IRI: New Belgium Accounts for 5 of Top 30 Craft Brands

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by ESHBG, Aug 27, 2020.

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  1. ESHBG

    ESHBG Disciple (395) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    So we have just moved to AALs in craft form :stuck_out_tongue:

    "The Fort Collins, Colorado-based craft brewery’s top five brands — Fat Tire Amber Ale, Voodoo Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA and Voodoo Ranger Liquid Paradise IPA — account for 74.2% of its dollar sales year-to-date, according to IRI data through August 9. Combined, these beers have sold $127 million of the company’s total $171 million year-to-date.

    Year-to-date through early August, New Belgium’s sales have increased 29.6% over the same period last year.

    Flagship Fat Tire’s sales increased 4.4%, to $37.9 million, making it the eleventh best-selling craft brand in IRI tracked multi-outlet chain and convenience stores. Voodoo Ranger IPA’s sales increased 14.5%, to $26.9 million. Rampant Imperial IPA’s sales increased 46%, to $26.8 million. Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA’s sales increased 198.8%, to $23.5 million. And Voodoo Ranger Liquid Paradise IPA, the newest release of the quintet, saw its sales increase 88.3%, to $11.9 million."
  2. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,427) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    I don't understand this statement. Besides not being "Lagers", does New Belgium use adjuncts to brew those IPA's or the Fat Tire? I know Fat Tire Belgium White uses wheat and oats.
  3. ESHBG

    ESHBG Disciple (395) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I meant as far as a business, "the big guy" perspective goes. Breweries like NB, Samuel Adams, Yuengling, etc, are becoming like the AAL companies of the craft world. How long before it won't be cool to drink them anymore? Although I suspect with some we are already there :stuck_out_tongue:
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  4. readyski

    readyski Zealot (587) Jun 4, 2005 California
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    Good on 'em. Just bring me more Le Terroir and Eric's. I will let others have the rest :wink:
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  5. gyorgymarlowe

    gyorgymarlowe Aspirant (287) Aug 24, 2019 Colorado
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    They still brew Rampant?
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  6. Txex06

    Txex06 Aspirant (252) Dec 28, 2016 Texas

    I thought the same thing and that Imperial Voodoo replaced it. I would love to see Rampant make a limited return one day.
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  7. CB_Michigan

    CB_Michigan Zealot (503) Sep 4, 2014 Illinois
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    I'm also confused about what kind of equivalency you're trying to draw.
    NB total sales in 7 months: $171M
    MolsonCoors profit in 3 months: $195M ($2.5B in 2Q sales)

    Seems like a world of difference between NB and Big Beer.

    Well, I'm sure that the folks at BBC know what's really bringing $$ in. From the article (bolding mine):
    "Truly, which is up 180.7%, to $543 million in sales year-to-date, and Twisted Tea, which is up 31%, to $304 million in sales year-to-date, account for 74.2% of those (year-to-date) sales."
    If I cared, I'd say it'll be interesting to see what kind of mental gymnastics the BA does in order to keep classifying BBC as a "craft brewer."
  8. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (6,926) Mar 25, 2013 Connecticut
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    I also don't see the connection.

    All of the New Belgium "brands" you listed are just New Belgium beers. It's basically nothing more than a listing of the most popular NB beers. One could do the same for Founders or DFH.

    When it comes to Big Beer, OTOH, one is typically talking about actual brands, not just individual beers. AB-InBev is more than just Bud Light; it's Goose Island, Blue Point, Elysian, et al.

    I just don't see the connection you're trying to draw, but maybe that's more on me than on you.
  9. ESHBG

    ESHBG Disciple (395) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    AALs are popular, available in many places, can trump the locals, spends a lot on advertising, can have a lot of self is NB still the craft beer business model or has it moved into another level? And going back to my previous post will it soon stop being cool to drink NB and if you are drinking it are you just drinking "the big guys" of the craft world?
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  10. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,038) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    I think the problem your running into with your analogy is that AAL is a style, and one that many craft brewers make.

    I think you're trying to ask if New Belgium has become part of the craft beer BMC (Bud, Miller, Coors). To that question I'd imagine that some would say yes. Some will reject the comparison outright. Some will accept it for a company like NB that sold out but not for any craft brewery that remains independently owned
  11. ESHBG

    ESHBG Disciple (395) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    If you are taking it as literally than yes, I could see that.

  12. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,427) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    Oh. I guess "macro" would have been a better choice of words than "AAL" then. (Not sure how having 5 of the top 30 brands makes NB "macro" either but...OK :grin:)
    Well, Yuengling's really always has been an AAL brewery - once tiny (in 1976 at the dawn of the "Craft" era, they were #37 out of 52 US breweries with a 80k barrelage) but only "craft" when the B.A. changed the definition to allow for corn and rice adjunct flagship beers in 2014.

    New Belgium, OTOH is no longer "craft" according to the Brewers Association since selling out to a subsidiary of Kirin. The IRI uses their own definition, thus the inclusion of Blue Moon, Shock Top and Leinenkugel brands in that Top 30.

