Boston Beer Co. sales topped $995 million in 2018, marking the company’s official return to growth after dipping in sales in 2017. Its net revenue increased 15.4 percent in 2018, shipping close to 4.3 barrels of product last year compared to 3.8 million barrels in 2017, and 4 million barrels in 2016.
Its beloved Samuel Adams is not, however, on the upswing. What’s thriving are Boston Beer’s non-beer brands, including Angry Orchard cider, Twisted Tea, and Truly Hard Seltzer (formerly Truly Spiked & Sparkling).
That’s not to say they’re not trying to boost beer sales, though. Boston Beer CEO Dave Burwick said the brand will introduce new beer packaging in April, which will look “much better on the shelf, with a blue block that looks super premium,” Brewbound reports.
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Hm. A “super premium” beer with a blue label sounds awfully familiar. Isn’t it… Sam Adams? Or am I thinking of the domestic premium prince of beers, Bud Light?
By the way, remember all those times Boston Beer kept trying to remind us how small and artisanal it is? You know, “made inefficiently” and all that. “Inefficiency” doesn’t get you into the billionaires club.
Boston Beer is Big Beer. It’s time we all start admitting it.
Molson Coors Faces Class Action Lawsuit
Molson Coors was hit with a class action lawsuit after reportedly overstating its net income by almost $400 million in 2016. The brewing behemoth blames the discrepancy on accounting errors. Who among us hasn’t misplaced $400 million?
The lawsuit, filed by Rosen Law Firm on behalf of Molson Coors investors, alleges that Molson Coors and its CEO Mark Hunter and CFO Tracey Joubert made false and/or misleading statements about its income tax liability in regard to its investment in MillerCoors. They also allegedly misreported net income for 2016 and 2017. The suit claims this was done intentionally “to deceive investors by knowingly or deliberately disregarding that the company’s financial statement contained errors and misleading statements,” Brewbound reports.
Molson Coors subsidiary MillerCoors, meanwhile, is still feeling the burn from Bud Light’s Super Bowl ads. Molson Coors recently pulled out of an industry-wide initiative with Anheuser-Busch InBev, Heineken, and Constellation Brands that aimed to attract more consumers to the beer category as a whole.
Corporate greed is a funny thing. One day, you’re claiming to have invented light beer. The next, a bunch of fictional medieval knights take you down by calling out a controversial ingredient. And then, before you know it, your investors catch you with your tax pants down.
It’s been a rough year so far for Molson Coors. I wish its hard-working brewers the best.
January Beer Sales Show Off-Premise Growth
According to a recent Nielsen report, off-premise dollar sales of beer, cider, and flavored malt beverages grew nearly 4.7 percent to more than $2.5 billion in January.
This is good news, but I’m not getting my hopes up just yet. First, January is a notoriously difficult month for on-premise bar and retail sales, when would-be drinkers are staying at home to curb their fiscal and physical hangovers after the holidays. Secondly, not to be a beer buzzkill, but most of that growth came from the hard seltzer segment, which grew 246.8 percent through January 26. Craft beer, meanwhile, grew 0.8 percent.
I’ll take what I can get, but I certainly hope this trend toward boozy water and away from thoughtfully brewed, innovative, interesting craft brews, doesn’t drown out beer growth altogether. (Next up: Harpoon Brewery and Polar Seltzer collab. No, seriously.)