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Craft Brewers Alliance Keeps Up Momentum With 10% Sales Growth In Q3

November 15, 2011

Oregon-based Craft Brewers Alliance (CBA) saw sales rise 10% to $40.5 million in the three months through September, its fiscal third quarter, with depletions up 9% on the same period a year ago. CBA credited increased shipments—which rose 10% to 181,500 barrels, or 2.5 million (2.25-gallon) cases—as well as price increases and higher revenues from its restaurants and pubs following last year’s $13.9 million acquisition of Kona Brewing as contributing to the jump in sales.

For the first nine months of 2011, CBA’s net sales were up 12.7% to $114 million, with shipments—including contract brewing as well as its own Widmer, Redhook and Kona brands—up 12% to 521,000 barrels, or 7.2 million cases. CBA’s contract brewing business more than doubled to 38,500 barrels (or 530,000 cases), over the first nine months of 2011, year on year.

Looking ahead, CBA is forecasting depletions growth to slow slightly in the fourth quarter due to “pricing actions in key markets,” with full-year depletions expected to rise by 5.5% to 6%. The company expects sales growth to remain at 10% to 12% for both the whole of 2011 and into 2012.

CBA was formed through the merger of Pacific Northwest brewers Widmer Bros. and Redhook in 2008. It’s one of the larger craft beer operators in the United States, with net sales of $132 million in 2010. About half of its sales are from the Widmer brand. Last year CBA added Hawaii’s Kona Brewing to its brand stable. This year it continued to make moves, divesting its 42% stake in Chicago’s Goose Island to its partner Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI). ABI holds roughly one-third of CBA’s stock.


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