NORMAL, Ill. – DESTIHL Brewery grew its production volume by an impressive 25% in 2020, despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.
While draft beer sales plummeted 47% in 2020 due to government restrictions and closures of on-premise retailer accounts beginning in mid-March, this reduction in draft was more than offset by 30% growth in DESTIHL’s packaged (canned) beer sales, which represented 87% of its product mix last year. Consistent with those trends, while there was a 42% decline in on-premise sales in 2020, off-premise sales grew by 37% in 2020 compared to 2019 and accelerated to 56% growth in Q3-Q4 2020 versus the Q3-Q4 2019.
DESTIHL’s growth was led by a 55% increase in production of its industry-changing, year-round offerings in its WiLD Sour Series, which was one of the first sour beer series introduced in cans back in 2014. Within this series, its original flagship, Here Gose Nothin’®, grew in volume by 29%, Synchopathic® Dry-Hopped Sour Ale grew by 28%, Lynnbrook® (a Raspberry Berliner-style Weisse) grew by a lesser 18% given greater seasonality impacts, and its Flanders Red grew by a whopping 62%. However, it was DESTIHL’s Wild Pack™, a variety 12-pack of Here Gose Nothin’, Synchopathic, Flanders Red and a ‘Wild Card’ mystery fruited seasonal, which led the pack with an incredible volume increase of 143% in 2020 versus 2019. Growth continues to gain momentum for the Wild Pack as well, with volume increasing by 157% in Q3 & Q4 of 2020 versus the prior year.
Also accounting for much of DESTIHL’s growth in 2020 was its rapidly growing DeadHead® IPA Series, which grew by 31% compared to 2019. This series consists mostly of rotating Hazy IPA’s, including Touch of Haze®, Drivin’ that Haze®, Haze of the Dead® and Extended Jam®, with more brands to come. In addition to great package design, the strong growth of this brand is due to the awesome liquid, quality and consistency of these beers and that they have a stable, authentic haze and longer shelf-life, enabling them to be distributed throughout DESTIHL’s 37-state footprint and even internationally to Sweden. Indeed, its Extended Jam was the #1 trending beer globally for a time in 2020 on Untappd®. Building on the success of this series, the brewery recently announced the release this month of its new year-round SoundBoard® Lo-Cal Hazy IPA, a remarkably refreshing craft beer having all the aroma and flavor that one wants in an IPA, but with only 4% ABV, 5g of carbs and 99 calories per 12oz serving, without sacrificing mouthfeel.
Rounding things out, DESTIHL’s other brands, including Hawaii Five Ale (which grew 40% in 2020), Weissenheimer®Hefeweizen, Amra® Mango IPA, Moonjumper® Milk Stout and its new Craft Hard Seltzers (launched in a variety 8-pack of 16oz cans in September of 2020), collectively grew by 18% in 2020 and surged to over 46% in Q3 & Q4 due to the launch of its seltzers and recovery of some draft sales. Lastly, DESTIHL’s contract brewing business grew by 74% in 2020, and its exports grew by an amazing 2400%
Neil Reinhardt, DESTIHL’s Director of Sales, noted, “As we got hit with the pandemic in mid-March, we were fortunate to be widely distributed and supported by great distribution partners and retailers along with being well-diversified in our brands, package mix and markets, and we also had extensive new off-premise chain placements and authorizations for packaged beer already in the queue for 2020. We also rapidly pivoted from draft to package in Q2 and went on offense with sales and production beginning in early May by hiring more sales & production crew members. All of these factors, along with the quality, uniqueness, consistency, package formats and branding of our beers, allowed us to not only weather the storm but to find opportunities and create strong growth in an unbelievably challenging year”.
To keep up with this growth rate, which is expected to continue and even accelerate in 2021, DESTIHL is adding 10,000bbls of additional fermentation capacity at the end of March, and it will also be adding more automation for its canning line and other equipment to be announced later this year.
“While our brewpub/restaurant and Beer Hall retail operations have been devastated by ongoing mandatory closures of indoor dining and other restrictions in our state, we are looking forward to a great 2021 at wholesale and retail, with indoor dining allowed to resume at our flagship brewpub in Normal on January 19th and with the Beer Hall expected to reopen in early March. Due to our retail operations slowly returning and our production brewery growing and producing more beer than ever before, it’s an exciting time for our company and our great, dedicated team which has worked so hard to enable us to not only get through all of this, but to even come out the other side stronger than we were before,” said Co-Founder, CEO and Brewmaster, Matt Potts.
About DESTIHL Brewery:
DESTIHL opened its gastrobrewpub™ (DESTIHL Restaurant & Brew Works) in Normal, Illinois, in November 2007, where the company focuses on both artisan food & beers. The company’s original production brewery in Bloomington, IL commenced operations in May 2013, but production was moved to its new 47,000sf Brewery & Beer Hall in Normal, IL, which opened to the public in May 2017. DESTIHL Brewery combines centuries-old, global brewing traditions and new American craft brewing ingenuity & artisanship to produce a wide array of award-winning beers for every palate. The result is a diverse offering of intensely flavorful beers that are anything but bland, including its DeadHead® IPA Series, Dosvidanya®, the industry-changing WiLD Sour Series, Craft Hard Seltzers and many other core beer offerings, like Hawaii Five Ale. The brewery currently distributes its beers internationally and in 37 states, plus D.C.