at 6.7 share of craft $$, +1.8. It passed Blue Moon flagship (-7%) in SoCal this period. Next largest craft brand in the market, Lagunitas IPA about to pass Blue Moon too: up by about 25% and less…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 7
  • Issue # 106
Following improved trends in Nov, craft segment’s starting to slip again in scans for final mo of 2016.  As recently as Nov 26, craft volume was up 3.2% for 4 wks, but volume up just 0.7% for 4 wks thru Dec 10 in Nielsen All Outlet data, suggesting even tuffer trends for latest 2 wks.  While Blue Moon (-2%) and Sam Adams (-7%) franchises slightly improved for period, Sierra (-8%), New Belgium (-7%) and Shock Top (-25%) worsened yet.  And tho Leinie Shandy franchise improved to flat for 4 wks, its legacy craft portfolio still draggin’ total trend down.  Remaining Domestic Brewers trend markedly slowed for period too, up just 1.8% vs 7.5% YTD.  But keep in mind, that group includes Sierra, NBB and other large craft brewers having tuffer time this yr. All in, total beer biz volume slowed too.  Beer flat for 4 wks as craft slowed, FMBs slipped 1% and Premium/Economy trends softened. Import and superpremium maintained +7-8% trends and cider slightly improved, tho still down 12% for period.  YTD, total beer volume up 0.6%, craft volume up 3.1% in Nielsen All Outlet.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 7
  • Issue # 106