Boston Beer Company & Dogfish Head Brewery Are Merging

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, May 9, 2019.

  1. jayrutgers

    jayrutgers Aspirant (201) Oct 29, 2011 New Jersey

    But then why is the brewery that is local and doesn't ship beer anywhere innovative while the national brewery that ships everywhere but also produces beers it only releases locally not?

    It's such a weird double standard.
  2. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,849) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Plus, to quote BBC's AR:
    chrismattlin likes this.
  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,147) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Well, that stinks.

    My last discussion about special ordering from that manager was that I expressed an interest in a certain beer but I told him to not order it just for me. If he wanted it for general retail to just contact me. He chose to not order this beer but as luck would have it I found what I wanted on the shelf of another local Retail Beer Distributor. It was a large format bottle (750 ml) that I purchased to share with my wife for our anniversary.

    chrismattlin and drtth like this.
  4. Newport_beerguy

    Newport_beerguy Zealot (550) Feb 24, 2011 Rhode Island

    @OldBrewer explained already, but the ingredients used in 120 are extraordinary. In fact during the Dogfish Head Brewmasters TV show a while back, Sam was disconsolate about a tank of 120 he had to drain because it was not up to par. The lost revenue from that tank was VERY high, but due to the cost he demanded better quality.

    Presentation plays a factor though, if these bottles were sold individually at $9/pop like sours or Bourbon County bottles no one would flinch. But seeing a $36 4-pack makes people flinch no matter the beer contained therein.

    Tl;dr The shit is great and most people need to take an evening to nurse a bottle, this ain't no session IPA, pal.
  5. WormGod

    WormGod Aspirant (200) Jun 30, 2016 New York

    It is a double standard, but I am also contrasting DFH with Ommegang, which seems to have been able to produce several new (not always innovative) beers per year the past few years. Granted their GoT line has a built-in market, so the comparison is probably unfair.
  6. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,261) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I think those in PA that would attest that Victory discontinued some of the beers that used to be yearly seasonal and/or brewpub-only releases. Less emphasis on German styled lagers, and more on introducing new trendy fruited IPAs, kettle sours, etc.
    chrismattlin, AlcahueteJ and ESHBG like this.
  7. PComninaki

    PComninaki Initiate (84) Jul 31, 2010 Virginia

    This is a win for the Reyes' of the country. DFH will leave smaller regional distributors and you'll see DFH tallboys in every podunk gas station and 60 minute half barrels @ every Outback Steakhouse they aren't already in.
  8. VoxRationis

    VoxRationis Poo-Bah (1,804) Dec 11, 2016 New York
    Society Trader

  9. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,004) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    True, but those changes were already happening. For example both of the Saints had become draft only before there was any hint of "consolidation" on the horizon. My last annual case of St. Victorious was bottled in 2013.

    Edit: ABV is formed in 2016.
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  10. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (267) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    Some people keep saying that now DFH will join SA on tap at thousands of locations where SA is already available. I'm sorry. But if SA couldn't get a second tap of their own after all these years, and if DFH couldn't gain penetration on their own at many locations, this feels like a total pipe dream. Maybe if keg prices get better for these bar owners. Just because they 'merged', the floodgates don't get easier all of a sudden. Bars only care about $$$, not so much about a craft pioneer super team up.
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  11. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (342) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    Did anyone actually propose this standard?
  12. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (342) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    They're not allowed to do that now? What problem does refocusing on the beers Koch wants to brew solve now that it didn't solve before?
  13. bige12

    bige12 Initiate (40) Aug 28, 2014 Virginia

    I wonder if they are going still operate under the two different names, or one combined name? and dogfish has ale house which is a restaurant in fairfax, va, i wonder what is going to happened to that
  14. VoodooBear

    VoodooBear Defender (655) Aug 25, 2012 Puerto Rico

    If their core cash cow is the Samuel Adams brand, then no. They have to keep it profitable by expanding it and following industry trends. If they can make most of their money elsewhere, then the Sam Adams can be Jim's pet project (albeit a pretty big pet project) and that's it.

    I don't think it's about "solving" any problems. I'm just saying that as a beer drinker, and someone who appreciates Sam Adams. Having them focus on a smaller core lineup and beers that are not trend-chasing like grapefruit IPAs and hazy IPAs, would be cool. That's all.
    Roguer likes this.
  15. UncleJimbo

    UncleJimbo Poo-Bah (3,773) Sep 11, 2002 Massachusetts
    Moderator Fest Crew Society Trader

    In bars in my area (not beer geek craft beer bars), typically there are 2-4 BBC taps. I am sure they can spare one for DFH.
    officerbill, Roguer and Tilley4 like this.
  16. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (342) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    I hate to be the dream crusher here, but that is not what is going to happen.
  17. VoodooBear

    VoodooBear Defender (655) Aug 25, 2012 Puerto Rico

    I mean, no one "knows" what's going to happen. They haven't said anything. Just some irresponsible speculation. But here's hoping!
  18. KiddVideo

    KiddVideo Initiate (107) Jun 19, 2015 Minnesota

    This is just the beginning.
  19. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (267) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    Makes sense but you'd be almost competing against yourself. They need to take taps from others to gain real traction.

