We’re excited to continue our RadCrafter series! Each volume of Craft Marketing showcases a Featured Crafter – a craft marketing professional who is crafting content, telling stories, and curating resources about the beer industry. For this edition we reached out to Chris Herron, co-founder and CEO at Creature Comforts and picked his brain about beer, brewing, and what it takes to build a strong brand that resonates with consumers in today’s craft beer market.
Business of Beer
Since at least 2007, craft breweries in both the U.S.A. and Europe/Africa have apparently been scammed by a man named Stephen Foster, who just so happens to possess the same name as the famous songwriter, although there’s evidence he has at various points worked with the first name “Scott” and the last name “Sala.” He has been connected to a dozen or more breweries, working in various places for a few months at a time (up to several years) before disappearing when things turn sour. He seems to target brewmaster positions especially, but primarily at young breweries with less-than-robust hiring practices where he can win jobs through force of personality alone, covering up a seemingly obvious disqualifier: He’s not very good at making beer.
The Brewers Association (BA), the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, and publishers of CraftBeer.com, is introducing the independent craft brewer supporter seal. The BA is rolling out the new supporter seal for retailers, homebrew shops, state brewers guilds, festivals, websites, etc. — any champions of independent craft breweries.
Zephyr Conferences is once again conducting an exhaustive survey of the state of beer communications. It’s been two years since our last survey of this type. With our recent re-branding to Beer Now (formerly Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference) we have already identified the need to provide information and value to all the types of beer communicators working to promote beer advocacy.
This means this survey is open to all types of beer communicators: beer bloggers, beer writers (professional and freelance), beer publication editors, beer podcast producers and hosts, Instagram Influencers, corporate beer bloggers/marketers, beer “vloggers,” and anyone else actively promoting beer.
Please help us by setting aside 7-10 minutes to take this anonymous survey. Anyone who provides contact information will be sent a recap of our results.
SURVEY CLOSES FRIDAY FEBRUARY 1, 2019
Surprising news came down late Friday that Fuller, Smith & Turner Brewing, better known as just Fuller’s had agreed to sell it’s brewery and brands (but not pubs) to Asahi UK.
Roger Protz takes a look at some of the business issues that may have led to the sale:
The second burning question is: Why did Fuller’s want to sell? It’s a highly successful business with profits of around £43 million a year.
But 90 per cent of the profits come from retailing. Profits from brewing have been falling for several years and this has led Fuller’s to join the well-worn path of brewers selling their production plants and becoming pub retailers. As some critics of Fuller’s have suggested, the writing has been on the wall for some time as the company busily built its retail side. As a result, it now owns more hotels than pubs.
While Boak & Bailey take a look at the more personal feelings the come around when a well respected and trusted brewery “sells out” and disappoints long loving fans:
And we worry about whether this means Fuller’s, as a brewery, will stagnate. What will motivate disenfranchised staff to try new things, or throw themselves into reviving old recipes? It’s been hard to find London Porter in any format for a couple of years – will this finally kill it off for good, along with poor old Chiswick? Look at Meantime: the quality or the core beer may be good, but the breadth of the offer is now distressingly bland.
We don’t know how this will turn out. We’re not going to boycott Fuller’s. We’re not ‘butthurt’. But something in the relationship has changed, and we will probably end up drinking less Fuller’s beer without thinking much about it.
Even Fuller’s own head brewer seemed a bit distressed:
All in all it’s a key turning point for London’s most storied brewery. I, personally a huge fan of Fuller’s, am hoping it’s be beginning of a fantastic new chapter.
Creature Comforts Brewing Company will launch the 2019 campaign of its flagship community outreach program, Get Comfortable, on February 6. Starting with the 2019 campaign, the program will begin partnering with another brewery each year to release a collaborative beer to generate funds for the campaign. In the 2019 Get Comfortable season, Creature Comforts will partner with Russian River Brewing Company.
Classics can stay classics while still getting a refresh. Such is the case for Allagash White, one of the staple Belgian beers in the United States. Allagash announced last week that they’ll be canning Allagash White, as well as a new beer in their core lineup: River Trip. I got in touch with Brett Willis, marketing specialist at Allagash, to learn more about the announcement.
The price of beer in Qatar, which has long been deliberately prohibitive in the largely Muslim country got significantly more expensive in the new year with a 100% import tax on beer.
Brooklyn Brewery, a pioneer of the American craft beer revolution, is proud to announce that it will begin distributing its core lineup of award-winning beers throughout the state of California beginning January 21, 2019. As the eleventh largest independent craft brewer in the US, Brooklyn Brewery is available in 30 states, over 30 countries, and places strong emphasis on fostering a global craft beer community.
Worcester Business Journal writer Zach Comeau reports on how the government shutdown is starting to impact some of the state’s medium sized breweries, especially those who distribute to other nearby states. Among them, Framingham’s Jack’s Abby/Springdale, Worcester’s Wormtown Brewery and Greater Good Imperial Brewing. All are hoping the shutdown comes to an end quickly as to avoid major setbacks for their businesses.
Tavern Propco, a private fund owned by Davidson Kempner Capital Management, has bought 370 pubs and commercial assets from Ei’s portfolio in a £348 million deal that leaves the pub giant with just 42 properties and money to service some of its £2 billion debt.
In news that won’t surprise any hop enthusiasts, 2018 was a big year for the modern IPA
In an industry where the lupulin love continues to move all things juicy, fruity, and tropical, the continued ascension of Citra—now one of the country’s most beloved and harvested hop varieties—reflects broader changes in how hops find their way from the field to the glass. In its latest year-end report, the USDA shared a variety of figures that shed light on recent shifts in hop trends and production (and obliquely revealed how breweries are looking to keep beer drinkers excited).
Craft breweries across the country cannot sell their new IPAs or lagers in cans or bottles because an obscure agency within the Treasury Department, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, is shuttered. That’s the entity that has to sign off on product labeling, making sure it includes the necessary details about alcohol content and health warnings and no unsubstantiated claims.
Famous for costing only $22 (£17.40) for a 48 pack, coming out at less than $0.50 per can, the beer will not be sold in Costco anymore.
According to a report on in The Takeout on 12 December, the beer has been pulled from shelves all over the US.
On Jan. 1, after years of debate, Colorado’s unusual booze rules are set to change. The state will effectively erase its 3.2 beer law, a Prohibition-era restriction that prevented most general stores from selling full-strength beer.
Among other changes coming into effect.
Via the Denver Post