Last Call: Regional Ciders Growing at 35 Percent; Golden Road Brewpub Approved

US Association of Cider Makers Reports Growth for Regional Offerings

The United States Association of Cider Makers, citing Nielsen data, this week reported sales growth of 35 percent for regional cider brands during the first three quarters of 2017.

“There has been a lot of chatter within the media about a slowing down of the cider category, but it’s misleading,” USCAM executive direction Michelle McGrath said via a press release. “When you remove the national brands from the analysis, you see continued growth for the combined categories of regional and local ciders.”

According to the USACM, there are now approximately 800 cideries in the country, many of which are expanding capacity or distribution, the trade group noted.

“It’s similar to what happened in craft beer several years ago,” McGrath noted in the release. “We are having a parallel movement as cider drinkers look to support local brands.”

To highlight the growth of regional cider, the USACM noted that sales of regional ciders grew in places like Virginia (33 percent), North Carolina (55 percent), California (26 percent), Texas (73 percent), Oregon (49 percent) and Washington (42 percent). In New England — which consists of Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine — regional cider brands were up 45 percent.

According to the USACM, Oregon’s 2Towns Cider expects 50 percent growth this year, Virginia’s Bold Rock Cider is up 61 percent and Texas’ Austin Eastciders grew 144 percent in Q3.

Oakland Approves Golden Road Brewpub

The city of Oakland’s planning and building department has approved plans for a Golden Road brewpub and beer garden, according to Eater.

“The project will enhance the existing neighborhood by continuing the well-defined and vibrant urban design and continuous storefronts along Broadway and at the corner of 40th Street,” the planning department wrote in its approval letter.

However, Golden Road, which is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, met opposition from nearby residents. The company later downsized the project’s footprint in order to gain approval.

Nevertheless, objections to the city’s approval of the project can still be filed by November 28.

Days after the approval, Hen House Brewing along with Eagle Rock Brewery and Temescal Brewing Company released a collaboration beer called “The Winning Team.” On its Instagram page, Hen House wrote that the “light rice lager” is “a tribute to what happens when the craft beer community comes together.”

The release was a clear shot at Golden Road co-founder Meg Gill, who told Beer Business Daily in 2015 that she and her partners sold the brewery to A-B because they “wanted to be on the winning team.”

In other Golden Road news, the company opened a 40,000 sq. ft. brewery, restaurant and beer garden in Anaheim last weekend.

Brewers Association’s Campaign to ‘Buy’ A-B Hits $3.6 Million

As Brewbound reported last month, the Brewers Association has launched the tongue-in-cheek Take Craft Back campaign to buy Anheuser-Busch for $213 billion. To date, the national trade group representing the interests of America’s small and independent brewers has received more than $3.6 million in pledges of support. In order to drum up more interest, the BA has released another video showcasing its supposed fundraising tactics.

‘Dilly Dilly’ Round 2

Anheuser-Busch has released a second Bud Light ad featuring the “Dilly Dilly” catchphrase, which has become a pop culture phenomenon. Watch the latest ad, which goes inside the “Pit of Misery,” below.

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