Dear Client: In an online session with distributors today, just one week after lots of innovation announcements at their Vegas meeting, MillerCoors announced they are planning to release a new hard seltzer named Vizzy next spring (a spokesperson clued BBD in).  “We know this segment is going to continue to grow,” VP of Innovations Sofia … Continue reading “MillerCoors Teases New Seltzer with Super Fruit for Spring Launch”

Dear Client: We’ve seen a lot of people try to revive old heritage brands but never to the degree that’s about to go down with Dixie Beer. REFRESHER ON DIXIE. The New Orleans-based beer brand has been around for over a century, with its glory days occurring in the late 40’s early 50’s, selling close … Continue reading “Dixie Beer “Starting Out in Third Gear””

Dear Client: Today, Anheuser-Busch and Markstein Beverage Co. are announcing an agreement to transition key assets of Markstein Beverage Co. in San Marcos, California to Anheuser-Busch. Travis Markstein and his family have decided it was time to focus the family efforts on their existing Sacramento, California distribution territory, which is not impacted by this agreement. … Continue reading “ABI Buys Markstein Beverage in San Diego”

Dear Client: Even the freight train of hard seltzer growth couldn’t keep August domestic shipments from brewers to distributors to be down 7.3%, or over one million barrels, according to estimates from the Beer Institute.  However, we did lose a sell day, so apples-to-apples shipments were “only” down 3.1%. (And yes, hard seltzers, even though … Continue reading ““Beer” Needs All the Help it Can Get”

Dear Client: The hard seltzer wars continue to heat up. A few weeks ago, we reported on an A-B memo to wholesalers regarding the launch of Natty Light Seltzers from Ricardo Marques, A-B’s Group VP Marketing, Core & Value Brands, that claimed there were “26 IRI Geos (State/City) where Natty Seltzer ROS is outpacing Truly!” … Continue reading “Was A-B Being Truly True About Natty Seltzer Numbers?”

Dear Client: We’ve got a bunch of highlights to bring you from the big show. The big theme the first day was the recent Supreme Court Tennessee decision and the measures they have taken to prevent this decision from creeping into the middle tier. NBWA past Chairman Michael Schilleci of Supreme Beverage in Alabama (more … Continue reading “NBWA General Sessions Soundbites: Tennessee’s Legacy, New Incoming Chairman and More”

Dear Client: At the NBWA Vegas MillerCoors meeting, new CMO Michelle St. Jacques celebrated the Coors Light “Made to Chill” campaign, and teased a slew of better-for-you innovations.  (Another highlight: a welcome update that lessening freight pressures will drop surcharges by an estimated 3.5 cents a case by next year, which will actually end up … Continue reading “MillerCoors Has Good News on Innovations and Freight Charges”

Dear Client: After seven straight years of incredible growth — each year growing faster than the other, and capping off with a down-right ridiculous 74% growth rate in 2019 — Mike’s feels it’s about time they receive a share of mind from distributors/retailers that reflects their growth trajectory.  Mike’s execs repeatedly emphasized at their distrib … Continue reading “Mike’s Flexing Their Muscle”

Dear Client: The industry unicorn, White Claw owner Mike’s Hard Lemonade, is investing big time in new brewing capacity to prevent shortages next summer and beyond, the company revealed to distributors at an event in Chicago yesterday, (your editor was hiding in the back under a Cubs cap and Cayman Jack sunglasses).  If you’re selling … Continue reading “Ain’t No Claws Without Balls”

Dear Client: Did you know that Diageo Plc’s second largest global brand, including spirits, is Guinness?  Neither did I. So for those of you who have long thought that Diageo’s beer business is a backwater, you’re mistaken (as was I).   So it was with likely satisfaction that Diageo Beer Co. chief Nuno Teles announced to … Continue reading “Diageo Beer Co. Doubling Down on Recent Growth, New Seltzer”

Dear Client: Lagunitas is an IPA brewery, and in this age of breakneck-speed competition in beer, they’re really banging that drum. At the outset of their bi-annual Dogpile distributor meeting here in Chicago, no-nonsense CEO Maria Stipp told BBD: “It’s competitive as hell, as you know.” But they have a not-so-secret weapon: IPA. They’re going … Continue reading “Lagunitas Chief: “We Have a Right to Win” in IPA”

Dear Client: After yesterday’s coverage of trends at Buffalo Wild Wings, several Truth Squadders inquired specifically about seltzer trends at the top draft retailer.  You may be shocked to learn that Buffalo Wild Wings beverage innovation manager Jason Murphy characterizes seltzer sales as “OK” at their chain of 1,200 units, but nothing like the phenomenon … Continue reading “BWW Trying to Get Stronger in Beyond Beer”

Dear Client: Summer beer trends were good at the largest on-premise beer retailer, Buffalo Wild Wings, beverage innovation manager Jason Murphy exclusively told BBD (Jason is also speaking at our Beer Summit in January). As of a few weeks ago, he said, they were seeing 3% growth for beer sales year-to-date, which is surprising given … Continue reading “Largest On-Premise Account Having A Good Beer Year”

Dear Client: After Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. division’s brass castigated their distributors on stage for sharing news from their distributor meeting in St. Louis with BBD, (and a Texas A-B distributor called our sources and me “dickheads” from the stage, and apparently urged them to “just sell out!”), we continued to get a few tidbits from the … Continue reading “Lots of New Products Coming from Big Red, “Pissed” About our Reporting”

Dear Client: While we weren’t invited to A-B’s equity manager distributor meeting for the first time in 15 years this year, it turns out it didn’t matter, as we have sources everywhere.  A-B is doing what the largest market share leader does best: pulls all the levers, all the levers in the world.  This year … Continue reading “Bud Light Seltzer, Bud Nitro, Lemonade, More to Come from A-B”