The critical summer selling season is underway, and total beer, cider and FMB sales are off to a strong start. According to market research firm Nielsen, dollar sales of beer/cider/FMBs grew 4.9 percent in off-premise retailers during the Fourth of July holiday week (ending July 6) compared to the same timeframe last year. Hard seltzer was largely responsible for driving the nearly 5 percent growth this Independence Day, accelerating sales 147 percent, Nielsen reported.
John Bryant, the founder of Spokane, Washington’s No-Li Brewhouse, doesn’t mince words when describing the state of the beer industry in 2019. “It’s chaos,” he told Brewbound during a recent interview. The beer industry veteran — whose three-decades-long career includes stints at Deschutes Brewery, Odell Brewing and Oskar Blues — is, of course, referring to the 7,500-plus craft breweries fighting for distributor, retailer and consumer mindshare.
The nearly decade-long debate over Massachusetts’ controversial franchise laws resumed Monday, as the state’s craft brewers and beer wholesalers packed a meeting of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure. Brewers and wholesalers remain divided on how to reform strict franchise laws, which brewers claim lock their businesses into nearly unbreakable relationships with wholesalers. Each side presented revised proposals, which they argued would benefit each other.
Molson Coors has acquired financially troubled London craft brewery Hop Stuff. In a blog post, Hop Stuff founder James Yeomans said the company had been facing “financial difficulties in the recent months” that forced it to enter “administration,” a process similar to bankruptcy in the U.S., on July 12.
In this week’s Last Call: Budweiser becomes the ‘official beer’ of the National Women’s Soccer League; California revises the definition of ‘beer’; A-B back away from its Asia Pacific IPO; Founders Announces the end of CBS; and more news.
Lagunitas Brewing Company has named Kelly Murnaghan, the former vice president of marketing at Vans, as its new chief marketing officer. The Heineken-owned craft brewery announced Murnaghan’s hiring on Thursday afternoon. Murnaghan, who started earlier this week, will join the Petaluma, California-based craft brewery’s leadership team and report directly to CEO Maria Stipp.
The William K. Busch Brewing Co. is “ceasing all operations” eight years after after launching the Reinheitsgebot-adhering Kräftig lager brand in St. Louis. William “Billy” Busch, the great grandson of Anheuser-Busch co-founder Adolphus Busch, and son of Adolphus A. “Gussie” Busch Jr., founded the Kräftig brand in 2011 with visions of going national. However, those dreams never came to fruition as sales began to decline in recent years.
In episode 44 of the Brewbound Podcast, Verratti discusses her experience opening a second brewing location, and explains why the company structured its debt around reasonable growth projections. She also dives into the topic of diversity and inclusion within the brewing industry and shares strategies for reaching a more diverse set of consumers.
The Riverside Company, a private equity firm with offices in New York City and Cleveland, has exited its investment in Salt Lake City’s Uinta Brewing Company. Reached by Brewbound, a spokesperson for the firm, which acquired a partial stake in 2014, declined to comment on its decision to back away from the investment.
The Brewers Association (BA) has severed ties with longtime New York-based PR firm The Rosen Group. The Colorado-headquartered not-for-profit trade association representing small and independent U.S. craft brewers today announced it has chosen Backbone Media as its new public relations agency of record. Backbone, based in Carbondale, Colorado, supplants The Rosen Group, which had served as the BA’s public relations firm for more than a decade.
Bear Republic Brewing Company co-founder Richard R. Norgrove will step down as CEO, the Northern California-based company announced Monday. Mr. Norgorve’s son, Richard G., will take over as the company’s chief executive. In addition to the younger Norgrove’s transition into the CEO role, Bear Republic named long-time employee Peter Kruger as its new chief operating officer. He takes over for Richard G. Norgrove, who also goes by “Ricardo.”
The largest beer wholesaler in the U.S. has made another big acquisition in California. Reyes Holdings today announced that subsidiary Harbor Distributing LLC has reached an agreement to acquire DBI Beverage Inc.’s assets in Northern California. The news comes one week after Reyes sold its Reinhart Foodservice division to Performance Food Group Company for $2 billion.
In this week’s edition of Last Call: Smuttynose and Hop Valley shuffle executives; Boston Beer and Dogfish Head’s merger closes; Deschutes Brewery adds distribution in Indiana, New Jersey; Reyes Holdings sells Reinhart Foodservice for $2 billion; and more news.
In episode 43 of the Brewbound Podcast, Palmer discusses what franchise law reform could look like in Georgia, and shares her outlook on similar efforts across the U.S.