Sierra Nevada Appoints New CEO, Eyes 5 Percent Growth in 2019

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by jesskidden, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,387) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    From BREWBOUND:
    Also, lots of info on SN 2018 results and new beers, etc:
    https://www.brewbound.com/news/2019/sierra-nevada-appoints-new-ceo-eyes-5-percent-growth-in-2019
     
    #1 jesskidden, Jan 22, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
  2. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,782) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Given that disconnect, has anyone ever done an in-depth analysis of how accurate IRI numbers are to judge overall industry sales for large craft breweries?

    How many other states are like PA in which given the definition of the stores IRI tracks (grocery, convenience, drug, club, dollar, mass-merchandiser and military), that would appear to account for exactly 0% of sales in our state?
     
  3. hillind

    hillind Aspirant (236) Apr 24, 2010 Pennsylvania

    Just curious what their #3 brand would be if Hazy is #4. Tropical Torpedo? Does Celebration move that much as a seasonal to be 3?
     
  4. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,387) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    The IRI figures are used mostly to follow trends and no one considers them exact. NJ's off-premise beer sales are predominantly at independently-owned liquor stores (even the "chains" are co-ops), and likely are not counted either.

    In addition, the IRI figures don't count on-premise sales (a higher percentage of sales for "craft" brewers than the industry average) and, as the two quotes you note, are often based on retail dollar sales.

    Still, even the Brewers Association's reports often use the IRI data, even though the two entities have greatly different definitions of "craft beer" itself - Coors' Blue Moon as the #1 IRI Craft Beer the most obvious example.
     
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  5. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,782) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Another interesting quote:
    Since I ferment my own Kombucha at home, and know how completely different a process it is than brewing beer, that statement seems odd. Also considering if its raw it needs to be kept refrigerated through the whole distribution and retail process. That seems like it would not be the same logical extension for a beer brewery like hard cider and FMBs might be.
     
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  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,812) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    From the Brewbound article:

    “White takes over a company that narrowly returned to growth in 2018 after two consecutive years of mid-single digit declines. According to Whitney, Sierra Nevada’s sales increased 0.2 percent, which amounted to about 25,000 cases.”

    It is certainly a plus that Sierra Nevada experienced growth in 2018 vs. the declines they experienced in 2016 & 2017 but an increase of 0.2% is rather anemic.

    “Still, Whitney said he’s bullish on Sierra Nevada’s prospects heading in 2019 and he’s projecting 5 percent growth. He believes that advertising will help turn around Pale Ale’s negative trajectory, and that continued growth for Hazy Little Thing, combined with increased focus on Hop Bullet and Sierraveza, will propel the company forward this year.”

    We will have to keep track here. If Sierra Nevada realizes a growth of 5% in 2019 that would be quite impressive. Will advertising turn things around for SNPA? Adding Sierraveza as a new year-round product will be an interesting thing to watch. I recently saw a bunch of 6-pack boxes of this beer at my local retailer and it was priced at $10.99 per 6-pack; that is rather pricy for a 6-pack of AAL beer. In contrast I could purchase a 6-pack of Yuengling Golden Pilsner (an all malt product) for $6.99 a 6-pack. At this price Sierraveza will be a pass for me.

    I noted an interesting comment posted on Brewbound:

    “Bruce Deck

    SN - you need new offerings for growth, not additional advertisement of your existing lines. I was recently at your Fletcher brewery / taproom and was surprised how few offerings there that were not nationally distributed. Get creative and back to your CRAFT roots.”

    I must say I had a similar thought when I visited the taproom at the Mills River, NC brewery. I really wished that the excellent beers I consumed there were available to me as distributed/packaged beer.

    Best of luck to Jeff White in his new position as CEO of Sierra Nevada. With his emphasis on advertising he seems to be operating like a BMC CEO and I have my concerns whether this is the best approach for a brewery like Sierra Nevada. If Sierra Nevada grows at 5% this year I suppose this will prove that Jeff White is ‘right’?:thinking_face:

    Cheers!

    @SierraTerence @BillManley
     
  7. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,387) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Of course, Sierra Nevada's "CRAFT roots", like most of the early craft brewers, involved brewing traditional beer styles that had disappeared (or 'all but' in a few cases) from the US brewing scene - stout, porter, pale ale, India pale ale, all-malt lager, strong ale (barleywine) - sure, in some cases, using new hop varieties and, in the case of Bigfoot, using more hops than once common in the US.
     
