In a year-end note to distributors, Adam Lambert, the former Dogfish Head sales grunt who took his talents to New Holland Brewing late last year, said the Michigan-based craft brewery would be up 24 percent in 2015.
The company’s top performing brands include Dragon’s Milk bourbon barrel stout, which was up 48 percent, and Mad Hatter IPA, which was up more than 20 percent. Poet, an oatmeal stout, was also up more than 20 percent, Lambert said.
“Overall, we’ve had one hell of a year,” he wrote.
Since joining the company, Lambert helped the organization open four new markets — Dallas, Baltimore, Las Vegas and South Dakota. He also managed a number of wholesaler transitions, including the integration of 29 new distributors in both new and existing states — most of which were the result of unplanned consolidation.
“Our beer network has now reached 93 wholesalers in 28 states,” he said.
In its expansion, New Holland also hired five regional managers and two additional sales support staff.
Seasonal products — which in 2015 were “brewed to wholesaler order” and make up just 14 percent of the company’s business — were down slightly. Limited release offerings, which account for just 12 percent of New Holland’s business, were up 31 percent.
In 2016, Lambert said, New Holland plans to “stay the course” and deliver “methodical and profitable growth,” a message he also delivered to Brewbound Session attendees earlier this month.
“We will continue to strive to be your most valuable supplier through regimented business plans built upon simple distribution objectives,” he wrote.
That means leading with Dragon’s Milk, which drives the “most profits per case than the craft category averages.”
“Our goal is to have as many small victories as possible contributing to an end of year success,” he wrote.
In doing so, New Holland has made its 2016 plan “simple to understand, simple to execute,” Lambert said.
“In almost twenty years of being employed by a brewery this is the most competitive I’ve seen our industry,” he added. “I feel we are more than ready to enjoy a good old battle.”