Good afternoon everyone,
A follow up on last week’s column on Groupon ranking Delaware fifth from the bottom as a beer state.
Groupon ranked the state low, citing low scores for Dogfish Head brews on one one-line rating service, as well as a shaky metric that measured activity when it came to Delaware brewers using Groupon promotions.
The column turned out to be a topic on the Thirsty Thursday segment of the Rick Jensen Show on WDEL between noon and 1 pm. The long-running segment talks about and samples craft brews.
The consensus was that Groupon did not know what it was talking about. After all, Dogfish Head beer brews often show up in national rankings.
Thirsty Thursday will have plenty to talk about this week with the bombshell announcement that Milton-based Dogfish Head will become part of the Boston Beer (Samuel Adams) craft brewing empire in a $300 million stock deal.
The response was predictable among many beer enthusiasts in Delaware and elsewhere. Some took a wait and see attitude, while others are deeply disappointed.
After all, Dogfish Head had proudly proclaimed its independence while moving into the ranks of the 15 largest craft brewers.
Boston Beer kept its craft beer credentials but has taken more of a corporate approach by successfully rolling out ciders and fizzy water seltzers after sales stalled on its flagship brew.
Dogfish owners Sam and Mariah Calagione were fully aware of the headwinds facing a business that accounts for one percent of the nation’s beer market, despite a nationwide footprint.
On one side are more than 7,000 local breweries with loyal followings. On the other are a handful of multinational mega brewers with the ability to operate under the radar, sometimes with acquired craft brew brands that are pushed through their distribution systems.
Size does matter and an alliance with Boston Brewing done right should allow Dogfish to get more space on the shelves of liquor stores and supermarkets for strong sellers like its SeaQuench sour.
Also waiting in the wings is a potential blockbuster – Dogfish’s new Slightly Mighty, a “fitness beer” offering. Slightly Mighty targetsthe Michelob Ultra “fitness beer” crowd.
Meanwhile, investors seem to like the deal. Despite a brutal stock market yesterday, Boston Beer shares were trading near 52-week highs.
Here’s to a sunnier day and before too long some deck time with your favorite beverage.
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