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”

Dear Client: It started in the Bay Area, but now the entire state of California, one of the largest economies in the world, has ordered most of its citizens to stay at home. California Gov. Gavin Newsom late on Thursday issued a statewide order for all residents to ‘stay at home’ amid a coronavirus outbreak, … Continue reading “California Governor Issues Statewide “Stay at Home” Order”

Dear Client: We’ve talked to a ton of distributors over the past week to get a feel for how they’re adapting in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. One common theme, no matter the person’s time in the beer industry, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”   One distributor described it to me as, “It’s like … Continue reading “Distribs Across the Country Share Best Practices”

Dear Client: The on-premise is now shut down in more than half the states in the U.S. In our latest tally, we identified 28 states that have ordered bars and restaurants to shutter. Here’s what the updated list looks like: California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida (bars, nightclubs shut down, but restaurants can still operate for … Continue reading “On-Premise Closed for Business”

Dear Client: By now, over 20 states have all announced the closure of bars and restaurants in wake of COVID-19, while still allowing carryout and delivery. That list includes: California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Illinois Indiana Kentucky Louisiana Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota New Hampshire New Jersey New York Ohio Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island Vermont Washington And … Continue reading “Many More Mandatory On-Premise Closings; The Rise of the Neo-Speakeasy?”

Dear Client: Your editor told the Chicago Tribune on Friday that this past weekend would be crucial in telling the tale of how the coronavirus has and will affect the beer industry, particularly on-premise, and indeed the worm has turned.  It’s worse than we thought. Much worse.  The dam broke on Sunday afternoon on the … Continue reading “California, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington, and Indiana Shut Down On-Premise”

Dear Client: Yesterday we brought you news that Anheuser-Busch was allegedly running afoul of newly passed laws in Michigan under the Distributor Independence Act. That Act, passed last fall, basically prohibits suppliers from making onerous demands or prohibitions on their distributors.  Now, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission is involved. Yesterday it issued a “show cause” … Continue reading “Michigan Summons A-B to Testify at Hearing”

Dear Client: Late last November, Michigan passed a law basically limiting brewers’ abilities to mandate certain things of their wholesaler.  Dubbed the Distributor Independence Act, it basically prohibits a brewer from meddling with a distributors’ business beyond the scope of the suppliers own product.  Some specific provisions bar a supplier from: Forcing a distributor to … Continue reading “A-B and Michigan Distributors in Stand Off”

Dear Client: The coronavirus/COVID-19 is affecting marketing, too, apparently. At Molson Coors Beverage Co’s Houston distributor convention last month, we teased a key, new spring Coors Light ad. The spot was a play on the notorious loss of work productivity during March Madness. It landed well with distributors.  Those ads are now being pulled — … Continue reading “Coors Light Halting “Official Beer of ‘Working’ Remotely” Spots”