It’s been a rough few years for the beer brand that did as much as any to jumpstart the modern craft movement.
In an earnings report released yesterday, Boston Beer Co. revealed an overall operating profit of $137.7 million for the year 2016, a decrease of 12 percent compared with its $156.2 million in 2015. Moreover, depletions experienced a 5% decline in 2016.
Performing especially poor has been the brand’s flagship Sam Adams brand.
Once a mainstay of the craft beer movement, this ubiquitous brand may have lost its sense of “craft” in the last decade among U.S. consumers. Instead they turn towards beers from newer and smaller brewers. In turn, the Sam Adams brand fell 9% in sales to consumers in 2016, according to the Boston Globe, and 7% in revenue.
Depletions during the first six weeks of 2017 were off by 15% from the same time in 2016. Projections for overall 2017 depletions for Sam Adams are +1% at best, -7% at worst.
Sam Adams has sought to recapture consumer interest in recent time with edgier beers, going as far as to reformulate the recipe for its Rebel IPA with experimental hops.
Stock dropped for the company by 11% in the aftermath of the announcement.