The CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective, comprised of Oskar Blues Brewery, Perrin Brewing Co., Cigar City Brewing, Wasatch Brewery, Squatters Craft Beers, Deep Ellum Brewing Co. and Three Weavers Brewing Co., experienced a strong first half of 2019. Strong brand innovation, flourishing flagship brands, successes in the hard seltzer space and new market openings all represent areas of health for the Collective — while also positioning CANarchy for further acceleration moving into the second half of the year.
Despite total craft beer being up only 3 percent YTD in IRI market research data, CANarchy is +28 percent. The individual breweries have experienced growth as follows: Oskar Blues is +18 percent, Cigar City Brewing is +48 percent, Perrin is +4 percent, Wasatch is +7 percent, Squatters is +16 percent, Deep Ellum is +7 percent and Three Weavers is +122 percent compared to last year’s data.
New brand and package innovation across CANarchy are driving increased sales and securing new points of distribution. 2019 innovations include Cigar City Brewing’s first ever Mix Pack; and the switch to a 15-pack format for CANundrum Mix Pack by Oskar Blues, which resulted in an 80 percent YOY growth in sales for CANundrum. Successful new liquids include Squatters Juicy IPA; and the Oskar Blues Can-O-Bliss IPA Series, which quickly became the No. 1 selling new IPA in the Colorado grocery channel according to IRI.
Alongside new and innovative liquids, established flagship brands continue to show strong performance, with total CANarchy flagships improving 30% YTD in IRI reporting. The following flagship brands have experienced growth as follows: Dale’s Pale Ale by Oskar Blues is +4 percent, Jai Alai IPA by Cigar City is +52 percent, Black Ale by Perrin is +17 percent, Apricot Hefeweizen by Wasatch is +29 percent, Hop Rising Double IPA by Squatters is +3 percent, Dallas Blonde Ale by Deep Ellum is +7 percent and Expatriate IPA by Three Weavers is +111 percent compared to last year’s data.
Foray into hard seltzer
CANarchy has established a presence in the hard seltzer segment, a category that has seen immense growth in 2019. The collective has launched three hard seltzer brands this year — Wild Basin Boozy Sparkling Water by Oskar Blues, Squatters Grandeur Peak Spiked Seltzer and Clear Coast Fresh Hard Seltzer by Perrin. The three brands have reached nearly 13,000 points of distribution and are currently gaining an average of 130 new POD per day.
CANarchy hard seltzer brands have been placed in more than 2,100 on premise locations with over 1,000 draft points of distribution in the last 90 days (as of July 10). With the rapid expansion of distribution, velocity per account has also continued to accelerate. Rate of sale saw a 30 percent increase over the launch numbers in March. There is significant room for growth in this segment, as the current footprint only represents 20 to 30 percent of the distribution of CANarchy flagship brands.
Expansion into new markets
CANarchy breweries have expanded into new markets, with Cigar City launching 13 additional states of distribution so far this year, Deep Ellum reaching into Oklahoma and Three Weavers expanding into northern California. Deep Ellum opened a new location in Fort Worth, Texas – the Funkytown Fermatorium — which offers limited release beers and beer-inspired fare. Additionally, June saw the opening of the Collaboratory in Asheville, N.C. — a CANarchy-wide brewery and restaurant project that focuses on collaborations among the Collective’s breweries and with brewers around the country and throughout the world.
Packaging and design improvements
Another significant change made in 2019 was the switch from six-pack plastic rings to cardboard cartons for Oskar Blues, Cigar City Brewing, Perrin, Wasatch and Squatters. The new packaging format is both more easily recyclable and an aesthetic improvement. Perrin underwent a rebrand earlier this year, with updated logos, cans and secondary packaging, which has shown favorable results in terms of placement and sales of Perrin Black Ale and other core brands.
Later this year, craft beer lovers can expect to see further liquid innovation from CANarchy aligning with fall chain resets. Oskar Blues will release One-y, a 100-calorie hazy IPA delivering citrusy flavors of orange peel, tangerine and lemon zest balanced with bread-like malt; and Cigar City Brewing will launch large-scale distribution of Margarita Gose, a refreshingly tart German-style sour ale with orange, lime and salt. The CANarchy IPA Mixed Pack will also debut this fall, featuring a coast-to-coast craft collection of four notable IPAs from CANarchy breweries. There is more rebranding to come, including a reimagining of Three Weavers, Oskar Blues and Wasatch brands.