September 2013
Folks at the
National Beer Wholesalers
(NBWA), which represents
America’s 3,300 independent beer
distributors, no doubt love all beers, but they
are smartly sending some extra praise toward
America’s craft brewers for their continued
growth, which is pumping a lot of excitement
into the American beer industry.
According to mid-year data released by
the Brewers Association (BA), in the first
six months of 2013, small and independent
American brewers saw dollar sales up 15%
and volume up 13%. The BA also reported
that there are 2,538 breweries operating in
the U.S. as of June 2013, an increase of 446
breweries since June 2012.
“While 2013 overall industry volumes to
date are soft, craft beer continues to provide
a significant contribution to an expanding
and evolving industry,” said NBWA President
& CEO Craig Purser. “NBWA is proud of
the role that independent beer distributors
play in the development of a thriving craft
beer industry. This success is due in large
part to the effectiveness of the independent
distribution system that allows access
to market for brewers of all sizes and a
state-based regulatory system that works
to level the playing field between brewers,
distributors and retailers.”
Purser added: “Today’s marketplace
offers an unparalleled number of styles,
varieties and flavors of beer to consumers
from coast to coast, and American
consumers are demonstrating they enjoy this
vast variety.”
Meanwhile, according to SymphonyIRI,
the craft surge has not been able to keep
domestic beer in the black: overall sales of
domestic beer through July 14 fell 2.6%.
Among some other notable stats from the
first half of 2013: Belgium (+16.3%) led
imported beers in growth; India Pale Ale,
the largest-selling craft style, rose 39.1% by
volume, led by Stone, Lagunitas and Dogfish
Head 60 Minute IPAs; cider (albeit from
a much smaller base) outperformed beer,
with sales up 110% over the same period in
2012; and RTDs were up +30.5%.
Newcastle Brown Ale, the leading imported ale in the U.S., is bringing
back their popular seasonal Werewolf limited edition. Playfully described
as a “blood red” ale,
Newcastle Werewolf
starts smooth and mellow
but transforms suddenlty to offer a lingering bite of bitterness. Importer
Heineken USA expects big things from Werewolf this year. During the 2012
fall season, sales were double that of fall 2011 and outperformed other
major seasonals during this key selling period, according to Brand Manager
Brett Steen, who added, “This
year, we have the incremental
support in place to scare up
even greater sales and profit
for our trade partners.”
Newcastle is adding a
national Werewolf TV spot
to its arsenal of support.
Local sampling (where
legal) and Werewolf-themed
display and POS materials
are also planned.
The Werewolf limited
edition is available nationally
through October in six-packs
and 12-packs, as well as on
draft in most major markets.
Having started as a brew pub in downtown Bend, OR, 25
years ago,
Deschutes Brewery
has lots to celebrate on
their silver anniversary. The flagship Deschutes brew,
Black Butte Porter, is the nation’s best-selling craft porter.
In honor of the quarter-century milestone, the brewery
has released a special version: Black Butte XXV (11.3%
ABV) featuring the addition of cocoa nibs, Mission figs and
Medjool dates—plus a 20% higher bourbon-barrel-aged
portion. It is packaged in a 22-oz. wax-dipped bottle and
on draft in most of the 21 states where Deschutes is sold.
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