The Maturing Craft Beer Market

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Richard T r i m p i
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The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#1 Post by Richard T r i m p i » April 25th, 2019, 11:34 am

I don't follow these things closely but I was surprised by a recent front page article in the local rag: Bankruptcy: How did Weyerbacher Brewing get to this point?

Weyerbacher seemed to be on a path to success (since 1995...fairly early in the game) and was growing faster than a few dozen other local microbreweries. Sales of approximately $6 - $7 million annually.

In 2014 they invested in equipment to expand their output by 4x at a cost of around $2 million. All the while, 2014 - 2018, the number of "Craft Breweries" doubled nationwide as growth slowed to approx. 4% per year by volume. There're now 350+ craft breweries just in PA. Larger producers have been sucking up labels and flooding the supply chain of larger retailers and distributors. At the same time, smaller local microbreweries have been competing for a "market buzz" advantage with a limited niche/craft demographic.

So a solid employee-owned company making quality products, found itself with $2 million debt, stagnant sales and the need to fold or reorganize. They appear to have charted a hopeful path back to solvency, including more retail tap rooms, diversification with a micro-distiller partnership, and contract brewing arrangements. It will require giving up control of the company to "investors" (reportedly all lined up)....and their requisite pound of flesh.

Sales and growth opportunities won't be so easy in a maturing industry. Sign of things to come in the beer marketplace?

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#2 Post by Scott Tallman » April 25th, 2019, 11:57 am

Rick can speak better on this topic, but yes the craft beer industry is maturing and competition is fierce, resulting in brewery sales and closures, even in the beer Mecca of Portland, OR. Many Old craft stalwarts are facing declining sales as customers chase the new and novel, AB buys up craft labels and distribution channels, and many of the newer craft breweries could not make the leap to a solid business due to mediocre beer, bad business decisions, lack of distribution, or some combination of those factors.
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#3 Post by Rick Allen » April 25th, 2019, 1:06 pm

Old news in our market. We've had a number of breweries close in Portland in the last year, and there are many more out there on life-support. Generally too much debt, and too much concern about growing fast along with not enough focus on making great beer. Combine that with a number of irrational competitors and it's a tough market.

There are very few breweries run by people who have a real clue about business, and there are plenty of lenders out there that are more than happy to lend you enough to get yourself into real trouble.

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#4 Post by BRhoades » April 25th, 2019, 2:07 pm

The official press release was that they were expecting double digit growth with their pumpkin beers for a number of years and that didn't pan out, reading between the lines I think the 2 million dollar expansion back in 2014 coupled with intense competition from smaller and larger breweries led to the current sale and BK.

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#5 Post by Scott Tallman » April 25th, 2019, 3:10 pm

Expecting double digit growth with pumpkin beers for a number of years proves the point made in Rick’s second paragraph
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#6 Post by JDavisRoby » April 25th, 2019, 3:54 pm

Richard, you mention employee owned? Did the founders do an ESOP to take cash off the table but funded it with debt to the ESOP repaid by the company? This has caused major issues for companies in the past. I’m under the impressions a lot of breweries have done this.
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#7 Post by Matthew Brown » April 25th, 2019, 4:27 pm

Breweries can't make their existence based on the fetish of just one beer. Beer drinkers are incredibly finicky, and the instant a beer goes from rare to common is the moment they stop craving it. The miost important thing a brewery can do is satisfy the market that supports EVERYTHING they do, not just the hot takes on Ratebeer. Makes New Glarus staying in Wisconsin look like the stroke of genius it really is.
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#8 Post by PeterJ » April 25th, 2019, 5:24 pm

I suppose it seems overly simplistic but I’ve found that, over the last 20 years or so, there’s been so much capital available that new or emerging business models multiply like rabbits and their life span is way shorter than in decades past. It’s just over-supply. Witness soft serve ice cream/yogurt..... and now I see it happening with poke shops. 5 years ago there were none around here, then it grew to maybe 35-40. Just last week I noticed that my my three favorite ones had turned up DOA. I can’t see how craft beer could be much different, especially with the hard startup costs involved.
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#9 Post by Richard T r i m p i » April 25th, 2019, 6:13 pm

Goodbeerhunting.com story

"At its peak in 2014, Weyerbacher sold an estimated 19,500 BBLs, but has struggled to tread water since. Due to lack of funding, Lampe told Brewbound the company made only 11,000 BBLs last year, but is hoping to get back to around 16,000 in 2019, a production level where Weyerbacher resided in 2016 and 2017.

