After big ramp up to 92K bbls last yr, 1st full yr under CANarchy wing, expansion into new markets and continued strong growth of flagship Jai Alai IPA in scans, Cigar City was a sure bet for crossing 100K-bbl milestone in 2018. But it already blew by it thru Q3, likely to leap-frog numerous other craft brewers as it expects to finish this yr at about 143K bbls, +55%, co shared last wk. That would put Cigar City volume somewhere between where Great Lakes (141K bbls) finished 2017 and where each of Alaskan and Victory (147K bbls) ended up. Would also put it less than 40K bbls behind CANarchy compatriot Oskar Blues, which dropped 10% to 180K bbls in 2017, recall.
Cigar City also significantly expanded distribution, almost quadrupling the states it’s available in from 6 in 2016 to 23 by 3rd qtr of this yr, by which point co already shipped 107K bbls. That growth heavily driven by Jai Alai, $$ +67% yr-to-date thru Sep 9 in IRI multi-outlet + convenience and keeping up that pace last 4 wks. It’s actually now #2 craft canned 6-pk in IRI data, co shared, with almost 90% of its sales in that pack alone. (Editor’s note: Ironically, it’s 2nd to another new #1 by $$, Sierra’s Hazy Little Thing, only available in 6pk of 12-oz cans. Another new brand, Sam 76, is already #3, ahead of Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale and Karbach Hopadillo IPA.) Boosting Jai Alai sales this yr is addition of both 16-oz cans and 12pks. And comin’ in behind Jai Alai, Cigar City worked to establish Guayabera Pale as it’s clear #2 brand this yr, co shared.
Cigar City brand fam up near 61% YTD thru 9/9 in IRI MULC data, fastest trend among top-50 breweries, according to co. Total CANarchy portfolio up 14% YTD, co confirms. That’s about $6 mil in growth, our cut of IRI shows. And Jai Alai adding all of that and then some, gaining almost $6.2 mil in scanned off-premise sales so far this yr. A couple of other CANarchy brands also growing solidly, last we saw. So some members of the collective hot, others not, just like most other craft portfolios these days. It’s still the #12 supplier in IRI craft data, with 3rd best trend of the bunch, growin’ slower than only Founders and Firestone Walker.