Kona Brewing Shipments Up 27 Percent in 2012

Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) reported impressive growth figures for its Kona Brewing Company brand on Monday, in advance of a full-year earnings report scheduled for next week.

Kona boasted a 27 percent increase in barrels shipped during 2012 after delivering 220,000 barrels, up from 172,800 shipped in 2011. The surge in momentum was driven by the success of Kona’s flagship, Longboard Island Lager, a year-round offering that currently represents more than 50 percent of the company’s production volume.

In a press statement, Kona Brewing president Mattson Davis cited three key factors that contributed to the company success in 2012: Strong growth in the company’s home markets, the introduction of Longboard Lager cans and the addition of a new year-round beer, Big Wave Golden Ale.

“Strength in the home market is key for our growth in other markets,” Davis said in the statement. “The support of our community where we created and brewed our first beer here in Kona 18 years ago is a springboard to our success on the mainland because it’s what makes us authentically Hawaiian, and craft beer consumers know this. They can taste it on the mainland and really get that sense of place that our Liquid Aloha delivers.”

Kona was the bright spot in a CBA portfolio that also features Redhook Brewery, Widmer Brothers Brewing and Omission Beer brands. In the company’s third quarter earnings report released last November, CBA said Kona’s Big Wave Golden Ale accounted for 25 percent of overall Kona growth for the quarter.

In an effort to continue driving the success of Kona brands, CBA has invested in a slew of new packages. In April, the company will launch Longboard Lager and Big Wave Golden Ale in proprietary 12 oz. bottles that feature an embossed image of Hawaii’s chain of islands on the neck and die-cut labels. To coincide with the launch of the new bottles, Kona plans to also rollout 24 oz. cans of Longboard Lager. And yesterday, the company announced the release of its Hang-10 pack of 16 oz. Longboard Lager cans.

The company’s fourth quarter earnings call, scheduled for next Wednesday, will feature reports on all four CBA brands.

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