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After Tough Fourth Quarter, Boston Beer Expects New Products To Drive 2016 Gains

February 19, 2016

Boston Beer Co. is projecting a mid-single-digit increase in depletions for 2016, with new entries like Sam Adams Nitro Project and Rebel Grapefruit IPA expected to provide newfound momentum. Even so, founder and chairman Jim Koch acknowledged that the craft pioneer has “lost share, as new craft brewers enter the market and more existing craft brewers are expanding their regional distribution, with the result that drinkers are seeing more choices, including a wave of new beers in all markets.”

For its full fiscal 2015, Boston Beer saw shipments increase 4% to 4.2 million barrels, as net revenue rose 6% to $960 million. But depletions slipped 3% in the fourth quarter, as the cider category started to decline. Category leader Angry Orchard still posted a full-year increase, and the company sees long-term upside in cider, but notes that the short-term may remain challenging for the category. Among Boston Beer’s other core brands, a decline in flagship franchise Samuel Adams was offset by growth in the Twisted Tea, Coney Island and Traveler labels.

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