Ceria Founder Also Says Non-Alcoholic Beer Market Will Rival Craft Brew Market
June 23, 2022
Keith Villa, the PhD brewmaster who created Blue Moon almost three decades ago
for Coors Brewing, is credited with using that beer to help introduce scores of consumers to more flavorful craft brews. Blue Moon was a gateway brew for light beer drinkers who would eventually consume everything from IPAs to Saisons as craft beer went mainstream during 2000s. In recent years, Villa has been toiling away on his latest gateway project: cannabis- infused and alcohol-free beers. Villa’s company, Ceria Brewing, relaunched its beers with
a new look this month after first introducing the brand in 2018. Villa uses a proprietary process to get Ceria’s beers to 0.0% ABV. Ceria’s lineup includes a Belgian-style white ale called Grainwave (Villa’s latest Blue Moon) and an IPA called Indiewave. Versions of these alcohol-free beers with psychoactive THC and non-psychoactive CBD are available at licensed marijuana dispensaries in Colorado and California, where the recreational use of cannabis is permitted. The beers have less than 100 calories per 12-oz can. A six-pack of Ceria’s alcohol- free beer sells for about $10. THC versions sell at regulated cannabis dispensaries for about $6 - $8 per can, plus taxes. Given the growing interest in low- and no-alcohol beers and cannabis-infused beverages, BD took the opportunity to discuss both segments with Villa, who runs the company with his wife Jodi Villa, who is CEO. The following has been edited for length and clarity...
Solutions Sought as Booze Market Taps Non-Alcoholic Brands
June 23, 2022
Coca-Cola is considering compensating its franchise bottlers in the US for company- sanctioned ready-to-drink alcohol beverages sold in bottlers’ exclusive territories, BD has learned from bottling executives. Just last week, Jack Daniel’s whiskey maker Brown-Forman and Coca-Cola announced a “global relationship” for a Jack & Coke canned cocktail to be launched in Mexico later this year. While other...
I’m a skeptic when it comes to non-alcoholic craft beers, spirits, and wines. How big can this market get without the functional benefits of alcohol, especially when sold at about the same price?
I recently posed the question to Athletic Brewing Co-founder and CEO Bill Shufelt during a panel I moderated for Credit Suisse in New York. His non-alcoholic beer brand has raised more than $70 million since launching in 2018 and accounts for almost half of the still-small US non-alcoholic beer market. Shufelt told me that most of his consumers don’t shun alcohol. Sometimes they just need a break and they like beer. He sees lots
Juice-Infused Brand May Add as Many as 50 Distributors This Year, CEO Says
May 9, 2022
Spindrift is targeting 20 new states by the end of this year for its Spindrift Spiked sparkling water as the company forges a new direct store delivery (DSD) network. In an interview, Founder and CEO Bill Creelman said...
Boston Beer CEO Says Trial ‘Higher Than I’ve Ever Seen.’ Scarcity, Cross-Border Sales Likely Bolstering Demand. Boston Beer’s Hard Mtn Dew, distributed by PepsiCo’s Blue Cloud unit, has now expanded to...
While still early, there is growing evidence that leveraging established brands for new alcohol products is a winning way to break through tired or saturated categories.
As you will read in today’s issue, demand for PepsiCo’s Hard Mtn Dew appears to be outpacing the company’s ability to add distribution (story below). That’s a nice place to be and likely not by accident. PepsiCo and partner Boston Beer have launched in states where non-alcoholic Dew is already a strong seller, so there is built-in demand.
PepsiCo's Blue Cloud Aims to Service "All Retail Customers" in Phased Roll Out
March 17, 2022
Hard Mtn Dew has created a stir among some independent liquor store operators in three states where Boston Beer and PepsiCo launched the alcoholic soda one month ago. Operators in Florida, Tennessee, and Iowa told BD that they have so far ...