Troegs Blizzard of Hops & Mad Elf Draft Releases

31 October 2014

imageWe brought you a peek at this beer back in July, and now we have release details from Troegs:

Although winter is still a few months away, there’s a blizzard on the horizon. The fourth and final installment of our Hop Cycle series, Blizzard of Hops, confirms a successful harvest and the end of the Hop Cycle. As winter slowly creeps in, we salute hop growers who process and ship hops around the world. Enjoy the fruits of their labor and savor sticky notes of citrus and pine with this revitalizing Winter IPA. We just completed our first packaging run earlier this week, and we’re excited to get it out into the market. Packaged in cases and 6-packs of 12-ounce bottles as well as 1/6- and 1/2-kegs, we will unleash the blizzard across our entire distribution footprint over the first two weeks of November. Weighing in at 6.4% ABV and 80 IBUs, Blizzard of Hops features a blend of malted barley and wheat with Centennial, Chinook and El Dorado hops in the boil and Chinook and Galaxy dry hops. Additionally, we will release Anthology Winter in conjunction with Blizzard of Hops, which also features Tröegs Pale Ale, HopBack Amber, and JavaHead Stout.

Mad Elf Draft Release

Mad Elf madness continues into November as we gear up to release the Elf in 1/2- and 1/6-kegs across our entire distribution footprint beginningMonday, November 17. Just in time for holiday gift-giving, Mad Elf gift packs (including a 22oz. bomber and chalice) have already been sent into all markets, with limited 101-ounce novelty bottles on the way in early November. Brewed with sweet and sour cherries, local PA honey and chocolate malt, then fermented and aged with a spicy Belgian yeast strain, this cheerful ruby red holiday ale boasts significant warming strength that underlies its pleasant yet intriguing flavor. Don’t miss your chance to grab the Elf before he scurries away and goes into hiding until next season!


San Tan Sex Panther Returns 11/1 With New Can Design

From San Tan:

Chandler, AZ (October 31, 2014) -- Craft beer fanatics and lovers of all things smooth and chocolate know that Sex Panther brings the flavor while taming the beast within. Whether you’re getting cozy with a box of chocolates or smoking up a pork roast, Sex Panther will have you purring like a kitten with its chocolaty flavor and smooth as silk drinkability.

This year, due to high public demand, SanTan Brewing Company is releasing Sex Panther two months ahead of schedule and with a brand new super funkalicious can design. Sex Panther will be available in Arizona, California and Texas on November 1, 2014.

“Sex Panther is a great fit for the winter season; our fans have been asking us to launch it early. With our production facility now running at a higher capacity we’re able to crank out the cans a lot faster,” said Anthony Canecchia, founder and brewmaster, SanTan Brewing Company.

Sex Panther is made with Colonial Rosewood Cocoa and a large dose of chocolate malt—there’s no chance of missing the chocolaty flavors in this brew! With hints of truffles and molasses, summit hops are added to balance the sweetness. Then, white wheat is added to give Sex Panther a smooth, creamy head that lasts all night long. Sex Panther has a 6.9% ABV and a silky dark chocolate shine. This brew pairs perfectly with smoked meats and sweet treats.

Sex Panther Quick Facts

Style:   Double Chocolate Porter

Malt:    2-Row, White Wheat, Caramel, Munich, Special Roast, Chocolate

Hops:   Columbus

Yeast: House Yeast

OG:     15.7 Plato

ABV:    6.9 %

Color: Chocolate Brown

IBU:     20

Availability: November - January

To find a pint or can of Sex Panther near you, visit SanTan Brewing Company’s Beer Finder online at


WILK Friday BeerBuzz - 31 Oct 2014 - Rogue Dead Guy (Video)


Southern Tier Imperial Rum-Barrel Aged Pumking Coming to Bottles

Here’s your very first look at the packaging for Southern Tier Imperial Rum Barrel-Aged Pumking.  This is a completely new look and a completely new beer so remember where you saw it first!  This is a 22oz bottle and the beer will come in at 10.7% ABV.


New Belgium - Lips of Faith La Folie 2015

Here’s a peek at the 2015 packaging for New Belgium Lips of Faith La Folie.  This wood-aged sour ale will remain in 22oz bottles and at 7% ABV.


