Massachusetts-based Willie’s Superbrew emerged as the winner of Brewbound’s 2018 Pitch Slam competition, beating out seven other emerging craft brands during the two-day Brewbound Live business conference in Santa Monica, California. The business pitch competition, sponsored by Craft Brew Alliance, featured eight contestants who delivered pitches during an initial judging round. Five companies advanced to the finals on Day Two of the Brewbound Live event.
The popularity of non-traditional drinking venues is on the rise with younger consumers, according to new data shared today by Nielsen and CGA at the Brewbound Live business conference in Santa Monica, California. Nielsen beverage alcohol practice manager Caitlyn Battaglia and Nielsen CGA client director Matthew Crompton shared that younger craft beer drinkers are seeking out third-space drinking occasions. They noted that within the last year, 23 percent of millennials said they visited a taproom or a brewpub, while 13 percent said they ate and drank at a “groceraunt” and 14 percent said they imbibed at an arcade bar.
Brewbound today announced the winners of its 2018 Brewbound Awards, which recognize the business efforts of beer companies across the United States. First launched in 2014, the Brewbound Awards acknowledge breweries for their execution of various business and philanthropic initiatives.
Massachusetts craft beer maker Trillium Brewing Company’s labor practices and brewing methods are under scrutiny after accusations were lodged last week by a self-described former employee in an online beer forum. According to the former employee, who used the name “Abagofit” in a Beer Advocate forum, Trillium required its retail employees to reapply for jobs that they already held prior to last month’s opening of the company’s new brewery, taproom and restaurant in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood.
Brewbound’s one-of-a-kind business pitch competition, called Pitch Slam, will take place on Tuesday, November 27, and Wednesday, November 28, at the Lowes Hotel in Santa Monica, California. Presented by Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), the Brewbound Pitch Slam gives entrepreneurs behind the beer industry’s next breakout brands an opportunity to sample their innovative products and showcase their business plans in front of hundreds of attendees at the two-day Brewbound Live business conference.
At the National Beer Wholesalers Association meeting in September, Nielsen vice president Danny Brager delivered a simple message to attendees who stopped by his early morning breakout session: Cider is back. According to data from the firm, off-premise sales of hard cider were up 6 percent over the 52-week period ending on August 11. But if you look at the most recent 26-week period, also ending August 11, category-wide sales were up 13 percent.
In the latest edition of People Moves: Ex-New Belgium brewmaster Peter Bouckaert joins Melvin Brewing’s board of directors; Oregon Brewers Guild executive director Brian Butenschoen exits; MillerCoors promotes Brad Schwartz to chief strategy officer; and more job changes.
In episode 11 of the Brewbound Podcast, editor Chris Furnari interviews Hugh Sisson, the founder and managing partner of Heavy Seas Beer in Baltimore, Maryland. During the interview, Hugh discusses how his company is evolving amid increasing competition within the craft beer segment, and he explains the headwinds facing regional breweries. He also talks about trends that he’s paying close attention to and shares his vision of how the beer category will continue to mature in the coming years.
Brewbound has partnered with Santa Monica Brew Works, House Beer and YETI to offer attendees of the upcoming Brewbound Live business conference two evenings of networking and fun.
Shipments of domestically brewed beer are down about 2.9 percent, according to the Beer Institute, but year-to-date volume sales at off-premise retailers are still basically flat. According to the latest data from market research firm IRI, volume sales at multi-outlet and convenience stores were down 0.3 percent year-to-date through the period ending November 4.
In this week’s edition of Press Clips: Reyes buys the Constellation Brands portfolio from Ace; beer shipments are down 2.1 percent in 2018; the U.S. brewery count eclipses 7,000; Utah mandates tests to ensure 3.2 ABW; and more.
Stone Brewing vice president Todd Karnig has departed the San Diego-based craft brewery, Brewbound has learned. Karnig is the second key executive to leave Stone Brewing in the last year, and the third since former POM Wonderful president Dominic Engels was hired as the company’s new CEO. Karnig’s exit also comes about a month after Stone hired former Monster Energy executive Dan Lamb as its chief commercial officer.
In an effort to attract a growing number of drinkers who are moderating alcohol consumption, several beer companies are looking toward non-alcoholic brews as a way to boost sales and court the 30 percent of U.S. adults who don’t imbibe. Among major producers, both Heineken and Pabst have recently announced plans to roll out non-alc offerings nationwide in the first quarter of 2019. There’s also an emerging group of startups focused exclusively on crafting alcohol-free libations.
In this week’s Last Call: The TTB and Elgin Beverage agree to a $325,000 offer in compromise; Freetail Brewing co-founder Scott Metzger departs the company he helped launch in 2008; Cape May Brewing plans to open a distributorship in 2019; and Massachusetts will become the first state east of the Mississippi to conduct legal recreational cannabis sales next Tuesday.