Samuel Adams drops to 7.9% of Boston Beer Co.'s volume

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Jul 21, 2021.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,449) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society Trader

    According to Beer Marketers on Twitter:
  2. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (5,013) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    All Sam Adams brands? I mean at this rate, SA is going to end up being a small regional beer next year.

    Also, Truly must be killing it for them ...
  3. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,736) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    I drank a Boston Lager the other day. On draught. And I don't remember it being this ordinary. It is on the border of being bad, to my palate. Clearly, their focus is on other things....
    franxalot, Squire, lagrluvr and 8 others like this.
  4. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,026) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    @Todd -- wow, indeed.
  5. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,026) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    That's funny, because I had a couple on draft a few weeks ago and thought they were pretty good. Prompted me to think about getting a six for the first time in a long time.
  6. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,736) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming

    Weird. The Old Chicago always has it on draught and, being a slow mover from what I can perceive, age may be a factor.
  7. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,026) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I was on a large, but cozy, biergarten-like patio with some old friends -- might have been a factor as well.
    KRug, Flashy, fehrminator and 6 others like this.
  8. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,609) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Are they including Dogfish Head in BBC's total volume? If so, there's only 8% remaining for Dogfish. If not, then Sam Adams % would be lower than 7.9. I would expect Truly and Twisted Tea's percentage to possibly decline in 6 months compared to now just due to season.
    KRug, jjayjaye, ChicagoJ and 8 others like this.
  9. CB_Michigan

    CB_Michigan Aspirant (209) Sep 4, 2014 Illinois

    Interesting question. I would guess that DFH is included separately based on BBC’s identified brands, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to what NielsenIQ does. If it is included, that 8% would actually be split between DFH and Angry Orchard and a few other regional labels. Earnings call is on Fri, should shed some additional light.
  10. ShawnoftheD3ad

    ShawnoftheD3ad Aspirant (242) Mar 20, 2016 Illinois

    It’ll shoot up 2-3% if Old Fezziwig comes in 6pks this winter.
  11. Foyle

    Foyle Meyvn (1,025) Sep 29, 2007 North Carolina

    My question is this -- does the Brewer's Association count only the Sam Adam's Beer Sales (the 7.9%) for their calculation of "craft" sales or does the Twisted Tea and seltzer get lumped in to total barrelage?
  12. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Poo-Bah (3,775) Dec 11, 2006 California
    Society Trader

    Jim Koch is a wannabe and a loser. Thinks he can brew a beer like Heady Topper with no problem, yet here he is selling tea and water. I’m done buying Sam Adams…and Dogfish Head?
  13. Specialmick

    Specialmick Aspirant (215) Aug 26, 2019 Connecticut

    James Koch has been brewing some half ass sh-it for sometime being Truly reactionary. They are nowhere near the stature of Sierra Nevada IMO and came to fame at about the same time, I don't fault them for making seltzers but their day is coming and some demise if they don't up their game.
  14. russpowell

    russpowell Poo-Bah (11,147) May 24, 2005 Arkansas
    Society Trader

    Its a damn shame
    franxalot likes this.
  15. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,066) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Based upon the aspect that Boston Beer Company seems to consider the beer side of their business to be the ugly stepchild and devote the majority of their resources & attention to the 'other' alcoholic beverages I am personally not surprised that sales of Sam Adams and Dogfish Head products are so low. They really should just change the name of the corporation to Boston Beverage Company and for their shareholders I suppose just 'ride the wave' for stuff like hard seltzers, hard teas, hard lemonade, whatever.

    russpowell and beergoot like this.
  16. meanmutt

    meanmutt Meyvn (1,008) Feb 6, 2012 Ohio

    Hmmm... I've been buying it in bottles and cans quite a bit lately...tastes as good as ever to me.

    Maybe the draft you had wasn't fresh...or dirty tap lines?
    KRug, Doomcifer, CBlack85 and 3 others like this.
  17. micada

    micada Crusader (716) Jul 13, 2015 New York

    Truly is truly the devil. I’ll always, as far as I can tell, enjoy a heavy hitter DFH like WWS or 120. If they make those crappy, then that’s just a travesty.6
    KRug and lagrluvr like this.
  18. BruChef

    BruChef Initiate (172) Nov 8, 2009 New York

    Perhaps the sales percentage doesn’t mean that overall sales are down? Hypothetically, It could mean that they’ve consistently sold around X number of units of Sam Adams beer products over the years, but since they started selling Truly/Twisted Tea, maybe those have just out sold Sam Adams beers by that much more?
  19. Justonemore91

    Justonemore91 Zealot (518) Nov 24, 2018 New York
    Society Trader

    I love having Boston lager on draft and love their oktoberfest even more. Always solid choices whenever I hit a random bar or restaurant. I guess Sam 76 didn't take off or their new wicked easy ipa. It's really sad to see what's happening to many of the craft breweries that paved the way for all the new craft breweries. Sam adams, Dogfish, smuttynose, stone, anchor , etc don't get the love they use to get
  20. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,248) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    For the B.A.'s annual "Top 50 Domestic Craft Brewing Companies", where BBC is #2, the group counts only their "beer" production. For 2020 that was 1,700,000 bbl. (1,434,100 bbl. for BBC and 265,900 for DFH bbl.). BBC's total barrelage for 2020, according to the BMI figures (which the B.A. publishes) was 7,368,000 bbl. So, "beer" was down to about 23% of their product for the year.

