After growing dollar sales 14.8 percent last year, the Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective’s double-digit growth trends are continuing in early 2019.
Off-premise dollar sales of products from 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) — are up more than 29 percent through February 24, according to IRI’s multi-outlet and convenience store channel.
On the latest edition of the Brewbound Podcast, Brewers Association (BA) chief economist Bart Watson said he expects beer production at BA-defined craft breweries to grow by about 4 percent in 2018, to more than 26 million barrels. Those single-digit trends, he added, should continue in 2019.
However, in an email to Brewbound, Canarchy president Matt Fraser wrote that his company is outpacing those growth figures and is now the second fastest growing brewery among top 50 craft producers.
Last year, Canarchy’s breweries produced 421,222 barrels, up from 359,000 barrels in 2017, Fraser said. The company also moved up one spot on the BA’s 2018 list of top U.S. craft brewing companies, which is based on sales volume, to eighth.
Fraser credited increased sales of Cigar City products, as well as the acquisitions of Texas’ Deep Ellum Brewing and California’s Three Weavers, for the company’s growth last year.
“These partnerships brought strong local brands in key markets into the truly national Canarchy footprint,” he wrote.
Fraser also provided a few additional highlights of Canarchy’s 2018 and early 2019 trends.
Cigar City grew off-premise dollar sales 63 percent in 2018, according to IRI. Fraser credited growth in the brewery’s home state of Florida as well as expansions into new markets with making Cigar City “the nation’s fastest growing craft brewery among the BA’s top 50.”
“The emergence of a strong second brand in Guayabera Citra Pale Ale complimented Jai Alai’s strong flagship position,” he added.
Through February, Cigar City’s dollar sales increased more than 71 percent — driven by flagship Jai Alai IPA, with 78 percent dollar sales growth. The company has also begun selling beer in Ohio, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and northern California.
“The plan is for 16 total new markets on the year and to total 42 states total by EOY [end of the year],” Fraser wrote.
Dollar sales of Oskar Blues products are up nearly six percent through the first two months of the year, Fraser added. He credited15-packs as well as new offerings, including the Can-O-Bliss IPA series and Guns ‘N’ Rosé ale, for the growth. The launch of a spinoff hard seltzer brand called Wild Basin, which is now available in nine states, has also helped propel the company to growth in early 2019. He added that Wild Basin is expected to be available nationwide by May.
Meanwhile, portfolio-wide dollar sales of Deep Ellum and Three Weavers are up 11.9 percent and 170 percent, respectively, Fraser wrote. And Michigan’s Perrin Brewing Company, along with the Utah Brewers Cooperative (Wasatch and Squatters), are both up single digits (6.1 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively) through February.
Off-premise sales of Deep Ellum flagship Dallas Blonde increased more than 11 percent through February, Fraser added, citing IRI.
Inglewood-based Three Weavers expanded distribution to northern California during the first quarter, and Fraser said the brand’s focus would be on gaining additional points of distribution throughout its home state this year.
Year-to-date dollar sales of Perrin Black Ale were up nearly 22 percent through February, which Fraser credited to the company replacing ringed 6-packs with recyclable 6-pack cartons.
For its part, the Utah Brewers Cooperative has released Juicy NEIPA and two flavors of Grandeur Peak Hard Seltzer, both of which are currently available on draft and expected to be released in cans later this month.
Finally, the Canarchy Collaboratory — a co-branded brewery and taproom in Asheville, North Carolina — is slated to open in May.
The Collaboratory won’t be Canarchy’s only shared brewing space, however. Oskar Blues’ three production facilities — in Longmont, Colorado, Brevard, North Carolina and Austin, Texas — are now producing beer for Cigar City. Additionally, the Colorado-headquartered company’s facilities in Texas and North Carolina have produced beer for Deep Ellum.
“Our goal is to integrate breweries and systems so that we can ultimately brew any beer at any facility and leverage the entire Canarchy Collective footprint,” Fraser wrote. “Not only will this deliver internal efficiencies, but more availability and even fresher beer for the consumer.”