SABMiller plc, London, and Molson Coors Brewing Co., Denver, reported that its joint venture MillerCoors’ first quarter underlying net income increased 16.6 percent to $175.3 million and total net sales increased 3.6 percent to $1.76 billion compared to the first quarter of 2011. The companies attributed the performance to positive pricing growth, cost management and favorable mix.
Anheuser-Busch (A-B), the St. Louis-based subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev (A-B InBev), announced the expansion of Bud Light Platinum production to its St. Louis and Columbus, Ohio, breweries as well as plans to add its Fort Collins, Colo., brewery in June. The production expansion will keep up with demand for the new product that launched early this year and is outpacing expectations, the company said in a statement.
Heineken USA, White Plains, N.Y., honored Harbor Distributing LLC, Anaheim, Calif., and Mission Beverage Co. , Los Angeles, with its fifth annual 1864 Award for Responsibility, which recognizes partners that embrace the values of moderation and responsibility. The awards were presented at Heineken USA’s annual National Distributor Conference in Atlanta last week.
The U.S. craft brewing industry increased 13 percent in volume and grew 15 percent in retail sales in 2011, according to full year data released by the Brewers Association, Boulder, Colo. The increases accounted for 1.3 million additional barrels from 2010 to 2011, during which annual craft beer production reached nearly 11.5 million barrels, the association said.
Operating under the motto “Off-centered beers for off-centered people,” it should come as no surprise that Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Del., is not bashful about creativity. Dogfish Head’s lineup includes 34 beers with ingredients and brewing processes inspired by a range of ancient recipes, music, collaborations and Founder and President Sam Calagione’s own ideas.
Still cautious from the economic downturn, consumers created an uneven environment for beer once again in 2011. The year’s performance reflected a category of contradictions with trends torn between the ongoing price consciousness of some shoppers and the insatiable taste for variety — even if it carries a higher price — from other demographics.