Exchange Brewing In addition to expanding production of Samuel Adams, our group spent a great deal of time considering how Boston Beer Company could expand its portfolio of beer offerings in a manner that could take advantage of its incredible distribution network and marketing capacity. As noted previously, the company has the internal capacity to generate new and innovative beers, though outside of seasonal beer offerings like Octoberfest and Summer Ale, these beers make up only a small portion of the company’s overall sales. An acquisition of a smaller brewery is certainly a possibility, but it seems unlikely that the company would gain more than a new brand name under which to sell beer (i.e., Boston Beer probably would not need the small scale production facilities that would come with the purchase.) As an alternative to these two options, we came to the idea of “exchange brewing,” a process which would allow Boston Beer Company to serve as an importer of international beer recipes without actually having to do any physical importing. It would work like this: by establishing partnerships with other independent craft brewers around the world, Boston Beer Company would be able to produce great international beers domestically. In turn, foreign brewers would have the opportunity to produce a beer from the Samuel Adams portfolio. This sort of reciprocal licensing relationship plays to Boston Beer’s reputation as a shepherd of the craft beer industry. By increasing the diversity of its product offerings, the company also increases
14 its leverage with distribution companies. In the short term, this might mean getting more companyFproduced beers on market shelves, but going forward, the company might also do enough volume to begin establishing exclusive distribution deals of the sort that InBev and MillerCoors currently enjoy. Such agreements could be deployed to protect against other craft beer entrants or being moving directly against these larger players. Conclusion By systematically examining the internal and external factor affecting Boston Beer Company, we have been able to develop specific recommendations that can help the brewery maintain its success within the beer industry. In shifting into a low cost category within the craft beer segment, Samuel Adams is already positioned for considerable success as consumer palates shift toward more fullFbodied and flavorful beers. Eventually, consumer tastes will drive craft to the “Broad” segment of the market, at which point Boston Beer stands to reap significant profits. Moves to expand domestic production and engage in international exchange brewing will ensure that the company is positioned to fully reap the benefits of these consumer shifts, and that it remains a force to be reckoned with until these shifts occur.
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- Fall '17