News Summit Brewing Co. Layoffs

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by hopb4fg, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. hopb4fg

    hopb4fg Initiate (39) Nov 8, 2016 Minnesota

  2. macgroveguy

    macgroveguy Initiate (39) Jan 22, 2015 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Not all that unexpected from an employment perspective given them pulling out of so many states recently.

    My concern is their production trends. How much of their production estimate miss was from pull out of those states in May? At the time they spun pulling out of the other states as meeting demand in the home market. Looks like demand wasn't as strong as they thought.
     
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  3. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (824) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Looks like they've been both contracting as far as their distribution footprint and yearly barrelage, so this makes sense. Their volume was down about 22K bbl in 2016 (129K) as compared to 2015 (151K).

    Anyone seeing anything else like this at other bigger breweries across the country?
     
  4. BeanBump

    BeanBump Aspirant (253) Dec 14, 2016 California

    An abundance of beer is great thing in terms of turning a weekend with no plans into one of exploration and ABV influenced discovery. The flip side of that coin is that it thins out the craft beer market and unavoidably invites some less-than-stellar beers into the scene.
     
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  5. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (824) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Was definitely sad to see them pull out of PA. Very solid beers that were a good value.
     
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  6. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Poo-Bah (3,004) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Perhaps, raising the price on their 12 packs at around the same time Surly introduced 12 packs wasn't a great idea. Surly has a lot of fanboys some of whom may have been buying Summit as a value purchace, but aren't anymore as the value isn't the same as it used to be.
     
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  7. LuskusDelph

    LuskusDelph Aspirant (286) May 1, 2008 New Jersey

    That's for sure. For most of the beer that I've tasted from newer startups, I'd say that calling the beers "less than stellar" is being very charitable.
     
  8. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,014) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    "CEO Mark Stutrud told the journal that the company is “adjusting to the market,” which he described as dynamic and confused.

    "He added that the rate of sales has slowed down locally because there are just so many choices for beer drinkers at the bar and the liquor store."

    Dynamic and confused -- that sounds like a great tagline for the 2018 beer scene.

    Summit is one of my favorite, old-time micros that I've enjoyed from the early days and I'm always looking for good stuff from them. Hope this isn't a sign of trouble to come.
     
  9. surfcaster

    surfcaster Champion (816) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    These announcements don't surprise me.

    Impressed with SN as one of the biggest that continues to make new products and bring back old favorites. Sure SNPA ales aren't what they were but that hasn't stopped a line of new things--some hits and some not. I for one thought the Fresh Hop pack was good. Would buy one again next year.

    Seems like Stone in a position for this kind of thing. Seems they have lost their luster.
     
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  10. Ranbot

    Ranbot Devotee (497) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

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  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,447) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

  12. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (824) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    That's CEO-speak for "We expanded too quickly into other markets before we fully understood them. We also didn't establish the relationships that we should have on the distributor side of things, so a move that initially looked to expand our sales volume actually served to decrease it."

    Agreed.
     
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  13. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (824) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    I remember that. The difference was that Stone was still growing when they made those layoffs, IIRC. They just had positions that became redundant when their Richmond brewery came online.

    I wonder if there are breweries that are declining in sales/volume that have made these same types of reductions in workforce?
     
  14. sagescrubber

    sagescrubber Initiate (126) Mar 17, 2015 California

    Um, no, that really wasn't it.
     
  15. NickSMpls

    NickSMpls Savant (983) Nov 11, 2012 Washington
    Premium Member

    When we lived in MN, Summit was only a short drive away. We always thought of them as a solid mid-tier craft brewer with a consistent, if not world-class, year-round line up. We saw flashes of brilliance in their more limited edition brews, tempered by the ones that fell a little short. Summit had none of the panache of Surly and lacked the 100 years of German lager experience of Schells. Going too afar afield from their midwest base was, in retrospect, their undoing. Great Minnesota-nice guys, maybe a little out of their depth.
     
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  16. Minnebrew

    Minnebrew Initiate (116) Jun 9, 2015 Minnesota

    Ironic that I read about this just after I opened and started drinking a Saga. Obviously a shame for the employees involved. I hope Summit can regain its footing and resume growing.
     
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  17. pmccallum86

    pmccallum86 Zealot (519) Apr 7, 2009 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    1. Take Saga
    2. Make it hazy
    3. ??????
    4. Profit!!!!
     
  18. pat61

    pat61 Poo-Bah (4,728) Dec 29, 2010 Minnesota
    Premium Member

    I have to remember to pick up a six pack of their beer next time I'm at the liquor store - they are good people and Mark has good taste in music.
     
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  19. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (824) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    OK. What was it, then?
     