    BBC's "beer" barrelage is their peak period of 2014-2016 was reported by the B.A. to be in the 2.5M bbl. range.

    I'd also note that, as Todd's BMI quote clearly states, the figure is based on the "latest 4-wk NielsenIQ scans thru July 10". I imagine seltzers might see increased sales during hot weather. Still doesn't look good for the Boston Beer Company, except for, you know, their bottom line :grimacing:.

    They are the same beer - Sam Adams Rebrands Sam '76 into Wicked Easy
    #20 jesskidden, Jul 22, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
  21. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,729) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Yup, had a few at a wedding a couple weeks ago, was very good. Fairly hoppy if I recall.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Dogfish Head was in decline as well.

    Anecdotal, but I've been hearing Dogfish's ads on the radio lately for their "ready-to-drink" canned cocktails. So they're also seeking other avenues for additional revenue.

    Sierra Nevada has had to go the route of producing what's more popular as well to stay afloat. The majority of their beers are now IPAs.

    Rough going right now if you're a nationally distributed brewery.

    Also, to be fair, MANY breweries are making seltzers now.

    It would be interesting to see how much of that volume in terms of barrelage is Truly.

    I've read multiple articles detailing a predicted exponential increase in seltzer sales, even outside of the summer season. This seems to be coming to fruition.

    And I recall one article saying White Claw and Truly make up about 75% of the seltzer market. It's conceivable the Sam Adams brand is doing ok and Truly is simply selling at a ridiculous clip.
    KRug, officerbill, CBlack85 and 3 others like this.
  22. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,143) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    We have a neighborhood smaller Walmart up the street at Guilford College. There are at least 4 full doors of cooler space given to these various brands, plus large floor displays left and right. It's not just young people buying these products. These beverages must be very profitable indeed..
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  23. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,182) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    In my opinion they have alienated their customer base quite a bit. They used to be all about brewing a variety of consistent, quality beer styles. Now it seems like they're all about chasing trends instead of setting them. Just a quick look a their website:
    • Wicked Hazy
    • Wicked Easy
    • Wicked Double
    • Just The Haze
    • Boston Lager
    • They go on to list all of their usual seasonals, plus Bavarian Lager and Cherry Wheat
    Personally none of those sound very interesting to me at all (except for maybe Bavarian Lager, which you can't find anywhere). Hazy IPAs are a dime a dozen these days and that tree has been picked clean. I think they should re-focus on brewing quality European-styles like Pale Ales, English Bitters, Bocks, Weizenbiers, Lagers, etc....traditional, nuanced styles which not many of the current "hype breweries" aren't really concentrating on. Maybe make the branding to reflect a more nostalgic or historic look instead of going with the cartoony bullshit. "What's old is new again" and all that.

    But go ahead, BBC, keep chasing that IPA train. You already missed it with Latitude 48 (which to me was the best one), Rebel IPA and "New England IPA". I'm SURE the "Wicked Hazy" thing will work wonders for you guys. Also whoever does their marketing really sucks. Those commercials are cringe AF
    franxalot, KRug, russpowell and 13 others like this.
  24. proc

    proc Meyvn (1,014) Dec 11, 2001 Michigan

    The company is solid, so whatever is selling, investors are with them. But to hear that the flagship is only 7.9% of volume is shocking.
    OakvilleKGB and KRug like this.
  25. ilikebeer03

    ilikebeer03 Meyvn (1,321) Oct 17, 2012 Texas

    I'm not surprised that Boston Beer Co.'s non-beer brands are outselling the beer brands.

