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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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Beyond acquisitions that expand its core brewing business, AB InBev recently "partnered" with Northern Brewer, one of top online homebrew supply retailers, via ABI's global ZX Ventures "Disruptive Growth" group. Minnesota-based Northern Brewer is widely considered the largest online ingredient and equipment retailer for homebrewers across US, especially if considered in tandem with Midwest Supplies, with which it now shares ownership after each co took on separate private investors, according to multiple reports/sources. Both of those cos operate separate websites as well as brick and mortar shops in the upper Midwest, but do the majority of their sales online, we understand. This deal just one more piece of largely secretive plans and activities of ABI's private equity subsidiary ZX Ventures. So far it invested in a number of cos with biz models tangential to brewing, including Owl's Brew tea-based mixers and radlers and Kombrewcha low-alc kombucha brands, as reported in sister-pubs Beverage Business Insights and Beer Marketer's Insights. The group "is pleased to share we have partnered with Northern Brewer. The team there shares our passion for brewing and commitment to the best ingredients," ZX's Global VP of Homebrewing Cassiano Hissnauer said in statement to Craft Brew News. "ZX Ventures…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 7
  • Issue # 86
A tense two days in Mass legislature for beer interests. Long-simmering tensions between Mass brewers and distribs erupted Wednesday when state Senator filed proposal that "would effectively repeal the state's decades-old beer-franchise law," as Boston Globe reported. Amendment provided that relationships between brewers and distribs "shall be governed by the parties' agreement, the law of contracts, and/or other generally applicable provisions and principles of commercial law." Recall, for yrs Mass craft brewers complained it's too hard to move brands; distribs countered brands move all the time and consumers have vast choice. All attempts to reform franchise law in legislature previously failed. Amendment scheduled for debate/vote on Thursday, but was put aside. Many had expected it would be postponed, including its sponsor and House Speaker. But instead, legislature passed different amendment that creates task force of brewers, distribs and official appointees that will "have until Dec. 31 to draft rules spelling out when and how a brewer is permitted to fire a distributor and switch to a new one," as Boston Globe reported. Proposal still needs to go thru reconciliation process and get Gov's signature. Assuming that happens, Senate staffer confirmed to paper that if task force can't agree, state senators…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 7
  • Issue # 57
Leading up to Pabst distrib meeting last week, CBN got a chance to check out a snippet of the local beer scene in Milwaukee during its annual Beer Week. First stop was Milwaukee Brewing in Walkers Point neighborhood. Milwaukee Brewing grew 30% to 12K bbls in 2015 with just a small portion of biz goin' out of state to Minneapolis and Chicago areas. This year co expects to max out production facility at 15K bbls, so it's in the process of choosing an additional new production space to boost cap. New space will be expandable up to 60K bbls, founder Jim McCabe told CBN. Milwaukee started like many others in 90s with an amber ale, Louie's Demise, which remains its flagship to-date. However times have changed and Milwaukee's portfolio has adapted, natch. When asked about a beer that's very unique to their brewery, Jim and head of sales, Mike Christensen, offered up their O-Gii, a 9.2% abv riff on a Belgian witbier infused with locally made green tea and ginger in addition to more traditional coriander and orange flavors. Mike previously worked for Crispin both before sale and a bit after sale to MillerCoors. CBN also attended Central Waters beer…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 7
  • Issue # 33
Interesting cut of data shows that top-10 IPA cos by volume are still over half of total IPA sales in both IRI foodstores and c-stores for 13 wks thru Mar 27. Lagunitas is the clear leading IPA co in both channels and still growing solidly. Indeed, Lagunitas IPAs collectively up 16% in foodstores to 12 share of IPA and +35% in c-stores to 13 share of IPA. They've seen continued growth over several yrs, tho this yr trends are slower for some, particularly in foodstores, including flagship IPA and Daytime session IPA down earlier this yr (in MULC thru Feb). Recall, flagship Lagunitas IPA expected to improve after working thru Safeway reset in Calif for earlier part of the yr (see Apr 15 issue). Lookin' at foodstores, next largest IPA co is Sierra with 8% of IPA sales, followed by Boston Beer and New Belgium with 7 share of IPA each. Sierra's IPA growth slowed to just +3%, largely due to declining Torpedo and tuff comps from Hop Hunter launch. Tho Rebel IPA is down, Boston's IPA biz still able to grow 22% in Q1 thru residual launch of Rebel Rouser as well as new Rebel Grapefruit IPA, Nitro IPA…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 7
  • Issue # 32
Craft is bigger and better funded than it's ever been, but early signs of softness suggest that some of the huge investments being made in the space may go unrecovered unless overall growth accelerates. Multiple sources reported a segment-wide slowdown late last year. That's been confirmed (at least to some extent) by lower-than-expected yr-end shipments totals from some bigger craft brewers. Yet money continues to pour in from all angles. The landscape changes of 2015 will certainly precipitate further change in 2016. But for many of these investments to pan out, bigger shifts into the segment, whether from mainstream beer and/or wine and spirits, may need to accelerate. Craft and Beyond May Be Bigger Than You Think and Big Boys Dialing Up Investments Zoom out for a moment and take seriously the suggestion that consumers decide what's a craft beer and what isn't. An exceptionally broad view of a "craft-to-somebody" segment balloons rapidly to well over 15 share of US beer volume. That begins to capture a much larger shift in the American palate than craft metrics typically show. And crucially, many companies plan significant investments to continue growing in this arena. This theoretical segment includes superpremium brands like Shock…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 7
  • Issue # 5
Hot on the heels of ABI's last US craft acquisition, Four Peaks in Arizona (announced Friday), and UK craft purchase Camden Town (just yesterday, see below), the co announced it has deal to buy Colorado's Breckenridge Brewery today. Few details and no terms of the deal disclosed, natch. But importantly, the acquisition does not include a number of the brewpubs and restaurants that Breckenridge owns, including a pair of Breckenridge spots and Wynkoop Brewing in Denver. Those will still be operated by current mgmt. Deal is expected to close in the first quarter. AB's High End unit will take over operation of the original Breck brewpub in the mountain town it's named after. Recall, Breckenridge just opened its new brewery campus just south of Denver in Littleton, which significantly expanded the brewery's production capabilities, this year. It's on track to sell about 70K bbls in 2015, according to the co, up from 64K last yr and 32K in 2010, based on BA numbers. The deal also represents the 5th US craft acquisition by AB in the last 13 months or so. Those 5 breweries could ship upwards of 300K bbls collectively in 2015, and with modest growth AB's 7 acquired…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2015
  • Volume 6
  • Issue # 100