Dark Lord and Bourbon County
Forget the long lines and rowdy festivals this
pandemic year. 3 Floyds, and Goose Island have
figured out new ways to release their specialty beers
without the flashy parties. Once every year,
thousands of people flock to Munster, Ind., eager to
get their hands on 3 Floyds Brewing’s newest Dark
Lord beer—that is, once every normal year. This
year, COVID-19 caused the brewery to cancel Dark
Lord Day, the festival surrounding the annual
release of the imperial stout. The beer went on sale
on 3 Floyd’s website instead.
Goose Island, which is owned by Anheuser-Busch
InBev, moved its annual Bourbon County Stout
release online.Lottery systems, pre-purchasing and
selected pickup times will replace overnight parking
lot camping and long lines, according to Goose
|Behind The GABF
We know which breweries won medals, but we do
not know which breweries submitted beer for
judging. We know which states brought home the
most hardware, but we do not know how many
breweries in each state submitted beer.
Colorado, where the competition is held, enjoys a
home-field advantage. Breweries must legally,
transport the beer to Denver. That’s a lot easier
and cheaper to do for western states..
California is always at the top of the leaderboard,
year after year because its beers can arrive
fresher.. That state has the most breweries by a
large margin so, presumably, they have the most
entrants. There are now over 900 breweries in
California. Compare that to Washington, which at
last count ranked number two in the nation with
about 430 breweries.
You’re not imagining things. Stone Brewing’s first actual advertising campaign —
they’re calling it “Leave No Stone Unturned” — has a gimmick. All the labels for
their bottled beer are being printed upside down, so they stand out on the shelf.
Upside-down cans are coming.
After posting strong double-digit growth in shipments, depletions and revenues on
the back of Truly Hard Seltzer and Twisted Tea in the third quarter, Boston Beer
Company stock (SAM) topped the $1,000 mark for the first time ever, up from
$371.12 at the start of 2020. Why didn't you buy it then?
the Beer Institute announced it named United States Senators Steve Daines (R-
MT) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) as well as Representatives Dan Newhouse (R-
WA) and Kathleen Rice (D-NY) as the “2020 Beer Champions” for their
instrumental leadership in supporting federal policies that aid breweries.
Craft Brew Alliance has agreed to sell Kona Brewing Co.’s Hawaii operations in
order to pave the way for the purchase of the alliance by beer giant Anheuser-
Busch.The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division approved the acquisition of
Kona Brewing Co. operations PV Brewing Partners, a Delaware company
Another hard seltzer.is coming. Heineken USA and AriZona Beverages’ Hornell
Brewing Company are working together to launch AriZona Sun Rise Hard Seltzer
nationwide in the first quarter of 2021. Lucky us.
|Can Shortage Gets Worse
A nationwide shortage of cans is the latest threat to craft beer. Ball Corp., the world’s largest
manufacturer of cans, told investors that the U.S. market alone is short 10 billion cans in
2020, according to Beer Business Daily, a trade publication. When demand is this high for
cans, only a few beverage producers get priority. The big guys (Pepsi, Coke, Anheuser-
Busch, Molson Coors) saw a shortage coming early on and began hedging their bets, shoring
up contracts with canning giants but also negotiating contracts with smaller distributors.
DuClaw Brewing Co., a midsize brewery in Baltimore, has run out of cans every week since
late July. They receive can shipments sporadically from their distributor Gamer Packaging,
according to DuClaw’s logistics manager, Daniel Iman, and have been told there will not be a
steady supply until next August.
Paula Gamer, president of Gamer Packaging, says that the shortfall is national and adversely
affects can manufacturers, distributors and brewers alike. “We could sell 200 million more
cans between now and the end of the year if we could get them,” Gamer says. “Unfortunately,
we’re having to turn away new customers because we have to take care of existing customers
first. And none of our manufacturers are taking new customers through the end of the year”
Scott McCarty, director of strategic communications at Ball Beverage Packaging North and
Central America, says that the shortfall is a confluence of trends. Hard seltzers experienced
explosive growth as a category, specifically in cans. Soft drinks and still and sparkling waters
have seen tremendous growth too, he says, with marketers shifting their packaging mix
toward cans and away from single-use plastics. “The peak summer season, with a heat wave
in much of the U.S., also contributed to that high demand. And covid-19 added further to
demand, as consumers bought more beverages in aluminum cans for home consumption,”
According to Can Manufacturers Institute President Robert Budway, can makers are expected
to import more than 2 billion cans in 2020 from their overseas facilities to meet customer
needs. And can manufacturers overall expect to have to add the capacity to produce 12
billion more cans by the end of 2021, says Budway.