Sales in IRI-tracked grocery, convenience, and other stores haven't shown much promise over the same time period, hitting a high in 2015 and losing about 16% of volume through the end of 2018. Those sales were led by Merry Monks, a 9.3% ABV Tripel, which sold about three times as much in those stores than #2 Blithering Idiot, an 11.1% ABV Barleywine.

That alone may clue you into broader issues for the brewery, which once relied on its Imperial Pumpkin Ale as a top-three brand. Meanwhile, that beer still finished 2018 as Weyerbacher's #4 in IRI stores, notable considering that style of beer has been declining in popularity for years.

Weyerbacher has been around for 24 years, and it’s nothing new for a brewery of that age to struggle, though its size is still pretty small compared to peers that are also having a hard time. Weyerbacher’s hopeful solution feels decidedly modern, at least."

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P.S. Jdavis: Huh? I'm a wine geek who enjoys an occasional beer (typically nothing above 7 -8% abv nor pumpkin anything). I've got a modicum of small business knowledge and was surprised to learn about a local "stalwart" hitting the skids.

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#10 Post by Rick Allen » April 25th, 2019, 6:31 pm

JDavisRoby wrote:
April 25th, 2019, 3:54 pm
Richard, you mention employee owned? Did the founders do an ESOP to take cash off the table but funded it with debt to the ESOP repaid by the company? This has caused major issues for companies in the past. I’m under the impressions a lot of breweries have done this.
A number of breweries have done this that I can think of. In our market, Full Sail did this a number of years ago and recently had to sell out to a private equity firm. Modern Times did this, and now has a negative net worth of more than $10 million.

One of the more popular models in brewing over the last couple of years has been to grow as fast as possible and then sell out to a larger player (most valuations are based on sales). Unfortunately AB-Inbev doesn't seem to be buying anymore, Constellation had a major hiccup with Ballast Point, and Heineken stubbed their toe with Lagunitas. Fast growth is usually correlated with a decline in beer quality, so the initial growth is often followed by a loss of sales. Add to this the fact that most breweries seem to be under-capitalized so any growth is strictly debt fueled and you have a recipe for disaster.

I've been told that there are more than a few breweries for sale in the Pacific NW, many of whom currently have ongoing operating losses. Without buyers (and why would you?), 2019-20 could be a period of significant shake-out in the brewing business.

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#11 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » April 26th, 2019, 12:43 pm

Rick,
What was the "major hiccup" with Constellation's acquisition of Ballast Point?
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#12 Post by Scott Tallman » April 26th, 2019, 1:02 pm

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
April 26th, 2019, 12:43 pm
Rick,
What was the "major hiccup" with Constellation's acquisition of Ballast Point?
Presumably that they MASSIVELY overpaid for a brand with assumptions of massive future growth that does not appear to be in the cards, and is likely on the decline.

https://www.beervanablog.com/beervana/2 ... last-point
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#13 Post by Rick Allen » April 26th, 2019, 1:16 pm

Scott hit it. BTW, Modern Times is pricing their stock offering at the same multiple as the original Ballast Point purchase, despite the fact that Constellation has now written down it value by 20%.

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#14 Post by Richard T r i m p i » April 26th, 2019, 1:21 pm

Stumbled on an estimate that PA produces more craft beer by volume than any other State. CA is #2. OR is #9. There're 7 - 8 craft breweries within 10 miles of my house...and I live in the relative "sticks" compared to Philadelphia or the Lehigh Valley. A number of them are quite good IMHO. It's hard to imagine how they'll survive the competition. The local supermarkets started selling beer a couple of years ago (antiquated PA laws)...and every microbrewer is fighting to get their cans on shelves. I'd love to see more but those shelves are also full of:

Ballast Point
Blue Moon
Founders
Goose Island
Kona
Lagunitas
Magic Hat
Terrapin
etc.

