Scottish craft brewers BrewDog are on pace to double its U.S. business this year.
In an email to BrewDog USA wholesalers, chief revenue officer Adam Lambert reported that the company’s depletions (sales to retailers) increased 95% through the first eight months of the year. The company has also sold more than 320,000 case equivalents.
“Last August was our highest depletion month in 2018, and we surpassed that number by 50%,” he wrote. “With September prelims coming in strong, we are still on pace to double our business in 2019. We continue to outpace the category and most of our competitors!”
BrewDog’s U.S. home, Ohio, where it built a 100,000 sq. ft. production facility, accounts for 55% of its domestic business, and in-state sales are growing at a rate of 80%.
Among BrewDog’s fastest growing regions is the Mid-Atlantic, where sales have increased 162% year-over-year, and now makes up 26% of its business.
Meanwhile, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan combined make up 18% of BrewDog’s business, and sales in those states are up 84%. Kentucky and Tennessee combined are about 2% of BrewDog’s business. Sales in those two southern states are up 18%.
Driving much of BrewDog’s growth are its five core brands, which account for 86% of its sales and “deliver the biggest revenue” in its portfolio, Lambert wrote.
Sales of core IPAs Elvis Juice and Hazy Jane are up 104% and 95%, respectively, year-to-date. Grapefruit-infused Elvis Juice now represents nearly half (49%) of BrewDog USA’s business, while New England-style IPA Hazy Jane makes up 22% of its business. Sales of BrewDog’s flagship Punk IPA, which accounts for 8% of the company’s business, are flat.
Lambert also shared a few takeaways from a recent Bump Williams Consulting analysis of BrewDog’s IPA portfolio, which found that Hazy Jane dollar sales ranked the brands as the No. 26 hazy IPA in multi-outlet and convenience stores year-to-date. The brand is also the seventh best-selling hazy IPA in the Great Lakes region, with dollar sales up 95% and case equivalent sales up 99%. There’s room for additional growth as the brand’s category weight of distribution is at about 3%, up 1.8 points compared to the same time last year.
Another BrewDog IPA brand, Clockwork Tangerine session IPA, is growing quickly, with sales up 416% in its first full-year of production. Clockwork Tangerine now makes up 5% of BrewDog’s business. Meanwhile, sales of the company’s mix/variety packs are up 180%, accounting for 5% of BrewDog’s sales.
Lambert noted that 16 oz. cans continue to drive BrewDog’s total growth and represent 9% of its total business.
“There’s still some markets that haven’t embraced this pack size, money left on the table,” he wrote.
Chain stores account for a little less than half (45%) of BrewDog USA’s total business, and chain sales are growing at a rate of 105%, Lambert wrote. Breaking it down further, off-premise chain sales are up 98%, while on-premise chain sales are up 144% year-to-date.
Looking ahead to 2020, Lambert provided a glimpse of new products coming to market, including the introduction of its “alcohol-free” offerings Punk AF and Hazy AF. The company will also release a Nitro Series, with a repackaged and reformulated Jet Black Heart, followed by three other limited release nitro beers (JBH-Espresso, East Coast Session IPA and Choco Libre).
Also on tap will be the Pulp Patriot Series, featuring four different fruit iterations of its beers, and four limited series seasonal offerings, Pina Playa, East Coast Crush, Hoppy Dortmunder and a yet-to-be-determined winter release.
Meanwhile, BrewDog’s Overworks sour beer facility is releasing three beers, which will be sold in the Ohio market in Q4 and in expanded markets during the first quarter of 2020.
Three ciders from London-based Hawkes Cider, which BrewDog acquired in April 2018, will also be released. According to Lambert’s message, the cider is being produced at BrewDog’s Columbus facility, and three brands — Slam Funk, Dead and Berried and Doom and Bloom — will be sold in the company’s footprint.
In 2020, BrewDog is projecting its upward sales trajectory to continue, as Lambert told wholesalers that the company’s goal is to once again double its business.
“[W]e don’t see us slowing down,” he added. “We have aggressive plans for 2020 and will be building upon all the sales, marketing, programming and portfolio initiatives we shared with you.”