Black Is Beautiful Gets Added Reach—Via Walmart.
The retail giant says it will expand the availability of Black Is Beautiful beers made by San Antonio’s Weathered Souls and 12 other breweries. The beers will be available in more than 600 Walmart locations in 21 states. Those brewers are expected to donate proceeds to the Harriet Baskerville Incubation program, which aims to support women and people of color in the brewing industry. Late last year, Weathered Souls cofounder and head brewer Marcus Baskerville—who launched the Black Is Beautiful initiative in 2020 to call attention to racial-justice issues—announced that he would open the brewery and incubator in 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The program is named for his grandmother, who brewed during Prohibition.
Heineken Warns of Higher Beer Prices.
Blaming rising costs and inflation, the world’s second-largest beer company said prices would go up—but it did not say when or by how much. “These kind[s] of price increases and inflation, I think we have not seen in a generation,” said CEO Dolf van den Brink, according to BBC News. He also said higher prices and living costs could lead to “softer beer consumption.” Pandemic-era beer-buying habits sent Heineken sales up 17.4 percent in 2021, while the company’s profits rose 80 percent.
Feds Look at Leveling Beer’s Playing Field.
The U.S. Treasury Department released a report, Competition in the Markets for Beer, Wine, and Spirits, with recommendations on how to improve competition in the alcohol industry. Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association, released a statement that applauded the recommendations, many of which aligned with the BA’s submitted comments. Among other comments, Pease praised “the report’s focus on the federal Alcohol Administration Act’s trade practice provisions and the continued need to combat practices like slotting fees and discriminatory conduct.” He also said there was a lot of work to do at the state and federal levels, including scrutiny of state franchise laws, direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales access, preventing exclusionary practices, and the effects of small brewery acquisitions on distribution. On the subject of DTC shipping, the Treasury report says that it “offers distinct distribution opportunities for small producers, opportunities for innovation, and the possibility of serving small niches.” Read the full Treasury report at home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Competition-Report.pdf.