New Belgium Sell Out
Through all the sales of craft breweries to massive
beer conglomerates in recent years, New Belgium
appeared ready to hold out, after establishing an
employee-ownership structure that was roundly
praised and even copied in the industry.In the end,
though, the different route led Fat Tire to the same
destination as other craft breweries that grew too
large to do it on their own.
New Belgium has announced that it will sell to Lion
Little World Beverages, which is owned by Japan’s
Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd
New Belgium is much larger than Dogfish Head and
Kona, ranking as the fourth-largest craft brewery in
the U.S. by sales volume and the 11th-largest U.S.
brewer overall, according to the Brewers Assoc.
The purchase of New Belgium is the first big foray
into the U.S. for Lion, which signalled its desire to
break into the U.S. craft-beer market when it hired a
new executive with experience acquiring craft
breweries in May. Kirin also owns a stake in
Brooklyn Brewery, and opened its first brewpub
under the Australian brand Little Creatures last
summer in San Francisco.
|Big Upswing for Boston Beer
Boston Beer — whose brands include Samuel
Adams beer, Angry Orchard hard cider, Twisted
Tea and Truly Hard Seltzer — reported depletions
(sales-to-retailers) growth of 30%, 24% of which
came from Boston Beer’s core brands and 6% of
which came from Dogfish Head offerings. The
company reported net income of $44.7 million for
the most recent quarter.
CEO Dave Burwick credited Truly, Twisted Tea and
Dogfish Head as the sources of the growth and
noted that the performance of those brands was
able to offset the declines of Samuel Adams and
Angry Orchard.Truly Hard Seltzer generated triple-
digit volume growth thanks to a reformulation all
Truly flavors Next up is a Truly Hard Seltzer
Lemonade in early 2020
Boston Beer also struck a sponsorship deal with
the National Hockey League, and released a new
Truly television campaign.To accomodate Truly’s
growth, Boston Beer will add a canning line to its
production brewery in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania,
Truly has maintained its position as a distant
second to Mark Anthony Brands’ White Claw.
|16. 5 Six Packs = one 99 Pack
Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) jas rolled out limited-edition 99-packs in 15 U.S. states,
offering beer-lovers the chance to marvel at ingenious seven-foot-long cases.
But the story didn’t end there.
The first brewer to roll out 99-packs was Austin Beerworks, in 2014. When
PBR started gaining widespread attention for its new release, the Austin brewer
got a little “pissy” for failing to receive credit for the idea, so it released a press
release addressing the subject.
“When we first saw the news that PBR was selling 99-packs just like the ones we
released in 2014 for Peacemaker Anytime Ale, we were 99 percent pissed off,”
Austin Beerworks wrote. “That gloriously ridiculous idea, which we created with
Christian Helms and Mike Woolf, is one of our proudest achievements.”
This isn’t the first time PBR has copied the idea. In 2017, after PBR released
99-packs in Canada for the first time, Austin Beerworks vented its frustrations
via Facebook. Then, in May 2019, Beerworks once again took its
grievances to Twitter.
Apparently, this time it has worked. PBR recently announced that it plans to
donate $9999.99 of the proceeds from the 99-pack sales to the Central Texas
Food Bank, one of Beerworks’ favorite local charities.
“Ideas are hard and they don’t all stick,” Matt Bruhn, general manager at PBR, said
in a press release. “The 99-pack was a chance for us to pay homage to a great
idea, give the world more beer to enjoy responsibly over the holiday season, and
help a local community.”
Beerworks summed it up best, writing: “We’re proud that a wild idea we had five
years ago has proven too dumb to die and is still finding ways to give back.”