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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for February 22, 2018

February 22, 2018

•Boston Beer Company has reported a net revenue decline of 4.8%, to roughly $863 million, for its full fiscal 2017, as shipment volume also fell 6.2% to 3.8 million barrels. The craft beer giant was hampered by soft performances from its Samuel Adams and Angry Orchard franchises, while its Twisted Tea and Truly Spiked & Sparkling brands carved out growth. For 2018, Boston Beer expects to raise national prices by zero to 2% and will hike advertising, promotional, and selling expenses by around $15 to $25 million. The company is projecting shipment growth between zero and 6% for 2018.

•Vermont Hard Cider and Pabst Brewing will terminate their partnership in the U.S. effective April 1. Pabst has been handling sales and marketing for Vermont Hard Cider—a subsidiary of Ireland’s C&C Group—since March of 2016, including the group’s Woodchuck, Wyders, and Magners brands. Moving forward, Vermont Hard Cider will resume full responsibility for sales and marketing of its portfolio, which has struggled in recent years owing to an influx of competition in the cider category, including the rise of new contenders like Boston Beer’s Angry Orchard, AB InBev’s Stella Artois Cidre, and MillerCoors’ Crispin, among others. C&C acquired the cider maker for $305 million in 2012.

•Maryland’s Lyon Distilling Company is entering the Connecticut and Delaware markets. In Delaware, the distiller is partnering with Craft Wine & Spirits for distribution, while in Connecticut its partner is Highland Imports. The expansion will bring Lyon’s portfolio of rums and ultra small-batch corn, malt, and rye whiskies to a total of four markets, also including the distillery’s home state and Washington D.C. Craft Wine & Spirits also handles Lyon’s spirits in the D.C. market.

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