    Unless their goal is to continue the premium pricing for DFH, while getting their production costs lowered, and then charging the same to consumers while substituting old SA taps with higher priced DFH. That would be right out of abinbevs playbook.

    They either have to make a lot more beer or have better margins for all these hundreds of millions of $$$s to make real sense. Everyone seems SA as that budget prices beer. There is still some allure for DFH. Not sure it's worth $300 million though.
  20. jjamadorphd

    jjamadorphd Meyvn (1,172) Jul 21, 2012 Florida

    Time will tell if this was a good move for both, or either for that matter. Nonetheless, I will be curious to see if they come out with a new brand or we will see more collabs. I like both brewers, I wish them the best of luck.
  21. ShawnoftheD3ad

    ShawnoftheD3ad Initiate (180) Mar 20, 2016 Illinois

    Two birds, one stone. (3-5 years)

    Also, I bet we see a lot more SA ads on the site now.:wink:
    #221 ShawnoftheD3ad, May 11, 2019
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  22. Quackershnoc

    Quackershnoc Aspirant (220) Nov 7, 2012 Michigan

    I have a lot of hope for this merger. DFH has been one of my favorites since discovering craft beers and SA helped me get into craft beer in the first place. I'm excited to see what they o together.
    KarlHungus likes this.
  23. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (342) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    No one knows what will happen in the future, but we can rule out some things that won't happen. Among those things are that BBC would stop caring about the sales/profitability of the Sam Adams line.
    jmdrpi and TongoRad like this.
  24. flaskman

    flaskman Aspirant (289) Aug 3, 2015 New York

    I wish them the best of luck. They are both well established companies that were at the top at one point. Maybe they can revitalize each other enough to turn it around and move forward in a very competitive and changing marketplace. I hope it turns out to be a win-win for them and us.
    chrismattlin and surfcaster like this.
  25. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Meyvn (1,362) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    This is interesting stuff. How would you guys feel if in the future a brewery like Stone or Sierra Nevada joined these guys?
    AlcahueteJ and Roguer like this.
  26. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (1,943) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    Tbh I'd prefer Sierra Nevada keep doing what they are doing and stay the F away from everyone else.
  27. russpowell

    russpowell Poo-Bah (9,198) May 24, 2005 Arkansas

    A sign of the times. I think this could work, but honestly neither brewery does much for me any more for different reasons. If this leads to better quality & more interesting offers then great.

    This seems to be more dollars and cents than any other reason, but that may lead to better chances of long term survival for both brands. Good luck!
    flaskman likes this.
  28. Giantspace

    Giantspace Crusader (720) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    The beer distributor I used to go to would also order me any case available in the Philly area. They also would pre order cases for me and put me in the list for popular releases. Even before it was ok to sell six packs and singles they were selling single large format bottles and the gift packs with glasses as well as making their own mix cases. In 2014 I got a call saying they were holding some BCBS even though I did not ask them to.

    Now they sell singles, 4/6 packs , growlers and anything else you can buy. They will still order anything you want with no $ upfront.

    chrismattlin, beertunes and drtth like this.
  29. Mwelsh1977

    Mwelsh1977 Initiate (25) May 11, 2019 Maryland

    Someone else said this and I agree, this feels awkward. My guess is the biggest business benefits will be that BBC looks more current and edgy and that Dogfish will benefit from BBC’s superior distribution. Dogfish has already started to feel stale. I haven’t bought one of their new beers in a while but buy 90 Min or Indian Brown every so often. I’m from DE and always have loved Dogfish, it’s part of the culture, wonder how this changes that.
  30. Giantspace

    Giantspace Crusader (720) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I love 120. I love DFH.

    I have split a case of 120 and I have purchased many $30-36 four packs of different high ABV DFH beers.

    I am quite happy that none of these beers has a package that looks anything but the same as all the other beers they make. If these beers were sold in a fancy label bottle with wax or cage they would be $15 a bottle and then I would not be buying.

    Maybe this merger will let DFH be more experimental. I loved trying all the ancient ales. I hope this will bring the brown ale back. Please do not touch palo, or burton. 90 has been coming in 16 oz fresh cans for $8.99-$9.99.