    Boston Beer Co.'s beer barrelage has been shrinking the last few years (unmacro-ing?) but their beers have come out of "AAL" breweries from the beginning.

    They already did that for their 3 part definition, changing "Traditional" to just "Brewer".

    Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.

    Brewer: Has a TTB Brewer’s Notice and makes beer.

    They still don't count FMB's and seltzers, etc., in a brewer's total barrelage, thus Yuengling is still the #1 "craft brewer" even though Boston Beer Co. for 2019 sold 5.3 million barrels of alcoholic beverages (of which 1.8M bbl was "beer") and Yuengling about half that, at 2.7M bbl.
  13. BeastOfTheNortheast

    BeastOfTheNortheast Zealot (556) Dec 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Like the others, don't see the connection. Maybe OP drank too many Trail Days before posting this
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  14. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,430) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
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    Back to this, I was also under the impression that VR Imperial IPA replaced Rampant. The former is decent but I really miss the latter and I too would love to see it make some sort of comeback.
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  15. dennisthreeninefiveone

    dennisthreeninefiveone Initiate (134) Aug 11, 2020 New Jersey

    Sierra Nevada sells more beer than New Belgium, Why are they not mentioned?
  16. ESHBG

    ESHBG Disciple (395) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Essentially, no. Basically, no. And also literally, no.
  17. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,427) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    Three SN's beers are mentioned:
    ... but, I guess, since SN doesn't have five different beers in the IRI top 30 crafts, NB gets the headline.
  18. jonphisher

    jonphisher Meyvn (1,207) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
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    I guess this goes back to that question of what it’s craft? If a beer is widely available and marketed well, etc does it make it not craft? Not sure, as far as not cool I don’t think it matters. I think your average drinker is not thinking about this, I think the people who wouldn’t drink it because it’s popular is very small. The bulk of my purchases these days just go to what I think is very good beer. I don’t care how big or small they are, that’s just me maybe. Relating that to your original post. No this doesn’t make NB not craft to me. They’re brewing beer people like and it’s still not owned by big beer.
  19. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Poo-Bah (1,781) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

    I'm not surprised at the decline in New Glarus sales noted in the article, primarily because their brewery and huge to go store has been closed this entire time. Didn't make my summer drive to Wisconsin to stock up on the experimental beers and other fruit and kolsch offerings.
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  20. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,880) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    They sold out to Kirin...

    @ESHBG I got your analogy. :wink:
  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,433) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Lots of interesting details in that Brewbound article. A fair bit of discussion about beer pricing and as regards New Belgium:

    "The price for all five offerings has increased an average of $1.11 per case in the latest four weeks:
    • Fat Tire increased $1 per case;
    • Voodoo Ranger IPA increased $0.65 per case;
    • Rampant Imperial IPA increased $0.88
    • Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA increased $2.17 per case;
    • Voodoo Ranger Liquid Paradise increased $0.83 per case."
    I wonder how prevalent price increases will be going forward so that breweries can ‘make up’ for declines from earlier in the spring due to pandemic impacts.


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  22. ESHBG

    ESHBG Disciple (395) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Now I know what it must have felt like for a Southerner who called all soda "Coke". :stuck_out_tongue:
  23. dennisthreeninefiveone

    dennisthreeninefiveone Initiate (134) Aug 11, 2020 New Jersey

    I was just referring to post 3 when the OP named as AAL type Companies but left out SN.
  24. officerbill

    officerbill Savant (958) Feb 9, 2019 New York
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    So they obviously aren't using the BA definition of "craft"

    (Top two spots)
    Am I reading this wrong? Are these numbers "most improved" or "best selling"?
    Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy was the #2 selling "craft beer"?

    The shape of things to come
  25. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,773) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    Related to this, I keep waiting for New Belgium to rename themselves to "Voodoo Ranger Brewing." Seriously, I bet it happens at some point.
  26. jonphisher

    jonphisher Meyvn (1,207) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
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    I didn’t know about that @AlcahueteJ but even so I don’t know if I wouldn’t call them craft. Victory sold too but I still consider them to be craft even though they are owned by an investment group. I guess if it’s good beer it doesn’t bother me independent or not.
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  27. Giantspace

    Giantspace Savant (943) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I like NB beers in general, well made. The dark lager and Tripel is really nice as was the slow ride, best “session” IPA I’ve had from the big guys. Many of their older stuff was really good. The Voodoo series I can’t get behind. I’ve tried them and just can’t enjoy them.The only IPA I can recall enjoying from them was Ranger and it’s not the same as Voodoo Ranger to me. Oh well. I only buy NB now if it’s on sale. I loved Fat Tire years ago. It was a really bready malty enjoyable beer. Today it tastes very sweet and watery. I mostly buy the mix packs on sale but if the original FT is in there the other beers need to be really good. The last one I bought was White IPA, Black IPA , White FT and the black lager. Really solid pack.

