BOSTON BEER CO INCP1YP3YP5Yopen to all union employees who are covered by the Company's collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters Local Union No. 1199 ("Local Union 1199"), or persons on leave from the Company who are employed by Local Union 1199, and in either case who have completed 12 consecutive months of employment with at least 750 hours worked0.010.010.010.01In September 2017, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") commenced an examination of the Company's 2015 consolidated corporate income tax return. The examination was completed in July 2018 resulting in a no change report. As of December 28, 2019, the Company's 2016, 2017, and 2018 federal income tax returns remain subject to examination by IRS. 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Table of Contents
 
 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
FORM
10-K
 
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15 (d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For the fiscal year ended
December 28, 2019
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15 (d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For the transition period from
                    
to
                    
Commission file number:
1-14092
 
THE BOSTON BEER COMPANY, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
     
Massachusetts
 
04-3284048
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
One Design Center Place, Suite 850, Boston, Massachusetts
(Address of principal executive offices)
02210
(Zip Code)
(617)
368-5000
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
         
Title of each class
 
Trading
Symbol(s)
 
Name of each exchange
on which registered
Class A Common Stock. $0.01 par value
 
SAM
 
New York Stock Exchange
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  
    No  
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.    Yes  
    No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  
    No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation
S-T
(§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  
    No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a
non-accelerated
filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act.
             
Large accelerated filer
 
 
Accelerated filer
 
             
Non-accelerated
filer
 
 
Smaller reporting company
 
             
Emerging growth company
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.    
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act).    Yes  
    No  
The aggregate market value of the Class A Common Stock ($.01 par value) held by
non-affiliates
of the registrant totaled $3,163.5 million (based on the average price of the Company’s Class A Common Stock on the New York Stock Exchange on June 29, 2019). All of the registrant’s Class B Common Stock ($.01 par value) is held by an affiliate.
As of February 14, 2020, there were 9,481,434
shares outstanding of the Company’s Class A Common Stock ($.01 par value) and 2,672,983 shares outstanding of the Company’s Class B Common Stock ($.01 par value).
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Certain parts of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement for its 2020 Annual Meeting to be held on May 14, 2020 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report.
 
 

Table of Contents
THE BOSTON BEER COMPANY, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
FORM
10-K
FOR THE PERIOD ENDED DECEMBER 28, 2019
             
PART I.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Page
 
Item 1.
 
 
 
3
 
Item 1A.
 
 
 
15
 
Item 1B.
 
 
 
24
 
Item 2.
 
 
 
25
 
Item 3.
 
 
 
26
 
Item 4.
 
 
 
26
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PART II.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 5.
 
 
 
26
 
Item 6.
 
 
 
29
 
Item 7.
 
 
 
29
 
Item 7A.
 
 
 
38
 
Item 8.
 
 
 
40
 
Item 9.
 
 
 
77
 
Item 9A.
 
 
 
77
 
Item 9B.
 
 
 
80
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PART III.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 10.
 
 
 
81
 
Item 11.
 
 
 
81
 
Item 12.
 
 
 
81
 
Item 13.
 
 
 
82
 
Item 14.
 
 
 
82
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PART IV.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 15.
 
 
 
83
 
Item 16.
 
 
 
85
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
86
 
2
 
 
 
 
 