I try hard to buy small/local but it isn't easy to tell unless you know the specific producers.

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#15 Post by Rick Allen » April 26th, 2019, 1:54 pm

I don't know any beer fans that would look for real craft beer at a large grocery chain. In many states the large chains will charge for shelf space (Oregon doesn't allow this for beer and wine), and the large breweries will buy up all the space. Large chains also have a national or regional manager that needs to approve the product before it hits the shelf. The last thing that I'm going to do is send my beer to f*cking Cincinnati so a Kroger rep can taste it. By the time that gets done, the beer is sold out. So what ends up at the big stores is more "crafty" than real craft.

The really good and cutting edge stuff is gong to be at a bottle shop or maybe a specialty grocery store.

From a craft beer perspective, the best sale is when a customer buys a pint in your Tap Room. The return on this is significantly better than kegs or packaged product. For us, packaged and kegged beer has similar returns. The packaged is slightly better, but a lot more working capital built into it. We sell a lot more kegged beer than packaged beer, but we don't sell in the large chains...

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#16 Post by Richard T r i m p i » April 26th, 2019, 2:34 pm

Rick, for now...the big chains don't have a lock on the local supermarkets. There are also a limited number of markets and gas stations with beer/wine licenses, usually with a separate cash register and a limit on the amount that can be sold at any one time (i.e.: 2 six packs max). Like I said, antiquated system.

I'm not sure how the local micro-breweries get their products placed on the local grocery shelves...but they somehow do. Maybe only a handful of offerings...compared to 90%+ big brand stuff. But it's there....for now.

The three local breweries I prefer (Free Will, Funk's and Sly Fox) all have some placement, but they've invested a lot in their tap-rooms and clearly favor that business. Kyle Funk is a bike racer. I'll have to chat with him about the dynamics of supermarket placement.

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#17 Post by Doug Schulman » April 26th, 2019, 2:42 pm

Scott Tallman wrote:
April 25th, 2019, 3:10 pm
Expecting double digit growth with pumpkin beers for a number of years proves the point made in Rick’s second paragraph
Exactly.
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#18 Post by Rick Allen » April 26th, 2019, 2:43 pm

You know we sometimes think that our system in Oregon is antiquated, but yours is medieval in comparison!

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#19 Post by Doug Schulman » April 26th, 2019, 2:49 pm

Richard T r i m p i wrote:
April 26th, 2019, 1:21 pm
Stumbled on an estimate that PA produces more craft beer by volume than any other State.
I am sure that's largely because of Yuengling (craft - ha!). They also seem not to be counting Boston Beer Company in the Massachusetts total, which might change the #1 spot, but again, "craft" in name only. PA does have a LOT of breweries, though.
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#20 Post by Matthew Brown » April 26th, 2019, 2:58 pm

Some chain grocery stores may give individual locations a certain amount of free reign, often depending on each manager and how hard they push. There are a couple Piggly Wigglys in Myrtle Beach, most of which are pedestrian, but one is loaded with spectacular hard to get stuff. Here in Charlottesville there are three Krogers within 5 miles of each other and all three have different personalities.
Another problem with chain stores is they will view the rate of sales for ALL beer the same, be it crap lager or craft lager. They will discount the nice beer with a long shelf life equally fast. May sound good at first to the consumer, but an irresponsibly low price at one place ($3 less than what they even sell it for at the brewery per 6pack) can hurt sales throughout a territory. Makes competing stores not want to represent anything there, further decreasing sales and damaging the brand. Lots of breweries have lost the race to the bottom of the pricing wars.
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#21 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » April 26th, 2019, 8:57 pm

There's some legit craft beer in some Ralph's locations out here. And Whole Foods has tons of great local craft, too.
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#22 Post by Richard T r i m p i » April 27th, 2019, 4:43 am

Doug Schulman wrote:
April 26th, 2019, 2:49 pm
I am sure that's largely because of Yuengling (craft - ha!). They also seem not to be counting Boston Beer Company in the Massachusetts total, which might change the #1 spot, but again, "craft" in name only. PA does have a LOT of breweries, though.
Boston Beer has a huge brewing facility in the Lehigh Valley...which used to be Schaeffer's, then Stroh's. Considering Yuengling as a "craft" brewer is a joke....not sure about the criteria used by the Brewer's Association.

