In this week’s edition of Last Call: The Nevada Attorney General investigates MillerCoors; Stone seeks an injunction in its Keystone case; Almanac’s co-founder departs the company; and more news from the week.
A majority of the beer brewed in Texas isn’t classified as “craft,” as smaller in-state producers only account for about 2 percent of the roughly 20 million barrels produced in the Lone Star State. Speaking to a crowd of beer industry professionals during last week’s Brew Talks meetup in Austin, Texas, Bob Leggett, owner of Artisanal Imports and the Uncle Billy’s and Pedernales beer brands, highlighted the difference in market share between locally produced beer and more mainstream offerings.
On the same day that it announced a $4 billion investment into Canada’s Canopy Growth Corporation, Constellation Brands also laid off dozens of employees tasked with selling the company’s craft and specialty beers throughout the U.S. Constellation — whose craft portfolio includes Ballast Point in California, Funky Buddha in Florida and Four Corners Brewery in Texas as well as Mexican import brands Corona, Modelo and Pacifico — terminated around 60 of its 100 or so craft and specialty reps, a source familiar with the situation told Brewbound.
Anheuser-Busch announced several personnel moves on Tuesday, including changes to its U.S. marketing and North American sales teams. In separate notes to the company’s wholesalers, chief marketing officer Marcel Marcondes and chief sales officer Brendan Whitworth discussed the changes, which are part of North American CEO Michel Doukeris’ commercial reorganization plan.
The owners of two Texas craft beer companies are encouraging the state’s wholesalers to work with them on modernizing alcoholic beverage laws that bar manufacturing breweries from selling beer to go. During a Brew Talks panel discussion, held last week in conjunction with the National Beer Wholesalers Association Next Generation conference in Austin, Texas, Hops & Grain founder Josh Hare, who also chairs the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, argued that the “marriage” between suppliers and wholesalers should work more like a partnership and less like “a parent-child relationship.”
Eight months after ceasing operations, the brewing equipment inside New York’s Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. is slated to be sold at an August 28 auction. Meanwhile, Olde Saratoga’s sister brewery, Ukiah, California-based Mendocino Brewing Co., which also closed its doors in January, has reportedly found a new owner.
A bill signed into law last weekend by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner will allow the state’s breweries to purchase and sell guest beer and cider in their taprooms. Under House Bill 4897, the state will allow licensed Class 1 breweries (producing up to 30,000 barrels annually) and Class 2 breweries (making up to 120,000 barrels a year) to purchase beer and cider from either a wholesaler or a self-distributing brewery.
In this week’s edition of Last Call: Boston Beer founder Jim Koch dines with President Trump; Buffalo Wild Wings considers sports betting; Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s ties to a Montana brewery project come under scrutiny; a federal appeals court rejects a challenge to the MegaBrew merger; and more news.
Following the release of Craft Brew Alliance’s second-quarter results on Wednesday, CEO Andy Thomas hailed his company’s financial performance as the “strongest validation” yet that CBA is a “company transformed.” During a call with analysts and investors today, Thomas said CBA is now in its “strongest operational and strategic position” company history, which he attributed to the growth of the Kona brand, a reshaped CBA portfolio that now includes three smaller craft partners, a rationalized brewery footprint, improved gross margin, and a “far more profitable business model.”
Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) today reported its second-quarter earnings, which were highlighted by a 2 percent revenue increase, to $61.8 million. CBA attributed the uptick in net sales to increased shipments of the Kona brand, and increases in average unit pricing, despite continued Widmer Brothers and Redhook declines.
After just six months, MillerCoors has pulled the plug on Two Hats, a light beer brand that was targeted at 21- to 24-year-old consumers. The company announced the decision to cease production of the beer, which will remain on retail shelves until early 2019, in a letter to employees and wholesalers on Monday.
Midway through 2018, the Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective is outpacing the overall U.S. craft beer segment. The Brewers Association (BA) reported last week that growth for small and independent U.S. brewers had “stabilized,” with production growing 5 percent through the first six months of 2018. The Fireman Capital-backed brewery consortium — whose brands include Oskar Blues, Cigar City, Deep Ellum, Perrin Brewing, Three Weavers, and Utah Brewers Cooperative (Wasatch and Squatters) — is growing faster than the category, with off-premise sales up 15.4 percent in the total U.S. multi-outlet and convenience store channel year-to-date.
In this week’s edition Last Call: Heineken takes a minority stake in a Chinese beer giant; ZX Ventures makes an e-commerce play in Australia; Toppling Goliath sues its former brewer; and more news from the week.
After being forced to abandon plans for a seasonal beer garden near downtown Boston, Castle Island Brewing today announced it would open a pop-up on Constitution Wharf in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston. The new 6,000 sq. ft. space — located in a parking lot overlooking Boston Harbor — is situated across from the USS Constitution and slated to open Sunday, August 5.