Last Call: Yuengling Talks Transition; Cantwell to Brew Again


Dick Yuengling: “I drop dead, and what’s going to happen?”

The New York Times last month published a short documentary about D.G. Yuengling & Son, shining a spotlight on fifth generation owner Dick Yuengling and his four daughters who are in line to take over the company when Dick, in his own words, drops dead. How the company will change when that happens remains to be seen, but there is an interesting interaction between Dick and daughter Wendy Yuengling Baker discussing the merits of releasing a hop forward beer as a seasonal offering:

Dick: We want to stay away from the IPA thing. Every craft beer is full of hops.

Wendy: But I think that’s in some ways what a consumer wants and I don’t think, I mean, our Oktoberfest is not like that, Summer Wheat is not necessarily like that. So if you want to try to appeal to that consumer, maybe an IPL is a good option.

Whether Dick agrees, his daughter’s dissent is in line with what he wants to see going forward:

“I want them to learn and if you don’t ask questions and try to do new things, you don’t learn anything,” he says at another point in the video. “I don’t want them just being followers. They have to learn to lead.”

Dick Cantwell to Brew Again

Seattle Met Magazine’s Allecia Vermillion went long on Elysian late last month, covering the company’s timeline as part of in an in-depth profile of founder Dick Cantwell. Among the noteworthy tidbits in the story is one about Cantwell’s future as a brewer.

The lone dissenting vote in the company’s sale to Anheuser-Busch InBev earlier this year, Cantwell resigned less than two weeks after the acquisition. Now, per the terms of his departure, he’s unable to “work or invest or collaborate” anywhere in the country for a year, while Washington, Oregon, and Idaho are out for five years. That means he’ll likely establish new roots outside of the region he’s called his professional home since the early ‘90s:

Cantwell will undoubtedly brew again; it just won’t be here. “I’m not old old,” he says, “but I don’t want to wait five years.”

The piece suggests California as a likely destination — Cantwell and girlfriend Kim Jordan have recently begun spending time in San Francisco.

In the meantime, Cantwell is serving as the Brewers Association’s Quality Ambassador.


“You come at the King, you best not miss”

Budweiser, the self-proclaimed king of beers, has had a tough go of it lately, what with nearly half of young drinkers never even trying it and all, according to the Wall Street Journal. But if perception is reality, perhaps things aren’t so bad for A-B’s flagship brand after all. Citing a new report from UBS Group AG, Bloomberg Business reports that most Americans actually think of the beer as a high quality brand, despite its enduring presence as a target for craft brewers looking to dismiss cheap beer:

“Less than half of drinkers say the quality of craft beers is superior to established brands like Bud and Bud Light, and about half believe old-school brews are superior to newer types, the survey of 1,200 regular alcohol drinkers found.”

More on 4,000

As Brewbound reported from the Great American Beer Festival last week, there are now more than 4,000 breweries operating in the United States. Bart Watson, staff economist with the Brewers Association, this week put that number into an historical perspective on the organization’s blog:

Van Wieren (1995) notes that the Internal Revenue Department counted 2,830 “ale and lager breweries in operation” in 1880, down from a high point of 4,131 in 1873. Given the strong pace of openings (approximately two openings/day with a net increase of 1.9/day factoring in closings), it is likely that later in 2015, or early in 2016, there will be more active breweries in the United States than at any point in our nation’s history.

Watson noted that, since nearly 1,000 cities with populations of more than 10,000 people aren’t home to a local brewpub or taproom, there is still plenty of room for growth.

Global Beer Market Projected to Reach $688.4 Billion by 2020

Per a new report from Allied Market Research, the global beer market is expected to earn $688.4 billion by 2020, with a compound annual growth rate of 6 percent over that time period. Microbreweries, meanwhile, are projecting a higher rate of growth worldwide at 9.3 percent.

According to the report, increased interest in beer from women has sparked much of the growth, though “stringent government and tax regulations” continue to restrain the market from reaching its full potential.

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