Smuttynose Smuttlabs - Finkelstein Hoppy Lager

Here’s your first look at another new beer coming to the Smuttynose Smuttlabs series of beers.  This is Finkelstein and it is a hoppy lager that will be package din 12.7oz bottles and it will come in at 4.7% ABV.  This is marked Media Sample so I’m sure there’s a bottle heading my way any day now.


Pyramid Brewer’s Reserve - Coat of Ales Belgian Tripel

Here’s your first peek at a new release coming to the Brewer’s Reserve series of beers from Pyramid.  This is Coat of Arms and it is a Belgian Style Tripel.  Look for this beer to be packaged in 22oz bottles and it will come in at 20 IBU.


Odell Friek Returns In November

image Here’s the latest packaging approved for Odell Friek.  This ale with cherries & raspberries is aged in oak barrels.  Look for Friek to be packaged in 750ml bottles and it come sin at 6/9% ABV.

More details from Odell:

Fort Collins, CO – On October 31, 2014, Odell Brewing celebrated the return of Friek, the brewery’s beloved Lambic-style ale. Part Framboise, part Kriek, Friek is brewed with Colorado grown cherries and aged in oak barrels for several months. It is then blended with fresh raspberries just prior to packaging.

“The brightness hits your tongue, bursts of tart fruit, a slight funk, and acidity that develops as the glass warms,” said Nathan Borchelt in his 2013 review for Paste Magazine. “The wood comes through as well, controlling the vibrant flavors to create a balanced mixture of sweet and sour, without a hint of hoppiness, to deliver a smooth and refreshing finish.”

Friek is offered in a 750 ml cork and cage finished Belgian-style bottle. Limited quantities will be available throughout the brewery’s eleven state distribution region beginning in November.


Prairie Artisanal - Phantasmagoria

Here we have Prairie Artisanal Ales Phantasmagoria.  This beer is a Double IPA, it will be packaged in 750ml bottles and the beer will come in at 8% ABV.


Side Project - Merci, Biere du Pays, Peche du Fermier & Apricot du Fermier

I’m excited to bring you 4 new bottles coming from Side Project Brewing.  Merci is a blended American Wild Ale that is Blend # 1 of Saison du Ble and a 2 year old American wild ale (6% ABV).  Biere du Pays is a wine barrel aged farmhouse ale (4% ABV).  Peche du Fermier is Saison du Fermier aged with peaches in French oak wine barrels (8% ABV) and Apricot du Fermier is also Saison du Fermier aged with apricots in French oak wine barrels (8% ABV).  These are all 750ml bottles.


Pelican 2014 Mother Of All Storms Coming 11/15

From Pelican:

Along the Oregon Coast ominous clouds can blow in at a moment's notice. These storm systems bring heavy precipitation and high winds across the entire Pacific Northwest seaboard. Often the strongest squalls will be over in a matter of minutes while others can last for days. Knowing exactly when a storm will hit land is very difficult to predict. There is, however, one storm that makes ground every year  in the town of Pacific City, Oregon.

Mother of All Storms from Pelican Brewing Company is a Barrel-Aged Barleywine. Based on Stormwatcher's Winterfest, this English-Style barleywine spends several months aging in Kentucky bourbon barrels before it's bottled and kegged. Mother of All Storms delivers deep flavors of toasted malt, bourbon and oak. The finish rewards with whispers of vanilla, toffee and caramel. It is best enjoyed during gusts exceeding 60mph and the 14% ABV will help to retain warmth while waiting out the storm.

Because quantities are limited Pelican Brewing Company opens its doors at 8am on November 15th, making it first available to those waiting outside the brewery who have weathered the elements. The special release of this anticipated brew highlights the "Mother's Day" weekend in Pacific City. OnSaturday, November 15th the Mother's Day festivities begin at 8:00am at the Pelican Pub & Brewery with live music, special tasting events, Mother-infused food items, and Mother of All Storm giveaways. This year the Barrel Room in the brewery will be open with coffee at 6am so waiting in the elements is now optional.


And finally, just like in years past, IF any cases are still available - there will be a first come, first serve
e-mail opportunity to purchase a case of Mother of All Storms - These will ship in time to enjoy over the Thanksgiving holiday. Send an email to to be added to the email waiting list. We will contact individuals after the 16th of November should any still be available.

On Sunday, November 16th meet up at the Pelican Pub & Brewery for a Mother's Day brunch from 8-11am. This event happens once a year at the Pelican Pub & Brewery on the beach at Cape

Kiwanda - don't miss it!


