Springtime — the flowers bloom, the birds chirp, sun shines and companies give us the scoop on how business went through the first quarter of the year. We covered Boston Beer Co. and the Craft Brew Alliance this week, and now Dogfish Head Craft Brewery has sent out a note to its wholesalers touting its successes thus far in 2013.
The aforementioned Boston Beer and CBA results showed a slight dip in some key numbers to kick off the year, but Dogfish Head reported that it is 7 percent over its anticipated goal at the end of April, putting the company on pace to hit its 2013 objective of 202,000 barrels (bbls) sold.
“We are truly indebted to you guys for sticking to our mutual business model of consistent and profitable high teens growth,” the company said to its wholesalers in the note. “Year-to-date shipments to wholesale are up 13 percent, depletions to retail up 15 percent, and we have the most accounts ever in the history of Dogfish Head buying our beer. Sticking to the right accounts buying the right beers has allowed us to continue to support you with the exact amount of beer we promised in 2013. In a very tough first quarter for our industry, we are grateful that you spent the time and energy on making sure we hit our business objectives.”
Total Dogfish Head brands grew 29 percent in volume and 31 percent in dollars on a large base. 60 Minute grew 24 percent, but the company’s fastest growing brand was 90 Minute, which grew at 42 percent at an average case price of $63.30. At its current pace, 90 Minute will grow into Dogfish Head’s No. 1 dollar performing brand in the grocery channel by year’s end. The company’s eight core beers grew in the high teens and accounted for 85 percent of the business.
Dogfish has stuck to a close-to-home selling model as 49 percent of its business continues to come from Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York.
“As we continue to add capacity we will fuel growth in further markets,” the company stated. “We have started somewhat this year with great strides being made in Florida, Texas, California and Illinois. So far this year we have added two new regional managers, one in Texas and one in Illinois.”
Other stats and company trends from the report:
- Dogfish Head’s nine-beer IPA portfolio grew at a pace of 22 percent and accounted for 86 percent of its total volume.
- The Beer-Wine Hybrids grew at a pace of 78 percent and accounted for 4 percent of Dogfish Head’s total business.
- Wood-aged beers are still growing strong with a 23 percent increase and accounted for 3 percent of Dogfish Head’s total business.
- Dogfish Head’s spring seasonal Aprihop jumped 24 percent versus the previous year.
The start of 2013 was packed with new launches and initiatives that drove sales, the company said. In the first four months of the year, Dogfish Head launched its Beer-Wine Hybrid program, its Ahopeclipse Now beer dinner series with 50 plus dinners across the country performed by its team of regional managers, it shipped 30,000 IPA glasses, released another addition to its Beer-Wine Hybrid portfolio with Sixty One an IPA made with Syrah must, released the first Dogfish Head-Sierra Nevada collaboration beer and also hosted a party at its brewery during the Craft Brewers Conference.