In this week’s edition of Last Call: A New York distributor was fined $4.3 million in a bottle return scam; TTB says no to controlled substances in beer; Owens-Illinois announces plans to close its Atlanta facility;
Stone Brewing co-founder and executive chairman Greg Koch is moving beyond beer with the launch of with Nutista, an artisanal, stone-ground nut butter line. Joining him, and running the day-to-day operations, are co-founders Tristen Cross and John Huber. Nutista produces three core flavors — an original that’s a blend of nut varieties, a banana nut butter and a maple nut butter — but Koch’s influence is more apparent in other sub-lines. The brand recently released a Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout Nut butter as well as a Tangerine Express IPA Nut butter, both of which are inspired by popular Stone beers.
Jim Sabia, chief marketing officer of Constellation Brands’ beer division, has been promoted to a newly created role of executive vice president and CMO of the New York-based alcohol company. In a press release, Constellation Brands said Sabia, who joined the organization in 2007 as the vice president of the spirits division, would oversee all aspects of marketing across the company’s beer, wine, and liquor portfolios.
Nearly two years after the Department of Justice (DOJ) signed off on Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (ABI) $100 billion takeover of SABMiller, the government agency still has not completed its review of the merger. The DOJ and ABI filed a joint motion on March 15 asking U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan to approve the “proposed final judgment.” However, several groups have objected to the judgment, as it is currently written, and are now seeking a hearing in order to resolve anti-competitive concerns.
Earlier this month, Brewers Association CEO Bob Pease took the stage at the 2018 Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) in Nashville, Tennessee, and extolled the benefits of direct-to-consumer sales. Calling breweries with the ability to sell beer across the bar or to-go “ground zero for bringing new drinkers into the category,” Pease made his case for the continued expansion of the beer category via own-premise sales.
In a move that underscores just how quickly the craft beer segment has evolved, Shmaltz Brewing Company today announced plans to vacate an upstate New York brewing facility that it built just five years ago. The company — which launched in 1996 as a contract-brewed, Jewish-themed craft brand – has sold its brewery equipment assets to Queens-based Singlecut Beersmiths for an undisclosed sum.
In the continued fallout of President Donald Trump’s tariffs on foreign aluminum and steel, the Beer Institute (BI) is now calling on the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate anticompetitive activity in the aluminum market.
Want to know what keeps craft brewers up at night? Here’s the short list: Taking care of employees, staying relevant, fighting for shelf space, differentiating brands in the marketplace, creating value for wholesalers and retailers, competing against taproom-focused breweries as well as corporately held brands, and the continued flood of new category entrants.
In this week’s edition of Last Call: International M&A heats up with Heineken, Pernod and Constellation; Rebecca Spicer to depart the NBWA; Michigan Senators vote to outlaw marijuana-infused alcoholic drinks; Sonoma County tallies the economic impact of Pliny the Younger; and more.
Less than a year after it was sold to a private equity firm, Minnesota-based Cold Spring Brewing Company is now on the buy side of a deal. Brynwood Partners, a Connecticut-based private equity firm with existing investments in a variety of food and beverage companies, yesterday announced that Cold Spring Brewing had purchased Carolina Beverage Group.
Chicago-based e-commerce marketplace Provi today announced the completion of a $3.5 million funding round. Provi, which aggregates distributor inventories and serves as a one-stop shop for retailers to search and place alcohol orders, has now raised $5 million via two funding rounds with an investor list that includes Hyde Park Angels, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Ludlow Ventures, and Sandalphon Capital, among others.
Firestone Walker has 805. New Belgium has Dayblazer. Founders has Solid Gold. Boston Beer has Sam ’76 and Sierra Nevada has BFD (Beer For Drinking). The common thread linking each of those brands? They’re all less than 5 percent ABV and marketed to consumers as “drinkable,” “crushable,” “light,” or “easygoing.”
During the 2018 Craft Brewers Conference (CBC), held earlier this month in Nashville, Tennessee, Brewers Association (BA) leaders dedicated a significant amount of time and energy to advocating for the increased adoption of its independent craft brewer seal.
A lawsuit brought by two North Carolina breweries that challenges the constitutionality of the state’s distribution laws is inching toward a trial. Last Thursday, Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour denied the state’s motions to dismiss the case or send it to a three-judge panel. A trial date has not been set.