Smuttynose Updates Noonan Black IPA & Rhye IPA

Here we have two packaging updates coming from Smuttynose.  Noonan Black IPA and Rhye IPA.  These are both 12oz bottles which is a new size for Rhye IPA.  Stay tuned for release details.


Urban Chestnut - Harwood Myth & Stammtisch

Two more new bottles coming from Urban Chestnut Brewing.  Harwood Myth is part of the reverence Series (release # 4) and it is an English Style Porter.  Stammtisch will be release # 8 in the Reverence Series and it is a German-style Pilsner that uses Hallertau and Strisselspalt hops.  These are both 500ml bottles.


Lucky Girl - Wheat Ale

You may think I’m posting this just to get the pinup girls out to you….but this is actually a contract beer brewed at our very own Susquehanna Brewing.  We brought you some of their other beers (here and here) and as you may have guessed already, this looks a lot like Susquehanna Brewing So Wheat.  This beer will be packaged in 12oz bottles and it come sin at 5.5% ABV.


Due South Brewing Celebrates Black Friday - November 28, 2014

imageFrom Due South Brewing:

Boynton Beach, FL - Due South Brewing Co. will host its Third Annual Black Friday Celebration on November 28, 2014.

In addition to the many beers already on tap, the brewery will feature limited release dark beers tapped throughout the day. Many of these beers will only be available at the brewery and some are so limited that only one keg was made. Brewery visitors will be able to taste specialties like Mocha Stout, Peppermint Paddy, Bourbon Barrel Aged 2013 Pico Duarte (the brewery's award winning imperial stout, aged in bourbon barrels), One Eyed Tiki (a porter made with coconut), and Mexican Standoff (an imperial porter with chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and habanero peppers).

Big savings will be offered at certain times throughout the day, like brewery t-shirts for $10 and buy a pint and keep the glass.

Bombshell BBQ food truck will be onsite starting at noon and Poor Boys Kitchen food truck will be available for the evening. Patrons are always welcome to bring their own food or order delivery to the brewery.

There is no admission fee to attend. Food & drinks must be purchased. Everyone is welcome noon to 6pm. After 6pm, you must be 21 or older to be in the brewery. No pets allowed.

The schedule for beer releases and specials will be posted to the event page on the company's website,


Double Mountain Fa La La La La Winter Ale Returns

From Double Mountain:

Hood River, OR Double Mountain Brewery welcomes the cooling air with their annual Fa La La La La Winter Ale. This bold malty, yet hoppy brew will be available on draft and in bottles for purchase at Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom located in downtown Hood River on October 23th upon opening at 11am. Bottles and draft will be available in local retail shops and local watering holes throughout the Pacific Northwest and parts of Southern California as early as October 28th.

This year’s Fa La La La La continues with bags full of head brewer and owner Matt Swihart’s favorite hop, Centennials, to warm your heart and soul. Brewed with Gambrinus Pilsner malt and a dash of crystal malt, this brew has a voluptuous malt bill to harmonize with the wealth of hops.

“I brewed a test batch of this beer for a Christmas party years ago, a beer to be enjoyed with friends and loved ones in times of celebration,” Swihart shared, “and we continue the celebration to this day. Every year, our entire company gathers together to help bottle this wonderful Centennial hopped strong ale. Let our celebration of love and friendship continue to yours.”

2014 Fa La La La                             
Winter Ale                              
7.5% ABV, 85 BU


New Belgium Brewing Teams With Hari &Deepti to Create Downtown Denver Mural (Video)

30 October 2014

From New Belgium:

When we see an opportunity to make something beautiful, we go for it. That's why we teamed up with the creative duo Hari and Deepti to turn this wall on the corner of 21st and Market St. in Denver into a splash of bright color and vivid imagination.


Victory Moving Parts No 3

As soon as the BA team wakes up you’ll see this elsewhere so remember to tell your friends where you saw it FIRST!  Here’s your very first look at the bottle packaging for Victory Moving Parts Batch No 3.  This ever evolving IPA has a recipe that is tweaked with each batch and for batch no 3 our pal Bill Covaleski uses Belgian yeast in this citrus-forward IPA.  This beer will be packaged in 22oz bottles and the beer will come in at 6.6% ABV.  Stay tuned fro release details.