Table of Contents
PART I.
Item 1.
Business
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
General
The Boston Beer Company, Inc. (“Boston Beer” or the “Company”) is a
high-end
alcoholic beverage company and one of the largest craft brewers in the United States. In fiscal 2019, Boston Beer sold approximately 5.3 million barrels of its proprietary products
.
The Company’s brands include Samuel Adams
®
, Twisted Tea
®
, Truly Hard Seltzer
®
, Angry Orchard
®
Hard Cider, Dogfish Head
®
Craft Brewery, Wild Leaf
®
Hard Tea and Tura
®
Alcoholic Kombucha, as well as other local craft beer brands.
Boston Beer produces alcohol beverages including malt beverages (“beers”), hard seltzer and hard cider at Company-owned breweries and its cidery and under contract arrangements at other brewery locations. The four primary Company-owned breweries are focused on production and research and development and include breweries located in Boston, Massachusetts (the “Boston Brewery”), Cincinnati, Ohio (the “Cincinnati Brewery”), Milton, Delaware (the “Milton Brewery”) and Breinigsville, Pennsylvania (the “Pennsylvania Brewery”). These breweries, with the exception of the Pennsylvania Brewery, have tap rooms for retail sales on site. The Company produces a small amount of distilled spirits at the Milton Brewery.
The Company also owns five smaller local breweries that are mainly focused on brewing and packaging beers for retail sales on site at tap rooms and gift shops, restaurant activities, developing innovative and traditional beers and in some cases, supporting draft and package accounts in the respective local market areas. These local breweries are located in Boston, Massachusetts (the “Samuel Adams Boston Downtown Tap Room”), Rehoboth, Delaware ( “Dogfish Head Brewing and Eats”), Los Angeles, California (the “Angel City Brewery”), Miami, Florida (the “Concrete Beach Brewery”) and Brooklyn, New York (the “Coney Island Brewery”).
In addition, the Company owns an apple orchard and cidery located in Walden, New York (the “Orchard” and “Cidery”), a restaurant in Rehoboth, Delaware (“Chesapeake & Maine”) and a boutique inn in Lewes, Delaware (the “Dogfish Inn”).
The Company’s principal executive offices are located at One Design Center Place, Suite 850, Boston, Massachusetts 02210, and its telephone number is (617) 
368-5000.
Industry Background
Before Prohibition, the United States beer industry consisted of hundreds of small breweries that brewed full-flavored beers. After the end of Prohibition, most domestic brewers shifted production to less flavorful, lighter beers, which use lower-cost ingredients, and can be mass-produced to take advantage of economies of scale in production. This shift towards mass-produced beers coincided with consolidation in the beer industry that by 2008 ultimately resulted in the two largest breweries, Anheuser-Busch InBev (“AB InBev”) and Molson Coors Beverage Company (“Molson Coors”), comprising over 90% of all United States domestic beer production, excluding imports. During the last twenty years the number of breweries in the United States has increased significantly from approximately 1,500 in 2009 to over 8,000 in 2019. Most of these new breweries are craft (small and independent) brewers. The rise of craft breweries along with the growth of imported beers has resulted in a significant decline in the volume of the two largest breweries who now comprise approximately 70% of all United States domestic beer production, excluding imports.
The Company’s beers, hard seltzers and hard ciders are primarily positioned in the market for High End beer occasions. The Company defines “High End” beers as including craft beers, domestic specialty beers, most imported beer, hard cider, flavored malt beverages and hard seltzer that are called for by a High End beer drinker occasion. High End beers and beer occasions (the “High End category”) are determined by higher price, quality, image and taste, as compared with regular domestic beers. This category has seen high single-digit compounded
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annual growth over the past ten years. The Company believes that the High End category is positioned to increase market share, as drinkers continue to trade up in taste and quality. Boston Beer is one of the largest suppliers in the High End category in the United States. The Company estimates that in 2019 the High End category percentage volume growth was approximately 11%, with the craft beer category volume growth approximately 5%, and total beer category volume growth approximately 2%.
The Company believes that the High End category is now over 30% of the United States beer market and the Company has approximately an 8% market share of the High End category.  
The domestic beer industry, excluding the High End category, has experienced a decline in shipment volume over the last twenty years. The Company believes that this decline is due to declining alcohol consumption per person in the population, drinkers trading up to drink high quality, more flavorful beers, health and wellness trends and increased competition from wine and spirits companies.
The Company’s Twisted Tea products compete within the flavored malt beverage (“FMB”) category of the beer industry (and the Company’s Twisted Tea products are included in generic references to the Company’s “beers” in this report). The Company believes that the FMB category comprises approximately 4% of United States beer consumption and that the volume comprising the FMB category grew approximately 2% in 2019. This category is highly competitive due to, among other factors, the presence of large brewers and spirits companies in the category and a fast pace of product innovation.
The Truly Hard Seltzer brand competes within the hard seltzer category that has similar characteristics to the beer industry for reporting and regulatory purposes. This category is growing rapidly in its early stages of development over the last 4 years and is highly competitive and includes large international and domestic competitors. The Company believes that the hard seltzer category comprises approximately 3% of United States beer consumption and estimates that category volume grew approximately 250% in 2019.
The Company’s Angry Orchard ciders compete within the hard cider category that has similar characteristics to the beer industry. The Company believes that the hard cider category comprises less than 1% of United States beer consumption. This category is small and highly competitive and includes large international and domestic competitors, as well as many small regional and local hard cider companies. The hard cider category experienced very fast growth until a slowing beginning in 2015, a return to growth in 2018 and a decline in 2019. The Company estimates the category volume declined approximately 5% in 2019.
Description of Business
The Company’s business goal is to become the leading supplier in the High End category by creating and offering high quality alcohol beverages. With the support of a large, well-trained sales organization and world-class brewers, the Company strives to achieve this goal by offering great beers, hard seltzers and hard ciders, and increasing brand availability and awareness through traditional media and digital advertising,
point-of-sale,
promotional programs and drinker education.
The Company’s Dogfish Head Brewery Transaction
On May 8, 2019, the Company entered into definitive agreements to acquire Dogfish Head Brewery (“Dogfish Head”) and various related operations (the “Transaction”), through the acquisition of all of the equity interests held by certain private entities in
Off-Centered
Way LLC, the parent holding company of the Dogfish Head operations. In accordance with these agreements, the Company made a payment of $158.4 million, which was placed in escrow pending the satisfaction of certain closing conditions. The Transaction closed on July 3, 2019, for total consideration of $336.0 million consisting of $173.0 million in cash and 429,291 shares of restricted Class A Common Stock that had an aggregate market value as of July 3, 2019 of $163.0 million, after taking into account a post-closing cash related adjustment. As required under the definitive agreements, 127,146 of the 429,291 shares of restricted Class A Stock were placed in escrow and will be released no later than July 3, 2029.
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These shares had a market value on July 3, 2019 of $48.3 million. The timing of the release of these escrowed shares is primarily related to the continued employment with the Company of Samuel A. Calagione III, one of the two Dogfish Head founders. As part of the transaction, distribution rights to the Dogfish Head brand outside of the United States and Canada were retained by the Dogfish Head founders. The fair value of the Transaction is estimated at approximately $317.7 million.
The results of operations from Dogfish Head have been included in the Company’s consolidated statements of operations since the July 3, 2019 Transaction closing date. During the period from July 3, 2019 to December 28, 2019, Dogfish Head represented $48.5 million of the Company’s total revenue and $4.8 million of total net income. The Company estimates that transaction-related and other
non-recurring
costs incurred and to be incurred as a result of the Transaction will total approximately $12.0 million. Of this total, $10.0 million had been expensed as of December 28, 2019 and consists of $3.3 million in transaction costs and $6.7 million in other
non-recurring
costs. Of the $10.0 million costs incurred, $7.8 million were recorded in general and administrative expense and $2.2 million were recorded in cost of goods sold within in the accompanying statements of comprehensive income
Consistent with prior periods and considering post-merger reporting structures, the Company will continue to report as one operating segment. The combined Company’s brands are predominantly beverages that are manufactured using similar production processes, have comparable alcohol content, generally fall under the same regulatory environment, and are sold to the same types of customers in similar size quantities at similar price points and through the same channels of distribution.
The Company’s Beer, Hard Seltzer and Hard Cider Business
The Company’s beers, hard seltzers and hard cider are sold by the Company’s sales force to the same types of customers and drinkers in similar size quantities, at similar price points and through substantially the same channels of distribution. These beverages are manufactured using similar production processes, have comparable alcohol content and generally fall within the same regulatory environment.
The Company’s strategy is to create and offer a world-class variety of traditional and innovative alcohol beverages. The Samuel Adams, Twisted Tea, Truly Hard Seltzer, Angry Orchard brands are all available nationally, while Dogfish Head is currently available in over 45 states and is expected to be available nationally during the first half of 2020. Local breweries brands focus on local and regional distribution and tap rooms. The Samuel Adams brand began in 1984 and the brand is recognized as one of the largest and most respected craft beer brands with a particular focus on lagers and seasonal beers. The Twisted Tea brand family has grown each year since the product was first introduced in 2001 and has established a loyal drinker following. In 2016, the Company began national distribution of the Truly Hard Seltzer brand and it maintained its place as one of the leading brands in the hard seltzer category in 2019. The Angry Orchard brand family was launched in the second half of 2011 in several markets and achieved national distribution in 2012. Since 2013, Angry Orchard has been the largest selling hard cider in the United States. The Dogfish Head brand is recognized as one of the most innovative and respected craft beer brands with a particular focus on India Pale Ales (“IPAs”) and sour beers. A&S Brewing had three brands in 2019, Angel City
®
, Coney Island
®
and Concrete Beach
®
.
The Company sells its beverages in various packages. Kegs are sold primarily for
on-premise
retailers, which include bars, restaurants, stadiums and other venues. Bottles, traditional cans and sleek cans are sold primarily for
off-premise
retailers, which include grocery stores, club stores, convenience stores and liquor stores.
The Company offers over 20 styles of beer in the Samuel Adams brand family and the brand is recognized for helping launch the craft beer industry. Samuel Adams Boston Lager
®
is the Company’s flagship beer that was first introduced in 1984. The Samuel Adams Seasonal program of beers was originally introduced in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. These beers are brewed specifically for limited periods of time and in 2019 included Samuel Adams Cold Snap
®
, Samuel Adams Summer Ale, Samuel Adams OctoberFest, and Samuel Adams
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Winter Lager. The majority of the promotional and distribution efforts for the Samuel Adams brand family are focused on Samuel Adams Boston Lager and the Samuel Adams Seasonal program of beers in various bottle, can and keg packages. After some test launches in late 2017, the Company began the national launch in the first quarter of 2018 of Samuel Adams Sam ’76, a revolutionary beer that is a uniquely flavorful lager. Later in 2018 and on a more limited basis, the Company launched Samuel Adams New England IPA, a hazy unfiltered IPA with citrusy hop flavor. Sam ’76 and Samuel Adams New England IPA are viewed as important innovations and opportunities for sales volume growth within the Samuel Adams brand family.
Certain Samuel Adams beers may be produced only at select times during the year and solely for inclusion in the Company’s seasonal variety packs that are available nationally. Additionally, beginning in 2011 the Company began limited releases of certain seasonal beers. In 2019, these limited seasonal release beers included Samuel Adams Bavarian Lager, Samuel Adams Porch Rocker
®
, Samuel Adams Kosmic Sour and Samuel Adams White Christmas. The Samuel Adams Brewmaster’s Collection and Samuel Adams Rebel
®
IPA family include various styles of beer that are an important part of the Company’s portfolio and heritage, but currently receive limited promotional support and distribution. The Company also releases a variety of specialty package and draft beers brewed in limited quantities for festivals and Beer Week celebrations and at its Samuel Adams Downtown Boston Tap Room, Samuel Adams Boston Brewery Tap Room and Samuel Adams Cincinnati Brewery Tap Room.
The Company offers eleven styles of flavored malt beverages in the Twisted Tea brand family, most of which are available nationally in both the United States and Canada. The majority of the promotional and distribution efforts for the Twisted Tea brand family are focused on Twisted Tea Original and Twisted Tea Half and Half in various can packages.
The Company offers seventeen styles of hard seltzer in the Truly brand family most of which are available nationally in the United States. The majority of the promotional and distribution efforts for the Truly brand family are focused on sleek can variety packages which include Truly Berry Mix Pack, Truly Citrus Mix Pack, Truly Tropical Mix Pack and Truly Lemonade Seltzer Mix Pack.
The Company offers twenty-five styles of hard cider in the Angry Orchard brand family most of which are available nationally in the United States. The majority of the promotional and distribution efforts for the Angry Orchard brand family are focused on Angry Orchard Crisp Apple, Angry Orchard Rosé and Angry Orchard Crisp Unfiltered in various bottle, can and keg packages.
The Company offers over 25 styles of beer in the Dogfish Head brand family. The Company is in the process of increasing distribution from over 45 states to full national distribution in the United States. The Dogfish Head brand began in 1993 and it is recognized as an early leader in bringing culinary innovations to the U.S. craft beer market. The majority of the promotional and distribution efforts for the Dogfish Head brand family are focused on continually-hopped Dogfish Head 60 Minute and 90 Minute IPAs along with Dogfish Head SeaQuench, an innovative session sour, and Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty a low calorie IPA. These four styles are offered in various can, bottle and keg packages. The Company also offers over 15 styles of distilled spirits under the Dogfish Head brand in small quantities and to limited markets. The Company does not own the rights outside of the United States and Canada for the Dogfish Head beer and distilled spirits brands.
The Company continually evaluates the performance of its various beer, hard seltzer and hard cider products and the rationalization of its product line as a whole. Periodically, the Company discontinues certain styles and packages. Certain styles or brands put on hiatus or discontinued in previous years may be produced for the Company’s variety packs or reintroduced.
Product and Packaging Innovations
The Company has a proven track record of innovation and building new brands and is committed to maintaining its position as a leading innovator. To that end, the Company continually tests new beers, hard seltzers and hard
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ciders and other alcohol beverages and may sell them under various brand labels for evaluation of drinker interest. The Boston Brewery, the Milton Brewery and the Orchard, along with its other larger breweries and brewery tap rooms spend significant time ideating, testing and developing alcohol beverages for the Company’s potential future commercial development and evaluating ingredients and process improvements for existing beverages.
In the last two years, the Company introduced new styles, flavors and packages which include Angry Orchard Rosé, Truly Berry Variety Pack, Truly Tropical Variety Pack, Sam’76, Samuel Adams New England IPA, Angry Orchard Crisp Unfiltered and Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty, as well as new brands which include Wild Leaf Hard Tea, a craft hard tea, and Tura Alcoholic Kombucha, an alcoholic kombucha tea. Many of these new product innovations are within the top product introductions in their respective categories. The Company is currently in the early stages of the national launch of the Truly Lemonade Hard Seltzer Variety Pack, an innovative hard seltzer with a robust flavor, 100 calories and 1 gram of sugar.
In 2013, the Company completed a
two-year
research effort to develop a beer can to improve the experience of the beer drinker who chooses to drink from a can. The features of this custom Sam can include a wider lid with an opening slightly further from the edge of the lid, an extended lip and an hourglass ridge, all of which features are believed by the Company to enhance the craft beer drinker’s experience relative to a traditional beverage can. Currently, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Samuel Adams Seasonal beers, Samuel Adams Sam ’76, Samuel Adams New England IPA, Samuel Adams Rebel IPA beers and some of the A&S Brewing beers are available in this uniquely-designed can.
Sales, Distribution and Marketing
As dictated by the legal and regulatory environment, most all of the Company’s sales are made to a network of over 400 wholesalers in the United States and to a network of foreign wholesalers, importers or other agencies (collectively referred to as “Distributors”). These Distributors, in turn, sell the products to retailers, such as grocery stores, club stores, convenience stores, liquor stores, bars, restaurants, stadiums and other retail outlets, where the products are sold to drinkers, and in some limited circumstances to parties who act as
sub-distributors.
The Company sells its products predominantly in the United States, but also has markets in Canada, Europe, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, the Pacific Rim, Mexico, and Central and South America.
With few exceptions, the Company’s products are not the primary brands in its Distributors’ portfolios. Thus, the Company, in addition to competing with other beers, hard seltzers and hard ciders for a share of the drinker’s business, competes with other brewers for a share of the Distributor’s attention, time and selling efforts. During 2019, the Company’s largest Distributor accounted for approximately 2% of the Company’s gross sales. The top three Distributors collectively accounted for approximately 6% of the Company’s gross sales. In some states and countries, the Company’s contracts with its Distributors may be affected by laws that restrict the enforcement of some contract terms, especially those related to the Company’s right to terminate the relationship.
Most products are shipped within days of packaging, resulting in limited product order backlog. The Company has historically received most of its orders from domestic Distributors in the first week of a month for products to be shipped the following month and the Distributor would then carry three to five weeks of packaged inventory (usually at ambient temperatures) and three to four weeks of draft inventory.
In an effort to reduce both the time and temperature the Company’s beers experience at Distributor warehouses before reaching the retail market, the Company introduced its Freshest Beer Program with domestic Distributors in several markets. The goal of the Freshest Beer Program is to work in cooperation with the Distributors to provide better
on-time
service, forecasting and production planning, substantially reducing Distributor inventory levels. At the close of its 2019 fiscal year, the Company had Distributors representing approximately 73% of the Company’s domestic volume participating in the Program. The Company has successfully reduced the inventories of participating Distributors in the aggregate by approximately two weeks, resulting in fresher beer
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being delivered to retail. The Freshest Beer Program has significantly changed the ordering process for participating Distributors and has resulted in a shorter period between order placement and shipment and a resulting reduction in open orders.
In 2018 and 2019, in response to anticipated supply chain constraints and demand forecasts driven by the Truly Hard Seltzer and Twisted Tea brands, the Company began working with certain Distributors on plans to increase Distributor inventories of these brands to ensure that drinker demand can be met during seasonal peaks during the summer months. The Company believes distributor inventory as of December 28, 2019 averaged approximately 4 weeks on hand and was at an appropriate level, based on supply chain capacity constraints and inventory requirements to support the forecasted growth. The Company expects wholesaler inventory levels in terms of weeks on hand to remain between 3 and 5 weeks for most of 2020.
Boston Beer has a sales force of approximately 430 people, which the Company believes is one of the largest in the domestic beer industry. The Company’s sales organization is designed to develop and strengthen relations at the Distributor, retailer and drinker levels by providing educational and promotional programs. The Company’s sales force has a high level of product knowledge and is trained in the details of the brewing and selling processes. Sales representatives typically carry samples of the Company’s beers, hard seltzers and hard ciders, certain ingredients, such as hops and barley, and other promotional materials to educate wholesale and retail buyers about the quality and taste of the Company’s products. The Company has developed strong relationships with its Distributors and retailers, many of which have benefited from the Company’s premium pricing strategy and growth.
The Company also engages in media campaigns — including television, radio, digital and social media, billboards and print. These media efforts are complemented by participation in sponsorships, which currently include the National Hockey League, the Boston Red Sox, the Kentucky Derby, the Boston Marathon, local beer festivals, industry-related trade shows and promotional events at local establishments, to the extent permitted under local laws and regulations. The Company uses a wide array of
point-of-sale
items (banners, neon signs, umbrellas, glassware, display pieces, signs and menu stands) designed to stimulate impulse sales and continued awareness.
Corporate Social Responsibility
The Company’s core philanthropic initiative is Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream
®
. In partnership with ACCION, one of the nation’s largest
non-profit
micro-lenders, the program supports small business owners in the food, beverage, and brewing industries through access to business capital, coaching, and new market opportunities. The goal is to help strengthen small businesses, create local jobs and build vibrant communities. Since the inception of the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program in 2008, the Company and ACCION have worked together to loan more than $36 million to more than 2,300 small business owners who have subsequently repaid these loans at a rate of more than 96%. The loan repayments received are reinvested into the program. Boston Beer employees, together with local business partners and community organizations, have provided coaching and mentoring to more than 11,000 business owners across the country. These efforts have helped to create or maintain more than 8,750 local jobs.
Ingredients and Packaging
The Company has been successful to date in obtaining sufficient quantities of the ingredients used in the production of its beverages. These ingredients include:
Malt
.
The
two-row
varieties of barley used in the Company’s malt are mainly grown in the United States and Canada. The 2019 North American barley crop, which will support 2020 malt needs, was generally consistent with historical long-term averages with regard to both quality and quantity, though quality from key areas in Canada was again highly variable and in some cases below long term averages. The average booked 2019 barley
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crop prices were comparable to historical long-term averages. There has been a long-term trend of declining acres and production in North America against relatively stable malt demand. The Company purchased most of the malt used in the production of its beers from two suppliers during 2019. The Company currently has a multi-year contract with one of its suppliers and a
one-year
agreement with the other supplier. The Company also believes that there are other malt suppliers available that are capable of supplying its needs.
Hops
. The Company uses Noble hop varieties from Europe for many of its Samuel Adams beers and also uses hops grown in the other areas of Europe, and in the United States, England and New Zealand. Noble hops are grown in several specific areas recognized for growing hops with superior taste and aroma properties. These noble hops include Hallertau-Hallertauer, Tettnang-Tettnanger and Spalt-Spalter from Germany and Saaz from the Czech Republic. The United States hops, grown primarily in the Pacific Northwest, namely Cascade, Palisade
®
, Simcoe
®
, Centennial, Chinook, Citra
®
, Amarillo
®
, Warrior and Mosaic
®
are used in certain Company ales and lagers, as are the Southern Hemisphere hop varieties, Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin. Traditional English hops, namely, East Kent Goldings and Fuggles, are also used in certain Company ales. Other hop sources and varieties including new experimental varieties, such as Lotus
and Bru1
, are also tested from time to time and used in certain beers. The Company uses hops in various formats including
T-90
hop pellets,
T-45
hop pellets and CO2 Extract.
The European hop crop harvested in 2019 was consistent with historical long term averages in both quality and quantity. The United States hop crop harvested in 2019 was consistent with historical long term averages in quality, with an increase in overall quantity driven by expansion of planted acres in recent years. However, the demand for certain hops grown in the United States has risen dramatically due to the success and proliferation of craft brewers and the popularity of beer styles that include hop varieties grown in the United States, with the result that prices continue to rise for both spot purchases and forward contract pricing and occasionally certain United States hops are in tight supply until the next crop or beyond.
The Company enters into purchase commitments with nine primary hop dealers, based on the Company’s projected future volumes and brewing needs. The dealers either have the hops that are committed or will contract with farmers to meet the Company’s needs. The contracts with the hop dealers are denominated in Euros for the German and Czech Republic hops, in Pounds Sterling for some English hops, US Dollars for United States hops and New Zealand Dollars for the New Zealand hops. The Company does not currently hedge its forward currency commitments.
For the hop crop harvested in 2019, the Company expects to realize full delivery on European, United States and New Zealand hop contracts. The Company attempts to maintain a one to
two-year
supply of essential hop varieties
on-hand
in order to limit the risk of an unexpected reduction in supply and procures hops needed for new beers, based on its best estimate of likely short-term demand. The Company classifies hops inventory in excess of two years of forecasted usage in other long term assets.
The Company believes it has adequate inventory and commitments for all hop varieties. This belief is based on expected volume and beer style mix, both of which could ultimately be significantly different from what is currently planned. Variations to plan could result in hops shortages for specific beers or an excess of certain hops varieties.
The Company stores its hops in multiple cold storage warehouses to minimize the impact of a catastrophe at a single site.
Yeast
.
The Company uses multiple yeast strains for production of its beers, hard seltzers and hard ciders. While some strains are commercially available, other strains are proprietary. Since the proprietary strains cannot be replaced if destroyed, the Company protects these strains by storing multiple cultures of the same strain at different production locations and in several independent laboratories.
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Apples.
The Company uses special varieties and origins of apples in its hard ciders that it believes are important for their flavor profiles. In 2019, these apples were sourced primarily from Europe and the United States and include bittersweet apples from France and culinary apples from Italy, Washington State and New York. Purchases and commitments are denominated in Euros for European apples and US Dollars for United States apples. There is limited availability of some of these apple varieties, and many outside factors, including weather conditions, growers rotating from apples to other crops, competitor demand, government regulation and legislation affecting agriculture, could affect both price and supply. The 2019 apple crop in Europe for certain regions was lower than historical long-term averages, due to climate conditions. The 2019 apple crop in the United States was consistent with historical long-term averages. The Company has entered into contracts to cover its expected needs for 2020 and expects to realize full delivery against these contracts.
The Company uses the apple varieties harvested at the Company-owned Orchard in Walden, NY to experiment and develop new hard ciders for retail sales on site.
Other Ingredients
. The Company maintains competitive sources for most of the other ingredients used in the production of its beverages.
Packaging Materials
. The Company maintains competitive sources for the supply of certain packaging materials, such as cans, glass and shipping cases. The Company enters into limited-term supply agreements with certain vendors in order to receive preferential pricing. In 2019, crowns and labels were each supplied by a single source; however, the Company believes that alternative suppliers are available.
Truly Hard Seltzer beverages are primarily packaged in sleek cans. During 2018 and 2019, as the Truly brand family grew significantly and the Company experienced supply pressures on sleek cans. The demand for sleek cans in the beverage industry has significantly increased and there has been a shortage of capacity, as sleek can manufacturers attempt to adjust their supply chains to keep up with the increased demand.
The Company initiates bottle deposits in some states and reuses glass bottles that are returned pursuant to certain state bottle recycling laws. The Company derives some economic benefit from its reuse of returned glass bottles. The financial impact of reusing glass varies based on the costs of collection, sorting and handling, and arrangements with retailers, Distributors and dealers in recycled products. There is no guarantee that the current economics relating to the use of returned glass will continue or that the Company will continue to reuse returnable bottles.
Quality Assurance
As of December 28, 2019, the Company employed over sixteen brewmasters to monitor the Company’s brewing operations and control the production of its beers, hard seltzers and hard ciders both at Company-owned breweries and at the third-party breweries at which the Company’s products are brewed. Extensive tests, tastings and evaluations are typically required to ensure that each batch of the Company’s beers, hard ciders and hard seltzers conforms to the Company’s standards. The Company has
on-site
quality control labs at each of the Company-owned breweries and supports the smaller tap rooms and local breweries with additional centralized lab services.
With the exception of the Dogfish Head brand and certain specialty products, the Company includes a clearly legible “freshness” code on every bottle, can and keg of its beers, hard seltzer and hard ciders, in order to ensure that its drinkers enjoy only the freshest products. Boston Beer was the first American brewer to use this practice. The Dogfish Head brand will adopt this practice for most of its beers during 2020.
Production Strategy
During 2019, the Company brewed, fermented and packaged approximately 74% of its volume at breweries owned by the Company. The Company made capital investments in 2019 of approximately $94 million, most of
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which represented investments in the Company’s breweries. These investments were made to drive efficiencies and cost reductions and support product innovation and future growth. Based on its current estimates of future volumes and mix, the Company expects to invest between $135 million and $155 million in 2020 to meet those estimates. Because actual capital investments are highly dependent on meeting demand, the actual amount spent may well be significantly different from the Company’s current expectations.
The Pennsylvania Brewery, the Cincinnati Brewery and the Milton Brewery produce most of the Company’s shipment volume. The Pennsylvania Brewery is the Company’s largest brewery and the Cincinnati Brewery is the primary brewery for the production of most of the Company’s specialty, lower volume packaged bottle products. The Milton Brewery currently produces only Dogfish Head brand beers and distilled spirits.
Production and retail activities at the eight local breweries and tap rooms, which include the Samuel Adams Downtown Boston Tap Room, Samuel Adams Boston Brewery Tap Room, Samuel Adams Cincinnati Brewery Tap Room, Dogfish Head Brewing and Eats, Dogfish Head Milton Brewery Tasting Room and the three A&S Brewing breweries is mainly for brewing and packaging beers for retail sales on site at tap rooms and gift shops, restaurant activities, developing innovative and traditional beers and in some cases supporting draft and package accounts in the respective local market areas.
The Cidery’s production is mainly for developing new types of innovative hard ciders and fermenting and packaging ciders for retail sales on site at the cidery and gift shop and supporting draft and package accounts in the local market area.
The Company carefully selects breweries and packaging facilities owned by others with: (i) the capability of utilizing traditional brewing, fermenting and finishing methods; (ii) first-rate quality control capabilities throughout the process: and (iii) sleek can packaging and automated variety packaging capability and capacity. Under its brewing and packaging arrangements with third parties, the Company is charged a service fee based on units produced at each of the facilities and bears the costs of raw materials, risk, excise taxes and deposits for pallets and kegs and specialized equipment required to produce and package the Company’s beverages. The Company currently has a brewing services agreement with subsidiaries of City Brewing Company, LLC (“City Brewing”). During 2018 and 2019, the Company amended the brewing services agreement to include a minimum capacity availability commitment by City Brewing. The amendment grants the Company the right to extend the agreement beyond the December 31, 2021 termination date on an annual basis through December 31, 2029. The amendments require the Company to pay up to $26.5 million dollars for capital improvements at City Brewing facilities of which $20.5 million has been paid as of December 28, 2019 and the remaining amount of $6.0 million is expected to be paid in May 2020. During 2019, City Brewing supplied approximately 23% of the Company’s annual shipment volume.
The Company’s International business is supplied by breweries owned by the Company, under brewing and packaging agreements that may include packaging bulk shipments of beer and hard cider, and production under license at international locations.
While the Company believes that it has alternatives available to it, in the event that production at any of its locations is interrupted, severe interruptions at the Pennsylvania Brewery or City Brewing would be problematic, especially in seasonal peak periods. In addition, the Company may not be able to maintain its current economics, if interruptions were to occur, and could face significant delays in starting up replacement production locations. Potential interruptions at breweries include labor issues, governmental actions, quality issues, contractual disputes, machinery failures, operational shutdowns, or natural or other unavoidable catastrophes. Also, as the brewing industry has consolidated and the Company has grown, the capacity and willingness of breweries owned by others where the Company could produce some of its beers, hard seltzers and hard ciders, if necessary, has become a more significant concern. The Company would work with available contract brewers to attempt to minimize any potential disruptions.
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Competition
The High End category within the United States is highly competitive due to large domestic and international brewers and the increasing number of craft brewers in this category who distribute similar products that have similar pricing and target drinkers. The Company expects competition and innovation among domestic craft brewers to remain strong, as the number of craft brewers continues to grow. The Company estimates there are over 8,000 breweries in operation, up from approximately 1,500 operating breweries in 2009. Most of these new breweries are craft (small and independent) brewers. Also, existing craft breweries are building more capacity, adding additional local tap rooms, expanding geographically and adding more SKUs and styles.
Imported beers, such as Corona
®
, Heineken
®
, Modelo Especial
®
and Stella Artois
®
, continue to compete aggressively in the United States and have gained market share over the last ten years. Heineken and Constellation Brands (owner of the United States Distribution rights to Corona and Modelo Especial) may have substantially greater financial resources, marketing strength and distribution networks than the Company. The two largest brewers in the United States, AB InBev and Molson Coors, participate actively in the High End category, both through importing and distributing foreign brands that compete in the High End category and with their own domestic specialty beers, either by developing new brands or by acquiring, in whole or part, existing craft breweries. In addition, AB InBev’s High End Division and Molson Coors’ Tenth and Blake were formed as business units headquartered in the United States that are focused exclusively on competing in the High End category.
There have been numerous announcements of acquisitions of or investments in craft brewers by larger breweries and private equity and other investors. Most recently a unit of global brewer Kirin Holdings Co. announced the acquisition of New Belgium Brewing, the fourth largest craft brewer, for a reported amount of $350 to $400 million. Earlier in 2019, global brewer Mahou San Miguel increased its ownership of Founders Brewing Co. from 30% to 90% for a reported valuation of approximately $300 million. The most significant acquisitions in the last few years include Heineken’s acquisition of Lagunitas Brewing Company for approximately $1 billion, Constellation Brands’ acquisition of Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits for approximately $1 billion, AB InBev’s purchase of multiple craft breweries, including Elysian Brewing Company, Golden Road Brewing, Four Peaks Brewing Company, Breckenridge Brewing, Devils Backbone, Karbach, Wicked Weed, Platform Beer and Craft Brew Alliance, and Molson Coors’ purchase of multiple craft breweries, including Hop Valley Brewing, Saint Archer Brewery and Revolver Brewing. AB InBev also acquired Spiked Seltzer, a previously independent hard seltzer company.
The Company’s products also compete with other alcoholic beverages for drinker attention and consumption and the pace of innovation in the categories in which the Company competes is increasing. In recent years, wine and spirits have been competing more directly with beers. The Company monitors such activity and attempts to develop strategies which benefit from the drinker’s interest in trading up, in order to position its beers, hard seltzers and hard ciders competitively with wine and spirits.
The Company competes with other beer and alcoholic beverage companies within a three-tier distribution system. The Company competes for a share of the Distributor’s attention, time and selling efforts. In retail establishments, the Company competes for shelf, cold box and tap space. From a drinker perspective, competition exists for brand acceptance and loyalty. The principal factors of competition in the market for High End beer occasions include product quality and taste, brand advertising and imagery, trade and drinker promotions, pricing, packaging and the development of innovative new products.
The Company distributes its products through independent Distributors who also distribute competitors’ products. Certain brewers have contracts with their Distributors that impose requirements on the Distributors that are intended to maximize the Distributors’ attention, time and selling efforts on that brewer’s products. These contracts generally result in increased competition among brewers as the contracts may affect the manner in which a Distributor allocates selling effort and investment to the brands included in its portfolio. The Company closely monitors these and other trends in its Distributor network and works to develop programs and tactics intended to best position its products in the market.
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The Company has certain competitive advantages over the local and regional craft brewers, including a long history of awards for product quality, greater available resources and the ability to distribute and promote its products on a more cost-effective basis. Additionally, the Company believes it has competitive advantages over imported beers, including lower transportation costs, higher product quality, a lack of import charges and superior product freshness.
The Company’s Twisted Tea product line competes primarily within the FMB category of the beer industry. FMBs, such as Twisted Tea, Mike’s Hard Lemonade
®
, Smirnoff Ice
®
, Bud Light Lime
®
Ritas, Redd’s
®
Apple Ale, Seagrams Escapes
®
, Arnold Palmer Spiked are flavored malt beverages that are typically priced competitively with High End beers. As noted earlier, this category is highly competitive due to, among other factors, the presence of large brewers and spirits companies in the category, the advertising of malt-based spirits brands in channels not available to the parent brands and a fast pace of product innovation.
The Company’s Truly Hard Seltzer beverages compete within the hard seltzer category. This category has been growing quickly since 2016, is highly competitive and includes large international and domestic competitors. Hard seltzers are typically priced competitively with High End beers and may compete for drinkers with beer, wine, spirits, or FMBs. Some of these competitors include Mark Anthony Brands under the brand name “White Claw”; ABInBev under “Bon & Viv’s” and “Natural Light Seltzer”; Diageo under “Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer”; and MolsonCoors under “Henry’s Hard Sparkling Water”. The Company expects numerous additional entrants in the hard seltzer category during 2020, as the category continues to develop distribution and drinker awareness. Most significantly, ABInbev introduced and launched nationally “Bud Light Hard Seltzer” in January 2020 and Constellation has announced that “Corona Hard Seltzer” will be introduced and launched nationally in Spring 2020. In addition, Molson Coors has announced that it will introduce “Vizzy Hard Seltzer” in March 2020.
The Company’s Angry Orchard product line competes within the hard cider category. As noted earlier, this category is small and highly competitive and includes large international and domestic competitors, as well as many small regional and local hard cider companies. Hard ciders are typically priced competitively with High End Beers and may compete for drinkers with beer, wine, spirits, or FMBs. Some of these competitors include C&C Group PLC under the brand names ‘Woodchuck’, ‘Magners’ and ‘Hornsby’s’; Heineken under the brand names ‘Strongbow’; AB InBev under ‘Stella Cidre’ and ‘Virtue Cider’ and MillerCoors under the brand names ‘Smith & Forge Hard Cider’ and ‘Crispin Cider’. In recent years, regional and local cideries, including ‘Bold Rock’ and ‘Austin East Ciders’, have built businesses that have gained share locally at the expense of the national brands.
Regulation and Taxation
The alcoholic beverage industry is regulated by federal, state and local governments. These regulations govern the production, sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages, including permitting, licensing, marketing and advertising. To operate its production facilities, the Company must obtain and maintain numerous permits, licenses and approvals from various governmental agencies, including but not limited to, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (the “TTB”), the Food and Drug Administration, state alcohol regulatory agencies and state and federal environmental agencies.
Governmental entities may levy various taxes, license fees and other similar charges and may require bonds to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Beginning in 2018, as a result of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, the Company’s federal excise tax rate on beer and hard seltzer is $16 per barrel on all barrels below 6 million barrels produced annually. The top tier rate on hard cider (with alcohol by volume of 8.5% or less) is $0.226 per gallon, on hard cider (with
non-qualifying
fermentable fruits) is $1.07 per gallon, and on artificially carbonated wine (hard cider with high CO2 levels) is $3.30 per gallon. Prior to 2018, the federal excise tax on beer and hard seltzer was $18 per barrel, on hard cider (with alcohol by volume of 8.5% or less) was $0.226 per gallon, on hard cider (with
non-qualifying
fermentable fruits) was $1.07 per gallon, and on artificially carbonated
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wine (hard cider with high CO2 levels) was $3.30 per gallon. These lower rates for beer, hard seltzer and hard cider were extended in December 2019 and currently expire at the end of 2020. States levy excise taxes at varying rates based on the type of beverage and alcohol content. Failure by the Company to comply with applicable federal, state or local laws and regulations could result in higher taxes, penalties, fees and suspension or revocation of permits, licenses or approvals. While there can be no assurance that any such regulatory action would not have a material adverse effect upon the Company or its operating results, the Company is not aware of any infraction affecting any of its licenses or permits that would materially impact its ability to continue its current operations.
Trademarks
The Company has obtained trademark registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for over 450 trademarks, including Samuel Adams
®
, Sam Adams
®
, Samuel Adams Boston Lager
®
, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream
®
, Twisted Tea
®
, Truly Hard Seltzer
®
, Angry Orchard
®
, Dogfish Head
®
, Coney Island
®
, Angel City Brewery
®
, Concrete Beach
®
, Wild Leaf
®
, and Tura
®
.. It also has a number of common law trademarks. Several Company trademarks are also registered or have registrations pending in various foreign countries. The Company regards its trademarks as having substantial value and as being an important factor in the marketing of its products. The Company is not aware of any trademark infringements that could materially affect its current business or any prior claim to the trademarks that would prevent the Company from using such trademarks in its business. The Company’s policy is to pursue registration of its marks whenever appropriate and to oppose infringements of its marks through available enforcement options.
Environmental, Health and Safety Regulations and Operating Considerations
The Company’s operations are subject to a variety of extensive and changing federal, state and local environmental and occupational health and safety laws, regulations and ordinances that govern activities or operations that may have adverse effects on human health or the environment. Environmental laws, regulations or ordinances may impose liability for the cost of remediation of, and for certain damages resulting from, sites of past releases of hazardous materials. The Company believes that it currently conducts, and in the past has conducted, its activities and operations in substantial compliance with applicable environmental laws, and believes that any costs arising from existing environmental laws will not have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition or results of operations.
As part of its efforts to be environmentally friendly, the Company has adopted a number of practices designed to improve recycling and reduce waste, and utilities consumption at its breweries. The Company also continues to reuse its glass bottles returned from certain states that have bottle deposit bills. The Company believes that it benefits economically from washing and reusing these bottles, which result in a lower cost than purchasing new glass, and that it benefits the environment by the reduction in landfill usage, the reduction of usage of raw materials and the lower utility costs for reusing bottles versus producing new bottles. The economics of using recycled glass varies based on the cost of collection, sorting and handling, and may be affected by local regulation, retailer, Distributor, and glass dealer behavior. There is no guarantee that the current economics of using returned glass will continue, or that the Company will continue its current used glass practices.
The Company has adopted various policies and procedures intended to ensure that its facilities meet occupational health and safety requirements. The Company believes that it currently is in compliance with applicable requirements and will continue to endeavor to remain in compliance. There can be no assurances, however, that new and more restrictive requirements might not be adopted, compliance with which might have a material, adverse financial effect on the Company and its operating results, or that such policies and procedures will be consistently followed and be sufficient to prevent serious accidents.
Employees
As of December 28, 2019, the Company employed 2,128 people, of which 81 were covered by collective bargaining agreements at the Cincinnati Brewery. The collective bargaining agreements involve three labor
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unions, with one contract that covers 66 employees expiring in 2025, one contract expiring in 2020, and one contract expiring in 2022. The Company believes it maintains a good working relationship with all three labor unions and has no reason to believe that the good working relationship will not continue. The Company has experienced no work stoppages and believes that its employee relations are good.
Other
The Company submitted the Section 12(a) CEO Certification to the New York Stock Exchange in accordance with the requirements of Section 303A of the NYSE Listed Company Manual. This Annual Report on Form
10-K
contains at Exhibits 31.1 and 31.2 the certifications of the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, respectively, in accordance with the requirements of Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The Company makes available free of charge copies of its Annual Report on Form
10-K,
as well as other reports required to be filed by Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, on the Company’s investor relations website at
www.bostonbeer.com
, or upon written request to Investor Relations, The Boston Beer Company, Inc., One Design Center Place, Suite 850, Boston, Massachusetts 02210.
Item 1A.
Risk Factors
 