Kind of interesting that Victory Brewing near Downingtown grew in to a 25,000 sqft production facility, then merged with Southern Tier Brewing (Lakewood, NY) to form "Artisanal Brewing Ventures"...which then acquired Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn. I've enjoyed a number of Victory beers. It'll be interesting to see how that kind of growth model works out.

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#23 Post by Rick Allen » April 27th, 2019, 7:01 am

I used to consider Victory Prima Pils one of the best pilsners in the market. Now it's not even close. We see the Sixpoint beers out here occasionally, and they get pushed by their distributor pretty hard, but no one that I know seems that interested in them.

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#24 Post by Matthew Brown » April 27th, 2019, 7:22 am

I've actually been a lot happier, at least in VA, with the quality of lager and English styles in the last few years. Hard for breweries to avoid the urge to put a craft spin on them to appeal to the hoppy or quirky crowd, but the import beer fans have been getting crowded out of the market with increased shipping costs and freshness issues. A good, fresh, clean lager with the right type of hops, or a true English style ESB, can win a LOT of import fans over, but they are scared off by the overabundance of tweaked versions in the last decade+. I've had conversations with some people at an extremely hyped VA brewery that craves making Pilsners and Kellerbier in small lots for their own consumption, but don't think they can do them for production levels in fear the crowd they developed will support them and kill off part of the money printing line of IPAs.
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#25 Post by Michael Martin » April 27th, 2019, 8:48 am

I live easily within 15 minutes of a dozen craft brew pubs in Colorado. Some suck and I would have thought at least a handful would be gone by now, but they all keep going. Parking lots are full. Maybe trivia nights and tap take over days keep the cash flowing.
Another head scratcher for me is Ballast Point. My sister lives near the main brewery in San Diego. Every beer I tried was just meh, yet the place was packed. More power to them.

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#26 Post by Doug Schulman » April 27th, 2019, 9:28 am

Richard T r i m p i wrote:
April 27th, 2019, 4:43 am
Considering Yuengling as a "craft" brewer is a joke....not sure about the criteria used by the Brewer's Association.
Yes, it is. They changed the definition a few years back so Boston Beer Company and Yuengling could still be included. The term is now meaningless as far as I'm concerned.

https://www.brewersassociation.org/pres ... es-volume/
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#27 Post by Rick Allen » April 27th, 2019, 6:57 pm

You mean the Boston Brewers Association?

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#28 Post by John Ammons » April 29th, 2019, 9:51 pm

The Russian River Brew Co founders took a big bet on flourishing amidst all the increased competition. Their Windsor expansion cost $50 million, and they managed to do it with no outside investors. Sure they have a cult brand, but that's bold!

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#29 Post by Robert M yers » April 30th, 2019, 4:35 am

Rick it seems to me you are doing it the right way, and probably how many of us dreamed it would/could be done as I’m sure we’ve all had the open a brewery fantasy. I’m sure the lure of striking it rich is just too much for many, but there’s something nice about keeping these breweries regional and even hyper local really. I think more of them need to focus on that and get back to the basics.

On the other hand it is frustrating because I can read all about your operation and your beer, but will probably never get to tip the glass.

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#30 Post by Rick Allen » April 30th, 2019, 6:18 am

John Ammons wrote:
April 29th, 2019, 9:51 pm
The Russian River Brew Co founders took a big bet on flourishing amidst all the increased competition. Their Windsor expansion cost $50 million, and they managed to do it with no outside investors. Sure they have a cult brand, but that's bold!
There are a lot of breweries that have a lot of debt...