BrewDog Announces 2015 Expansion Plans - New 300HL Brewhouse

From BrewDog:

Despite constantly investing in growing our production we still cannot make all the BrewDog beers that our customers want to buy (and drink!). Due to the strength of demand for our craft beers at the moment, even with all our new tanks arriving, our current brew-house and fermentation capacity is likely to be maxed-out by the end of 2015. So we have some pretty exciting plans to develop our eco-friendly, high-tech Ellon BrewDog HQ.

We are planning a new 4500m2 building, which would join onto our current brewery building. This building would house an amazing new 300HL brew-house. In addition to the brew-house we would also build a new tank farm on this site. We are hoping to have all of this installed and operational by the start of 2016 and we will hopefully start construction on the new building at the start of the year.

In addition, we have some pretty amazing plans on the bar-side of things with more BrewDog bars in the UK & overseas planned, plus more BottleDogs and a few new concepts thrown into the mix too.

This will be a huge and massively exciting project and by far the biggest and most ambitious project we have ever undertaken. Our new plans will see us make significant investments in the next 18 months – every single penny of this spend will be completely dedicated to helping us make the best beers we possibly can with all the technology focused on maximising taste, flavour and the beer drinking enjoyment of our phenomenal customers and our equity punks.  

It is also important to note that, despite the new expansion plans, we are still tiny. We are still less than 7% of the size of Sierra Nevada and still just a fraction of the size of the likes of Lagunitas, Stone, DogFish Head and Victory. BrewDog is currently 0.046% of the UK beer market, meaning that just one in every 2,200 beers drunk in the UK is a BrewDog beer. We can grow 10 times our current size and we will still be less than 0.5% of the UK beer market. We are absolutely tiny in the context of UK beer consumption overall, and we are determined to grow and also expand the craft beer category to get as many people as we can to share the passion we have for craft beer.

The  expansion plans will also see us create an additional 300 jobs in Ellon and across the UK over the next three years as we continue our mission to make other people as passionate about great craft beer as we are. We recently made the move to become a
Living Wage Employer, and ensuring that we are the best company to work for that we can possibly be is massively important to us as a business. We are really excited about continuing to change the UK beer scene and our mission to put the taste, flavour and craftsmanship back into people’s beer glasses.

It has been a crazy journey since we set up the business with two humans and a dog in 2007 and that crazy journey looks set to continue.

James and the team x


Harpoon 100 Barrel Series - Beer Trip 2014 Tuscan Pool Party

This is only the keg label, but I’ll have the bottle label coming soon so stay tuned.  Here we have the first clue at what the next release in the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series will be.  This Beer Trip 2014 beer is called Tuscan Pool Party and it is an ale brewed with grape juices that is aged on oak spirals.  Look for this beer to come in at 7.6% ABV.


Sixpoint To Release Resin In 6-Pack Can Packaging


From Sixpoint:

RESIN is our liquid ode to hop extraction. It’s the original Mad Scientists’ slim can, and we’re pumped to announce that it’s now in six-packs. The updated look reflects subtle, incremental changes we’ve made to the formulation during our endless search to improve the brew over the past 2 years. The six-pack is complementary to the other Sixpoint six-packs on the market, and features our distinctive design.

We heard from hopheads around the country that they’d love to see RESIN in a sixer, and we’re always down to bust out even more tasty, hop-laden suds. Especially since switching to the six-pack format should provide a better price per ounce. You’ll also see RESIN’s IIPA style moniker on the side of the package, for those few poor souls unfamiliar with RESIN. President and Founder Shane Welch commented on the new package:

“We think of this as the latest reincarnation of a customer favorite. At Sixpoint it’s in our DNA to constantly innovate, formulate, and progress our formulations and packaging forward. Our customers point us in the right direction, and we will guide them from that point onward!”


We dropped the news on BerAdvocate, and some hardcore hop hounds are getting real jazzed up about it… check out the hop fever.

The formulations won’t stop here! Cheers to a better price per ounce, and even more RESIN.


Pretty Things - Cutie Pie Double IPA Bottles

I’m excited to bring you the first peek at Pretty Things Cutie Pie as it heads to bottles for the first time.  This beer is a Double IPA that uses Kohatu and Belma hops.  This Cute and Pretty beer will be package din 22oz bottles and the beer comes in at 8.2% ABV.


