Dear Client: Your editor was in Austin this past weekend living like the true Millennial he is.  On Saturday I watched the Longhorns game at a few different bars on West 6th, and on Sunday I ventured out to Zilker Park to see Kacey Musgraves, Lizzo, and Cardi B perform at Austin City Limits. I’m … Continue reading “Dispatch from Austin: Grokking Beer at ACL and 6th Street”

Dear Client: Reyes keeps rolling in California.  Reyes’ Harbor Distributing has just announced a deal to acquire “substantially all of the assets” of W.A. Thompson, Inc. in Bakersfield, California (a mid-sized city north of Los Angeles). With the acquisition Harbor will add on 7.1 million cases and nearly 14,000 new customer accounts, per release. W.A. … Continue reading “Reyes Acquiring 7-Million Case W.A. Thompson in Bakersfield, CA”

Dear Client: Grab a sheet of paper and a writing utensil, it’s Pop Quiz time. If you haven’t participated in one of these yet, here’s how we’re going to do it. We’ll throw out a question based on the latest IRI data to September 8, you come up with your answer, and we’ll tell you … Continue reading “Pop Quiz on Latest IRI”

Dear Client: RMC Distributing Company and KEG 1, LLC announced an agreement for KEG 1 to “purchase substantially all of the assets” of Colorado-based RMC Distributing Company. Terms were not disclosed, but the deal is expected to close in January.  RMC is pegged at more than 4 million cases. It sells MillerCoors, Constellation, Mike’s Hard … Continue reading “KEG 1 To Make Purchase in Colorado Springs”

Dear Client: On Constellation’s earnings call yesterday, chief Bill Newlands officially announced Corona Hard Seltzer, which Bill admitted was “one of the worst kept secrets” in the beer industry.  But it’s a no-brainer, he thinks, because both the Corona brand family and seltzer are synonymous with refreshment. And Corona has strong brand equity among 21-54 … Continue reading “Corona Betting Big on Seltzer”

Dear Client: Constellation’s second quarter (fiscal 2020) results just hit. Here’s what you need to know: Constellation’s beer business reported depletions up 6.2% for the Q2 2020 quarter (up 7.5% adjusted for selling day impact). That’s just a slight deceleration from Q1 beer depletions, which had been up 6.6%.  Shipments were up 5.3%, also just … Continue reading “Constellation Q2 Depletions Up 6.2%, Shipments Up 5.3%”

Dear Client: Dear Client: Are we just scratching the surface in the better-for-you movement? Is the movement strong enough to bring something like hard sodas back from the dead? We’re about to get a sign, as Crook & Marker gears up to take better-for-you spiked sodas nationally in early 2020.  We’ll bring you all the details … Continue reading “Crook & Marker Looks to Resurrect Hard Sodas”

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”