In addition to the other information in this Annual Report on Form
10-K,
the risks described below should be carefully considered before deciding to invest in shares of the Company’s Class A Common Stock. These are risks and uncertainties that management believes are most likely to be material and therefore are most important for an investor to consider. The Company’s business operations and results may also be adversely affected by additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to it, or which it currently deems immaterial, or which are similar to those faced by other companies in its industry or business in general. If any of the following risks or uncertainties actually occurs, the Company’s business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows would likely suffer. In that event, the market price of the Company’s Class A Common Stock could decline.
The Company Faces Substantial Competition.
The market for High End beer occasions within the United States is highly competitive, due to the increasing number of domestic and international beverage companies with similar pricing and target drinkers, gains in market share achieved by domestic specialty beers and imported beers, the acquisition of craft brewers by larger brewers and the introduction and expansion of hard seltzers. Some of the largest of these competitors include AB InBev, Molson Coors, Constellation, Heineken and Mark Anthony Brands as they acquire craft brewers or introduce new domestic specialty brands and hard seltzers to many markets and expand their efforts behind existing brands. Imported beers, such as Corona
®
, Heineken
®
, Modelo Especial
®
and Stella Artois
®
, also continue to compete aggressively in the United States beer market. The Company anticipates competition among domestic craft brewers will remain strong, as many local craft brewers continue to experience growth and there were many new startups in 2019. The Company estimates there are now over 8,000 breweries in operation up from approximately 1,500 breweries in 2009. Also, existing breweries are building more capacity, adding additional local tap rooms, expanding geographically and adding more SKUs and styles. The continued growth in the sales of craft-brewed domestic beers, imported beers and hard seltzers is expected to increase the competition in the market for High End beer occasions within the United States and, as a result, prices and market share of the Company’s products may fluctuate and possibly decline.
The Company’s products compete generally with other alcoholic beverages. The Company competes with other beer and beverage companies not only for drinker acceptance and loyalty, but also for shelf, cold box and tap space in retail establishments and for marketing focus by the Company’s Distributors and their customers, all of which also distribute and sell other beers and alcoholic beverage products. Many of the Company’s competitors, including AB InBev, Molson Coors, Heineken and Constellation Brands, have substantially greater financial resources, marketing strength and distribution networks than the Company. Moreover, the introduction of new products by competitors that compete directly with the Company’s products or that diminish the importance of
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the Company’s products to retailers or Distributors may have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business and financial results.
Further, the beer industry has seen continued consolidation among brewers in order to take advantage of cost savings opportunities for supplies, distribution and operations. Illustrative of this consolidation is AB InBev’s $107 billion purchase of SAB Miller and the related sale by SAB Miller to Molson Coors of its 58% share of the MillerCoors joint venture with Molson Coors, as well as Heineken’s acquisition of Lagunitas Brewing Company for approximately $1 billion. Also, in the last few years, both AB InBev and Molson Coors have purchased multiple regional craft breweries with the intention to expand the capacity and distribution of these breweries. Due to the increased leverage that these combined operations will have in distribution and sales and marketing expenses, the costs to the Company of competing could increase. The potential also exists for these large competitors to increase their influence with their Distributors, making it difficult for smaller brewers to maintain their market presence or enter new markets. The continuing consolidation could also reduce the contract brewing capacity that is available to the Company. These potential increases in the number and availability of competing brands, the costs to compete, reductions in contract brewing capacity and decreases in distribution support and opportunities may have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business and financial results.
There Is No Assurance of Continued Growth and that the Company Can Adapt to the Challenges of the Changing Competitive Environment.
From 2015 to 2017, the Company experienced a decline in the demand for its products, as craft beer growth rates slowed and the hard cider category declined. In 2018 and 2019, the Company experienced increases in demand for its products, driven by growth in its Truly and Twisted Tea brands, and grew 13% and 22% respectively in depletion volume compared to prior years. The Company is targeting shipment and depletion volume growth of between 15% and 25% in 2020. The Company’s ability to sustain double digit growth trends may be affected by an increasing number of competitors and markets where drinker interest is primarily in new or local products, rather than national brands. The development of new products by the Company to meet these challenges may lead to reduced sales of the Company’s existing brands and there is no guarantee that these new product initiatives will generate stable long term volume. Additionally, changes in the use of media and technology are changing the economics of how to market brands to drinkers and may be diminishing the traditional competitive advantage the Company may have had in buying national media relative to smaller brands. While the Company believes that a combination of innovation, new brand messaging and exploration of new media, and increased investment and sales execution can lead to increased demand, there is no guarantee that the Company’s actions will be successful in maintaining the Company’s historical levels of profitability. Reduced sales, among other factors, could lead to lower brewery utilization, lower funds available to invest in brand support and reduced profitability, and these challenges may require a different mix and level of marketing investments to stabilize and grow volumes. A lower growth environment or periods of sales declines will present challenges for the Company to motivate and retain employees, and to maintain the current levels of distributor and retailer support of its brands, it’s current brand investment levels, and current returns to shareholders, and could potentially require a review of long term organization and brewery needs. Currently, the Company believes it can continue to grow in 2020 and in future years but there is no guarantee it will be successful.
The Company’s Advertising and Promotional Investments May Affect the Company’s Financial Results but Not be Effective.
The Company has incurred, and expects to continue to incur, significant advertising and promotional expenditures to enhance its brands. These expenditures may adversely affect the Company’s results of operations in a particular quarter or even for the full year, and may not result in increased sales. Variations in the levels of advertising and promotional expenditures have in the past caused, and are expected in the future to continue to cause, variability in the Company’s quarterly results of operations. While the Company attempts to invest only in effective advertising and promotional activities, it is difficult to correlate such investments with sales results, and there is no guarantee that the Company’s expenditures will be effective in building brand equity or growing long term sales.
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Changes in Public Attitudes and Drinker Tastes Could Harm the Company’s Business. Regulatory Changes in Response to Public Attitudes Could Adversely Affect the Company’s Business.
The alcoholic beverage industry has been the subject of considerable societal and political attention for several years, due to public concern over alcohol-related social problems, including driving under the influence, underage drinking and health consequences from the misuse of alcohol, including alcoholism. As an outgrowth of these concerns, the possibility exists that advertising by beer producers could be restricted, that additional cautionary labeling or packaging requirements might be imposed, that further restrictions on the sale of alcohol might be imposed or that there may be renewed efforts to impose increased excise or other taxes on beer sold in the United States.
The domestic beer industry, other than the market for High End beer occasions, has experienced a slight decline in shipments over the last ten years. The Company believes that this decline is due to declining alcohol consumption per person in the population, drinkers trading up to drink high quality, more flavorful beers, health and wellness trends and increased competition from wine and spirits companies. If consumption of the Company’s products in general were to come into disfavor among domestic drinkers, or if the domestic beer industry were subjected to significant additional societal pressure or governmental regulations, the Company’s business could be materially adversely affected.
Certain states are considering or have passed laws and regulations that allow the sale and distribution of marijuana. Currently it is not possible to predict the impact of this on sales of alcohol, but it is possible that legal marijuana usage could adversely impact the demand for the Company’s products.
The Company Is Dependent on Its Distributors.
In the United States, where approximately 96% of its beer is sold, the Company sells most of its alcohol beverages to independent beer Distributors for distribution to retailers and, ultimately, to drinkers. Although the Company currently has arrangements with over 400 Distributors, sustained growth will require it to maintain such relationships and possibly enter into agreements with additional Distributors. Changes in control or ownership within the current distribution network could lead to less support of the Company’s products.
Contributing to distribution risk is the fact that the Company’s distribution agreements are generally terminable by the Distributor on relatively short notice. While these distribution agreements contain provisions giving the Company enforcement and termination rights, some state laws prohibit the Company from exercising these contractual rights. The Company’s ability to maintain its existing distribution arrangements may be adversely affected by the fact that many of its Distributors are reliant on one of the major beer producers for a large percentage of their revenue and, therefore, they may be influenced by such producers. If the Company’s existing distribution agreements are terminated, it may not be able to enter into new distribution agreements on substantially similar terms, which may result in an increase in the costs of distribution.
No assurance can be given that the Company will be able to maintain its current distribution network or secure additional Distributors on terms not less favorable to the Company than its current arrangements.
The Company’s Recent Acquisition of Dogfish Head Involves a Number of Risks, the Occurrence of Which Could Adversely Affect its Business, Financial Condition, and Operating Results.
On July 3, 2019, the Company completed its acquisition of Dogfish Head Brewery and various related operations, through the acquisition of all of the equity interests held by certain private entities in
Off-Centered
Way LLC, the parent holding company of the Dogfish Head Brewery operations. The Transaction involves certain risks, the occurrence of which could materially and adversely affect the Company’s business, liquidity, financial condition, and operating results, including:
  diversion of management’s attention to integrate Dogfish Head’s operations;
 