Oskar Blues Partners With Icelantic & AEG Live For 2015 Road To The Rocks

From Oskar Blues:

Longmont, CO, and Brevard, NC--Win the Ultimate ColoRADo experience with Oskar Blues and Icelantic's iconic annual Road to the Rocks program. Enter to win is live NOW at

Three Grand Prize Road to the Rocks winners will receive:

  • Round trip tickets for two (within the continental US) to ColoRADO from January 28 through February 1, 2015. 
  • Complimentary lodging for 4 nights.
  • A new Jeep to drive during the stay.
  • An ARTA Tequila helicopter ride. 
  • Two VIP tickets to Winter on the Rocks at Red Rocks Amphitheater.
  • A meet and greet with the show's headliner.
  • Invite to the VIP after party.
  • Backstage Oskar Blues Brewry tour & firkin tapping at the Tasty Weasel Taproom.
  • Dinner and music at Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids Restaurant.
  • Two 2-day lift tickets ot any of Colorado Ski Country USA's official Mountain Resorts.
  • Free demo skis from Icelantic's New Ski Quiver.
  • Two pases to SIA's Snow Show (
  • A pair of Oskar Blues custom Icelantic Nomad RKR skis to take home!

The sweepstakes runs through January 9th, 2015, at 5 p.m. MST. The winners will be randomly selected and announced on January 12th, 2015. 

Oskar Blues Brewery is featuring the Road to the Rocks program on seven million

Dale's Pale Ale CANs, which are currently in markets in all 36 states in which OB beer is available. Also, again this year, Oskar Blues is brewing the limited edition IceyPA, a Pale Ale dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin, at both breweries in ColoRADo and North Carolina. That beer will be available in CANs at both Tasty Weasel Taprooms and in limited quantity as draft. 

To enter Road to the Rocks, register at No purchase required. 

For more information on Road to the Rocks, visit

Follow us on social at: @icelantics_winterontherocks.

Program partners include:

Icelantic,Oskar Blues Brewery, Jeep, Monster Energy, AEG Live, Hotel Teatro.


Saranac Legacy IPA Coming To 32oz Cans

I thought we were just getting a peek at some packaging updates form Saranac, but instead we get to see the new 32oz can coming from Saranac for their Legacy IPA.  The beer remains at 6.5% ABV and I can’t wait to see (drink) one of these in person.


Saranac - heart Of The Hop Red IPA Coming To Bottles

Here’s a new beer coming to bottles from Saranac.  This is The Heart Of The Hops and it is a Red IPA.  Look for this beer to be packaged in 12oz bottles and it will come in at 6% ABV and 55 IBU.


Magic Hat Updates HI.P.A. Packaging

Here we have the latest packaging update for Magic Hat HI.P.A.  This IPA will be packaged in 12oz bottles and the beer remains at 6.7% ABV.


Saint Archer Releasing New Variety 12 Pack 11/10

imageFrom Saint Archer:

San Diego's Saint Archer Brewing Co. is proud to announce another way to enjoy their beers: The new 12-Can Variety Pack. Inside, loyal fans of Saint Archer—or craft beer fans looking to explore the range of a new brewery—can experience much of the taste spectrum that has spurred the brewery's incredible growth. 

The new Variety Pack contains the following 12 oz. beers:

3 IPA 

3 White Ale 

3 Blonde Ale 

3 Double IPA

"The Variety Pack is the ONLY place consumers will find our Double IPA in a can," says Yiga Miyashiro, Director of Brewing Operations at Saint Archer. "It's also a great chance for beer drinkers to 'expand their horizons' a bit without committing to a full six-pack of any one style."

The featured Double IPA took a Silver Medal at this year's San Diego International Beer Festival, the largest beer gathering on the west coast, and was named Best Double IPA in San Diego by San Diego Magazine, but the Double IPA is not the only award winning beer in the package.  The White Ale recently took home the Gold at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival in the Belgian-Style Witbier category, and the Blonde has a Bronze Medal under the belt as well from the San Diego International Beer Festival. 

"If you like craft beer, we're sure you'll find a few new favorites this way," adds Miyashiro.

The 12-can Variety Pack will be available at select retailers starting November 10th, 2014.


