Dear Client:  Ben E. Keith, the third-largest independent beer wholesaler in the nation, is making a concerted bet on spirits to add to their statewide craft beer and spirits division. The Dallas-based A-B house announced yesterday the purchase of locally based Artisanal Beverage Distributor’s assets, “adding 20 suppliers to its growing line-up of spirits and … Continue reading “Ben E. Keith Starts Spirits Division, Acquires Boutique Liquor House”

Dear Client:  That’s the buzz on Wall Street and beyond as Monster Beverage has dropped several hints that it may get into the alcohol beverage market with beer distributors, and perhaps even drive new NA innovations through beer distributors as Coke continues to create its own products to compete with Monster. Recall, Monster is largely … Continue reading “Monster Back to Beer Wholesalers?”

Dear Client:  “He hates these cans!” Steve Martin famously shouted in The Jerk.   Well, Heineken USA, historically a bottle-driven company, doesn’t hate cans anymore.  In fact, 2020 will be the year they drive a big push behind their can business, in which they under-index compared to the industry in general and their closest peer Constellation … Continue reading “Heineken USA Betting on Simplicity, Innovation and Cans”

Dear Client:  Anheuser-Busch InBev delivered third quarter results this morning, and as usual BBD was up bright and early to bring you the highlights.  In the U.S., A-B depletions were down 3.5% in the quarter. That’s better than last quarter for the brewer, down 4% in Q2, but still a bit worse than the industry … Continue reading “A-B Depletions Down 3.5% In Q3”

Dear Client:  FIFCO USA had a tough year in beer with Labatt Blue/Light, Magic Hat, Pyramid, Genesee, and Portland Brewing all declining, partially offset by new beers Blue Citra, Ruby Red Kolsch, Cream Ale, Hemptails, and of course their beyond beer Seagrams lines. But FIFCO USA tends to punch above their 1.3 market share (albeit … Continue reading “FIFCO USA: The Biggie Smalls of the Beer Business”

Dear Client:  Back in mid-August, we brought BBD readers news that Four Loko was teasing a super-hard seltzer on its Twitter account. The brand had posted a picture of 14% ABV Four Loko Sour Seltzer “with a hint of blue razz.” The tag? “The hardest seltzer in the universe.”  A couple of days later, Phusion … Continue reading “Four Loko Seltzer is Real. And it’s Here (Almost)”

Dear Client:  Having garnered praise for its uber-relatable “Made to Chill” Coors Light campaign, MillerCoors is now revealing a big new campaign for its other giant light brand, Miller Lite.  The idea? That having a beer with your friends is “The Original Social Media” — also known as “Miller Time,” but reimagined for millennials.   The … Continue reading ““A Few Friends are Better Than a Few Thousand Followers” Per Reimagined “Miller Time” Campaign”

Dear Client: In late July, seltzer overtook light lager as the “beer” category dollar share leader — at least, on the Drizly platform.  Hard seltzer outpaced light lager share of sales starting the week of July 28th, where seltzer had a 20.25% share, vs. 17.41% for light lager. Just one week prior, started July 21st, … Continue reading “Seltzer has Seen Steady Week-Over-Week Share Declines Since September, says Drizly”

Dear Client: While it is admittedly “way too early to form definitive conclusions about how Hard Seltzers and other BEYOND BEER styles will perform on draft in 2020,” the folks at BeerBoard provided some early insights into how the new category is performing on tap so far (with only two major national brands available on … Continue reading “What’s the Deal with Seltzer on Tap?”

Dear Client: A huge twist in CornGate. Anheuser-Busch has filed a counterclaim today that asserts several civil claims against MillerCoors, mainly accusing MillerCoors of coming into possession of their trade secrets, including recipes for Bud Light and Michelob Ultra. A-B claims in today’s filing that MillerCoors obtained this information through one of its brewers at … Continue reading “A-B Accuses MillerCoors of Trade Secret Meddling in CornGate Counterclaim”

Dear Client: With about 23 locations across Ohio, Winking Lizard Tavern sports bar (and its more upscale, whiskey-oriented Lizardville concept) go through a lot of draft beer.  BBD caught up with director of operations John Lane to explore some business highlights and trends, right before his annual supplier meeting.  We were surprised at some of … Continue reading “Top Ohio On-Premise Chain Looks to Bud Light, Modelo, Seltzer to Boost Beer”

Dear Client: In our conversation with Marcelo “Mika” Michaelis last week, the chief of A-B’s Brewer’s Collective spilled the beans that a hard seltzer from his bunch of brewers was imminent.  Mika didn’t share what brewery the seltzer would belong to, but we threw out some guesses around the BBD office and came to the … Continue reading “First Look at Maha, A-B’s New Better for You Business”

Dear Client: As we reported yesterday, Boston Beer Co. is reformulating their 13 Truly Hard Seltzer flavors, to be more “crisp” and “refreshing.” The other headline: They’re also rolling out Truly Lemonade Hard Seltzer flavors early next year.  But back to that reformulation: The retooled Truly has a stronger flavor, with a more “fruit-forward” aroma … Continue reading “Truly to Reformulate”

Dear Client: CBD DRINKS COMING TO CANADA THIS YEAR, STILL WORKING ON THC Cannabis-infused drinks are near from the world’s largest brewer. Quick refresher: Late last year, A-B InBev waded into the cannabis trade by forming a research partnership with Canadian cannabis company Tilray. The partnership gave way to a joint venture between ABI’s Labatt … Continue reading “Latest on ABI’s Canadian Cannabis Venture”

Dear Client: One of the largest “craft” brewers, depending on your definition, is Anheuser-Busch’s Brewers Collective, with roughly a dozen craft franchises. Year to date in IRI, Brewers Collective’s share of craft is 7.58.  And indeed, recent innovations like Karbach’s Crawford Bock and Golden Road’s Mango Cart are not only helping the total Collective grow … Continue reading “A-B’s Giant Craft Unit Making Big Bets”