  8. Riff

    Riff Crusader (782) May 12, 2016 Virginia

    Maybe Hop Bullet? It benefited from being a seasonal and then brought back for the last third of the year where they say it sold between 8-10K barrels.
     
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  9. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (253) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    They don't get it. Just because something is super popular doesn't mean you have to make it a year rounder. There is definitely a new
    Beer and seasonal allure. What's popular now may not be in 8 months.

    Hazy little is solid but maybe fans want version 2.0 to try this year. Instead it's just a straight up year rounder.

    Big Brewers love stability and trying to project the future. Smaller Brewers have more leeway. I don't see this problem ever really resolving itself. Big Craft is trending down.
     
  10. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,556) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    but who wants version 2.0 and who wants a reliable beer they like that they can pick up off the shelf anytime. I think we here on BA tend to get caught up in the tunnel vision of the beer geek subculture that is constantly chasing the next new big thing ... whereas the vast majority of consumers just want reliable beers.
     
  11. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,396) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Resillience has given the a lot of positive PR, and I have been drinking more SN in general because of this.

    I'm looking forward to beers made with a new hop called Zappa. SN used it in a variety pack. They bought most all of the crop this year.
     
  12. hillind

    hillind Aspirant (236) Apr 24, 2010 Pennsylvania

    FWIW my local wegmans has both Sierraveza and Hop Bullet priced @ $9.99. Excellent deal for Hop Bullet, for Sierraveza not so much. I too would rather grab the Yuengling pils at that price, or pay the same thing for a higher quality Sly Fox lager.
     
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  13. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,535) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    Bingo! This article seems to reflect exactly what I pointed out on the Flagship thread- they will still exist because there's a need for them, but what the flagship(s) is/are will be driven by prevailing tastes. The casual and crossover markets are the drivers of this, not the beer enthusiast market.
     
  14. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,348) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    Dang that price for that Lager.
    This year's Celebration I bought for under $9 a sixer. Shrugs.
     
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  15. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,812) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Jeff (@hopfenunmaltz) made mention of a new hop variety called Zappa. I thought others might be interested in learning more.

    Below is a linked article; go the section entitled “YES, THAT FRANK ZAPPA”.

    Sierra Nevada is presently brewing a beer branded as Wild Stache IPA which is available on draft at certain test markets. The most recent version uses Zappa (50%), Amarillo (25%) and Loral (25%). Terence (@SierraTerence) is quoted in this piece.

    Cheers!

    https://www.mydigitalpublication.co...=html5&view=articleBrowser&article_id=3237850
     
  16. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (848) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    I would think Summerfest before Celebration but expect the right answer is Nooner.
     
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  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,812) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Maybe Terence (@SierraTerence) will answer your question?

    Cheers!
     
  18. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,348) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    Damn. I know that I had a beer recently brewed with Zappa but I can't remember which one it was. Getting old...
     
  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,812) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Do you remember if you enjoyed drinking that beer?

    Cheers!
     
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  20. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,348) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    Low and behold, it was the Zappa Wild Stache that I had at Frontier Brewing and Taproom in Casper.
    My notes:
    Lots of lemon citrus, dank, and the pine really shines. Funky? I will have to pour myself a full portion. Which I am doing right now. Funky..I think of Brett. Heck, it might be; easier to detect in a Saison..
     
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  21. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,348) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    Notes from my checkin on Untapped. For the life of me, I didn't review it on BA.???
     
  22. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,812) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Does the Frontier Brewing and Taproom serve beer from other breweries?

    Cheers!
     
    Bitterbill likes this.
  23. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,348) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    That's part of the beauty of what they do. They have a tap takeover nearly every Thursday. Some are limited one offs. :slight_smile:
     
  24. islay

    islay Aspirant (227) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    5% growth seems quite ambitious given the struggles of large craft breweries, including Sierra Nevada, in recent years that show little sign of abating. It probably would require Hazy Little Thing to have serious legs or for Sierra Nevada to pull another rabbit out of its hat, and even that may be inadequate. Good luck to Grossman, White, and the rest of the Sierra Nevada team, but I'm taking the under.
     
