Dear Client: Is BeatBox Beverages trying to be the next Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co.? “We own ‘Party Punch,’” says Mark King, the beer biz veteran who has now been BeatBox president for about a year. “’Party Punch’ is small, but ‘party beer’ was small” when Mike’s first started floating their ideas, “and now they’re [about] … Continue reading “Could Beer Distributors Bank on BeatBox #PartyPunch?”

Dear Client: Beer-to-Go sales for production brewers in Texas now seems all but inevitable. It started to become a shadow of a reality back in February when the Beer Alliance of Texas wholesaler group and Texas Craft Brewers Guild finally agreed on language to allow beer sales to go from breweries. Their compromise riffed off … Continue reading “Beer-To-Go a Go in Texas?”

Dear Client: How bullish is Constellation on Corona Premier? Well, outside of getting into beer in the first place in 2013, Corona Premier is “one of the most exciting things” the company has ever done, CFO David Klein said at yesterday’s Goldman Sachs Global Staples Forum. But wait, there’s more. When Constellation began to play … Continue reading “Constellation CFO: Corona Premier Could be a 100M Case Brand”

Dear Client: Recently we snagged a half-hour with Marina Hahn, New Business co-founder, at the A-B offices in New York. Recall that the New Business division incubates a handful of brands over there, so far including Cutwater Spirits, Swish Beverages, and HiBall non-alc sparkling energy drink.   WHO IS MARINA? Marina is a brand builder … Continue reading “A-B’s New Business Chief: “Get the Consumer Something They Didn’t Know they Needed””

Dear Client: We’d been hearing rumors that Heineken USA was making a round of cuts around their regional sales division, linked to organizational changes at the national sales team. We reached out to new chief sales officer, Jim Sloan, who came to HUSA earlier this year from Phusion Projects (where he’d been president). Jim explained: … Continue reading “Heineken USA Making Cuts, Splits National Sales Force”

Dear Client: In what is by far its largest deal, Boston Beer Co. announced yesterday that it will acquire all of Dogfish Head for about $300 million [read details here in case you missed it: BBD 05-09-2019].   We are now here to grok it from as many angles we could think of. But before … Continue reading “Grokking the Boston Beer – Dogfish Head Deal”

Dear Client: Big, big news for craft, as two visionaries merge. We’ve been hearing lots of chatter on this deal for weeks, and this afternoon it finally emerged that Delaware-based Dogfish Head craft brewery has entered into a 100% stock merger, where Boston Beer Co. becomes the whole owner of Dogfish Head. TERMS OF THE … Continue reading “SAM and Sam Combine Big Portfolios and Big Personalities”

Dear Client: On Tuesday, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority made a decision on the motion to dismiss and compel arbitration (filed by Bell’s) in the case between Bell’s and Loveland Distributing in Virginia. Ultimately, considering the nexus of the parties’ distribution agreements, as well as state and federal laws, the VA ABC moved to … Continue reading “Bell’s Fighting Loveland/Reyes in VA Court”

Dear Client: After a “very successful” pilot launch late last year, Anheuser-Busch and Dr. Pepper Keurig’s Drinkworks Home Bar is embarking on an expansion. The appliance, touted as the “ultimate bar back,” will launch statewide in Missouri and Florida this month.   BUILDING OFF BUZZ FROM PILOT LAUNCH. The rollouts in the Show-Me and Sunshine … Continue reading “Show Off Keurig Machine Hits Show- Me and Sunshine States”

Dear Client: A-B’s U.S. depletions were down 1.9% (vs. an estimated -1.6% industry-wide trend) and shipments were down 0.9% in Q1 2019. That’s a noticeable improvement from their Q4 depletions trends, which saw depletions down 2.8% (and shipments down 0.1%). They grew top-line by 1.6% in the quarter.  Revenue per hectoliter was up 2.6%, driven … Continue reading “A-B U.S. Depletions Down 1.9% in Q1, An Improvement”

Dear Client: On Friday, CBD broke news that Simon Thorpe, who has held leadership roles (and M&A expertise) at InBev, Pabst and Duvel Moortgat USA, has taken the newly created position of Managing Director for Lion’s North American craft beer business. This is significant, folks. Kirin subsidiary Lion has large resources; we’re guessing they’re practically … Continue reading “Lion Getting Serious in U.S.”

Dear Client: Tough news coming out of Burke Distributing Corporation. The Massachusetts wholesaler is expected to cut 72 positions (nearly a quarter of its workforce) at the start of next month as a result of the “termination of a major business contract.” “Due to unforeseen circumstances arising out of the termination of a major business … Continue reading ““Termination of Major Business Contract” Results in Layoffs at Burke Distributing”

Dear Client: Since Arby’s Restaurant Group purchased Buffalo Wild Wings last year for $3 billion (renaming itself Inspire Brands in the process), it has been overhauling the wings-and-beer concept, from menu to look and brand. Of course, beverages have been retooled as well. We talked to Beverage Innovation Manager Jason Murphy about what’s hot and … Continue reading ““Everything is Different” at Buffalo Wild Wings”

Dear Client: This time last year, MillerCoors was turning in a disastrous first quarter performance for 2018 with depletions down nearly 4% and shipments down a staggering 7% due to the mess at their Golden Brewery. How’s the company faring a year later? Well, shipments were only down 2.7% in the first quarter of 2019. … Continue reading “MillerCoors Q1 Depletions Down 3.8%; Shipments Down 2.7%”

Dear Client: The race to own the on-premise with hard seltzer is on. Last week we reported on A-B hard seltzer brand Bon & Viv rolling out an unflavored option. Dubbed “Classic,” it will hit in package later this summer [see BBD 04-26-2019]. But Classic is also a draft play. Indeed, that seems to be … Continue reading “Bon & Viv Going for Hard Seltzer Draft Play”