BrewDog USA chief revenue officer Adam Lambert believes 2019 could be remembered as one of the most competitive years in the history of craft brewing.
“In my honest opinion, 2019 has been the toughest environment I have seen in the 23 years of selling craft beer,” he wrote to BrewDog USA wholesalers.
Nevertheless, BrewDog USA is outpacing the overall craft segment (which is up about 2 percent), growing depletions (sales-to-retailers) 114 percent through May compared to last year.
Last month alone, the company sold 51,000 cases, according to Lambert.
That kind of growth oftentimes coincides with a large-scale distribution expansion, but BrewDog USA has only entered one new state – West Virginia – and Washington, D.C., in 2019.
According to Lambert, the company is selling more beer in its existing footprint.
In its home state of Ohio — which accounts for 56 percent of BrewDog’s business and where the company produced more than 36,000 barrels of beer in 2018, according to the Brewers Association — sales are growing at 90 percent.
Meanwhile, in Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, which combined account for 18 percent of BrewDog’s business, sales are up 132 percent.
But the fastest-growing region for BrewDog is the Mid-Atlantic, which accounted for nearly 25 percent of the company’s business and grew 182 percent through the end of May.
The company also recently signed distribution agreements with Maryland’s Bond Distributing and Buck Distributing Company and will be launching in the state next week.
BrewDog USA currently sells 60 percent of its beer through the off-premise retail channel, which is up 127 percent. The company’s on-premise business, meanwhile, is also up 97 percent on the year.
Lambert, a longtime industry veteran, joined BrewDog USA at the end of 2018.
The company, founded in Scotland, sold a 22 percent stake to TSG Consumer Partners for $265 million in 2017, which at the time valued the business at $1.2 billion.
It opened a 100,000 sq. ft. brewing facility in Columbus, Ohio, in 2017 and generated approximately $18 million in revenue in 2018.