CRAFT BREW ALLIANCE REVEALS 2016 STRATEGIC PLANS AT CBA-CON NATIONAL CONFERENCE IN LAS VEGAS
Portland, OR (October 14, 2015) – Craft Brew Alliance, Inc. (“CBA”) (Nasdaq: BREW), a leading craft brewing company, hosted its third annual CBA-CON national conference for beer wholesalers and distributors today in Las Vegas, following the National Beer Wholesalers Association Convention. During the conference, CBA leadership presented strategic business and brand plans for 2016.
“This is the third year that we’ve brought our national wholesaler partners together to share CBA’s business strategy and brand plans for the coming year, and it’s a great opportunity to get everyone excited and aligned, not just around our priorities, but the collective strength of the Alliance,” said Andy Thomas, chief executive officer, CBA. “No other company combines the power of multiple pioneering craft beer brands with strong local relevance and deep expertise in branding with national brewing and supply chain capability, the scale to drive national retail activation, allied access to the Anheuser Busch distribution network and a seasoned management team of beer veterans. It’s this combination of expertise and scale that gives us the soul of a craft brewer in the body of a big brewer and really creates the power of the Alliance.”
For 2016, CBA outlined its commitment to build on its distinct advantages in brewing, branding and bringing to market world-class American craft beers through:
- Continuing to focus on solidifying its brands in their home markets to strengthen the top line.
- Building out its Emerging Business division and expanding with new strategic partners that increase CBA’s relevance in key beer geographies while leveraging the company’s national footprint. The company’s two recent partners, Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Cisco Brewers have added North Carolina and Massachusetts to CBA’s home markets.
- Further optimizing its production capability in the west through expanding its largest brewery in Portland by 200,000 barrels and building a new 100,000 barrel brewery in Hawaii, while strengthening its east coast brewery in Portsmouth, NH to support alternating proprietorships with new strategic partners.
- Building on its strength in national chains and continuing to activate distinctive retail promotions, which helped CBA earn special recognition from Hooters of America in 2015 as the restaurant’s “Craft Beer Company of the Year.”
- Continuing to nurture its significant partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev to leverage the strength of ABI’s seamless national distribution network.
CBA also highlighted strategic 2016 brand priorities across the company’s distinctive portfolio:
- Redhook Brewery, which celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2016, will continue to focus on its legacy position as the “Granddaddy of Craft” in its home state of Washington. Redhook unveiled classic new packaging for its flagship beers Longhammer IPA and ESB, as well as soon-to-be-released American Pale Ale, which will launch nationally, and ESL, extra special lager, which will launch in Washington. Redhook also announced a new seasonal line-up: Blackhook, Summerhook and Winterhook, which will launch nationally and carry the bold packaging design. Redhook will soon be announcing the location for its new brewpub in Seattle, a move that brings the iconic brand back to its roots.
- Widmer Brothers Brewing will continue building on the momentum achieved through the brand’s renewed focus on Hefe, which remains Oregon’s favorite craft beer. Widmer Brothers also revealed that it will begin offering Hefe in cans, initially in Oregon, to celebrate the beer’s 30th anniversary in 2016 and meet the increased demand for its iconic American-style wheat in a more portable package. The brand also teased a new dark beer, Steel Bridge Porter, to launch in 6-packs and draft in Oregon and Washington. The new porter will round out a core line-up that includes Hefe, Upheaval IPA, Replay IPA and Drop Top Amber.
- Now a Top 10 national craft beer brand, Kona Brewing Co. will bring its unique brand of “Liquid Aloha” to life through new television advertising that encourages beer lovers to take more time to relax and enjoy life… as well as a pint, bottle or can of Kona Brewing flagships Longboard Lager and Big Wave Island Ale. In 2016, Kona will bring back its popular Aloha Series, which includes Koko Brown, Lemongrass Luau and Pipeline Porter nationally. Additionally, Kona’s Wailua Wheat will return to California. In Hawaii, Kona will launch its iconic Lavaman Red in package for the first time and continue its Makana Series, which connects Kona Brewing with local charities that support Hawaii’s sustainability and pristine environment.
- Omission Beer will continue to capitalize on the growing trend among consumers to avoid gluten. The brand will invest in growing awareness and distribution for its category leading flagships, Omission Pale Ale and Omission Lager. Additionally, the brand will continue working with corporate partners such as Wanderlust, a health and wellness event series, to bring the great taste of Omission to consumers looking to live a healthier lifestyle.
- CBA will continue to build on its strategic partnerships with Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Cisco Brewers through alternating proprietorships and master distribution agreements that will enable both growing breweries to meet increasing demand in their respective core markets of North Carolina and the northeast. Additionally, CBA will continue to partner with theChive’s Resignation Brewery and its 30+ million monthly online visitors to grow KCCO’s Gold Lager, with an emphasis on its home market of Texas and the military.
- Square Mile, which has grown to be the #2 hard cider brand in the Pacific Northwest and a top 10 craft cider brand, will expand distribution in its existing core markets in the west with the brand’s Original and hopped-version Spur & Vine.
About Craft Brew Alliance
CBA is a leading craft brewing company, which brews, brands, and markets some of the world’s most respected and best-loved American craft beers.
The company is home to three of the earliest pioneers in craft beer: Redhook Ale Brewery, Washington’s largest craft brewery founded in 1981; Widmer Brothers Brewing, Oregon’s largest craft brewery founded in 1984; and Kona Brewing Company, Hawaii’s oldest and largest craft brewery founded in 1994. As part of Craft Brew Alliance, these craft brewing legends have expanded their reach across the U.S. and more than 15 international markets.
In addition to growing and nurturing distinctive brands rooted in local heritage, Craft Brew Alliance is committed to developing innovative new category leaders, such as Omission Beer, which is the #1 beer in the gluten free beer segment, and Square Mile Cider, a tribute to the early American settlers who purchased the first plots of land in the Pacific Northwest.
Publicly traded on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol BREW, Craft Brew Alliance is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and operates five breweries and five pub restaurants across the U.S. For more information about CBA and its brands, please visit www.craftbrew.com.