“Less isn’t more. It’s right.” That’s the motto of Five Drinks Co., the new high-end, ready-to-drink canned cocktail venture co-founded by former Anheuser-Busch InBev executive Felipe Szpigel. The tagline is apt given that Five Drinks’ offerings are made with five ingredients — or less — and packaged in 6.8 oz. cans (the average size of a cocktail pour), compared to competing brands in 12 oz. cans.
Four Loko maker Phusion Projects plans to launch a 14% ABV hard seltzer sometime in the fourth quarter of 2019. The Four Loko Twitter account teased the launch Tuesday night, posting an image of the forthcoming seltzer that quickly garnered 76,700 likes and 21,400 retweets, as of press time. Phusion Projects co-founder and managing partner Jaisen Freeman confirmed to Brewbound that Four Loko Seltzer will be introduced later this year.
The beer industry’s efforts to make federal excise tax relief for brewers permanent received a boost Tuesday when members of a bipartisan congressional task force expressed support for the cause. U.S. Senate Finance Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) released a report from the Individual, Excise, and Other Temporary Tax Policy Task Force, which called for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) to be permanently enacted.
Mass Bay Brewing Company’s search for a CMO is over. The Boston-headquartered craft beer company today announced the hiring of Jon London, who will take the post on September 3. London, who spent a decade at Boston Beer Company between 2006 and 2016, will be tasked with overseeing Mass Bay’s portfolio of brands, which includes beer brands Harpoon, UFO and Clown Shoes, as well as Arctic Summer hard seltzer and City Roots hard cider.
Baxter Brewing founder Luke Livingston announced Monday that he will retire from the brewery, effective on September 13. Jenn Lever, Baxter’s current operations manager, will take over as president of the Lewiston, Maine-based craft brewery. Livingston, 34, who founded Baxter in 2010, said in his retirement announcement that it was “time to find my next adventure.”
Odell Brewing is getting into the winemaking business. The Fort Collins-headquartered craft brewery announced plans last week to open a wine cellar and tasting room on its campus next year. Odell director of marketing Alex Kayne declined to share how much money the company is investing in the project, which is slated to break ground later this year.
Boston Beer Company is asking consumers to ditch their old alcoholic beverages and drink what they “Truly want” — hard seltzer. The company, which makes the Truly Hard Seltzer brand, today unveiled five, 15-second commercials featuring comedian and actor Keegan-Michael Key that are part of a national advertising campaign for the 100-calorie, 5 percent ABV seltzer. Those ads began airing today across television and all digital channels.
Just 14 days remain before Anheuser-Busch InBev’s deadline to make a qualifying offer to buy the remaining stake of Craft Brew Alliance, or pay a $20 million fee. The prospect of a qualifying offer of around $328 million (at a minimum price of $24.50 per share) from A-B, which already owns about 31 percent of CBA, was one of the main focuses of Thursday’s second-quarter earnings call.
In the competition for active lifestyle consumers, MillerCoors believes its found an answer to Anheuser-Busch’s popular Michelob Ultra brand. The United States’ second-largest beer company announced today plans to begin nationally distributing Saint Archer Gold — its 95-calorie, 2.6 carb light lager — beginning January 1, 2020.
Anheuser-Busch InBev is back in the craft beer M&A game. After a two-year hiatus following the May 2017 acquisition of Wicked Weed, the world’s largest beer manufacturer announced today the acquisition of Cleveland’s Platform Beer Co., a transaction that is expected to close in the third quarter.
Kona Brewing once again lifted Craft Brew Alliance’s (CBA) financial results. CBA shared its second-quarter financial results today, highlighted by portfolio-wide depletions (sales-to-retailers) growth of more than 1 percent, and shipment (sales-to-wholesalers) growth of 4.4 percent.
Donovan Bailey, the founder of Everett, Massachusetts-based Down the Road Beer Company, died on July 31, at the age of 46. According to Bailey’s obituary, he died “unexpectedly” at his home in Malden.
Anheuser-Busch InBev announced today the acquisition of fast-growing Ohio craft brewery Platform Beer Co. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. In a press release, A-B noted that Platform was “the fastest growing regional brewery in the United States in 2017.” According to data from the Brewers Association, the Cleveland craft brewery increased production from 6,500 barrels to 20,000 barrels that year.
Anheuser-Busch InBev’s innovation and growth division, ZX Ventures, has sold Minnesota-based homebrew supply retailer Northern Brewer to Blackstreet Capital Holdings LLC.