After at least five years of consistent growth driven primarily by an explosion in craft, the active number of individual beer items sold at U.S. retailers is in decline. The number of SKUs available on retailers’ shelves stood at 12,786 on Aug. 31, down 3.4 percent from 13,238 at the end of 2016, according to a report from Brett Cooper at Consumer Edge Research. While that is nearly double the 6,388 active SKUs at the beginning of 2011, the retreat this year shows the craft segment may be in a period of rationalization, Cooper says in his Sept. 14 report on the state of the beer industry. At the end of August, the number of active items in the craft segment dropped to about 9,021, down 5.7 percent from a peak of 9,537.
Italian wine producer Frescobaldi has made its first foray into the Chianti Classico region with the purchase of Castello di San Donato in Perano for €13.3 million. This historic estate, situated between the central Chianti villages of Radda and Gaiole, is based on a 617-acre estate with 250 hectares under vine at 400-600 meters above sea level, including 52 hectares of steep sloping south-facing vineyards, in the Gaiole commune of Chianti Classico.
A study by Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America found that distributors’ 74,000+ employees earn $5.6 billion in wages, and that the industry generates $50 billion in annual tax revenue. “American Family-owned wine and spirits wholesalers are local marketing, brand building, and logistics experts for beverage alcohol brands, operating in every state and congressional district, and are the central link of the three-tier beverage alcohol market between wineries, distilleries, and retailers,” WSWA President and CEO Craig Wolf said.
New York’s Conecuh Ridge Distillery will build an artisan distillery, rackhouses, and a bottling hub in Troy, Alabama, alongside a tasting and experience center. The project will cost $13 million, and is perceived by Troy residents and government officials to make Troy a destination location for whiskey.