Dear Client:  One of the things that is unique to the beer industry is we have kegs.  The draught business is complex, and often involves long plastic lines of beer cooled by spirals of glycol, that ends up in a tap. The beer in the keg itself has a shorter code date compared to bottled … Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Kegs”

Dear Client:  If you didn’t know that Mexico seemed to dub beverage alcohol “unessential” this week, in an announcement aimed to curb nonessential operations to combat COVID-19, you certainly wouldn’t have gleaned that from Constellation chief Bill Newland’s earnings call open. When he got to the part about operations, he mentioned that the company has … Continue reading “Constellation’s Mexico Facilities are Operating; ~70 Days Currently in System”

Dear Client:  Constellation Q4 and full year earnings just hit.  For fiscal year 2020, which ended February 29 (a week or two before the U.S. was turned upside down by COVID-19), their Beer division saw 8% import depletion growth, and overall depletion growth of 7.5%. Q4 alone saw import beer depletions up 11.4%%, and overall … Continue reading “Constellation Beer Q4 Depletions Up about 11%”

Dear Client:  After Molson Coors announced a 50/50 split with distributors last week for the cost of untapped Molson Coors kegs, eyes turned to the other major brewers: Anheuser-Busch and Constellation. It was their move.  Well: Just seconds ago, Constellation sent a special COVID-19 edition of its Gold Network Newsletter to wholesaler partners, obtained by … Continue reading “Constellation Offers Keg Reimbursement at 70% of Distribs Delivered Cost”

Dear Client:  Last night your fearless editor tweeted a cryptic passage about Mexico shutting down beer production. We’d hoped it was just a rumor, but in this crazy time of COVID containment, it appears to be true. We stress that this is a developing story. But it appears that the March 31 edition of Mexico’s … Continue reading “Mexico Deems Alcoholic Beverages Unessential (Apparently)”

Dear Client:  Man, it’s getting tough out there. Pabst’s long-time national account manager of the on-premise, Steve Zelinsky, sent notice to on-premise retailers Wednesday that COVID closures have forced Pabst to furlough its on trade team for two months.  Yes, as normal on-premise operations across the country have largely been shut down, Pabst’s on-premise department has been … Continue reading “Pabst Furloughs On-Premise Team”

Dear Client:  Those waiting for Constellation to offer some sort of split with distributors on expiring kegs will have to keep on waiting. (But we hear they will probably come out with something very soon.)  But the company did share with distributors some extended shelf life parameters for package and draft beer yesterday.  Only the … Continue reading “Constellation Extends Code Dates on Package and Draft”

Dear Client: On Monday we heard from a handful of wholesalers with a variety of thoughts around Molson Coors going 50-50 on expiring draft beer. One summed it up echoing Manhattan Beer exec (and former MC exec) Ed McBrien, “these guys could have told us to eat it. They are good partners and I’m glad … Continue reading “All Eyes on Anheuser-Busch”

Dear Client: If you’ve seen the movie “A Quiet Place” – a film about a dystopian future where haunting creatures come and snatch humans up at the slightest peep – you may have caught yourself in the moments after the credits roll behaving like you too were in this horrifying setting, in which all noise … Continue reading “On-Premise in Crisis”

Dear Client: Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Yesterday we reported that Molson Coors took the extraordinary measure of agreeing to cover half of the wholesale cost of all untapped kegs in distributorship warehouses and in the retail trade, (subject to state laws). As one very large distributor put it to me:  “Harry, you don’t … Continue reading “Molson Coors’ Estimated Cost for Keg Buyback Program: North of $44 Million”

Dear Client: We’ve been covering the pressing issue of who will, could and should bear the brunt of keg returns and out of code beer, as the TTB has allowed returns (usually related to load-in for now-cancelled events) in the wake of COVID 19’s disastrous effects on the on premise, which has basically been shuttered. … Continue reading “Molson Coors Will Eat Half the Cost for Untapped Kegs”

Dear Client: Today Constellation is announcing that it is donating more than $2.5 million, mainly to help the restaurant and bar industry get back on its feet amid massive closures wrought from COVID-19.  Constellation partnered with its flagship brands — including Corona Extra — to contribute $1 million to an upcoming Restaurant Employee Relief Fund … Continue reading “Constellation Donates More than $2.5 MM For Restaurant, Bar and Other COVID-19 Relief”

Dear Client: Today, A-B is announcing that it will funnel $5 million from its sports and entertainment investments to the American Red Cross to help it with COVID-19 efforts and blood drives. Beyond that, the brewer and its sports partners will also “identify available arenas and stadiums to be used for temporary blood drive Centers,” … Continue reading “A-B Redirects $5 Mill from Sports and Entertainment Investments to American Red Cross”

Dear Client: The VP of Budweiser USA wrote distributor partners yesterday to announce a delay for the full marketing launch of its big non-alcoholic brand, Budweiser Zero.  Sales to retailers will still start next week, as planned, on March 30th, but the marketing around the new launch will be pushed back until May. “As a … Continue reading “A-B Bumps Bud Zero Marketing Campaign Launch Date Back to May 4”

Dear Client: TTB issued the ruling earlier this month that returns are allowed in this era of widespread shutdowns and event cancellations. But they are not compelled. If a brewer or distributor doesn’t want to take beer back anywhere in the supply chain, even though they CAN, they don’t have to. Since then, some states … Continue reading “Who Gets Stuck With the Hot Potato? Some Discord Over Returns”