  25. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,556) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    Id imagine they are hoping Siervezza helps their numbers as well.
     
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  26. ESHBG

    ESHBG Aspirant (231) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I love SN and owe them a lot, they helped me immensely on my craft beer journey and I still drink their stuff regularly. But with that being said this just smells kind of...off to me. No, not on some selling out tip or anything like that but with the moves they have been making lately it seems like 5% will be way too aggressive. I wish them all of the best but they may want to diversify a bit...a bunch of IPAs that don't taste all that different from each other is going to be a tough sell. Also, their prices in my area are not really that competitive anymore.

    Which Wegmans?
     
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  27. hillind

    hillind Aspirant (236) Apr 24, 2010 Pennsylvania

    Dickson City, Scranton area
     
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  28. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (123) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    They need to get their brews in more stores if they want to grow especially in Va and NC.
     
  29. Superheatnsubcool

    Superheatnsubcool Disciple (303) May 31, 2016 Washington

    Deschutes put out a “kombucha radler” last year that I actually enjoyed. It was a refreshing summer beer.

    On a related note, I also developed a taste for Stiegl grapefruit radler last summer. At 2.5% abv, it’s pretty much just a sody pop:sunglasses:.

    https://www.deschutesbrewery.com/beer/humm-zinger/

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.deschutesbrewery.com/hummzinger/amp/
     
    #29 Superheatnsubcool, Jan 23, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
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  30. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Meyvn (1,167) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Drop your price to to MSRP in Pennsylvania and you could have kept your old CEO and gained that 5%.
     
  31. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Meyvn (1,235) Jul 27, 2013 California
    Premium Trader

    I love SNPA’s current packaging.....it’s classic & timeless.....really don’t think it needs a “refresh”
     
  32. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,556) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    I feel like this whole thing has been discussed previously in a thread or 700 (:wink:) with SN and the gist is that they don't have much control of the prices in PA ...
     
  33. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,011) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey
    Trader

    Bring black Glissade Golden Bock and I'll do my part to get SN that 5% growth
     
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  34. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,812) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    If you have seen a definitive answer to this question/issue please point me to it.

    Cheers!
     
  35. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,812) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    My local Wegmans (King of Prussia) is selling Sierraveza at $10.99 a 6-pack. This is waaaay out of whack compared to other AAL beers. I don't envision this beer being a big seller at this price.

    Cheers!

    @ESHBG
     
    ESHBG likes this.
  36. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,556) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    Yea, I can't imagine the prices in PA are helping their sales there. Sierraveza is either $8.99 or $9.99 here in IL and thats pushing it for me ... I do want to do a blind tasting of it against some of the import brands to see if its that much better.
     
  37. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Meyvn (1,167) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    They claim to not have much control over pricing but I call bullshit. If their bottom line gets hit they could lower their price or gasp even change distributors. I see so little sales from Sierra I didn't even see any Resilience IPA at all.
     
  38. Jaycase

    Jaycase Meyvn (1,253) Jan 13, 2007 Illinois
    Trader

    Not definitive, but SierraTerrance did say in this post it's not due to the brewery but rather the 'three tier system' when asked about PA pricing. Wonder if anyone has any connections with PA distributors who can answer from their end?
     
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  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,812) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Did you see in my reply to Terence:

    "In your contractual agreements with your partner Wholesale Distributors do you specify the markup they can make on your beers?"

    He never did answer my question.

    In my opinion just stating it is a three tier system 'issue' is a cop put. The three tiers are: Brewery (i.e., Sierra Nevada) -> Wholesale Distributor -> Retailer.

    Sierra Nevada has full control of the first part of the tier. Through there business agreements with the Wholesale Distributor they have some level of control. The only part of the three tier system they don't control are the retailers. I have spoken to one of my local retailers and he informed me that he just applies a set markup on all of the beers he sells - in other words x% on top of what he pays the Wholesale Distibutor. This means that he treats all breweries exactly the same. If the Sierra Nevada prices are 'too high' that is because the price he pays to the Wholesale Distributor is 'too high'.

    Cheers!
     
  40. BillManley

    BillManley Aspirant (220) Jul 2, 2008 Minnesota

    Pale, Torpedo, Seasonal (all 4 brands share the same SKU), Hazy Little Thing.