Odd Side Ales - The Merry Elf

I couldn't have created a better label if I knit it myself!  This is Odd Side Ales The Merry Elf.  This dark ale is made with candi sugar and orange peel and it will be packaged in 12oz bottles.


Rivertowne - Sassamanash 12oz Cans

Here’s a new brew coming to cans from Rivertowne and I dare you to say it three times fast.  This is Sassamanash and it uses 100% Cranberry juice for aging.  Named for the native American word for Cranberry, Sassamanash will be packaged in 12oz cans and it come sin at 4.8% ABV.


Boston Beer Reports Third Quarter 2014 Results

imageFrom Boston Beer:

BOSTON, Oct. 30, 2014 -- The Boston Beer Company, Inc. (NYSE: SAM) reported third quarter 2014 net revenue of$269.7 million, an increase of $53.3 million or 25% over the same period last year, mainly due to core shipment growth of 23%. Net income for the third quarter was $37.9 million, or $2.79 per diluted share, an increase of $12.2 million or $0.90 per diluted share from the third quarter of 2013.  This increase was primarily due to shipment increases and lower than expected operating costs per barrel during the third quarter due to lower employee benefit costs and the timing of certain advertising promotional and selling expenses.

Earnings per diluted share for the 39-week period ended September 27, 2014 were $5.29, an increase of $1.44 from the comparable 39-week period in 2013.  Net revenue for the 39-week period ended September 27, 2014 was $685.2 million, an increase of $151.5 million, or 28%, from the comparable 39-week period in 2013.

Highlights of this release include:

  • Depletions grew 21% and 25% from the comparable 13 and 39 week periods in the prior year.
  • Third quarter gross margin is 53% and year-to-date gross margin is 52%; the Company maintains its full-year gross margin target of between 51% and 53%.
  • Advertising, promotional and selling expense increased by $8.9 million or 16% in the quarter, primarily due to increased investments behind the Company's brands.
  • Full-year 2014 estimated depletion growth remain unchanged at between 20% and 24%.
  • Full-year 2014 estimated earnings per diluted share remain unchanged at $6.00 to $6.40.  The third quarter benefit of lower operating costs per barrel is expected to be offset by slightly lower than previously planned volumes in the fourth quarter.
  • Full-year 2014 capital spending is now estimated to be between $150 million and $160 million, a decrease of the range from the previously communicated estimate of $160 million to $185 million.
  • Full-year 2015 capital spending is now estimated to be between $80 million and $100 million.

Jim Koch, Chairman and Founder of the Company, commented, "Our depletions growth this quarter was strong and a result of a number of factors, including effective sales execution, support from our distributors and retailers, not to mention the quality of our beers, innovation and strong brands. During the quarter, we had a smooth transition from Samuel Adams Summer Ale to our fall seasonal, Samuel Adams OctoberFest.  Our fall seasonal program also included the limited release of seasonal favorites including Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin and a small batch double pumpkin ale, Samuel Adams Fat Jack.  In addition, for the first time, we released a small batch of Kosmic Mother Funk Grand Cru, which is currently on a twelve-city tour after fermenting in the Barrel Room of our Boston Brewery for about two years.  It's an exciting time for us, and we remain confident about the long-term outlook for the craft category and our Samuel Adams brand."

Martin Roper, the Company's President and CEO stated, "In the third quarter, our depletions growth remained strong and benefited from the growth of our Samuel Adams, Twisted Tea, and Angry Orchard brands.  We believe that the strength of our main brands reflects strong sales execution and our increased investments in media, local marketing and point of sale, and the efforts of our increased sales force.  We do not expect that the depletions growth rates we have experienced so far this year will be maintained for the remainder of the year, as we face tougher comparables and the benefit in the first half from new product launches will not be replicated during the fourth quarter of 2014.  Accordingly, we have not increased our estimated full year 2014 depletion growth rate."

Mr. Roper went on to say, "Our supply chain performance improved during the quarter but we still have plenty of room for further improvement. We have completed a number of significant capital and efficiency projects that have further increased our capacity and capabilities.  Our focus now is on taking full advantage of these increased capabilities through improved operator training and on making supply chain improvements intended to increase the freshness of our beers and enhance our customer service. We expect our capital expansion pace to slow in 2015, as we absorb and optimize our 2013 and 2014 investments. Our sales focus in 2015 will be on second year growth of some of our successful 2014 launches, rather than continue our recent high pace of new brand launches. It is too early to accurately predict 2015 growth rates. We expect to maintain a high level of brand investment as we pursue sustainable growth and innovation, and we continue to be prepared to forsake the earnings that may be lost as a result of these investments in the short term, as we pursue long term profitable growth."

