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Craft Brew News is your best source for the latest craft beer-related news, numbers and analysis. This lively, easy-to-read e-newsletter keeps subscribers up to date with the latest breaking stories alongside exclusive insight and perspective that only BMI can provide. Subscribe today to get the accurate, reliable and relevant info you need to compete effectively in this dynamic craft beer segment.

Craft Brew News

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Normally one of the biggest beer events of the year, drawing some 60K attendees to the Denver Convention Center in recent years, this weekend’s 2020 Great American Beer Festival will be far from “normal.” This year’s fest is a “stripped down, bare-bones” version of what it’s been, explained Ann Obenchain, marketing director of the event’s host, the Brewers Assn, in a recent conversation with Craft Brew News. As managing the competition took precedence, the virtual version of the festival, running this Fri and Sat evening, will generate just 3% of the revenue of an in-person event, Ann shared. Recall, with both the in-person GABF and its other major events, the Craft Brewers Conference/World Beer Cup and SAVOR canceled, the BA lost almost 70% of its annual revs for 2020. It reduced staff by 40% and made other difficult cuts. Attendees of this year’s virtual GABF can buy a $20 passport providing access to digital live-streamed content on the Brewing Network, plus discounts and offers at over 1,100 US breweries in all 50 states. That’s a larger group of participating breweries than the 800 or so that pour at an in-person fest. Just over half of the breweries participating this yr…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 98
When Black Lives Matter protests erupted across the country following the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd by a now-former Minneapolis police officer, members of the US craft beer industry, like most Americans, could not look away. Floyd’s death fit a painful pattern and freshened old wounds and rifts that many in the industry know can not be healed by a single beer, toast or post. The unrest that continues to shake many corners of the country, its causes and its effects, can not be ignored. Protests and curfews have certainly disrupted business in recent weeks. And the systems and patterns that Black Lives Matter activists work to highlight, upset and undo also certainly contribute to this persistent fact: the US beer and craft beer industries remain overwhelmingly white.The Numbers: 75-90% White The only numbers attempting to discern the diversity (or lack thereof) of the craft beer industry come from a Brewers Assn benchmarking survey conducted in 2018, published last summer. It’s based on a few hundred responses. About 88% of surveyed craft brewery owners identified as non-Hispanic white. Between 76% and 89% of other staff, whether production or service, managerial or not, was also white, according to these respondents.…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 56
Brooklyn Brewery’s sales platform with 21st Amendment and Funkwerks Brewing is officially disbanding effective Jul 1, 2020, Brooklyn CEO Eric Ottaway confirmed with CBN following 21A’s letter to distrib partners. Cos “jointly decided to disband our sales platform,” 21A founders Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan stated in letter. And Brooklyn will maintain minority investments in both 21A and Funkwerks, Eric clarified. This is just about returning to individual sales forces for each brand, “unwinding what we put together originally.” Why make the change? “While the platform had numerous benefits for all partners, the synergies we dreamed of took longer to come together and came with their own unique new challenges,” wrote Nico and Shaun. Together “we have come to the conclusion that the joint sales platform is simply not efficient in current market conditions” amid COVID-19. Indeed, both retailers and wholesalers are cutting back on SKUs and focusing even more on local and regional brands, Eric elaborated with CBN separately. Right now, “a platform across the country doesn’t really make sense anymore” and addressing local mkts with “direct salesforce” for each brand is a “much better” approach. “The model keeps shifting,” almost on a yearly basis, Eric acknowledged, so the…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 52
While hard seltzers are stealing the show in beer (and total alc bev) biz by virtually every other measure, IPAs and ales are the fastest growing beer styles on Drizly’s platform for ordering beer online since COVID-19 hit, Drizly CEO Cory Rellas shared on webinar hosted by Evercore ISI analyst Robert Ottenstein. Lookin’ at yr-over-yr sales trends on Drizly (bolstered lately by influx of new users and retail accounts), IPAs accelerated from +333% on Mar 16 to +823% on Apr 13. And pale ales accelerated from +342% to +870% in that time. Liquor, Cordials, and Schnapps catch-all segment was the only other segment among all alc bevs that grew faster in that time, pickin’ up to +953% on Apr 13. Hard seltzers accelerated to “just” +555% on Apr 13. Indeed, “our consumer over-indexes craft” by 2X, Cory noted. Suggests craft has over 20 share of Drizly beer sales. “Higher price point beers” are “taking further and further share from the macros,” he added.Recall, Drizly is a software co that serves as 3d party mkt place aggregator for consumers to order alc bevs online for delivery. More rapid adoption of online sales following on-premise shutdowns helped drive Drizly’s biz to a…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 39
Lagunitas had its tuffest qtr yet in US since acquired by Heineken. Volume slipped “high-single digit,” parent co Heineken noted in its Q1 release. That follows low-single digit declines in US each of the last 2 yrs tho co continued to grow overall thanks to big increases internationally. But in Q1, Lagunitas US sales were softer than separately run Heineken USA unit (down mid-singles) for first time. So total Heineken sales in US took another tuff hit altogether, even as Heineken brand family grew low-singles driven by Heineken 0.0.Of course, COVID-19 played its part in impacting Q1 numbers, including some of Lagunitas’ largest mkts (i.e. NorCal) among earliest to shelter in place. Globally, Heineken anticipates performance across all biz units “to worsen in the second quarter” and be “impacted” thruout 2d half of the year. But Lagunitas had been on a tuff track outside of coronavirus impacts as well. Recall, several key leadership members have been replaced recently, including CEO, CMO, VP of sales, as co also went thru sizable rounds of layoffs over last couple yrs. Sales of flagship Lagunitas IPA noticeably picked up off-premise since introduction of 12pk cans, flyin’ nearly +40% in latest pantry-loading periods. But several…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 38
“This is the most difficult thing we’ve had to deal with in our 40-year history,” Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman told CBN late last week. “We’ve had fires, we’ve actually had floods,” but nothing compares to effects of COVID-19. Yet Sierra Nevada has not had one COVID-positive employee. And Sierra Nevada never laid off employees previously and “we haven’t laid anyone off as of now,” said Ken. But Sierra Nevada did “shut down all customer facing parts of our operations” about 1 month ago and “everyone received full paychecks through” Apr 3. Now the approximately 400 folks that work in restaurants, tours and gift shops have 3 options, said Ken. They can either stay on as Sierra employees, deployed in other areas of the co, given as many hours as possible or they could take personal leave for a period, but still get full benefits, or they could “part ways” with Sierra to get enhanced unemployment benefits. “Nearly everyone took option one and two.” Sierra Nevada has about 1100 total employees. Many working in areas like repacking variety packs, additional cleaning, food-to-go, selling vintage beers, etc. Shipments Up Almost 10% in Q1; Not Highly Leveraged; Both Breweries “Full Speed Ahead”…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2020
  • Volume 11
  • Issue # 34
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 Craft Update 2021

By Beer Marketer’s Insights
Presented by Chris Shepard & David Steinman,
the Editors of Craft Brew News
March 3, 2021 - Part 1
April 28, 2021 - Part 2
1pm Eastern Time
90-minutes including Q&A

Click Here to Register