    I can only hope prices get better and both breweries can bring back favorites and keep brewing things that were not as popular but had promise.

    chrismattlin and Newport_beerguy like this.
  31. Dandrewjohn

    Dandrewjohn Disciple (381) Apr 13, 2013 Texas

    Been there done that. And the worst part was the shitty corporate culture change that came with it.
  32. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (267) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    Wasn't there an article within the last year about the SA work culture? It appeared to be a pretty shitty place to work from their perspective. How's DFHs work culture? Who's will win out?

    As someone above mentioned, consolidation with mergers are 100% likely to always happen in some regard. Why have two separate reps if a SA rep can also represent DFH in a given metro area.

    $300 Million doesn't exchange hands without changes fellas.
    KarlHungus and chrismattlin like this.
  33. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,329) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    DFH is worth less w/o Calagione. His face and voice are a key component of their brand identity. It's probably the strongest case of this in beer since... well... Jim Koch. So it's a given that the people on both sides of this deal understand this.

    I don't understand all of the posts that talk about possible branding changes as if that would be attractive to BBC, and possible brewing changes as if this merger meant that breweries can now brew beers that are less commercial. Even if these companies change ownership, they are still brewing beer to sell beer.
    Do you mean in terms of branding? If so, the latter would be a bit extreme don't you think? There were other posts wondering the same thing. The DFH brand has value as it is and BBC is buying this. When Ford bought Jaguar, they didn't put Ford / Jaguar on the grill.

    I don't know if BBC is already "making most of their money" on their non-beer products, but they certainly didn't need to change anything to get there. In 2010, beer was about 89% of their portfolio and in 2017 it was about 52%. I don't get why this shift would allow them to not chase trends. I understand your thinking, but let's not underestimate the realities here. They are going to try to brew beer that sells. They need to no matter how much seltzer they sell.
    It’s not like you to shoot from the hip like that. There’s been quite a few more subsequent posts from others regarding BBC and their relationship to IPAs. You might end up being correct, but I can’t help but think that this is an example of beer geeks only looking within their world. Surely BBC IPAs are slipping in sales... but that's not unique in any regard. I don't know what the figures are but I'm willing to bet that you might be underestimating the importance of IPA in the Sam Adams beer lineup.
  34. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Poo-Bah (2,118) Nov 13, 2007 Tennessee
    Society Trader

    And I'm hoping its 90 Minute...
    chrismattlin and Roguer like this.
  35. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,349) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    Exactly. Every year at GABF I get in line 4 or 5 times for utopias.
  36. officerbill

    officerbill Disciple (345) Feb 9, 2019 New York

    I'm comparing cost per bottle of beer, if you're going to be talking about cost per ABV then cheap 80 proof vodka is the best bargain.

    The $23.99 is the unit price per quart ($96/gallon)
    Oktoberfiesta and beertunes like this.
  37. officerbill

    officerbill Disciple (345) Feb 9, 2019 New York

    The $24.99 is the unit price per quart. IIRC singles were $10.49
    chrismattlin and AZBeerDude72 like this.
  38. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan Initiate (121) Mar 15, 2014 California

    It's a good business decision for sure, for both I'd imagine, but is it a good craft beer decision? Time will tell. But can we quit with the knee jerk: Craft brewery does anything other than what its been doing and its a sign of the end of times for craft or swearing we are seeing the rise of another ABI, Coors, Heineken, etc.? Why the nay saying?
  39. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,849) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Likely nothing. Those Dogfish Ale House restaurants aren't owned by DFH but by JMGM Group, LLC "which is licensed by the Dogfish Head Brewery in
    Delaware but not otherwise connected to or run by the company...
    " according to legal documents.

    Yeah, as @Newport_beerguy noted above, that is a good price for 120 - it has always been around $8-10 a single bottle, usually similarly priced as DFH's World Wide Stout. For many years it was considered a "rare" beer, often locked in a display case or behind the register - it sometimes sold out quickly and it was unusual to see it in 4 packs (I recall some stores would have it in blank four pack holders but never knew if that was a brewery/distributor/retailer move). Here's a portion of a full page newspaper ad of large NJ retailer from '14.
    In Caligione's 2005 book, Brewing Up a Business, he writes (obviously about the price the brewery sells it to their wholesalers):
  40. officerbill

    officerbill Disciple (345) Feb 9, 2019 New York

    Thanks for that info.
    Like I said, I've never seen it for sale before.
    Apparently this is the normal price, but it's by far the most expensive 12 Oz bottle I've ever seen and about $10 more than the highest priced 4 pack being sold in these parts.

    It looks like they have 12 singles and 3 4 packs on the shelf, I don't normally drink IPA's, but I might have to bite the bullet on this one just to see if the price is justified.

    I checked yesterday. The mainline SA beers are $9.50/6 pack while mainline DFH goes for $13.50 a 6.
    #240 officerbill, May 11, 2019
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
    chrismattlin and JackHorzempa like this.