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Craft Brew News

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Craft Brew News

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In case you hadn’t heard, total beer trends ain’t so hot so far this yr. Tho likely to be revised over next year or so, domestic taxpaid shipments down 2.3% for 7 mos thru July, estimates Beer Institute economist Michael Uhrich. That includes much better July, when beer brewed and shipped within US up 6%. State-by-state data that includes imports is healthier, down just 0.8% YTD. Still no great shakes. But how do the states stack up against each other? How are top craft states doing compared to others? Generally speaking, better, at least when looking at the states with high “All Others” share in 2017. Recall, that’s share of shipments held by brewers below the top-5 (AB, MC, Constellation, Heineken USA and Pabst), so well beyond craft (and only available for 42 “reporting” states). One way to think about the metric: big All Others states are those where small suppliers are more developed and therefore less dependent on big brewer trends. And again, the states where All Others hold the most share are generally reporting better-than-average trends so far this year. Among top-5 states for All Others, just one is down YTD thru July: Oregon, -2.5%. Shipments in top…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2018
  • Volume 9
  • Issue # 81
Consultant Bump Williams is a self-proclaimed “nay-sayer” about the beer biz these days, he declared at this year’s hi-profile Meeting of the Malts event hosted by Brewers of PA in Bethlehem. Bump’s eyeing “threats across the board” for beer and potentially “a decade of declines” to come, he opined while moderating panel with Yuengling’s Wendy Yuengling, Founders’ Mike Stevens, Cigar City’s Joey Redner, Victory’s Bill Covaleski, and Yard’s Tom Kehoe. Can anyone “talk me off the ledge?” he asked. Founders continues to take an aggressive and disruptive approach toward growth, and co-founder Mike Stevens seemingly encouraging other craft brewers follow suit. Founders is “betting on” scenario where Bud, Miller and Coors “don’t come back” from persistent volume declines. And that creates big “opportunity” for brewers (like Founders) willing to push outside of the craft “bubble,” he said, sticking to consistent message he’s been sharing over the last couple yrs. “They [Bud, Miller, Coors] had their time” and “I say we go out there and we f*&K ’em up.” Ultimately, “our job and everybody’s is to connect,” with American consumers and “bring the sexiness” back to beer “rather than fighting” in the craft “bubble….Go beyond that” and “win the hearts of…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2018
  • Volume 9
  • Issue # 78
Craft segment’s lookin’ sluggish again in tracked scans for latest period. Volume declined 0.7% as $$ eked out 0.4% gain for 4 wks in IRI multi-outlet + convenience data thru Jul 15. That’s as total beer $$ grew 2% and volume flat. So craft lost share of both total beer $$ and volume for 4 wks. Gotta note, if you exclude Blue Moon ($$ down 3%), Leinie (-13%) and Shock Top (-20%), craft trend in MULC improves by 2.5 to 3 pts for the 4-wk period, and still gaining a bit of share (tho not much, +0.1). Meanwhile, slowdown ain’t just happenin’ in grocery channel, where craft is most developed. Trend was virtually the same in c-stores too: IRI craft $$ up just 1%, volume flat in c-stores vs $$ up 0.3%, volume down 0.6% in grocery. And that’s as craft remained flat at just 6.8 share of beer $$ in c-stores for period vs 21.3 share (down 0.65) in grocery. Altogether, IRI craft $$ up 2.7%, volume up 1.4% YTD thru Jul 15 in MULC, still gaining 0.3 share of $$ and 0.2 of volume YTD. 9 of Top-10 Craft Brands Down for 12 Wks; All Day #1 IPA…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2018
  • Volume 9
  • Issue # 70
“‘Locally-made’ falls somewhere in the middle of the list” of factors that craft drinkers say is “somewhat” or “very” important when choosing which beers to buy, Nielsen veep Danelle Kosmal pointed out during today’s BA Power Hour, reviewing Craft Beer Insights Poll results. “Locally-made” was cited as important by 59% of craft drinkers. That’s the same amount who say “made by Independent brewer” is important. But it’s “even higher for younger drinkers.” Further, local is rising as a response to question about “the type of craft beer you typically purchase.” Over half, 55% of craft drinkers respond local, up from prior yrs, Danelle pointed out. That’s 10 pts below responses for “regional” craft brands. But “national” brands reported by 42% of respondents. And that’s declining. We probably don’t need to remind that these trends clearly showing up in off-premise sales data. That said, Nielsen/BA CIP survey data also shows a relatively big shift in percent of craft drinkers that choose a beer “style first” or “brand first.” Back in 2015, 3/4 of craft drinkers, regardless of how often they consumed craft, chose a craft beer “style first,” Danelle showed. But that dipped to 2/3 of total craft beer drinkers in…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2018
  • Volume 9
  • Issue # 67
Lotsa natural links between Constellation and its just-announced 3d craft purchase: Dallas’ Four Corners Brewing. Key: Four Corners is a “high-performing, dynamic and bicultural (Hispanic and American) brand” that “complements Constellation’s existing portfolio,” as Constellation noted in release. Constellation now owns craft brewers based in Calif (Ballast Point), Fla (Funky Buddha) and Tex, its three largest markets, accounting for 44% of total Constellation volume. Four Corners grew 5-fold since 2014, it sez; more than doubled in 2017 to 11,560 bbls, per BA estimate. Also, Four Corners more than tripled capacity from 8K bbls in 2014 to 25K last yr. With Ballast and Funky B, Constellation craft volume at about 360K bbls, based on 2017 volume, we estimate. Puts it between Deschutes and Stone in craftland (tho continued Ballast decline may knock it further down the list this yr). Comments from Four Corners sounded familiar note when indie brewer sells to big co: “Four Corners’ standard of brewing will remain unchanged because the existing management team…along with their current employees, will continue delivering the same innovative and fresh flavors consumers enjoy today.” Co-founder George Esquivel added: “We like to say that Four Corners is our collective beer journey, and partnering with…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2018
  • Volume 9
  • Issue # 64
The first major craft M&A move of 2018 landed in TX. Fast growing Dallas-based Deep Ellum Brewing joined forces with Fireman Capital-backed CANarchy platform, teaming up with Oskar Blues, Cigar City, Wasatch & Squatters, Perrin brands, co announced and founder John Reardon shared with CBN. “I have rolled a significant portion of my equity” into CANarchy, John said. Deep Ellum was “running up against a wall of capacity,” he added, and either needed to make “massive” investment in building out its brewery or become part of “a bigger umbrella.” Enter CANarchy. Recall, Deep Ellum initially planned to sell 56% stake to separate PE platform, Storied Craft Breweries (SCB) way back in Dec 2016. That deal never consummated as originally planned. SCB took smaller stake. It is “not considered involved” tho it does have “incentive for success” as “hybrid-type investor” going forward. Deep Ellum On Pace for 55K Bbls This Yr; “Massive Runway” Still in TX This deal in large part about funding further expansion for Deep Ellum, and leaning into its growth. Deep Ellum so far just sells in TX where there’s still “massive runway,” in John’s view. Vast majority of its sales in Dallas metro. Deep Ellum sold throughout…

Publishing Info

  • Year 2018
  • Volume 9
  • Issue # 56
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