3rd Quarter 2014 Summary of Results

Depletions grew 21% from the comparable 13-week period in the prior year, primarily due to increases in the Angry Orchard®, Samuel Adams®, and Twisted Tea® brands.

Core shipment volume was approximately 1.2 million barrels, a 23% increase over the third quarter of 2013.

The Company believes distributor inventory levels at September 27, 2014 were at appropriate levels. Inventory at distributors participating in the Freshest Beer Program at September 27, 2014 increased slightly in terms of days of inventory on hand when compared to September 28, 2013. The Company has over 65% of its volume on the Freshest Beer Program and it believes participation in the Program could reach 70% of its volume by the end of 2014.

Gross margin at 53% was equal to the third quarter of 2013, primarily due to unfavorable product mix effects and increases in packaging and ingredient costs that were offset by price increases.

Advertising, promotional and selling expenses were $8.9 million higher than costs incurred in the third quarter of 2013. The increase was primarily a result of increased investments in media advertising, increased costs for additional sales personnel, point of sale, and increased freight to distributors due to higher volumes.

General and administrative expenses were equal to the third quarter of 2013, primarily due to increases in salary costs that were offset by lower benefit and consulting costs.

Impairment of long lived assets was $300,000 higher than the third quarter of 2013 due to the write-down in 2014 of Pennsylvania Brewery assets of $1.6 million compared to a write-down in 2013 of land owned by the Company in Freetown, Massachusetts of $1.3 million.

Year to Date 2014 Summary of Results

Depletions grew by 25% from the comparable 39-week period in 2013, primarily due to increases in the Angry Orchard, Samuel Adams, and Twisted Tea brands.

Core shipment volume was approximately 3.1 million barrels, a 26% increase from the comparable 39-week period in 2013.

Advertising, promotional and selling expenses were $42.5 million higher than costs incurred in the comparable 39-week period in 2013. The increase was primarily a result of increased investments in media advertising, increased costs for additional sales personnel and commissions, point of sale and local marketing, and increased freight to distributors due to higher volumes.

General and administrative expenses increased by $3.0 million from the comparable 39-week period in 2013, primarily due to increases in salary costs.

The Company expects that its cash balance of $57.2 million as of September 27, 2014, along with future operating cash flow and the Company's unused line of credit of $150.0 million, will be sufficient to fund future cash requirements.

During the third quarter and the period from September 28, 2014 through October 24, 2014, the Company did not repurchase any shares of its Class A Common Stock.  On October 9, 2014, the Board of Directors approved an increase of $25 million to the previously approved $325.0 million share buyback expenditure limit, for a new limit of $350.0 million. As of October 24, 2014 the Company had approximately $50.5 million remaining on the $350.0 million share buyback expenditure limit set by the Board of Directors.

Depletion estimates

Year-to-date depletions through the 42 weeks ended October 18, 2014 are estimated by the Company to be up approximately 24% from the comparable period in 2013.

2014 Outlook

The Company has left unchanged its projected 2014 earnings per diluted share of between $6.00 and $6.40.  The Company's actual 2014 earnings per share could vary significantly from the current projection.  Underlying the Company's current projection are the following estimates and targets:

  • Depletions and shipments growth of between 20% and 24%.
  • National price increases of approximately 2%.
  • Gross margins of between 51% and 53%.
  • Increased investment in advertising, promotional and selling expenses of between $37 million and $45 million.  This does not include any increases in freight costs for the shipment of products to the Company's distributors.
  • Increased expenditures of between $3 million and $5 million for continued brand investments in existing Alchemy & Science brands, which are included in our full-year estimated increases in advertising, promotional and selling expenses
  • Effective tax rate of approximately 37.5% based upon current tax laws and underlying regulations.
  • Capital spending of between $150 million and $160 million.  These investments relate to continued investments in our breweries and additional keg purchases in support of growth and increased complexity.  These estimates include capital investments for existing Alchemy & Science projects of between $7 million and $9 million.