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  disruption to the Company’s existing operations and plans or inability to effectively manage its expanded operations;
 
 
 
  failure, difficulties or delays in securing, integrating and assimilating information, financial systems, internal controls, operations, production processes and products, or the distribution channel for Dogfish Head’s businesses and product lines;
 
 
 
  potential loss of key Dogfish Head employees, suppliers, distributors and drinkers or other adverse effects on existing business relationships with suppliers, distributors and drinkers;
 
 
 
  potential inability to fully integrate Dogfish Head’s distributor into the Company’s existing wholesaler network
 
 
 
  adverse impact on overall profitability, if the Company’s expanded operations do not achieve the growth prospects, net revenues, earnings, cost or revenue synergies, or other financial results projected in the Company’s valuation models, or delays in the realization thereof;
 
 
 
  reallocation of amounts of capital from the Company’s other strategic initiatives;
 
 
 
  inaccurate assessment of undisclosed, contingent or other liabilities of the acquired operations, unanticipated costs associated with the Transaction, and an inability to recover or manage such liabilities and costs; and
 
 
 
  impacts as a result of purchase accounting adjustments, incorrect estimates made in the accounting for the Transaction or the potential future
write-off
of significant amounts of goodwill, intangible assets and/or other tangible assets if the Dogfish Head business does not perform in the future as expected, or other potential financial accounting or reporting impacts
 