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#31 Post by Doug Schulman » May 4th, 2019, 4:04 pm

Rick Allen wrote:
April 27th, 2019, 6:57 pm
You mean the Boston Brewers Association?
What do you mean?
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#32 Post by Chris S p i k e s » May 4th, 2019, 9:05 pm

PeterJ wrote:
April 25th, 2019, 5:24 pm
I suppose it seems overly simplistic but I’ve found that, over the last 20 years or so, there’s been so much capital available that new or emerging business models multiply like rabbits and their life span is way shorter than in decades past. It’s just over-supply. Witness soft serve ice cream/yogurt..... and now I see it happening with poke shops. 5 years ago there were none around here, then it grew to maybe 35-40. Just last week I noticed that my my three favorite ones had turned up DOA. I can’t see how craft beer could be much different, especially with the hard startup costs involved.
Agreed.

It seems that the market is oversaturated from a demand/supply standpoint with decent quality product which is plenty good enough for the gen-pop. The market for craft beer is niche'y and fickle in the sense that those people are always chasing something new. Depending on large scale growth and expansion for a craft beer seems like a bad business model. Most customers will buy whatever is available within a category, and that's among those with a deeper appreciation for beer beyond the Coors vs. Bud crowd. Overall, it's not a growth model business. Most should probably be satisfied with a profitable, steady local business. But that will never satisfy outside investors.

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#33 Post by Rick Allen » May 5th, 2019, 7:13 am

Doug Schulman wrote:
May 4th, 2019, 4:04 pm
Rick Allen wrote:
April 27th, 2019, 6:57 pm
You mean the Boston Brewers Association?
What do you mean?
The Brewers Association has repeatedly changed its definition of Craft to insure that it includes the Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams). When Sam Adams grew out of the category, the Brewers Association raised the ceiling on what a craft brewery was (this happened twice). With the last increase, Yuengling, a producer of adjunct-heavy beer not at all dissimilar to Pabst qualified for membership. Then when Sam Adams became more of a beverage company rather than a craft brewery, they changed the rules again to keep them in. The Boston Beer Company sells more cider (Angry Orchard) than they do beer, and they also sell hard seltzers.

As the rules stand right now, Pepsi could buy my brewery and be a member of the Brewers Association, though if Heineken bought my brewery, we would be out. Frankly, the differences between my brewery and Boston Beer Company are far greater than the differences between Miller Coors and the Boston Beer Company.

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#34 Post by Doug Schulman » May 5th, 2019, 12:22 pm

Ah, I see. Yes, I knew the limit had been increased drastically to include Boston Beer Company. I agree that they are in no way a craft operation. They engage in the same business practices that the smaller companies hate about the 2 largest.

When Yuengling was reintroduced into the MA market, a coworker and I tasted it alongside Budweiser. Styles were a bit different, but quality was very similar.
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#35 Post by William Segui » May 6th, 2019, 11:22 am

The craft beer market seems to have gone the way of baseball - more locally/regionally v. nationally. I'm fortunate here in Napa to have a handful of high quality, local producers that scratch most beer itches I have. I keep a growler in my car and all my locals will fill it.

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#36 Post by Richard T r i m p i » May 8th, 2019, 8:09 am

Doug Schulman wrote:
May 5th, 2019, 12:22 pm
When Yuengling was reintroduced into the MA market, a coworker and I tasted it alongside Budweiser. Styles were a bit different, but quality was very similar.
In the 1990's...Yuengling brewed a higher quality beer IMHO. I preferred it to Bud, Miller, etc. It never approached the quality of many of today's legitimate craft lagers. Something happened as they ramped up production. It's quite a jump from 150 thousand to nearly 6 million barrels/year.

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#37 Post by Scott Tallman » May 10th, 2019, 4:43 pm

[flash=][/flash]Boston Beer Company - Dogfish Head merger. This is likely a non-event for most modern craft beer fans, but perhaps will make the combined enterprise slightly more profitable or at least stave off a larger decline in sales.

