47 Hops of Yakima, Washington, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which will allow it to develop a restructuring plan to repay debts and remain operational. The hop broker has more than $7.4 million in debt and only $4.3 million in assets, according to the filing. In 2016, the company earned $10.6 million in revenues, up from $7.1 million the previous year. Douglas MacKinnon, the company’s president, did not respond to a request for comment, but on 47 Hops’ website he blames the bankruptcy on slowed growth in the craft beer market. According to the USDA, growers and dealers held hops stocks of 105 million pounds, three times the amount held by brewers.
In a report released Wednesday, UBS Securities said that the trend to craft beers seems to have leveled off but the craft theme is picking up in spirits. The securities firm’s Evidence Lab surveyed 1,200 regular alcohol consumers. “The percentage of consumers that enjoy (spirits) brand experimentation and that view craft brands as cool has grown by 8 to 13 percentage points in the past two years,” UBS said. Colin Blake, director of spirits education for Moonshine University, which teaches people how to found and operate a distillery, says “We have seen an explosion of craft distilleries. From over 500 people who have taken our week-long course, some 140 distilleries have opened after the founder took our class.”
Italy’s Frescobaldi is splitting its portfolio and aligning with two new importers: Shaw-Ross International and Vintus Wines. Florida-based Shaw-Ross will take on U.S. import rights for the Frescobaldi and Danzante brands, beginning Jan. 1, 2018. New York–based Vintus Wines will become the U.S. importer for the Ornellaia, Masseto, Luce della Vite and Attems labels. Lamberto Frescobaldi said the main reason for the move was to divide his company’s vast portfolio to ensure that each winery receives proper focus.
Amazon’s Prime Now includes free same-day delivery of wine, beer, and spirits. Amazon recently added Manhattan and Portland for a total of 12 states, including: Cincinnati, OH, Chicago, IL, Columbus, OH, Los Angeles, CA, Minneapolis, MN, Phoenix, AZ, Richmond, VA, San Diego, CA, San Francisco Bay Area, and Seattle, WA.