 
 
The Company cannot assure that it will realize the expected benefits of the Transaction or that the acquired Dogfish Head operations will be profitable. The Company’s failure to adequately manage the risks associated with the Transaction could have a material adverse effect on its business, liquidity, financial condition or results of operations.
Impact of Changes in Drinker Attitudes on Brand Equity and Inherent Risk of Reliance on the Company’s Founders in the Samuel Adams and Dogfish Head Brand Communications.
In addition to the societal and political risks discussed above, there is also no guarantee that the brand equities that the Company has built in its brands will continue to appeal to drinkers. Changes in drinker attitudes or demands, or competitor activity and promotion, could adversely affect the strength of the Company’s brands and the revenue that is generated from that strength. It is possible that the Company could react to such changes and reposition its brands, but there is no certainty that the Company would be able to maintain volumes, pricing power and profitability. It is also possible that marketing messages or other actions taken by the Company could damage its brand equities, as opposed to building them. If such damage were to occur, it would likely have a negative effect on the financial condition of the Company.
In addition to these inherent brand risks, C. James Koch, the founder and Chairman of the Company, as well as the founders of Dogfish Head brand, Samuel Calagione, Founder and Brewer, Dogfish Head Brewery and Mariah Calagione, Founder and Communitarian, Dogfish Head Brewery are an integral part of the Samuel Adams and Dogfish Head brand histories, equity and current and potential future brand messaging and the Company relies on the positive public perception of these founders. The role of these founders as founders, brewers and leaders of the Company is emphasized as part of the Company’s brand communication and has appeal to some drinkers. If these founders were not available to the Company to continue their active roles, their absence could negatively affect the strength of the Company’s messaging and, accordingly, the Company’s growth prospects. The Company and its brands may also be impacted if drinkers’ views of these founders were to change negatively. If either of these were to occur, the Company might need to adapt its strategy for communicating its key messages
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regarding its traditional brewing processes, brewing heritage and quality. Any such change in the Company’s messaging strategy might have a detrimental impact on the future growth of the Company.
Turnover in Company Leadership or Other Key Positions May Lead to Loss of Key Knowledge or Capability and Adversely Impact Company Performance.
In early 2017, the Company’s then President and Chief Executive Officer, Martin Roper, announced his plans to retire in 2018 after leading the Company for more than 17 years. In the second quarter of 2018, Dave Burwick joined as President and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to commencing that role, Mr. Burwick had an established track record of innovation and business success in the beverage and consumer goods industries and had served on Boston Beer’s Board of Directors since 2005. His most recent role was Chief Executive Officer of Peet’s Coffee and prior to joining Peet’s, Mr. Burwick served as President of North America for Weight Watchers and in numerous leadership roles over 20 years at PepsiCo, including Chief Marketing Officer of Pepsi-Cola North America. The Company may well experience further changes in key leadership or key positions in the future. The departure of key leadership personnel, especially a Chief Executive Officer, can take from the Company significant knowledge and experience. This loss of knowledge and experience can be mitigated through successful hiring and transition, but there can be no assurance that the Company will be successful in such efforts. Attracting, retaining, integrating and developing high performance individuals in key roles is a core component of the Company’s strategy for addressing its business opportunities. Attracting and retaining qualified senior leadership may be more challenging under adverse business conditions, such as the declining growth environment that faced the Company in prior years. Failure to attract and retain the right talent, or to manage the transition of responsibilities resulting from such turnover smoothly, would affect the Company’s ability to meet its challenges and may cause the Company to miss performance objectives or financial targets.
The Company has Significantly Increased its Product Offerings and Distribution Footprint, which Increases Complexity and Could Adversely Affect the Company’s Results.
The Company has significantly increased the number of commercially available beers, hard seltzers and hard ciders that it produces. In the last five years, the Company has introduced many new beers, hard seltzers and hard ciders under the Samuel Adams, Twisted Tea, Truly Hard Seltzer, Angry Orchard and three A&S Brewing brands. In early 2019, the Company introduced new brands including Wild Leaf Hard Tea, a craft hard tea, and Tura Alcoholic Kombucha, an alcoholic kombucha tea. In July 2019, the addition of the Dogfish Head brand added over 25 styles of beer, 15 styles of distilled spirits, two brewery tap rooms, a restaurant and a boutique Inn. In January 2020, the Company opened the Samuel Adams Tap Room and small brewery in downtown Boston. The Company currently operates 10 retail locations, including eight brewery tap rooms, a cidery tasting room and a restaurant, where its beers, hard seltzers, hard ciders and distilled spirits are sold and consumed
on-premise.
These additional brands and locations, along with the increases in demand for certain existing brands, have added to the complexity of the Company’s product development process, as well as its brewing, fermenting, packaging, marketing and selling processes and retail operations. There can be no assurance that the Company will effectively manage such increased complexity, without experiencing coordination issues, and operating inefficiencies, supply shortages or control deficiencies. Such inefficiencies or deficiencies could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business and financial results.
Impact of Reliance on Company-Owned Production Facilities, Reduced Availability of Breweries Owned by Others, and Inability to Leverage Investment in the Company-Owned Breweries Could Have A Material Adverse Effect on the Company’s Operations or Financial Results.
During 2019, the Company brewed, fermented and packaged approximately 74% of its volume at breweries owned by the Company. The Company expects to continue to produce the majority of its domestic volume in 2020 at its Company-owned breweries. This reliance on its own breweries exposes the Company to capacity constraints and risk of disruption of supply, as these breweries are operating at or close to current capacity in peak months. Management believes that it has alternatives available to it, in the event that production at any of its
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brewing locations is temporarily interrupted, although as volumes at the Pennsylvania Brewery increase, severe interruptions there would be problematic, particularly during peak seasons. In addition, if interruptions were to occur, the Company might not be able to maintain its current economics and could face significant delays in starting replacement brewing locations. Potential interruptions at breweries include labor issues, governmental action, quality issues, contractual disputes, machinery failures, operational shut downs or natural or unavoidable catastrophes.
The growth in the Company’s business and product complexity and the Company’s reliance on its owned breweries heighten the management challenges that the Company faces. In recent years, the Company has had product shortages and service issues. The Company’s supply chain struggled under the increased volume and experienced increased operational and freight costs as it reacted. In response to these issues, the Company has significantly increased its packaging capabilities and tank capacity and added personnel to address these challenges. There can be no assurance that the Company will effectively manage such increasing complexity without experiencing future planning failures, operating inefficiencies, insufficient employee training, control deficiencies or other issues that could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business and financial results. The prior growth of the Company, changes in operating procedures and increased complexity have required significant capital investment. To date, the Company on an overall basis has not seen operating cost leverage from these investments and there is no guarantee that it will.
The Company continues to avail itself of capacity at third-party breweries. During 2019, approximately 23% of the Company’s annual shipment volume was brewed and/or packaged under service agreements with City Brewing Company, LLC. In selecting third party breweries for brewing services arrangements, the Company carefully weighs a brewery’s capability of utilizing traditional brewing, fermenting and finishing methods, its quality control capabilities throughout the production process and sleek can packaging and automated variety packaging capability and capacity. To the extent that the Company needs to avail itself of a third-party brewing services arrangement, it exposes itself to higher than planned costs of operating under such contract arrangements than would apply at the Company-owned breweries, potential lower service levels and reliability than internal production, and potential unexpected declines in the brewing capacity available to it, any of which could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business and financial results. The use of such third party facilities also creates higher logistical costs and uncertainty in the ability to deliver product to the Company’s customers efficiently and on time.
As the beer industry continues to consolidate and the Company has grown, the capacity and willingness of breweries owned by others where the Company could brew, ferment or package some of its products, if necessary, has become a more significant concern and, thus, there is no guarantee that the Company’s needs will be uniformly met. The Company continues to work at its Company-owned breweries and with its contract brewers to attempt to minimize any potential disruptions. Nevertheless, should an interruption occur, the Company could experience temporary shortfalls in production and/or increased production and/or distribution costs and be required to make significant capital investments to secure alternative capacity for certain brands and packages, the combination of which could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business and financial results. A simultaneous interruption at several of the Company’s production locations or an unexpected interruption at one of the Company-owned breweries would likely cause significant disruption, increased costs and, potentially, lost sales.
The Company’s emphasis on owning production facilities requires it to continue to make a significant level of capital expenditure to maintain and improve these facilities and to incur significant fixed operating costs to support them. In an uncertain volume environment, the Company faces the risk of not being able to support the owned brewery operating costs, if volumes were to decline. At the same time, despite making these expenditures and incurring these costs, if demand were to increase significantly, the Company could still face the risk of not being able to meet the increased demand internally.
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The Company attempts to mitigate production and distribution risks through a combination of owned breweries and access to contract facilities, but there is no guarantee that this strategy is optimal, and it might result in short term costs and inefficiencies.
The Company is Dependent on Key Ingredient Suppliers, Including Foreign Sources; Its Dependence on Foreign Sources Creates Foreign Currency Exposure for the Company; The Company’s Use of Natural Ingredients Creates Weather and Crop Reliability and Excess/Shortage Inventory Exposure for the Company.
The Company purchases a substantial portion of the raw materials used in the brewing of its products, including its malt, hops and other ingredients, from a limited number of foreign and domestic suppliers. The Company purchased most of the malt used in the production of its beer from two suppliers during 2019. Nevertheless, the Company believes that there are other malt vendors available that are capable of supplying part of its needs. The Company is exposed to the quality of the barley crop each year, and significant failure of a crop would adversely affect the Company’s costs.
The Company predominantly uses Noble hops for its Samuel Adams lagers. Noble hops are varieties from several specific growing areas recognized for superior taste and aroma properties and include Hallertau-Hallertauer, Tettnang-Tettnanger, Hersbruck-Hersbrucker and Spalt-Spalter from Germany and
Saaz-Saazer
from the Czech Republic. Noble hops are rare and more expensive than most other varieties of hops. United States hops are used in most of the Company’s ales. The demand for hops grown in the United States has grown due to the success and growth of craft brewers and the popularity of beer styles that include hops grown in the United States. Certain United States hops are in tight supply and prices have risen for both spot purchases and forward contract pricing, accordingly. The Company enters into purchase commitments with several hops dealers, based on the Company’s projected future volumes and brewing needs. The dealers then contract with farmers to meet the Company’s needs. However, the performance and availability of the hops, as with any agricultural product, may be materially adversely affected by factors such as adverse weather or pests and there is no guarantee the contracts will be fulfilled completely. Further, the use of fertilizers and pesticides that do not conform to United States regulations, the imposition of export/import restrictions (such as increased tariffs and duties) and changes in currency exchange rates could result in increased prices or shortages of acceptable hops.
The Company attempts to maintain up to a
two-year
supply of essential hop varieties
on-hand
in order to limit the risk of an unexpected reduction in supply, but as the Company innovates, the availability of certain hop varieties for new products is likely significantly lower. The Company buys new hop varieties for its innovation based on its best estimate of demand and does not try to get to
two-year
supply on hand immediately. Given the imprecision of forecasting future volumes, the Company is at hop supply risk on certain varieties if its innovations are significantly more successful than expected. The Company stores its hops in multiple cold storage warehouses to minimize the impact of a catastrophe at a single site. Hops and malt are agricultural products and therefore many outside factors, including weather conditions, farmers rotating out of hops or barley to other crops, government regulations and legislation affecting agriculture, could affect both price and supply.
The Company’s accounting policy for hops inventory and purchase commitments is to recognize a loss by establishing a reserve to the extent inventory levels and commitments exceed management’s expected future usage. The computation of the excess inventory requires management to make certain assumptions regarding future sales growth, product mix, cancellation costs, among others. Actual results may differ materially from management’s estimates. The Company continues to manage inventory levels and purchase commitments in an effort to maximize utilization of hops on hand and hops under commitment. However, changes in management’s assumptions regarding future sales growth, product mix and hops market conditions could result in future material losses.
The Company uses special varieties of apples in its ciders that it believes are important for the ciders’ flavor profile. These apples are sourced primarily from European and United States suppliers and include bittersweet apples from France and culinary apples from Italy and Washington state. There is limited availability of these
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apples and many outside factors, including weather conditions, farmers rotating from apples to other crops, government regulations and legislation affecting agriculture, could affect both price and supply. The Company has entered into contracts to cover its expected needs for 2020 and expects to realize full delivery against these contracts.
The Company has not experienced material difficulties in obtaining timely delivery from its suppliers, although the Company has had to pay significantly above historical prices to secure supplies when inventory and supply have been tight.
The Company’s new product development can also be constrained by any limited availability of certain ingredients. Growth rates higher than planned or the introduction of new products requiring special ingredients could create demand for ingredients greater than the Company can source. Although the Company believes that there are alternative sources available for some of the ingredients and packaging materials, there can be no assurance that the Company would be able to acquire such ingredients or packaging materials from substitute sources on a timely or cost-effective basis, in the event that current suppliers could not adequately fulfill orders. The loss or significant reduction in the capability of a supplier to support the Company’s requirements could, in the short-term, adversely affect the Company’s business and financial results, until alternative supply arrangements were secured.
The Company’s contracts for certain hops and apples are payable in Euros, Pounds Sterling and New Zealand dollars, and therefore, the Company is subject to the risk that the Euro, Pound or New Zealand dollar may fluctuate adversely against the U.S. dollar. The Company has, as a practice, not hedged this exposure, although this practice is regularly reviewed. Significant adverse fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates may have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business and financial results. The cost of hops has increased in recent years due to the rising market price of hops and exchange rate changes. The continuation of these trends will impact the Company’s product cost and potentially the Company’s ability to meet the demand for its beers. The Company buys some other ingredients and capital equipment from foreign suppliers for which the Company also carries exposure to foreign exchange rate changes.
The Company is Dependent on Key Packaging Suppliers, an Increase in Packaging Costs Could Harm the Company’s Financial Results.
During 2018 and 2019, as the Truly brand family grew significantly and the Company experienced supply pressures on sleek cans. The demand for sleek cans in the beverage industry has significantly increased and there has been a shortage of capacity as sleek can manufacturers and sleek can contract manufacturers adjust their supply chains to accommodate this increased demand. The Company is working to increase packaging capacity to accommodate its expected needs for 2020 and currently expects to have sufficient supply and capacity to meet those needs.
The Company maintains competitive sources for the supply of packaging materials, such as sleek cans,
non-sleek
cans, glass and shipping cases. The Company enters into limited-term supply agreements with certain vendors in order to receive preferential pricing. In 2019, crowns and labels were each supplied by single sources. Although the Company believes that alternative suppliers are available, the loss of any of the Company’s packaging materials suppliers could, in the short-term, adversely affect the Company’s results of operations, cash flows and financial position until alternative supply arrangements were secured. Additionally, there has been acquisition and consolidation activity in several of the packaging supplier networks which could potentially lead to disruption in supply and changes in economics. If packaging costs continue to increase, there is no guarantee that such costs can be fully passed along through increased prices. The Company has entered into long-term supply agreements for certain packaging materials that have shielded it from some cost increases. These contracts have varying lengths and terms and there is no guarantee that the economics of these contracts can be replicated when renewed. The Company’s inability to preserve the current economics on renewal could expose the Company to significant cost increases in future years. Some of these contracts require the Company to make commitments on
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minimum volume of purchases based on Company forecasts. If the Company’s needs differ significantly from its forecasts, the Company would likely incur storage costs for excess production or contractual penalties that might be significant to Company financial results.
The Company’s Operations are Subject to Certain Operating Hazards Which Could Result in Unexpected Costs or Product Recalls That Could Harm the Company’s Business.
The Company’s operations are subject to certain hazards and liability risks faced by all brewers, such as potential contamination of ingredients or products by bacteria or other external agents that may be wrongfully or accidentally introduced into products or packaging, or defective packaging and handling. Such occurrences may create bad tasting beer, hard seltzer or hard ciders, or pose health risk to the consumer or risk to the integrity and safety of the packaging. These could result in unexpected costs to the Company and, in the case of a costly product recall, potentially serious damage to the Company’s reputation for product quality, as well as product liability claims.
The Company Relies Upon Complex Information Systems
The Company depends on information technology to be able to operate efficiently and interface with customers and suppliers, as well as maintain financial and accounting reporting accuracy to ensure compliance with all applicable laws. If the Company does not allocate and effectively manage the resources necessary to build and sustain the proper technology infrastructure, the Company could be subject to transaction errors, processing inefficiencies, the loss of customers, business disruptions, or the loss of or damage to intellectual property through security breach. The Company recognizes that many groups on a world-wide basis have experienced increases in cyber-attacks and other hacking activity. The Company has dedicated internal and external resources to review and address such threats. However, as with all large information technology systems, the Company’s systems could be penetrated by outside parties intent on extracting confidential or proprietary information, corrupting information, disrupting business processes, or engaging in the unauthorized use of strategic information. Such unauthorized access could disrupt business operations and could result in the loss of assets or revenues, remediation costs or damage to the Company’s reputation, as well as litigation against the Company by third parties adversely affected by the unauthorized access. Such events could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business and financial results. The Company also relies on third parties for supply of software, software and data hosting and telecommunications and networking, and is reliant on those third parties for the quality and integrity of these complex services. Failure by a third party supplier could have material adverse effects on the Company’s ability to operate.
An Increase in Energy Costs Could Harm the Company’s Financial Results.
In the last five years, the Company has experienced significant variation in direct and indirect energy costs, and energy costs could change unpredictably. Increased energy costs would result in higher transportation, freight and other operating costs, including increases in the cost of ingredients and supplies. The Company’s future operating expenses and margins could be dependent on its ability to manage the impact of such cost increases. If energy costs increase, there is no guarantee that such costs can be fully passed along through increased prices.
Changes in Tax, Environmental and Other Regulations, Government Shutdowns or Failure to Comply with Existing Licensing, Trade or Other Regulations Could Have a Material Adverse Effect on the Company’s Financial Condition.
The Company’s business is highly regulated by federal, state and local laws and regulations regarding such matters as licensing requirements, trade and pricing practices, labeling, advertising, promotion and marketing practices, relationships with Distributors, environmental impact of operations and other matters. These laws and regulations are subject to frequent reevaluation, varying interpretations and political debate, and inquiries from governmental regulators charged with their enforcement. In addition, any delays in federal or state government
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required approvals caused by federal or state government shutdowns, similar to the January 2019 federal government shutdown, could prevent new brands or innovations from getting to market on time or at all. Failure to comply with existing laws and regulations to which the Company’s operations are subject or any revisions to such laws and regulations or the failure to pay taxes or other fees imposed on the Company’s operations and results could result in the loss, revocation or suspension of the Company’s licenses, permits or approvals, and could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, financial condition and results of operations. Changes in federal and other tax rates could have a significant effect on the Company’s financial results.
There Is No Guarantee that the Company Will Not Face Litigation that Could Harm the Company’s Business.
While the Company has from time to time in the past been involved in material litigation, it is not currently a party to any pending or threatened litigation, the outcome of which would be expected to have a material adverse effect on its financial condition or the results of its operations. In general, while the Company believes it conducts its business appropriately in accordance with laws, regulations and industry guidelines, claims, whether or not meritorious, could be asserted against the Company that might adversely impact the Company’s results. See
Item 3 - Legal Proceedings
below.
The Class B Shareholder Has Significant Control over the Company
The Company’s Class A Common Stock is not entitled to any voting rights except for the right as a class to (1) approve certain mergers, charter amendments and
by-law
amendments and (2) elect a minority of the directors of the Company. Although not as a matter of right, the Class A stockholders have also been afforded the opportunity to vote on an advisory basis on executive compensation. Consequently, the election of a majority of the Company’s directors and all other matters requiring stockholder approval are currently decided by C. James Koch, who is the founder and Chairman of the Company, as the holder of 100% of the voting rights to the outstanding shares of the Company’s Class B Common Stock. As a result, Mr. Koch is able to exercise substantial influence over all matters requiring stockholder approval, including the composition of the board of directors, approval of equity-based and other executive compensation and other significant corporate and governance matters, such as approval of the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm. This could have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control of the Company and makes most material transactions difficult or impossible to accomplish without the support of Mr. Koch. While Mr. Koch is currently the 100% holder of the Company’s Class B Common Stock, there is nothing that prevents Mr. Koch or his heirs from transferring some or all shares of the Class B Common Stock to others.
The Company’s Operating Results and Cash Flow May Be Adversely Affected by Unfavorable Economic, Financial and Societal Market Conditions.
Volatility and uncertainty in the financial markets and economic conditions may directly or indirectly affect the Company’s performance and operating results in a variety of ways, including: (a) prices for energy and agricultural products may rise faster than current estimates, including increases resulting from currency fluctuations; (b) the Company’s key suppliers may not be able to fund their capital requirements, resulting in disruption in the supplies of the Company’s raw and packaging materials; (c) the credit risks of the Company’s Distributors may increase; (d) the impact of currency fluctuations on amounts owed to the Company by distributors that pay in foreign currencies; (e) the Company’s credit facility, or portion thereof, may become unavailable at a time when needed by the Company to meet critical needs; (f) overall beer consumption may decline; or (g) drinkers of the Company’s products may change their purchase preferences and frequency, which might result in sales declines.
Item 1B.
Unresolved Staff Comments
 
