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Boston Beer Beats With New Beverages

By Motley Fool Staff - May 7, 2018 at 1:10PM

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Is the Sam Adams brewer finally recovering after a couple of down years?

In this segment of the Motley Fool Money podcast, host Chris Hill is joined by senior Fool analysts Jason Moser, David Kretzmann, and Jeff Fischer to consider the latest word from the second-largest craft brewer in the country -- Boston Beer (SAM 3.43%). Though it operates in the only segment of the beer market that has been growing lately, the company's sales hadn't been, and it had failed to invest heavily in growth by acquisition. But based on its first-quarter results, it seems to finally be gaining some momentum, thanks to newer products.

A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on April 27, 2018.

Chris Hill: First quarter sales and shipments for Boston Beer were higher than expected. The company is best known for its Sam Adams beer. But, management gave credit for the results to some new beverages. Jason, did you help shareholders out this quarter?

Jason Moser: Yeah, Chris, I was just going to say, my hard work paid off. You're welcome, Jim Koch. We'll keep that ball rolling. Honestly, though, 2016 and 2017 were tough years for this business. It seems like perhaps, 2018, they could be turning a corner a little bit here. Sales growth, 18%. Strong shipments there. Depletions growth of 8%.

A constant theme in these trying times has been some tough, tough sales on the Samuel Adams brand. This quarter, that seemed to have turned a little bit. Perhaps they're seeing some new offerings in the Samuel Adams '76 and a New England IPA, and even this new Angry Orchard Rosé Cider that they've just pushed out. It seems like consumers are receiving these well.

New CEO, Dave Burwick, fully in the mix now. Seems like he is focused on the company's three main priorities of returning the Samuel Adams brand to growth, cost savings and efficiency, and long-term product innovation. It's a good business. I think the stock has bounced back a little bit. It's one you can hang onto for a bit. We still like it.

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