Dear Client: We got New Belgium chief Steve Fechheimer on the phone about recent news that the brewer is terminating a handful of distributors in Southern California and around Chicago as well.  [tip of the hat to our friends at Insights Express for first reporting story].  Turns out NBB sent out termination letters last week … Continue reading “New Belgium Shoots its Shot”

Dear Client: THE PREMISE.  At the end of July, which will happen this Friday, millions of Americans receiving federal Covid-19 assistance (plus state assistance) will stop getting their $600 a week checks — not to mention that PPP loans helping businesses maintain their payrolls are starting to run out. In other words, this Friday may … Continue reading “Next Week Crucial for Beer Industry”

Dear Client: What could Boston Beer possibly have added on a call, after their Q2 results yesterday revealed 46% depletion growth? And net revenues up 42%? Sure, gross margin was hampered, down a few points, at 46.4%. But everyone who follows Boston by now knows the deal: Truly relies on third-party production, which is expensive. … Continue reading “Boston’s Post-Pandemic Playbook”

Dear Client: Fasten your seatbelts, folks.  This story has alleged intrigue, blackmail, betrayal, and most importantly, it addresses the 9,000,000 pound gorilla in the room:  How do suppliers and distributors account for sales to central Amazon / Walmart / et al warehouses in their respective territories?   For their part, the big suppliers (A-B, MC, STZ, … Continue reading “How to Account for Amazon Warehouse Sales?”

Dear Client: That’s hard to swallow in certain areas. The on-premise recovery seems to be a jagged line featuring ups and downs by region. That makes sense, considering that the country is basically about evenly split between states that have rolled back or paused reopenings, and those who have reopened, or are reopening.  BBD has … Continue reading “On-Premise A Jagged Little Pill”

Dear Client: New Bud Light spots (also starring Bud Light Seltzer, apparently a trend since the Super Bowl spots) are celebrating the return of sports, as Major League Baseball kicks off July 23rd, (without fans in the stands, of course).  The campaign is anchored with a spot called “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” with … Continue reading “New Bud Light (and Seltzer) Spots Celebrate “Return” of Sports”

Dear Client: Nobody ever said beer industry law moves at warp speed. To tell you the truth, I don’t even remember a time before I started reporting on efforts to change the Massachusetts beer franchise law. Indeed, I have now been apprised it has been over a decade of haggling, mostly on where to put … Continue reading “Massachusetts to (Finally) Pass Franchise Carveout”

Dear Client: When a company dusts off a 60-year-old brand, typically, they’re banking on nothing but nostalgia. Very rarely is a brand dug up from the vault with qualities that hit on today’s trends, but Little Kings Cream Ale may buck that notion. We’ll explain why in just a minute, but first we have to … Continue reading “The “Little” Brand Eyeing a Big Comeback”

Dear Client: California has been a hotbed for distributor transactions over the last couple of years — some of them somewhat controversial. To navigate the new landscape, A-B and Heimark/Triangle Distributing owner, Peter Heimark, today announced an exchange of territories and assets, where A-B will acquire Triangle’s distribution rights, “in exchange for divesting a portion … Continue reading “A-B and Peter Heimark Swapping Distribution Rights in California”

Dear Client: It’s official, the week ending July 5, 2020 has gone down as the best week of beer sales IRI has ever recorded. Beer sales for the week in IRI’s multi-outlet and convenience channel surpassed $1.1 billion, according to the data firm.  Beer sales have topped $1 billion during a week only two other … Continue reading “Breaking Down Beer’s Best Week Ever (Which Should Have Been Bigger)”

Dear Client: Busch Light Apple, Bud Light Strawberry Lemonade, a Jack Daniel’s Seltzer?  Yes, these are all real products in 2020. BUD LIGHT STRAWBERRY LEMONADE COMES TO CANADA. The Bud Light Strawberry Lemonade, which comes in a pink and yellow slim can, giving off Natty Light’s Naturdays vibes, is exclusive to the Canadian market for … Continue reading “Three New Products You Have to See to Believe”

Dear Client: Mark Anthony Brand’s marketing maven, the man behind much of the strategy for White Claw, is leaving the company.  His departure is effective July 31. No successor has been named.  “It is with mixed emotions that I announce Sanjiv Gajiwala, our passionate Marketing Leader has made the decision to transition to his next … Continue reading “Mike’s Hard Marketing Chief, Sanjiv Gajiwala, Leaving”

Dear Client: First, the bad news. Beer’s performance was less than lukewarm over the recent July 4 holiday. Per Nielsen, for the week ended July 4: -Beer/FMB/cider trends “lagged significantly, nearing pre-COVID growth rates at +6.6%.” -It gets worse: Take “beyond beer” products out of that group, and core beer was down 0.8%. “This is … Continue reading “Core Beer Bombed, Seltzers Snagged More Share Over July 4”

Dear Client: If you’re in the half of the US that doesn’t yet know what Johnny Bootlegger or a Clubtail is, you will by next year. The company behind those brands, Geloso, is the third-largest FMB player nationally in c-stores (52 weeks to 6/14), behind Mark Anthony and Boston Beer, although currently only in 30 … Continue reading “The Biggest Supplier You’ve Never Heard of: Geloso”

Dear Client: That’s the line we keep hearing. In fact, Columbia Distributing’s chief growth officer Jesse Ferber, who has been in the beer business for a near quarter of a century now, used the phrase twice in a recent conversation with our WSD editor Sarah Barret who graciously squeezed in a few beer questions for … Continue reading ““Never Seen Anything Like It””