The Company has not received any written comments from the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) regarding the Company’s periodic or current reports that (1) the Company believes are material,
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(2) were issued not less than 180 days before the end of the Company’s 2019 fiscal year, and (3) remain unresolved.
Item 2.
Properties
 
The Company maintains its principal corporate offices in approximately 54,200 square feet of leased space located in Boston, Massachusetts, the term of which is set to expire in 2031.
The Company owns approximately 76 acres of land in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania, consisting of the two parcels on which the Company’s Pennsylvania Brewery is located. The buildings on this property consist of approximately 1 million square feet of brewery and warehouse space.
The Company owns approximately 57 acres of land in Milton, Delaware, consisting of the two parcels on which the Company’s Milton Brewery is located. The buildings on this property consist of approximately 240,000 square feet of brewery and warehouse space.
The Company owns approximately 10 acres of land in Cincinnati, Ohio, on which the Company’s Cincinnati Brewery is located, and leases, with an option to purchase, approximately 1 acre of land from the City of Cincinnati which abuts its property. The buildings on this property consist of approximately 128,500 square feet of brewery and warehouse space.
The Company owns approximately 62 acres of land in Walden, New York, consisting of an apple orchard and certain buildings, including a small cidery and tour center. The small cidery and tour center on this property consist of approximately 15,000 square feet of space.
The Company owns approximately 1 acre of land in Lewes, Delaware, on which the Company’s Dogfish Head Inn is located. The buildings on this property consists of approximately 8,400 square feet of space.
The Company leases approximately 43,000 square feet of space in Boston, Massachusetts, on which it maintains a Samuel Adams brand tap room and tour center. The current term of the lease for this facility will expire in 2029, although it has an option to extend the term for an additional fifteen years in five year increments.
The Company leases approximately 48,650 square feet of space in Los Angeles, California, on which it maintains an Angel City brand tap room, small brewery and tour center. The current term of the lease for this facility will expire in 2021.
The Company leases approximately 11,365 square feet of space in Miami, Florida, on which it maintains a Concrete Beach brand tap room, small brewery and tour center. The current term of the lease for this facility will expire in 2023.
The Company leases approximately 9,000 square feet of space in Boston, Massachusetts, on which it maintains a Samuel Adams brand tap room and small brewery. The current term of the lease for this facility will expire in 2028, although it has two options to extend the term for an additional 5 years.
The Company leases approximately 8,900 square feet of space in Cincinnati, Ohio, on which it maintains a Samuel Adams brand tap room and small brewery. The current term of the lease for this facility will expire in 2028.
The Company leases approximately 7,100 square feet of space within the retail section of MCU Park in Brooklyn, New York on which it maintains a Coney Island brand tap room and small brewery. The current term of the lease for this facility will expire in 2020, although it has an option to extend the term for an additional 5 years.
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The Company leases approximately 4,490 square feet of space in Rehoboth, DE, on which it maintains Dogfish Head Brewing and Eats, a tap room small brewery and the Chesapeake & Maine restaurant. The current term of the lease for this facility will expire in 2029.
The Company also leases a small office in Burlington, Vermont and Montreal, Quebec.
The Company believes that its facilities are adequate for its current needs and that suitable additional space will be available on commercially acceptable terms as required.
Item 3.
Legal Proceedings
 
The Company is currently not a party to any pending or threatened litigation, the outcome of which would be expected to have a material adverse effect on its financial condition or the results of its operations.
Item 4.
Mine Safety Disclosures
 
Not Applicable
PART II.
Item 5.
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
 
The graph set forth below shows the value of an investment of $100 on January 1, 2015 in each of the Company’s stock (“The Boston Beer Company, Inc.”), the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (“S&P 500 Index”), the Standard & Poor’s 500 Beverage Index, which consists of producers of alcoholic and
non-alcoholic
beverages (“S&P 500 Beverages Index”) and a custom peer group which consists of Molson Coors Beverage Company and Craft Brewers Alliance, Inc., the two remaining U.S. publicly-traded brewing companies (“Peer Group”), for the five years ending December 28, 2019.
Total Return To Shareholders
(Includes reinvestment of dividends)
                                         
 
ANNUAL RETURN PERCENTAGE
Years Ending
 
Company Name / Index
 
12/26/15
 
 
12/31/16
 
 
12/30/17
 
 
12/29/18
 
 
12/28/19
 
The Boston Beer Company, Inc.
   
-30.55
     
-17.31
     
12.51
     
24.97
     
58.59
 
S&P 500 Index
   
0.77
     
11.07
     
21.83
     
-5.20
     
32.97
 
S&P 500 Beverages Index
   
10.52
     
1.77
     
18.84
     
-3.29
     
23.99
 
Peer Group
   
25.35
     
6.10
     
-13.68
     
-30.08
     
0.20
 
 
                                                 
 
 
 
INDEXED RETURNS
Years Ending
 
Company Name / Index
 
Base
Period
12/27/14
 
 
12/26/15
 
 
12/31/16
 
 
12/30/17
 
 
12/29/18
 
 
12/28/19
 
The Boston Beer Company, Inc.
 
