Dear Client: The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission lost not one, but two battles in the courts this week. One was a last ditch effort at a years’ long fight with CANarchy over to-go sales in the state, the other was another multiple-year dispute with Texas-based Gabriel Investment Group, owners of Gabriel’s Liquor and Don’s & … Continue reading “Tough Week for Texas ABC in The Courts”

Dear Client: Earlier this week we shared news that Teamsters Local 830 went on an abrupt strike over the weekend, involving employees from some of Philly’s biggest beer distribs at the start of summer. Looks like this is a theme. Sister publication Wine & Spirits Daily reported yesterday that a group of Chicago-area truck drivers … Continue reading “More Teamster Strike Action”

Dear Client: Watch out, because Mark Anthony Brand’s Cayman Jack is shooting up the ranks of the top FMBs. A year ago, Cayman Jack was the no. 10 FMB by dollar sales. Now it’s no. 6. “Cayman Jack is now a $150 million brand. Last year at this time, it was just under $100 million,” … Continue reading “Cayman Jack Angling to be a Top 3 FMB”

Dear Client: Athletic Brewing has just cut the ribbon on what it believes to be “the largest non-alcoholic beermaking facility in the world.” The 150,000-square-foot facility located in Milford, Connecticut, marks Athletic’s third production facility, and holds the ability to pump out more than 6 million cases annually. Recall that the piping-hot brewer laid out … Continue reading “Athletic Opens World’s Largest Non-Alc Brewhouse”

Dear Client: At the Deutsche Bank Global Consumer Conference yesterday, analyst Stephen Powers pointed to Coca-Cola’s now brimming portfolio of bev alc brands (through various partnerships: Fresca Mixed, Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, and more).   Stephen asked: Should Coke investors “no longer consider a foray into alcoholic beverages as an experiment for the Coca-Cola Company?”  Coca-Cola … Continue reading “Jack & Coke to Go Toe-to-Toe with Beer?”

Dear Client: Canopy Growth’s BioSteel, a brand aiming to shake up the $10 billion sports drink category, has opened itself a wide door with a move into Walmart.  Don’t forget the Constellation connection here: The brewer owns a stake in Canopy, and Canopy owns a majority stake in BioSteel. Plus, BioSteel mostly goes through Constellation … Continue reading “BioSteel Blitzes Into 2,200 Walmarts”

Dear Client: You know that Twisted Tea has been posting impressive double-digit growth this year (and actually, far prior to that). Part of its recent acceleration is related to its newfound focused media, like the year-old  “Tea Drop” campaign, which taps into real-life Twisted Tea fans.  But did you know that Twisted is making a … Continue reading ” Twisted Tea Inches Closer to Top 10 Beer Brand”

Dear Client: Survey says, Simply Spiked is seeing a fast start, despite having just launched this month. Recall, Molson Coors announced in January its plans to partner with Coca-Cola to launch Coke’s juggernaut juice brand, Simply, into the hard beverage stratosphere this summer. (Simply is the top juice brand, and Coca-Cola Company’s second-largest U.S. brand … Continue reading “A Simply Fast Start”

Dear Client: At the DISCUS conference last week in New Orleans, IWSR Americas COO Brandy Rand shared sobering news that spirits will likely overtake beer in both value and volume in 2023 — if you count RTDs (of any base) as a completely separate category, as they do.  But don’t panic, beer people: This merely … Continue reading “Spirits to Overtake Traditional Beer Next Year?”

Dear Client: Heineken USA informed distributor partners yesterday of the actions they plan to take to try and “partially offset” the “unprecedented and volatile” rise that it has seen in “ocean freight costs.” Those actions include a temporary freight surcharge starting next month and the intent to take a general price increase in the fall.  … Continue reading “HUSA Implementing Temporary Freight Surcharge in July, Taking General Price Increase in Fall”

Dear Client: While Target’s excess inventory isn’t a beer problem [see yesterday’s issue], it is the latest signal of belt-tightening consumers. What does that mean for beer? We pinged a good portion of our trusty truth squadders — of all sizes and affiliations, from around the nation —  to get some color around their Memorial … Continue reading “Trade Down Gut Check, Beer Wholesaler Edition”

Dear Client: Memorial Day reads at retail are rolling in, and at a high-level view it appears to have been a ho hum holiday week for not just beer but for all of bev alc., despite pockets of reported success from distributors in regions with good weather. The big three categories all failed to lap … Continue reading “Early Memorial Day Scans Looking Soft”

Dear Client: When we caught up with Dogfish Head co-founder Sam Calagione this week, he was riding along a whirlwind travel schedule.  “I’ve been on the road three of the last five weeks,” he said, where he’s plowing through “the most impactful meetings” with retailers and distributor partners.  They’ve just rung in the first anniversary … Continue reading “Sam Thinks Dogfish Head Canned Cocktails Could One Day Become Their “Highest Volume Line””

Dear Client: A recent IRI thought leadership piece on the RTD universe and its drivers delivers sobering news: for all the growth and relevance around RTDs, the category is stabilizing. Total RTDs (of any bev alc base) have reached 12% share of total bev alcohol as of the last 52 weeks, hitting above $11 billion … Continue reading “RTD Category is “Stabilizing.” What Does That Mean?”

Dear Client: Lots of quick hits to bring you from Constellation’s financial chief, Garth Hankinson, who grabbed a chair on stage with RBC’s Nik Modi yesterday at the RBC Global Consumer and Retail Conference.  We’ll start with one of the biggest questions facing Constellation as of late –  “Why aren’t we taking more pricing given … Continue reading “Constellation Pricing and Performance Staying Steady”