Press Clips: A-B Ponies Up for “Whatever”; BA Reports on Growth and Variety

Bud LightA-B Doubles Spending on “Whatever” Town

After residents of Crested Butte vocalized anger at what they felt was a pittance offering of $250,000, Anheuser-Busch will now double the amount of money it’s spending to temporarily take over the town as part of a marketing stunt, according to the Denver Post.

While residents were angry about both the secrecy of the event’s orchestration and the potential damage such a corporate occasion — A-B plans to paint part of the town “Bud Light blue” as part of its “Up For Whatever” ad campaign — could have on the town’s image, money proved a much more tangible issue.

Angered citizens felt the $250,000 the beer giant was ponying up for its weekend-long occupancy was a low-ball figure. Thus, as reported by the Post, A-B is now forking over $500,000 for the event.

According to the report, the town council unanimously approved the special-use permit on Thursday night, giving the final green light for the event scheduled to take place this weekend.

Brewers Association Publishes String of Growth, Variety Reports

Citing a “recent article in the popular press,” (Perhaps this Bon Appetit piece?) that argued too much choice may be bad for the craft beer consumer, Brewers Association economist Bart Watson swung back with a retort, claiming beer drinkers need not fear SKU-mageddon.

The reasoning is pretty straightforward:

1. Consumers now have more information than ever to help them pick through the clutter.

2. Craft beer drinkers, despite how overwhelming a crowded shelf might appear, value variety.

3. “Competition = innovation… and innovation is delicious.”

Watson followed up that ditty with a report dispelling the notion “that craft eats into overall beer volume as beer lovers trade up to fewer, fuller-flavored offerings.” On the contrary, according to his analysis, U.S. states with a stronger craft presence boost overall beer volume.

And the latest blog post pegs a 20 percent share for craft of the overall beer market by 2020 as a “not only achievable, but a predictable result.”

The BA cites a number of reasons for this, namely, the popularity of craft amongst millennials, which will be the “dominant consumer force” by 2020, and the continued “premiumization” of the beer business.

Craft now needs to enjoy category-wide growth of 11 percent over the next seven years to reach the “20 by 20” goal. “Based on current trends,” the BA concludes, “2014 will end in the high teens, with market volume share approaching 11 [percent], so if the following six years deliver 11 [percent] growth then 20 by 20 will be achieved (assuming flat overall beer volumes).”

Wet ‘N Reckless Takes to Kickstarter to Rebuild Brewery

In July, San Diego’s Wet ‘N Reckless Brewery was destroyed in a fire. Now, the company has turned to Kickstarter to rebuild and — this stuff writes itself — rise from the ashes.

With a stated goal of $47,000, the company has raised just over $6,000 to date and now has 21 days left to come up with the rest.

“It will be a lot of work, but I’ve done it before, so I know exactly what to do. The first time around, which started 3 years ago, involved a lot of invention and experimentation plus the building of a customer base,” wrote owner Dave Hyndman on the Kickstarter page. “All of those things have already been done. I know exactly what to buy, to build, I have recipes for over 25 different beers and I have a customer base that will come back as soon as I reopen.”

According to a note company’s Facebook page, Wet ‘N Reckless had only obtained liability insurance upon opening and is unable to file a claim which would help with the rebuilding efforts.

“Well, first of all, it appears that I only have liability insurance,” the note reads. “When I first started I was pinching pennies and didn’t have much to lose. So, I am basically not covered to rebuild.”

Dust Bowl Plans $10 Million Expansion

Turlock, California’s Dust Bowl Brewing has announced plans to invest $10 million in expansion project that will more than quadruple its production capacities.

Construction on a new 30,000 sq. ft. facility is scheduled to start in November, according to the Merced Sun-Star, and be complete by next summer. Construction is pending a permit approval, however.

“We’re at capacity now,” co-owner Brett Tate told the website.

The new brewery would enable the company to produce upwards of 17,000 barrels annually with room for continued growth.