 
100
 
   
69.45
     
57.43
     
64.62
     
80.75
     
128.07
 
S&P 500 Index
 
 
100
 
   
100.77
     
111.92
     
136.35
     
129.26
     
171.88
 
S&P 500 Beverages Index
 
 
100
 
   
110.52
     
112.48
     
133.67
     
129.27
     
160.29
 
Peer Group
 
 
100
 
   
125.35
     
133.00
     
114.81
     
80.27
     
80.43
 
 
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Peer Group Companies
Craft Brew Alliance Inc
Molson Coors Brewing Company
 
The Company’s Class A Common Stock is listed for trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SAM.
There were 8,477 holders of record of the Company’s Class A Common Stock as of February 14, 2020. Excluded from the number of stockholders of record are stockholders who hold shares in “nominee” or “street” name. The closing price per share of the Company’s Class A Common Stock as of February 14, 2020, as reported under the New York Stock Exchange-Composite Transaction Reporting System, was $408.91.
Class A Common Stock
At December 28, 2019, the Company had 22,700,000 authorized shares of Class A Common Stock with a par value of $.01, of which 9,470,397 were issued and outstanding, which includes 99,871 shares that have trading restrictions. The Class A Common Stock has no voting rights, except (1) as required by law, (2) for the election of Class A Directors, and (3) that the approval of the holders of the Class A Common Stock is required for (a) future authorizations or issuances of additional securities which have rights senior to Class A Common Stock, (b) alterations of rights or terms of the Class A or Class B Common Stock as set forth in the Articles of Organization of the Company, (c) certain other amendments of the Articles of Organization of the Company, (d) certain mergers or consolidations with, or acquisitions of, other entities, and (e) sales or dispositions of any significant portion of the Company’s assets.
Class B Common Stock
At December 28, 2019, the Company had 4,200,000 authorized shares of Class B Common Stock with a par value of $.01, of which 2,672,983 shares were issued and outstanding. The Class B Common Stock has full
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voting rights, including the right to (1) elect a majority of the members of the Company’s Board of Directors and (2) approve all (a) amendments to the Company’s Articles of Organization, (b) mergers or consolidations with, or acquisitions of, other entities, (c) sales or dispositions of any significant portion of the Company’s assets and, (d) equity-based and other executive compensation, and other significant corporate matters, such as approval of the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm. The Company’s Class B Common Stock is not listed for trading. Each share of Class B Common Stock is freely convertible into one share of Class A Common Stock, upon request of any Class B holder.
As of February 14, 2020, C. James Koch, the Company’s Chairman, was the direct holder of record of all of the Company’s issued and outstanding Class B Common Stock.
The holders of the Class A and Class B Common Stock are entitled to dividends, on a
share-for-share
basis, only if and when declared by the Board of Directors of the Company out of funds legally available for payment thereof. Since its inception, the Company has not paid dividends and does not currently anticipate paying dividends on its Class A or Class B Common Stock in the foreseeable future.
Repurchases of the Registrants Class A Common Stock
In 1998, the Board of Directors authorized management to implement a stock repurchase program with a limit of $931.0 million. As of December 28, 2019, the Company has repurchased a cumulative total of approximately 13.8 million shares of its Class A Common Stock for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $840.7 million.
During the twelve months ended December 28, 2019, the Company repurchased 900 shares of its Class A Common Stock as illustrated in the table below:
                                 
Period
 
Total
Number of
Shares
Purchased
   
Average
Price Paid
per Share
   
Total Number
of Shares
Purchased as Part of
Publicly Announced
Plans or Programs
   
Dollar Value
of Shares that
May Yet be Purchased
Under the Plans or
Programs
(in thousands)
 
December 30, 2018 to February 2, 2019
   
116
    $
 127.05
     
—  
    $
 90,335
 
February 3, 2019 to March 2, 2019
   
219
     
115.78
     
—  
     
90,335
 
March 3, 2019 to March 30, 2019
   
13
     
187.54
     
—  
     
90,335
 
March 31, 2019 to May 4, 2019
   
107
     
182.03
     
—  
     
90,335
 
May 5, 2019 to June 1, 2019
   
79
     
175.67
     
—  
     
90,335
 
June 2, 2019 to June 29, 2019
   
32
     
187.54
     
—  
     
90,335
 
June 30, 2019 to August 3, 2019
   
73
     
114.14
     
—  
     
90,335
 
August 4, 2019 to August 31, 2019
   
261
     
135.26
     
—  
     
90,335
 
September 1, 2019 to September 28, 2019
   
—  
     
—  
     
—  
     
90,335
 
September 29, 2019 to November 2, 2019
   
—  
     
—  
     
—  
     
90,335
 
November 3, 2019 to November 30, 2019
   
—  
     
—  
     
—  
     
90,335
 
December 1, 2019 to December 28, 2019
   
—  
     
—  
     
—  
     
90,335
 
                                 
Total
   
900
     
     
0
    $
90,335
 
                                 
All shares that were purchased during the period represent repurchases of
unvested
investment shares issued under the Investment Share Program of the Company’s Employee Equity Incentive Plan.
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Item 6.
Selected Consolidated Financial Data
 
 
                                         
 
Year Ended
 
 
Dec. 29

2018
 
 
Dec. 29

2018
 
 
Dec. 30

2017

(53 weeks)
 
 
Dec. 31

2016
 
 
Dec. 26

2015
 
 
(in thousands, except per share and net revenue per barrel data)
 
Income Statement Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenue
  $
1,329,108
    $
1,057,495
    $
921,736
    $
968,994
    $
1,024,040
 
Less excise taxes
   
79,284
     
61,846
     
58,744
     
62,548
     
64,106
 
                                         
Net revenue
   
1,249,824
     
995,649
     
862,992
     
906,446
     
959,934
 
Cost of goods sold
   
635,658
     
483,406
     
413,091
     
446,776
     
458,317
 
                                         
Gross profit
   
614,166
     
512,243
     
449,901
     
459,670
     
501,617
 
Operating expenses:
   
     
     
     
     
 
Advertising, promotional and selling expenses
   
355,613
     
304,853
     
258,649
     
244,213
     
273,629
 
General and administrative expenses
   
112,730
     
90,857
     
73,126
     
78,033
     
71,556
 
Impairment (gain on sale) of assets, net
   
911
     
652
     
2,451
     
(235
)    
258
 
                                         
Settlement proceeds
   
—  
     
—  
     
—  
     
—  
     
—  
 
Total operating expenses
   
469,254
     
396,362
     
334,226
     
322,011
     
345,443
 
                                         
Operating income
   
144,912
     
115,881
     
115,675
     
137,659
     
156,174
 
Other (expense) income, net
   
(542
)    
405
     
467
     
(538
)    
(1,164
)
                                         
Income before provision for income taxes
   
144,370
     
116,286
     
116,142
     
137,121
     
155,010
 
Provision for income taxes
   
34,329
     
23,623
     
17,093
     
49,772
     
56,596
 
                                         
Net income
  $
110,041
    $
92,663
    $
99,049
    $
87,349
    $
98,414
 
                                         
Net income per share - basic
  $
9.26
    $
7.90
    $
8.18
    $
6.93
    $
7.46
 
Net income per share - diluted
  $
9.16
    $
7.82
    $
8.09
    $
6.79
    $
7.25
 
Weighted average shares outstanding - basic
   
11,781
     
11,622
     
12,035
     
12,533
     
13,123
 
Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted
   
11,908
     
11,734
     
12,180
     
12,796
     
13,520
 
Balance Sheet Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Working capital
  $
37,999
    $
111,057
    $
66,590
    $
99,719
    $
112,443
 
Total assets
  $
1,054,057
    $
639,851
    $
569,624
    $
623,297
    $
645,400
 
Total long-term obligations
  $
83,832
    $
59,020
    $
44,343
    $
75,196
    $
73,019
 
Total stockholders’ equity
  $
735,636
    $
460,317
    $
423,523
    $
446,582
    $
461,221
 
Statistical Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Barrels sold
   
5,307
     
4,286
     
3,768
     
4,019
     
4,256
 
Net revenue per barrel
  $
235.51
    $
232.30
    $
229.05
    $
225.55
    $
225.55
 
 
 
Item 7.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
 
 
Forward-Looking Statements
In this Form
10-K
and in other documents incorporated herein, as well as in oral statements made by the Company, statements that are prefaced with the words “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “continue,” “estimate,” “project,” “intend,” “designed,” and similar expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements regarding events, conditions, and financial trends that may affect the Company’s future plans of operations, business strategy, results of operations, and financial position. These statements are based on the Company’s current expectations and estimates as to prospective events and circumstances about which the Company can give no firm assurance. Further, any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect future events or circumstances. Forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as a prediction of actual future financial condition or results. These forward-looking statements, like any forward-looking statements, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results
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to differ materially from those projected or anticipated. Such risks and uncertainties include the factors set forth above and the other information set forth in this Form
10-K.
Introduction
The Boston Beer Company is engaged in the business of producing and selling alcohol beverages primarily in the domestic market and, to a lesser extent, in selected international markets. The Company’s revenues are primarily derived by selling its beers, hard seltzers and hard ciders to Distributors, who in turn sell the products to retailers and drinkers. The Company completed the previously reported Dogfish Head Brewery transaction and began consolidating the Dogfish Head financial results on July 3, 2019.
The Company’s beers, hard seltzers and hard ciders are primarily positioned in the market for High End beer occasions. The High End category has seen high single-digit compounded annual growth over the past ten years. The Company believes that the High End category is positioned to increase market share in the total beer category, as drinkers continue to trade up in taste and quality. Boston Beer is one of the largest suppliers in the High End category in the United States. The Company estimates that in 2019 the High End category percentage volume growth was approximately 11% with the craft beer category volume growth approximately 5% and total beer category volume growth approximately 2%. The Company believes that the High End category volume is over 30% of the United States beer market. Depletions or Distributor sales to retailers of the Company’s beers, hard seltzers and hard ciders for the 52 week fiscal period ended December 28, 2019, increased approximately 22% from the comparable 52 week fiscal period in the prior year, of which 19% is from Boston Beer legacy brands and 3% is from the addition of Dogfish Head brands beginning July 3, 2019.
Outlook
Year-to-date
depletions reported to the Company for the 6 weeks ended February 8, 2020 are estimated by the Company to have increased approximately 34% from the comparable weeks in 2019. Excluding the Dogfish Head impact, depletions increased 28%.
The Company is targeting
Non-GAAP
earnings per diluted share for 2020 of between $10.70 and $11.70, excluding the impact of ASU
2016-09,
Stock Compensation (Topic 718), Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting
, but actual results could vary significantly from this target. The Company is forecasting 2020 depletions and shipments percentage increases of between 15% and 25%. Excluding the addition of the Dogfish Head brands, 2020 depletions and shipment growth is estimated between 11% and 21%. The Company is targeting national price increases of between 1% and 3%. Full-year 2020 gross margins are currently expected to be between 49% and 51%. The Company intends to increase advertising, promotional and selling expenses by between $80 million and $90 million for the full year 2020, an increase from the previously communicated estimate of between $65 million and $75 million, which does not include any increases in freight costs for the shipment of products to its Distributors. The Company intends to increase its investment in its brands in 2020 commensurate with the opportunities for growth that it sees, but there is no guarantee that such increased investments will result in increased volumes. The Company estimates a full-year 2020
Non-GAAP
effective tax rate of approximately 27%, excluding the impact of ASU
2016-09.
Non-GAAP
earnings per diluted share and
Non-GAAP
effective tax rate are not defined terms under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). These
Non-GAAP
measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for diluted earnings per share and effective tax rate data prepared in accordance with GAAP, and may not be comparable to calculations of similarly titled measures by other companies. Management believes these
Non-GAAP
measures provide meaningful and useful information to investors and analysts regarding our outlook and facilitate period to period comparisons of our forecasted financial performance.
Non-GAAP
earnings per diluted share and
Non-GAAP
effective tax rate exclude the potential impact of ASU
2016-09,
which could be significant and will depend largely upon unpredictable future events outside the Company’s control, including the timing and value realized upon exercise of stock options versus the fair value of those options when granted. Therefore, because of the uncertainty and variability of the impact of ASU
2016-09,
the Company is unable to provide, without unreasonable effort, a reconciliation of these
Non-GAAP
measures on a forward-looking basis.
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The Company is continuing to evaluate 2020 capital expenditures. Its current estimates are between $135 million and $155 million, an increase in the previously communicated estimate of between $95 million and $115 million, consisting mostly of continued investments in capacity and efficiency improvements at the Company’s breweries. The actual total amount spent on 2020 capital expenditures may well be different from these estimates. Based on information currently available, the Company believes that its capacity requirements for 2020 can be covered by its Company-owned breweries and existing contracted capacity at third-party brewers.
Results of Operations
Year Ended December 28, 2019 Compared to Year Ended December 29, 2018
                                                                         
 
Year Ended
(in thousands, except per barrel)
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dec. 28
2019
   
Dec. 29
2018
   
Amount
change
 
 
% change
 
 
Per barrel
change
 
Barrels sold
   
5,307
     
     
     
4,286
     
     
     
1,021
     
23.8
%    
 
 
 
 
Per barrel
 
 
% of net
revenue
 
 
 
 
Per barrel
 
 
% of net
revenue
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net revenue
  $
 1,249,824
    $
 235.51
     
100.0
%   $
 995,649
    $
 232.30
     
100.0
%   $
 254,175
     
25.5
%   $
3.21
 
Cost of goods
   
635,658
     
119.78
     
50.9
%    
483,406
     
112.79
     
48.6
%    
152,252
     
31.5
%    
6.99
 
                                                                         
Gross profit
   
614,166
     
115.73
     
49.1
%    
512,243
     
119.52
     
51.4
%    
101,923
     
19.9
%    
(3.79
)
Advertising, promotional and selling expenses
   
355,613
     
67.01
     
28.5
%    
304,853
     
71.13
     
30.6
%    
50,760
     
16.7
%    
(4.12
)
General and administrative expenses
   
112,730
     
21.24
     
9.0
%    
90,857
     
21.20
     
9.1
%    
21,873
     
24.1
%    
0.04
 
Impairment of assets, net
   
911
     
0.17
     
0.1
%    
652
     
0.15
     
0.1
%    
259
     
39.7
%    
0.02
 
                                                                         
Total operating expenses
   
469,254
     
88.42
     
37.5
%    
396,362
     
92.48
     
39.8
%    
72,892
     
18.4
%    
(4.06
)
Operating income
   
144,912
     
27.31
     
11.6
%    
115,881
     
27.04
     
11.6
%    
29,031
     
25.1
%    
0.27
 
Other (expense) income, net
   
(542
)    
(0.10
)    
0.0
%    
405
     
0.09
     
0.0
%    
(947
)    
-233.8
%    
(0.19
)
                                                                         
Income before provision for income taxes
   
144,370
     
27.20
     
11.6
%    
116,286
     
27.13
     
11.7
%    
28,084
     
24.2
%    
0.07
 
Provision for income taxes
   
34,329
     
6.47
     
2.7
%    
23,623
     
5.51
     
2.4
%    
10,706
     
45.3
%    
0.96
 
                                                                         
Net income
  $
110,041
    $
20.74
     
8.8
%   $
92,663
    $
21.62
     
9.3
%   $
17,378
     
18.8
%   $
 (0.88
)
                                                                         
 
 
 
 
Net revenue.
Net revenue increased by $254.2 million, or 25.5%, to $1,249.8 million for the year ended December 28, 2019, as compared to $995.6 million for the year ended December 29, 2018, due primarily to increased shipments.
Volume.
Total shipment volume of 5,307,000 barrels for the year ended December 28, 2019 increased by 23.8% over 2018 levels of 4,286,000 barrels, due primarily
to increases in shipments of Truly Hard Seltzer and Twisted Tea and the addition of the Dogfish Head brands, partially offset by decreases in its Samuel Adamas and Angry Orchard brands.
Depletions, or sales by Distributors to retailers, of the Company’s products for the year ended December 28, 2019 increased by approximately 22% compared to the prior year, primarily due to increases in depletions of Truly Hard Seltzer and Twisted Tea brands and the addition of the Dogfish Head brands, partially offset by decreases in its Samuel Adams and Angry Orchard brands.
Net Revenue per barrel.
The net revenue per barrel increased by 1.4% to $235.51 per barrel for the year ended December 28, 2019, as compared to $232.30 per barrel for the year ended December 29, 2018, primarily due to price increases.
 
