In this week’s Last Call: A look at California beer production; Sen. Schumer backs permanent excise tax cuts; TTB accepts $20,000 offer in compromise from Cigar City; and more beer industry news.
Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) is making good on its promise to innovate in products other than beer, namely low- or no-alcohol drinks. The publicly traded Portland, Oregon-based craft beer company — which makes and markets the Kona Brewing, Widmer Brothers, Redhook, Omission and Square Mile Cider brands, and has partnerships with Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Wynwood Brewing, and Cisco Brewers – has launched what it has dubbed the “pH Experiment.”
Brewbound, a leading trade publication covering the beer industry, today announced the first group of speakers that will take the stage during its two-day November business conference, called Brewbound Live. Joining the event – which takes place on November 27th and 28th in Santa Monica, California, and brings stakeholders from all three tiers of the brewing industry together to discuss trends, challenges and the future of beer – is a star-studded group of industry experts who will share insights and strategies for moving the category forward.
If you’re in the beer industry, you’ve probably heard the name Rhonda Kallman. Credited with helping launch Boston Beer Company alongside Jim Koch in 1984, Kallman has experienced a lifetime’s worth of entrepreneurial successes and failures – and she’s lived to tell the tale. In the latest episode of Taste Radio, Kallman tells her story and discusses the defining moments of her personal and professional journey.
Constellation Brands will expand its reach in the craft beer segment with the acquisition of Texas’ Four Corners Brewing, the New York-based beverage alcohol company announced today. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
In an effort to “better align” its internal structure with its “long-term business strategy,” Anheuser-Busch has split its “High End” craft and import division into two separate business units. Announced to employees and distributors yesterday, the restructuring will include the creation of a standalone craft beer division, led by Felipe Szpigel, whose title will change to “president of craft.”
MillerCoors chief marketing officer David Kroll will leave the company on July 27, CEO Gavin Hattersley wrote in a memo to distributors and employees on Monday. Kroll, who joined MillerCoors in mid-2012 as a vice president in charge of U.S. marketing and took over as CMO in July 2015, is leaving to “pursue other independent business interests,” Hattersley said.
As sales of U.S. craft beer have begun to slow, so too has the appetite for domestic dealmaking. More recently, however, there’s been an uptick in the number of international craft acquisitions — including a pair of well-regarded London-based breweries. London’s Fourpure Brewing Co. announced today a 100 percent sale to Australia-headquartered and Kirin-owned Lion Pty Limited.
In this week’s edition of Last Call: Tivoli sues Montucky Cold Snacks over brand rights; President Trump’s trade war with China escalates; Jake Leinenkugel seeks medical marijuana study for military vets; New Belgium joins the American Hemp Campaign; H-E-B begins beer and wine delivery; and more news.
As the summer season gets into full swing, a growing number of drinkers are purchasing hard seltzers, according to recent data from market research company Nielsen. Year-to-date dollar sales of hard seltzer products across the aggregate of measured off-premise channels totaled $257 million through June 16, compared to $85 million during the same period last year (and $8.5 million in 2016), said Danny Brager, the senior vice president of Nielsen’s beverage alcohol practice.
The Brewers Association (BA) announced a sponsorship deal earlier this week to feature a Buffalo Wild Wings branded pop-up sports bar on the floor of the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), its marquee tasting and judging event held annually in Denver. The partnership with the chicken wing chain, which was acquired last November by Arby’s for $2.9 billion, is the second major sponsorship deal for the late September festival. In early June, the BA announced that Pernod Ricard-owned Jameson would build a barrel-aged beer garden on the festival floor.
Wilmington, North Carolina-based Ironclad Brewery has established a venture capital business unit in order to invest its profits into other startups. Speaking to Brewbound, CEO Ted Coughlin said Ironclad will make investments in the beer space as well as other sectors with significant growth potential. He added that Ironclad will invest its profits — which he estimates will average about $200,000 annually — in about eight startup companies a year.
In this edition of People Moves: Joe Menetre, the former vice president of sales at New Belgium Brewing Company, has joined Fort Collins-based Suerte Tequila. Meanwhile, Constellation Brands has appointed former DHL executive Ricardo Bartra as its chief technology officer, and Sun King Brewing president Bob Whitt will step back from his day-to-day responsibilities at the end of July.
Midway through 2018, off-premise volume sales of craft beer across a variety of large-scale retail stores are up just 1.7 percent, according to market research firm IRI Worldwide. While craft beer dollar sales at grocery, club, drug, dollar, mass merchandiser and convenience stores were just shy of $2 billion through June 17, up 2.9 percent year-to-date, the most recent trends point to a slowdown as brewing companies head into an important summer season.