2015 Outlook

The Company is completing its 2015 planning process and will provide further detailed guidance when the Company presents its full-year 2014 results.  The Company is currently using the following preliminary assumptions and targets for 2015:

  • Depletions and shipments percentage growth of between 10% and 15%.
  • National price increases of between 1% and 2%.
  • Full-year 2015 gross margins of between 51% and 53%.
  • Increased investment in advertising, promotional and selling expenses of between $25 million and $35 million for the full year 2015.  This does not include any increases in freight costs for the shipment of products to the Company's distributors.
  • Increased expenditures of between $6 million to $12 million for continued investment in Alchemy & Science brands, which are included in our full-year estimated increases in advertising, promotional and selling expenses.  These estimates could change significantly and 2015 volume from these brands is unlikely to cover these and other expenditures related to these projects that could be incurred.
  • Full-year effective tax rate of approximately 38% based upon current tax laws and underlying regulations.
  • Estimated full-year 2015 capital spending of between $80 million and $100 million, which could be significantly higher, dependent on capital required to meet future growth. These estimates include capital investments for existing Alchemy & Science projects of between $5 million and $7 million.


Long Trail - Sick Day, Farm House, Triple Bag, Brush & Barrel And More

image From Long Trail:

The leaves have put on their annual color show and the flocks of peepers have come-and-gone as we wrap up fall here in Bridgewater Corners.

After a long season of leaf-peepin and leaf-raking, we're anxiously awaiting Old Man Winter's graceful return. In preparation for what the Old Farmer's Almanac predicts to be a snowier-than-average winter, we're getting our excuses ready and have already popped the top on more than one "Sick Day" IPA.

Our brand new winter seasonal, "Sick Day" is an unfiltered IPA built for winter's deepest days. Knee-deep in piney, spicy hop flavors and nicely balanced by a warming, toasty malt presence that'll warm your soul after a day in the snow. 

Need an excuse?

I don't know about you, but I definitely feel a cold coming on just thinking about the snow flying this winter.

Speaking of flying, keep an eye out for Flyin Ryan IPA on tap at select ski hills and bars throughout Vermont this winter. This limited release IPA commemorates the legacy of Ryan Hawks, a Vermont skier who died from injuries sustained during a freeskiing competition in 2011.

The Flyin Ryan Hawks Foundation was established shortly after in an effort to enrich the lives of young adventurers and make the world a better place.

We are proud to celebrate Ryan's legacy this winter by donating 10 cents from every pint back to the foundation during ski season. 


On Thursday, October 23, our friends from the Green Mountain Club stopped by our farmhouse

pilot brewery to brew a special bock that will be enjoyed in celebration of the soon-to-be-completed Winooski River bridge, which connects the Long Trail from Mt. Mansfield to Camel's Hump -- A project that's 100 years in the making. 

We've been cooking up some new recipes of our own and we are excited for the release of a brand new Farmhouse Series brew. Look for Belgian Pale Ale six-packs on shelves throughout Vermont this November.


Brewed with a Belgian farmhouse yeast, this highly-sessionable, unfiltered pale ale combines a spicy, fruity yeast character with the moderate bitterness and citrus flavors of Citra, Millenium and Ella hops.

Like our Farmhouse IPA 12-pack, this one will be released in Vermont at first, with expanded distribution planned for 2015.


Don't have a cow, man, because our oft-requested, small-batch brew returns this fall.

Triple Bag is a homegrown, rugged amber ale that features a growing-season's worth of malts and is brewed from a single infusion that uses only the first running of the mash. The resulting brew contains only the purest parts of the grains, which yields a uniquely rich, dense flavor.

At 11% ABV, this is an example of brewing purity that is rarely experienced by those other than brewers themselves. Look for it limited draught and 4-packs throughout New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


Just in time for the shorter days ahead, the next installment of our Brush & Barrel Series is in the kettles and ready for November shipment.

This artfully crafted, dark-as-night Imperial Stout is dominated up front by a bold roasted malt flavor, which reveals hints of caramel, coffee and chocolate. A subtle hop bitterness works in concert to reveal a dry, warming finish.

We teamed up with Vermont artist Tom Cullins, whose beautiful, abstract

  label art uses color and space to echo the structured chaos of the malts and hops that create this dynamic brew.

Our friends from the Green Mountain Club took a hike to the Farmhouse pilot brewery on Thursday, October 23, to cook up a small-batch bock for their annual meeting.


WILK Friday BeerBuzz

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