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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:


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.

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Alc bevs in general see pressure from multiple directions. Consumers just turning 21 in the US report less interest in drinking. They’re spending more time communicating with friends and family digitally rather than going out for a couple beers. Legal recreational cannabis provides “another option.” All of this suggests that “the pie could be getting smaller” for alc bevs, BA director Paul Gatza warned during CBC general session this morning. That comment riffed off research from IWSR suggesting that alc bev sales “will be in decline within a few years,” one of “concerns” Paul shared along with reasons for optimism. Asking audience to hold up their phones, “this is competing with beer right now,” he argued. “When I was younger, I’d go hang out with a couple of friends,” he remembered, “have a couple beers.” But those occasions “aren’t happening nearly as much.” And while it’s “still early” to determine exactly how much impact cannabis will have on alc bev sales, it creates “another occasion that may or may not include alcohol,” Paul said. While he remains skeptical of a major, all-at-once setback due to cannabis, “it does impact the numbers.” Then too, beer keeps “losing share to wine and…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2018
  • Volume 9
  • Issue # 41
New Sam Adams entrant for next yr in line with a bunch of much-discussed trends these days: cans (see above), sessionability, hop flavor instead of bitterness. Sam ’76 coming early next yr in 6- and 12-pks of 12oz cans and single-serve 16oz cans, Boston Beer shared this morning during media brunch at GABF. Sam Adams calls out beer as a “crisp & refreshing lager” on cans, but beer actually made with a blend of lager and ale yeasts. Clocking in at 4.7% ABV, the bright, golden lager focused squarely on balancing hints of fruity esters from ale yeast, blend of classic and new hops du jour (mostly employed for flavor and very little bitterness) and “a light-bodied refreshing crispness.” Sam ’76 doesn’t slap drinkers in the face or call too much attention to itself. Instead, it fits in with session craft launches over last few years. But unlike other Sam mainstays that may fit similar bill, like Boston Lager, Sam ’76’s use of Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe and Galaxy hops alongside classic Cascade clearly establishes it in modern craft brewing era. Interestingly, though these hops clearly a key piece of the beer’s flavor, can artwork doesn’t reflect that, certainly in the…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 87
While national on-premise beer chain World of Beer will lose its last 2 Colorado locations in next few weeks, fast-moving Crazy Mountain Brewing will gain a pair of new taprooms in metro-Denver area. Founded in Edwards in 2010 before taking over ex-Breckenridge Brewery facility in Denver in 2015, the brewery will first convert one ex-WOB location (in Cherry Creek/Glendale) to a 24-tap retail outlet, opening shortly. A 2d in Lakewood will open in August, co announced this week. Co also recently expanded Denver facility to include an outdoor beer garden, it announced. Last yr it shipped about 25K bbls, mktg director Greg Neale shared with Craft Brew News. It’s expecting to jump another 60% or so to finish the yr around 40K bbls, he added. At new taprooms, it’ll offer about a dozen year-rounds plus specialty releases and a handful of beers from others. It’s keeping staff, but reducing selection as WOB accounts previously had upwards of 50 taps, according to Westword. Paper also reminds that WOB went from 4 CO locations to none, after it closed one Denver location early last yr and was apparently evicted from Boulder location in December. Recall, Oskar Blues is now taking over Boulder spot.

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 62
PicoBrew wants to make machines for on-premise licensees now, not just home hobbyists. It announced plans to move into “commercial brewing appliances for bars and restaurants” shortly after we broke story that AB-InBev’s global Zx Ventures has stake in the homebrew appliance maker last week (see last issue). Note that at same time, CBN also referenced rumblings that bars and restaurants could look to use homebrew tech to offer house-made beer, moving ever closer to the notion that any bar could be a tiny brewery. And now, ABI-backed PicoBrew will look to make it so. The new “Indy” line of products will fit under counters, some hooking up directly to water supplies, making beer in batches of 5-15 gals. “Our early prototypes of commercial-scale craft brewing equipment have garnered considerable interest in the industry,” CEO Dr. Bill Mitchell said in release. The announcement came soon after PicoBrew also shared launch of more flexible recipe-creation for its existing machines, allowing more skilled brewers to develop customized ingredient packs for the appliances. Obviously, licensing and other regulatory issues could hinder fast expansion of the appliance into retail locations. On the other hand, states like Calif have already dealt with issues related to…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2017
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 3
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 2016
  • Volume 8
  • Issue # 2
Craft segment trends improved again in scans for latest 4 wks relative to other recent periods; $$ up 5.6%, volume up 4.3% for 4 wks thru Nov 27, compared to 8% and 5% gains YTD.   Gotta note, volume gains are closing the growth gap between 4 wks and YTD more so than $$ as craft pricing gains are starting to wane.  For latest 4 wks, craft avg price/case up just 1.3%, $0.45 to $36.50 compared to 1.9%, $0.67 increase for 12 wks and 3%, over $1/case increase to $36.12 YTD.  So craft only gained 0.17 share of total beer $$ for 4 wks compared to 0.5 gain YTD.  Even tho there’s still lotsa growth from higher-priced craft brands, more and more established craft brewers (acquired and independent alike) are playing with lower-priced value packs (see below).  And some of the highest-priced established brands, i.e. Ballast Point, Stone etc., have begun to realize lower avg prices, perhaps by selling larger pack sizes.  In fact, nearly all of the top craft vendors that are growing in IRI for latest 4 wks decreased avg prices: Lagunitas (-$0.37/case) Stone (-$1.46), Bell’s (-$0.36), SweetWater (-$0.51), Founders (-$2.81), Firestone (-$0.70), New Glarus (-$0.66) and Dogfish (-$0.97). …

Publishing Info

  • Year 2016
  • Volume 7
  • Issue # 103
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