    I AM surprised that the non-beer brands made up 84% of their sales volume. Granted, a small (4 week) sample size, it sounds like. But still...
  26. machpost

    machpost Initiate (107) Jun 11, 2005 District of Columbia

    That share may have just gone up a few tenths of a percent if I'm not the only one who read this thread then went out and bought some Boston Lager for the sake of nostalgia.
    OakvilleKGB and CBlack85 like this.
  27. bret27

    bret27 Poo-Bah (1,920) Mar 10, 2009 California
    Society Trader

    Sam Adams has a cool startup story but that was in 1984. They’ve been a large publicly traded company for years. It’s all about profits.
  28. CBlack85

    CBlack85 Crusader (770) Jul 12, 2009 South Carolina

    I think this is indicative of a larger problem for craft beer overall, many of the younger drinkers are turning to alternative beverages such as hard seltzers, ciders, and premixed canned cocktails.
    lagrluvr and JChalifour like this.
  29. JChalifour

    JChalifour Initiate (54) Dec 31, 2014 Massachusetts

    You, a lot of people on here, and I would love if Sam would “re-focus on brewing quality European-styles like Pale Ales, English Bitters, Bocks, Weizenbiers, Lagers, etc...”. If you gave Jim Koch truth serum, he probably would too. Unfortunately those styles don’t move the needle anymore. That’s why American brewers aren’t making them like they used to. Even American Pale Ale is losing relevance, unless you count hazy pale ales that are really IPAs.

    It’s almost to the point where the only examples of classic styles you can find at retail are imports. If you have a local taproom that makes them, all you can do is buy them to encourage they still provide them.
  30. eldoctorador

    eldoctorador Champion (800) Dec 12, 2014 Chile

    Big if true. I haven't had a Boston Lager that I haven't loved. Truly a great beer in my opinion
    sefus12, rsvp and Bitterbill like this.
  31. timobkg

    timobkg Aspirant (241) Aug 24, 2006 New Jersey

    On the one hand, it's surprising that so little of their total volume is beer.

    On the other hand, I can't remember the last time I had a Sam Adams. It was probably at an event where SA was the only beer available.

    With so much different beer - and local beer in particular - now available, SA isn't a brand I reach for when I go shopping. I feel totally spoiled with the variety available at the local store. I only wish that the variety applied to different styles of beer, too, rather than just dozens and dozens of different IPAs.
    lagrluvr and JSullivan like this.
  32. JohnniEMc

    JohnniEMc Savant (983) Sep 5, 2015 Pennsylvania

    It's not just hard seltzer, Angry Orchard is among the best-selling hard ciders.
    OakvilleKGB and officerbill like this.
  33. officerbill

    officerbill Crusader (780) Feb 9, 2019 New York
    Society Trader

    Does that mean the Brewer's Association will go back to their original definition of a craft brewery?:wink:
  34. jbertsch

    jbertsch Poo-Bah (1,545) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Every brewery is "about profits."
    Edit: except maybe trappist breweries.

    For SA it's about stockholders.
  35. bret27

    bret27 Poo-Bah (1,920) Mar 10, 2009 California
    Society Trader

    I guess that’s what I mean. Thanks for the correction.
  36. woodchipper

    woodchipper Meyvn (1,370) Oct 25, 2005 Connecticut

    The last paragraph on their home page (see italics below) makes it sound like beer is the focus. Apparently, thats just PR. And BTW, what's with DFH Miami, did they disown Delaware facilities?

    The Boston Beer Company will continue its independently-minded quest to brew great beer and to advocate for the growth of craft beer across America. In addition to Samuel Adams beers and the other craft beers brewed by Angel City Brewery, and Coney Island Brewery, and Dogfish Head Miami, our family of brands include Truly Hard Seltzer, Twisted Tea and Angry Orchard hard cider.
  37. moodenba

    moodenba Devotee (460) Feb 2, 2015 New York

    If the 7.3M bbl was produced exclusively at their own breweries, that's possibly twice the capacity if they were brewing only Sam Adams' beers (Lehigh Valley + Cincinnati). I guess they can pump these malternatives out fast. No wonder they are concentrating on them.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  38. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,729) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    A lot of my local tap rooms make various styles. I think that’s the point though. People like us who like variety are buying local beers, and if Sam Adams does brew something different, we may or may not pick it up. We’re not enough to boost sales of those “other” styles to make it worth it though for a company of their size.

    Sam Adams is largely selling to “not us”. They’re selling to a larger audience, a mainstream craft audience. They probably just buy IPAs and maybe a Sam Adams seasonal like Summer Ale and Octoberfest because they’re brands they know.

    I remember years ago when they debuted Noble Pils as a spring seasonal, it sold incredibly well. They made it a year round beer and sales plummeted, so they removed it.

    Sierra Nevada’s Summerfest had a similar fate this year due to lagging sales the last few years.
  39. beaulabauve

    beaulabauve Devotee (421) Aug 5, 2011 Louisiana

    I agree. Boston Lager is delicious!
    sefus12, Jaycase, jbertsch and 2 others like this.
  40. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,066) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania


    As I posted above:

    "They really should just change the name of the corporation to Boston Beverage Company and for their shareholders I suppose just 'ride the wave' for stuff like hard seltzers, hard teas, hard lemonade, whatever."