The best breweries seem to be inspired by love, not lucre. Nevertheless, it's still a business. A very fascinating business, it turns out.
What causes us to like certain beers and certain breweries? What force guides our hand to one product at the store and not another? We think we are the masters of these choices, but something deeper is at play. In the second of a two-part series, I examine the role of breweries in this process.
Yesterday, Dogfish Head and Boston Beer announced they were planning to merge. How will a legacy brewery with an old flagship, one increasingly focused on non-beer products, integrate with a company that has for two decades defined experimentation and reinvention for American beer? I guess we’re about to find out.
Constellation was crazy to spend a billion dollars on Ballast Point in late 2015. But what if hazy IPAs had never become a trend?
A new economics term will unlock the secrets of beer.
With apologies to Tolstoy, successful breweries are all alike, but each failing brewery fails in its own way.
The news is shocking, but it isn’t terribly surprising. BridgePort has lost over three-quarters of its Oregon volume since 2010, and hasn’t adapted to the modern market.
10 Barrel Brewing recently released a fantastic video that has been viewed broadly. But what if you lack the funds an AB InBev-backed brewery has? Creative Director Jordan Wilson describes how Old Town Brewing gets its exceptional results on a budget.
This morning, London’s last Victorian-era cask brewery announced it had sold its beer business to Asahi. That news should alarm anyone interested in the health of cask beer in Great Britain.
Less than a year after Craft Brew Alliance turned the Widmer brewpub into a taproom, it’s shutting the whole thing down, citing “profitability challenges.”
The Brewers Association has proposed a change to the definition of “craft brewer” that poses an existential question. What does it mean when the largest member of an organization dedicated to beer mainly doesn’t make it?
The success of beers like Firestone Walker 805, Dogfish Head SeaQuench, and Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin seem to come out of nowhere. But success is not entirely random. It comes to breweries that have put the time in beforehand.
In the final post on brewer compensation, I quote extensively from the comments left on the survey. There were over 300 of them, and many were very carefully-considered and insightful. The numbers only tell a part of the story; these comments breathe life into it.
This week, I’ll report the findings of my brewer compensation survey. Those numbers don't mean much, though, unless we ask: compared to what? If a brewery pays its shift workers $20 an hour, is that good or bad? Read on to find out how to assess wages and benefits.
Friends, Americans, countrymen, loan me your eyeballs. I come to bury Two Hats, not to condemn it. Actually, I do condemn it. But more, I observe how its tombstone stands as a sentinel of warning—and not just to big, industrial breweries.
Friday marked the anniversary of the biggest deal in the history of beer—InBev’s purchase of Anheuser-Busch. But in terms of impact, a different acquisition caused a bigger earthquake.
Every large brewery in the world is attempting to adjust to the disruption caused by craft beer. The challenge is moving into new categories without damaging the currency of the flagship brand. Guinness is trying an entirely novel approach in the United States.
On June 21, Oregon will become the first state offering breweries refillable beer bottles. The not-for-profit cooperative that oversees Oregon’s bottle bill will run the project, collecting and redistributing bottles for refilling. If the program succeeds, it could become a model for the nation.
On Monday, the Supreme Court struck down a 1992 law that banned sports betting, opening the door to an estimated $150 billion in legal gambling. The beer industry will almost certainly benefit because 1) gambling increases fan engagement and 2) fans drink when they watch sports.
Members of a bottle club receive a certain number of special-release beers and are guaranteed access to rare beers, plus other perks. But for the most part, the access is secondary. Beer clubs allow breweries to identify their most avid fans and connect more deeply to them.
There are over 6,300 breweries operating in the United States today. Just five years ago, that number was 2,475, and a chart of the growth looks like the dreaded hockey stick. Have we reached peak breweries?
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has totaled the sales figures by Oregon breweries, and the results reflect what we're seeing nationally: middle-sized breweries show the most strength while bigger breweries are struggling to maintain their positions. But there are surprises, too.
In an interesting development, Stone Brewing Company has decided to sue MillerCoors over its use of the word "Stone" in recent Keystone branding. The news was announced with the typical bombast for which Stone and founder Greg Koch are famous--but that doesn't mean the lawsuit isn't serious.
Every time you pick up a six-pack from the store, it has already been sold twice before. That's because we have a system that includes a mostly-hidden middleman who neither makes nor nor sells the beer to customers. Knowing that middleman is essential to understanding the American beer biz.
--Post updated with revised figures-- When the GOP pushed through tax cuts this week, they included a tax cut for breweries. It's a bipartisan proposal that's been kicking around with broad support that will actually benefit the little guy--in this case craft breweries. But is it good policy?
I guess we have to talk about Dilly Dilly. It's the catch phrase in the latest ad campaign launched by Bud Light, one that has achieved rare virality on social media. No matter how you slice it, it's become a national meme. But has it been good for Bud Light?
Five years ago, Adam Milne established Old Town Brewing's leaping stag as a legal trademark. But for the past two years, he's been locked in a legal battle with the City of Portland, which wants to use that logo so it can license products by AB InBev. Here's the whole maddening story.
Yesterday, Boston-based Harpoon announced the purchase of contract brewery Clown Shoes. But this post isn't going to be about the acquisition. Rather, it's about how companies mature and markets sand off rough edges of any company that wants to stay around.
Like every brewery of a certain age, Hopworks once-novel IPA started to taste dated once the newer wave arrived a few years ago. In a surprising, fascinating move, Hopworks has reformulated their flagship, a makeover that changes everything (including the label) except the name.