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  28. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (361) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    To me I always thought the charge made against the big breweries was that they used too little hops and malt. Then craft breweries came along and offered what the big brewers didn't (or "wouldn't", for some nefarious reason). Now 10% massively hopped ales are a dime a dozen so the problem of too little malt and hops seems to have been solved (and we gained some other tasty beers in the process). Other people appear to have other gripes with the big breweries, or the world of brewing in general, which is where they lose me personally. In my mind the proverbial war is over, victory was had, and now we reap the benefits as beer drinkers. In my mind a process of consolidation among said craft breweries only makes sense, especially from the perspective of freshness since more drinkers buying fewer beers should help with the issue of freshness.

    My views are probably influenced by my indifference towards the more esoteric side of craft brewing. Beyond the hoppy ales and interesting lager beers that this market has spawned I'm not really craving all that much innovation or boundary pushing. Malt and hops is all I need, and if a larger brewery can offer these things fresher (once any unfortunate "shelf turds" are gone) and at a decent price (compared with the newer breweries and their inflated pricing), then I don't see the problem.
  29. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,038) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    Those price increases listed hew pretty close to the inflation rate. It interesting to see of there's a spike upward in beer prices coming out of this year, but so far all of my local breweries are holding steady or even offering discounted pricing direct from their locations
  30. ESHBG

    ESHBG Disciple (395) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    The "etc." accounts for them and any others you would think should be named.
  31. officerbill

    officerbill Savant (958) Feb 9, 2019 New York
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    Under the Brewers Association definition Victory is craft because they are independent of any non-craft brewery. DFH can be considered craft because it's owner (Boston) is a "craft brewer" while NB can't because their owner (Kirin) isn't. Being owned by an investment group is okay.
  32. jonphisher

    jonphisher Meyvn (1,207) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
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    Good call and thanks for sharing. The details on all these all get forgotten by me, except victory cause they’ve been a constant in beee for me for a long long time.
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  33. joerooster2

    joerooster2 Initiate (34) Aug 18, 2020 District of Columbia

    Not cool in the eyes of beer nerds? Who cares, most of them are sipping on beers with so much crap in them, they taste like fruit juice or some type of mixed drink.

    Look at the photo on the bottom right of the screen (ad for BA gear), it has 2 glasses and one looks like it was poured from a septic tank, I guess that's cool though.
  34. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,433) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    According to the below linked website inflation for 2020 is 1%.

    Let’s consider an increase of $1.11 per case:

    My local Retail Beer Distributor is selling a case of New Belgium Fat Tire for $38. That would indicate that a few weeks ago that case would have been retailing for $37. I have no idea what wholesale prices would be but from a percentage change perspective comparing retail price changes is a lesser value.

    The percentage change between $38 and $37 is a 2.7% increase.

    Let’s just assume that the wholesale prices for a case are $30 and $29, the percentage change would be an increase of 3.4%.

    The New Belgium price increase is significantly more than inflation.

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  35. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,038) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    I assume the IRI data is using retail pricing since I am under the impression that the data is derived from retail sales data. I also assume that when they say price has increased $1.11 in the last 4 weeks that it means compared to the same 4 week period last year, but the language in the article isn't clear on that. Perhaps it is over the most recent 4 week period?

    Needless to say, the first 2 quarters of 2020 have been financially unusual so looking at the 2019 inflation rate of 1.9% a price increase of 2.6% to the retail customer doesn't seem that off to me, especially after an acquisition. Remember that any increased retail price probably represents about 130% of the wholesale price increase.because retailers and distributors both tend to add a percentage on top of their price, not a fixed number of dollars.

    We've also got the apparent supply chain disruptions/packaging shortages caused by the events of the year. Those may well lead to some long term price increases if the vessels become generally more expensive. I am also not sure what the price of hops have been doing over.the last few years but I'd imagine they aren't getting any cheaper.

    To me, if they were raising prices 2.6% annually that would be a worrying trend as a consumer. But if that's been happening then folks along the chain have been eating it because prices of individual brands in my area have not increased over the last 3 or 4 years. Although there have been many new, higher priced brands showing up, in case I do feel like experiencing more expensive beer
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  36. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,433) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    "The price for all five offerings has increased an average of $1.11 per case in the latest four weeks..."

    Reads pretty clear to me: over a period of 4 weeks in 2020 they raised the price on average over a buck per case. IMO that is not even close to inflation regardless of of whether this is a retail price increase or the price they charge to the wholesalers.

  37. ilikebeer03

    ilikebeer03 Poo-Bah (1,794) Oct 17, 2012 Texas
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  38. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,025) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
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    They are nothing like InBev. NB has practiced ethical treatment of its employees and the environment for decades. Inbev not so much.
  39. BeastOfTheNortheast

    BeastOfTheNortheast Zealot (556) Dec 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

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  40. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,238) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
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    I interpret it as NB just implemented a price increase across their core brands. It’s useful to look at a 4 week average because different distributors have different rates of sell through and/or may have exercised buy-in opportunities, also that’s just a standard fiscal period. NB’s increase was likely announced to distributors with most of the reasons @unlikelyspiderperson laid out as justification. If I understand him correctly, this is the point at which he was suggesting the increase was comparable to general inflation. But by the time it got to retail sales data from IRI, it had gone through two rounds of markup and translated to an average $1.11/case increase to consumer.
    #40 sharpski, Aug 27, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
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