Last July, when Harpoon Brewery co-founder Rich Doyle announced he would step down as CEO and sell his interest in a beer company he’d helped to build over 28 years, many in the space wondered what his next move would be. Less than nine months later, Doyle’s future in beer is much more clear.
Less than nine months after selling at least a 40 percent stake in Harpoon Brewery, the country’s 15th largest craft beer company, co-founder and former CEO Rich Doyle is back in the game. Backed by an investment from San Francisco-based private equity firm Friedman, Fleisher & Lowe, Doyle has launched Enjoy Beer LLC, a consortium aimed at providing back-office support to independent craft brewers.
New Belgium Brewing will gift $1 million to Colorado State University to renovate the facilities that host the school’s fermentation science and technology program, the brewery announced this afternoon. Kim Jordan, New Belgium’s CEO, will herself give $500,000 to the school, per a statement from the company. The remaining half million dollars will be allocated over five years through the brewery’s philanthropy arm.
Coinciding with plans to build out new production facilities in Texas and North Carolina, Atwater Brewery has shaken up its distribution network in each state and taken on new wholesaler partners. In North Carolina, the Detroit brewery has signed with Craft Central for distribution throughout central and western portions of the state. Previously, Freedom Beverage Co. has sold the Atwater brand. The brewery also recently partnered with Brown Distributing in Texas, ending its preexisting relationship there with Mayan Distributing.
Just in time for baseball’s Opening Day, the Kansas City Royals, in collaboration with Boulevard Brewing and Central States Beverage, have announced the opening a craft-centric beer bar featuring more than 75 craft beers. Appropriately dubbed Craft & Draft, Kauffman Stadium’s newest bar will pour offerings from Boulevard, Lagunitas Brewing, Founders Brewing and other local and well-established national craft players.
January and February were brutal months for industry-wide beer shipments, which declined 6.9 percent, according to the Beer Institute. As harsh winter storms and cold weather ransacked the northeast into early March, DC Brau CEO Brandon Skall stared at tanks full of beer and nowhere to put it.
Lagunitas Brewing will expand its distribution deeper into Pennsylvania this week after the nation’s sixth largest craft brewery signed with Ace Distributing. Beginning Thursday, Lagunitas beers will be available throughout York, Adams, Franklin, and Fulton counties, according to a press release from Ace. The brewery has existing relationships in the state with Frank Fuhrer Wholesale, BeerMart and Origlio Beverage, according to its website.
Newburyport Brewing today announced cellar expansion plans to double the capacity of its production facility to 15,000 barrels, a figure that, when reached, will cement its position as a regional brewery in the Northeast.
In just one week, more than 10,000 beer industry professionals will descend on Portland, Ore. for the Brewers Association’s annual Craft Brewers Conference. This year’s event, happening April 14-17 at the Oregon Convention Center, is slated to be the organization’s largest conference ever. Trying to decide which talks to attend is the stuff hangovers are made of. That’s why we’ve hand-selected 9 must-see seminars for the company owner looking to take his business to the next level.
Georgia lawmakers passed a stripped-down version of the so-called Beer Jobs Bill last Thursday, alleviating some sales limitations but ultimately falling short of the sweeping changes originally supported by the state’s craft brewers. As passed, Senate Bill 63 allows for brewers to charge varying fees for tours and in return provide consumers with up to 72 oz. of beer for off-premise consumption as a “free souvenir.”
While there wasn’t much eyebrow raising movement amongst craft’s more popular styles, there was one shocking statistic: the 180 degree turnaround of the pilsner category. At this time last year, sales of craft pilsners were down 5.4 percent in MULC. Fast-forward 365 days and sales are now up more than 100 percent. Pilsners are now 1 percent of all craft beers sold, according to IRI.
Angel City Brewery recently made its first foray outside of Southern California, partnering with Bonanza Beverage Company for distribution throughout Las Vegas, Nevada. Angel City beers, including Pilsner, Social IPA, and West Coast Wheat, are now available on draft and in 6-packs of bottles and cans throughout the city.
One Chicago retailer has opted not to sell SweetWater Brewing’s imperial stout known as “Happy Ending” over what its store manager called “sexist, borderline racist” label art, according to the Chicago Tribune. The label in question depicts a clear silhouette of a geisha and a box of tissues, an apparent allusion to the seedy practice of receiving sexual favors at massage parlors. According to the article, the Binny’s Beverage Depot in Lincoln Park sent back three cases of the beer, which is packaged in 22 oz. bottles. Lakeshore Beverage, SweetWater’s wholesaler in the area, told the Tribune that no other store declined to stock the beer.
Building on its strategic partnership with North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountain Brewing (AMB), Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) today announced it has signed an agreement to become the company’s master distributor. The new agreement will give the smaller brewer access to CBA’s nationwide network of Anheuser-Busch wholesalers in exchange for an undisclosed per-case distribution fee.