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Great Lakes Brewing Sees 22% Production Increase In 2013

Great Results at Great Lakes

25th Anniversary, Strong Growth, and Innovative New Brands Worth Celebrating in 2013

February 13, 2014—CLEVELAND, OHIO—The year 2013 marked Great Lakes Brewing Company’s (GLBC) silver anniversary, and the combination of new products, internal achievements, and strong overall growth provided ample reasons to celebrate. The biggest celebrations took place in the form of a customer appreciation block party on September 6, GLBC’s official anniversary date, followed by a distributor-focused celebration at Put-In-Bay (the “Key West of the Great Lakes”). GLBC added 47 new hires, 25 of which were newly created positions including a Chief Operating Officer position, and 31 employees enjoyed internal promotions. Exceptional focus, program planning, and execution by distributor partners across the board resulted in consistent growth and a strong finish to 2013. In 2013, GLBC shipped 142,673 barrels, an increase of 22% over 2012’s shipments.

GLBC’s limited edition and Seasonal lineups exploded with a number of hugely successful new releases. Chillwave Double IPA, Rye of the Tiger IPA, and Silver & Gold IPL (25th anniversary beer brewed with Dortmunder Gold Lager yeast) debuted in package and draft. A brand new 4-Pack will fill Silver & Gold’s slot in 2014. Both known for award-winning porters and celebrating 25 years in 2013, GLBC partnered with Deschutes Brewery to brew and bottle a limited edition Imperial Smoked Porter. And, saving the strangest for last, GLBC brewers and archaeologists from the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute teamed up to brew an authentic Sumerian beer, using only “ancient” implements and techniques. The beer was presented at sold out dinners in Cleveland and Chicago, and will journey to GLBC markets this spring.

Sales Highlights:

The debut of three packaged beers boosted interest in GLBC’s Seasonal offerings, while focused programming executed by GLBC’s Marketing and Sales departments and distributor partners elevated the entire portfolio. Due to strong growth in existing territories, GLBC did not expand to any new major markets but rather focused on filling territory gaps throughout its current 13 state/Washington DC distribution area. IRI, an industry leader in retail data tracking in US Supermarkets, as well as internal data showed the following growth highlights for GLBC’s 2013 sales:

  • #1 craft brand family in volume and dollar sales in Ohio
  • Overtook #1 craft brand family slot in volume and dollar sales in convenience stores in Ohio
  • Maintained #2 craft brand family slot (with lower level distribution compared to #1 craft brand family) in volume and dollar sales in the Great Lakes region (based on a customized IRI report from states that border each of the five Great Lakes)
  • #14 craft brand family in volume and dollar sales in the United States (though only sold in 13 states and Washington DC)
  • #14 largest growth in dollars of any craft brand family in the United States

Year-Round Brand Highlights:

  • Year-Round distributor depletions (5 core brands):  +13.1%
  • Commodore Perry IPA:  +33.9%
  • Edmund Fitzgerald Porter:  +22.2%
  • Taster (Variety) 12 Pack:  +21.4%

Seasonal Brand Highlights:

  • Conway’s Irish Ale:  +22.2%
  • Lake Erie Monster Imperial IPA:  +28.4%
  • Oktoberfest:  +38.6%
  • Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale:  +27.4%

Christmas Ale: GLBC’s beloved holiday Seasonal continued to be the leader in Holiday Ales and again produced big numbers, despite being on allocation and having a limited window of availability (8 weeks). IRI highlights in the last 13 weeks of 2013:

  • #1 beer brand (in all beer) in dollar sales in Cleveland, Ohio, generating 6x the dollars of the next closest craft brand
  • #3 beer brand (in all beer) in dollar sales in Ohio, third only to two major domestic brands
  • #1 craft brand in dollar sales in the Great Lakes region
  • #9 craft brand in dollar sales in the United States with a distribution of only 10.2%

To keep up with growing demand, GLBC continues to elevate expansion opportunities and hopes to have its plans finalized by this summer.

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