Saw some social media comments where someone questioned whether they thought this was good or bad (presumably was a DH fan), and whether the combined entity was still “craft” and “independent”. One guy was obviously offended by the suggestion that it was negative and asked why craft needed size or ownership limits. Wasn’t really in the mood for an internet fight, but glad to see some folks are in favor of an acquisition by someone other than MC or ABI, even if the acquirer is a public company whose future success lies in non-beer products.
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#38 Post by Doug Schulman » May 11th, 2019, 6:52 am

Scott Tallman wrote:
May 10th, 2019, 4:43 pm
One guy was obviously offended by the suggestion that it was negative and asked why craft needed size or ownership limits.
How ridiculous. Obviously that person refuses to acknowledge blatant realities. I wouldn't be surprised if they know Koch or are even commenting for him.
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Rick Allen
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#39 Post by Rick Allen » May 11th, 2019, 10:06 am

The move by the Boston Beer Company is reminiscent of Invbev's acquisitions to pump up their market share. BBC is too big and too corporate to be considered a craft brewery, and Dogfish Head wasn't far behind. Combining two struggling enterprises isn't going to suddenly make them successful. BBC hasn't been relevant for well over a decade and DFH hasn't been cutting edge for about 7 years.

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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#40 Post by Scott Tallman » May 11th, 2019, 11:05 am

Rick Allen wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 10:06 am
The move by the Boston Beer Company is reminiscent of Invbev's acquisitions to pump up their market share. BBC is too big and too corporate to be considered a craft brewery, and Dogfish Head wasn't far behind. Combining two struggling enterprises isn't going to suddenly make them successful. BBC hasn't been relevant for well over a decade and DFH hasn't been cutting edge for about 7 years.
I have not consumed or seen anyone consume a Sam Adams beer since my college days (‘94-‘98), and have not consumed a Dogfish Head Beer in prob 8-10 years (believe I bought a few bottles of the Bitches Brew bottling in honor of the release of the remastered version of that album, or maybe it was the Pearl Jam 20th anniversary). Drank a few DH beers when I first got into craft in mid to late aughts, which was before the local craft beer scenes really took off.

This move may help BBC and DH in the NE, but struggle to see how this materially moves the needle in a positive way going forward.
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#41 Post by Scott Tallman » May 11th, 2019, 11:09 am

Doug Schulman wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 6:52 am
Scott Tallman wrote:
May 10th, 2019, 4:43 pm
One guy was obviously offended by the suggestion that it was negative and asked why craft needed size or ownership limits.
How ridiculous. Obviously that person refuses to acknowledge blatant realities. I wouldn't be surprised if they know Koch or are even commenting for him.
I think he was just less aware of the major differences between BBC and the vast majority of craft breweries. He kept touting the number from the merger press release that combined they would only have 2% of the beer market as proof that BBC was still independent and craft. Obviously overlooking the fact that the reason size matters for craft definition has less to do with market share, but that at some point, your volumes produced take you out of craft and into industrial production.
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#42 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » May 13th, 2019, 12:32 am

I agree that DFH has either (1) stagnated and/or (2) moved to the boring middle over the past 5 - 10 years. Last beer I bought of theirs was probably the Noble Rot, and that was at least 4, if not 8, years ago.
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#43 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » May 13th, 2019, 6:39 pm

Just to flesh out the local issue with Weyerbacher:

Their taproom is yuuge off a major interstate so getting to-from is a bit of a thing even if you’re local. They’ve changed the PA laws to allow taprooms to essentially function as bars now. They can serve their beer on premise and do growler/crowler fills and cans to go, PLUS serve wine & Liquor as long as it’s made in PA, and have live music and a full kitchen. There is a much stronger drive for locals to go to the smaller places, many of whom also deliver higher quality beer.
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Re: The Maturing Craft Beer Market

#44 Post by Richard T r i m p i » May 16th, 2019, 1:09 pm

Brent C l a y t o n wrote:
May 13th, 2019, 6:39 pm
Just to flesh out the local issue with Weyerbacher:
Their taproom is yuuge off a major interstate so getting to-from is a bit of a thing even if you’re local. They’ve changed the PA laws to allow taprooms to essentially function as bars now. They can serve their beer on premise and do growler/crowler fills and cans to go, PLUS serve wine & Liquor as long as it’s made in PA, and have live music and a full kitchen. There is a much stronger drive for locals to go to the smaller places, many of whom also deliver higher quality beer.
A lot of the local craft breweries aren't equipped with commercial kitchens....so they do food trucks and have responsive food delivery options. It's pretty darned nice. If you don't like the particular featured truck, there're usually menus for delivery within easy reach.

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