  20. LuskusDelph

    LuskusDelph Aspirant (286) May 1, 2008 New Jersey

    Really??? I think that your palate is not what it once was.
    Sierra Nevada's ales are every bit as good as they were (even better...given the current trends in "small brewing" and the infected or downright poorly made, unbalanced, and experimental slop that so many of the "local" brewers are selling.
    I'm confident that SN will outlast most of those.
     
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  21. surfcaster

    surfcaster Champion (816) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Premium Member Beer Trader


    Whoops BAD TYPO---that was supposed to be SNPA sales, not SNPA ales.

    Big SNPA fan and SN fan overall.
     
  22. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,043) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    Just got back from the Mills River SN brewery yesterday. As many have said, it's a palace...like a temple to American "craft" brewing. The beers were great (as usual): the draft SNPA was super fresh and tasty and the Koelsch and Dunkel were both pretty great. That said, it's amazing that all the points SN has going for it -- quality, freshness, price point, consistency -- ALL get overruled these days by the one point of a beer being hyper-local and having a story. SN is losing market share and has decreasing sales. As I walked the facility and the grounds with a beer in hand...marveling at it all...I couldn't shake the sense that for all of the money and history and quality and consistency, a lot of small, hyper-local folks now hold a type of trump card over places like SN, Stone, Summit, etc. etc. "Dynamic and confused" indeed....
     
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  23. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,916) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium Member

    Hopefully they continue their Unchained Series, and bring some of them into their regular lineup. I particularly liked Unchained Series Batch No. 23 - Dark Infusion (A Coffee Milk Stout). I think we're going to see an uptick in shakeups, layoffs, and buyout/sellouts in 2018.

    Someone mentioned Stone - did they ever build the Hotel, or is that cancelled?
     
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  24. sagescrubber

    sagescrubber Initiate (126) Mar 17, 2015 California

    More general cost cutting not related to redundancies. Sorry for the bit of 'tude there.
     
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  25. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,014) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Um. Dunkel?
     
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  26. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,043) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    Quite a nice one, in fact!
     
  27. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (1,986) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Dark Infusion was OUTSTANDING, IMHO. I shipped that to a few other beer nerds (“Lower Midwest”) and they loved it, too.
     
  28. ESHBG

    ESHBG Aspirant (248) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Can't wait for the IPA craze to slow down, then maybe we can start seeing beers like this. SN does Lagers well and I wish I had access to more of them.
     
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  29. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,043) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    The also had something they described as a mix between Glissade and Tumbler. Didn't try it, though.
     
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  30. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,916) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium Member

    I've still got some, maybe I'll crack one tonight to make sure it is still good.
     
  31. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (824) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    No problem. I'm used to it. My feathers don't get ruffled easily.
     
  32. cheeseheadinMinneapolis

    cheeseheadinMinneapolis Aspirant (201) Sep 20, 2017 Minnesota

    well what are beer advocates members idea's for Summit? How about A "Help Summit Committee" this a a think tank group of beer advocate member beer genesis. .
     
  33. meefmoff

    meefmoff Disciple (351) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I still probably buy more ounces of SN beer per month than anything else, but in a world with exponentially more breweries than there were in 1980 is there any possible way that SN (and others who came of age in the same rough time period) could realistically still be increasing sales or market share?

    I like to think that their combination of competitive price, quality, and an evolving mix of old and new styles is going to keep them going strong for a long time to come. But I can't say I find the fact that I can also buy great beer that was made a few miles from my house these days anything to be disappointed about either.
     
  34. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (1,662) Sep 3, 2008 California
    Premium Member

    Wasn't it about the same time they had leadership/CEO change?
     
  35. brentk56

    brentk56 Poo-Bah (8,389) May 13, 2004 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Dark Infusion is returning in Nov 2018. I missed it the first time around but hope to be able to try it this time. Might be a bit tougher with the cutback in distribution, though.
     
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  36. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,916) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium Member

    Unfortunately tap and variety pack only. :cry:
     
  37. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,346) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    You should stop in sometime if you are on a road trip south. They have a 20 bbl pilot system that you see on the right as you enter the taproom, fermenter on the left, including some open fermenters in a clean room. They pilot brew beers, and have some old favorites for the taproom. I see the Dunkel, a Doppelbock, and the Kölsch on the list.
    https://sierranevada.com/brewery/north-carolina/taproom
     
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  38. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (670) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    The stout is not even on tap at the brewery.

    Enjoy
     
  39. pmccallum86

    pmccallum86 Zealot (519) Apr 7, 2009 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Brew a good NE IPA, that's all it would take
     
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  40. NickMpls

    NickMpls Initiate (56) Feb 13, 2016 Minnesota

    Make spirit foul your copy cat goal and play ball
     
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