Dogfish Head vs. A-B InBev in the Percentages Game

Thanks to Shanken News Daily for this bit of contextualized good news:

On the one hand…Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) said selling-day-adjusted sales to retailers in the U.S. inched up 0.2% in the first half of 2012, giving cause for optimism to a mainstream U.S. beer market that’s been in low-single-digit decline for months.

While on the other…Dogfish Head Brewing tells Shanken News Daily that shipments rose 33% over the first six months of the year, and that the company is slightly ahead of its goal to ship 171,000 barrels during calendar 2012. The Delaware brewer’s 90 Minute and 60 Minute IPA labels led growth over the first half, up 28% and 24% respectively, and its Burton Baton brew—which recently joined the year-round core portfolio—is up 70% from a small base. Dogfish Head’s 750-ml. segment, which features its more exotic offerings and now accounts for 7% of the business, rose 80% over the first half, depleting 38,276 12-bottle cases.

Yes, I know that Dogfish sells but a minute fraction of what ABI flogs, and that it must always be remembered that percentages are relative. But Dogfish is both far from being the kind of youthful start-up that easily posts huge percentage growth and hardly the kind of brewery that boasts broad mass market appeal. And it is experiencing explosive growth, alongside any number of other well-established craft breweries across the United States and, indeed, increasingly around the world.

Seems there might be some staying power to this craft beer thing after all.

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Filed under beer industry, drinking quality, social commentary

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