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Significant changes in the package mix could have a material effect on net revenue. The Company primarily packages its products in kegs, bottles and cans. Assuming the same level of production, a shift in the mix from kegs to bottles and cans would effectively increase revenue per barrel, as the price per equivalent barrel is lower for kegs than for bottles and cans. The percentage of bottles and cans to total shipments increased by 4.3% to 89.4% of total shipments for the year ended December 28, 2019 as compared to the year ended December 29, 2018.
Cost of goods sold.
Cost of goods sold was $119.78 per barrel for the year ended December 28, 2019, as compared to $112.79 per barrel for the year ended December 29, 2018. The 2019 increase in cost of goods sold of $6.99 or 6.2% per barrel was primarily the result of higher processing costs due to increased production at third party breweries and higher temporary labor at Company-owned breweries to support increased variety pack volumes, partially offset by cost saving initiatives at Company-owned breweries.
Gross profit.
Gross profit was $115.73 per barrel for the year ended December 28, 2019, as compared to $119.52 per barrel for the year ended December 29, 2018. Gross margin was 49.1% for the year ended December 28, 2019, as compared to 51.4% for the year ended December 29, 2018.
The Company includes freight charges related to the movement of finished goods from manufacturing locations to Distributor locations in its advertising, promotional and selling expense line item. As such, the Company’s gross margins may not be comparable to other entities that classify costs related to distribution differently.
Advertising, promotional and selling.
Advertising, promotional and selling expenses, increased $50.8 million, or 16.7%, to $355.6 million for the year ended December 28, 2019, as compared to $304.9 million for the year ended December 29, 2018. The increase was primarily the result of increased investments in media, production and local marketing, higher salaries and benefits costs, increased freight to distributors due to higher volumes and the addition of Dogfish Head brand related expenses beginning July 3, 2019.
Advertising, promotional and selling expenses were 28.5% of net revenue, or $67.01 per barrel, for the year ended December 28, 2019, as compared to 30.6% of net revenue, or $71.13 per barrel, for the year ended December 29, 2018. The Company will invest in advertising and promotional campaigns that it believes are effective, but there is no guarantee that such investment will generate sales growth.
The Company conducts certain advertising and promotional activities in its Distributors’ markets, and the Distributors make contributions to the Company for such efforts. These amounts are included in the Company’s statement of operations as reductions to advertising, promotional and selling expenses. Historically, contributions from Distributors for advertising and promotional activities have amounted to between 2% and 3% of net sales. The Company may adjust its promotional efforts in the Distributors’ markets, if changes occur in these promotional contribution arrangements, depending on the industry and market conditions.
General and administrative.
General and administrative expenses increased by $21.9 million, or 24.1%, to $112.7 million for the year ended December 28, 2019, as compared to $90.9 million for the comparable period in 2018. The increase was primarily due to
non-recurring
Dogfish Head Transaction-related expenses of $7.7 million, increases in salaries and benefits costs, and the addition of Dogfish Head general and administrative expenses beginning July 3, 2019.
Impairment of assets.
For the year ended December 28, 2019, the Company incurred impairment charges of $0.9 million, based upon its review of the carrying values of its property, plant and equipment. These impairment charges were primarily due to the write-down of brewery equipment at the Company’s Pennsylvania and Cincinnati breweries.
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Stock-based compensation expense.
For the year ended December 28, 2019, an aggregate of $12.3 million in stock-based compensation expense is included in advertising, promotional and selling expenses and general and administrative expenses. Stock compensation increased by $2.3 million in 2019 compared to 2018, primarily due to achievement of performance-based awards.
Provision for income taxes.
The Company’s effective tax rate increased to 23.8% for the year ended December 28, 2019 from approximately 20.3% for the year ended December 29, 2018. This increase was primarily due to the favorable impact in 2018 of tax accounting method changes.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Cash decreased to $36.7 million as of December 28, 2019 from $108.4 million as of December 29, 2018, reflecting cash used for the Dogfish Head Brewery Transaction and purchases of property, plant and equipment, partially offset by cash provided by operating and financing activities.
Cash provided by or used in operating activities consists of net income, adjusted for certain
non-cash
items, such as depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation expense and related excess tax benefit, other
non-cash
items included in operating results, and changes in operating assets and liabilities, such as accounts receivable, inventory, accounts payable and accrued expenses.
Cash provided by operating activities increased from $163.4 million in 2018 to $178.2 million in 2019 principally as a result of increases in shipments and operating income, partially offset by higher investments in working capital, particularly higher inventory to support increased demand.
The Company used $258.8 million in investing activities during 2019, as compared to $55.3 million during 2018. Investing activities in 2019 primarily consisted of $165.5 million of investment in Dogfish Head, net of cash acquired, and capital investments made mostly in the Company’s breweries to drive efficiencies and cost reductions, and support product innovation and future growth.
Cash provided by financing activities was $8.9 million during 2019, as compared to $65.3 million used in financing activities during 2018. The $74.2 million increase in cash provided by financing activities in 2019 from 2018 is primarily due to a decrease in stock repurchases under the Company’s Stock Repurchase Program and an increase in proceeds from the exercise of stock options.
In 1998, the Board of Directors authorized management to implement a stock repurchase program. During the year ended December 28, 2019, the Company did not repurchase any shares of its Class A Common Stock under the stock repurchase program. As of December 28, 2019, the Company had repurchased a cumulative total of approximately 13.8 million shares of its Class A Common Stock for an aggregate purchase price of $840.7 million. From December 29, 2019 through February 14, 2020, the Company did not repurchase any shares of its Class A Common Stock. The Company has approximately $90.3 million remaining on the $931.0 million stock repurchase expenditure limit set by the Board of Directors.
The Company expects that its cash balance as of December 28, 2019 of $36.7 million, along with future operating cash flow and the Company’s unused line of credit of $150.0 million, will be sufficient to fund future cash requirements. The Company’s $150.0 million credit facility has a term not scheduled to expire until March 31, 2023. As of the date of this filing, the Company was not in violation of any of its covenants to the lender under the credit facility and there were no amounts outstanding under the credit facility.
Critical Accounting Policies
The discussion and analysis of the Company’s financial condition and results of operations is based upon its consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted
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accounting principles. The preparation of these financial statements requires the Company to make significant estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities. These items are monitored and analyzed by management for changes in facts and circumstances, and material changes in these estimates could occur in the future. The more judgmental estimates are summarized below. Changes in estimates are recorded in the period in which they become known. The Company bases its estimates on historical experience and various other assumptions that the Company believes to be reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results may differ from the Company’s estimates if past experience or other assumptions do not turn out to be substantially accurate.
Provision for Excess or Expired Inventory
The provisions for excess or expired inventory are based on management’s estimates of forecasted usage of inventories on hand and under contract. Forecasting usage involves significant judgments regarding future demand for the Company’s various existing products and products under development as well as the potency and shelf-life of various ingredients. A significant change in the timing or level of demand for certain products as compared to forecasted amounts may result in recording additional provisions for excess or expired inventory in the future. Provisions for excess inventory are included in cost of goods sold and have historically been adequate to provide for losses on its inventory. Provision for excess or expired inventory included in cost of goods sold was $8.1 million, $4.2 million and $5.8 million in fiscal years 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Valuation of Property, Plant and Equipment
The carrying value of property, plant and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation, at December 28, 2019 was $430.6 million. For purposes of determining whether there are any impairment losses, as further discussed below, management has historically examined the carrying value of the Company’s identifiable long-lived assets, including their useful lives, semi-annually, or more frequently when indicators of impairment are present. Evaluations of whether indicators of impairment exist involve judgments regarding the current and future business environment and the length of time the Company intends to use the asset. If an impairment loss is identified based on the fair value of the asset, as compared to the carrying value of the asset, such loss would be charged to expense in the period the impairment is identified. Furthermore, if the review of the carrying values of the long-lived assets indicates impairment of such assets, the Company may determine that shorter estimated useful lives are more appropriate. In that event, the Company will be required to record additional depreciation in future periods, which will reduce earnings. Estimating the amount of impairment, if any, requires significant judgments including identification of potential impairments, market comparison to similar assets, estimated cash flows to be generated by the asset, discount rates, and the remaining useful life of the asset. Impairment of assets included in operating expenses was $0.9 million, $0.7 million and $2.5 million in fiscal years 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Factors generally considered important which could trigger an impairment review on the carrying value of long-lived assets include the following: (1) significant underperformance relative to historical or projected future operating results; (2) significant changes in the manner of use of acquired assets or the strategy for the Company’s overall business; (3) underutilization of assets; and (4) discontinuance of products by the Company or its customers. The Company believes that the carrying value of its long-lived assets was realizable as of December 28, 2019 and December 29, 2018.
Valuation of Goodwill and Indefinite Lived Intangible Assets
The Company has recorded intangible assets with indefinite lives and goodwill for which impairment testing is required at least annually or more frequently if events or circumstances indicate that these assets might be 
impaired. The Company performs its annual impairment tests and
 re-evaluates
the useful lives of other intangible assets with indefinite lives at the annual impairment test measurement date in the third quarter of each fiscal year or when circumstances arise that indicate a possible impairment or change in useful life might exist.
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The guidance for goodwill impairment testing allows an entity to assess qualitative factors to determine whether the existence of events or circumstances leads to a determination that it is more likely than not that the estimated fair value of a reporting unit, of which the Company has one, is less than its carrying amount or to proceed directly to performing a quantitative impairment test.
Under the quantitative assessment, the estimated fair value of the Company’s reporting unit is compared to its carrying value, including goodwill. The estimate of fair value of the Company’s reporting unit is generally calculated based on an income approach using the discounted cash flow method supplemented by the market approach which considers the Company’s market capitalization and enterprise value. If the estimated fair value of the Company’s reporting unit is less than the carrying value of its reporting unit, a goodwill impairment will be recognized. The amount of impairment charge for goodwill is equal to the excess of the carrying value of the goodwill over the implied fair value of the goodwill. In estimating the fair value of the Company’s reporting unit, management must make assumptions and projections regarding such items as future cash flows, future revenues, future earnings, cost of capital, and other factors. The assumptions used in the estimate of fair value are based on historical trends and the projections and assumptions that are used in current strategic operating plans. These assumptions reflect management’s estimates of future economic and competitive conditions and are, therefore, subject to change as a result of changing market conditions. If these estimates or their related assumptions change in the future, the Company may be required to recognize an impairment loss for these assets. The recognition of any resulting impairment loss could have a material adverse impact on the Company’s financial statements.
The Company’s other intangible assets consist primarily of customer relationships and a trademark obtained through the Company’s Dogfish Head acquisition. Customer relationships are amortized over their estimated useful lives. The trademark which was determined to have an indefinite useful life is not amortized. The guidance for indefinite lived intangible asset impairment testing allows an entity to assess qualitative factors to determine whether the existence of events or circumstances indicates that it is more likely than not that the indefinite lived intangible asset is impaired or to proceed directly to performing the quantitative impairment test. Under the quantitative assessment, the trademark is evaluated for impairment by comparing the carrying value of the trademark to its estimated fair value. The estimated fair value of the trademark is calculated based on an income approach using the relief from royalty method. The estimate of fair value is then compared to the carrying value the trademark. If the estimated fair value is less than the carrying value of the trademark, then an impairment charge is recognized to reduce the carrying value of the trademark to its estimated fair value
In estimating the fair value of the trademark, management must make assumptions and projections regarding future cash flows based upon future revenues, the market-based royalty rate, and other factors. The assumptions used in the estimate of fair value are consistent with historical trends and the projections and assumptions that are used in current strategic operating plans. These assumptions reflect management’s estimates of future economic and competitive conditions and are, therefore, subject to change as a result of changing market conditions. If these estimates or their related assumptions change in the future, the Company may be required to recognize an impairment loss for these assets. The recognition of any resulting impairment loss could have a material adverse impact on the Company’s financial statements.
Business Combinations
On July 3, 2019, the Company completed its acquisition of Dogfish Head Brewery and various related operations (the “Transaction”), through the acquisition of all of the equity interests held by certain private entities in
 Off-Centered
Way LLC, the parent holding company of the Dogfish Head Brewery operations. Dogfish Head results of operations have been included in the Company’s financial results beginning after the closing date of July 3, 2019. Under the acquisition method of accounting, the Company allocated the fair value of purchase consideration transferred to the tangible and intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed based on their estimated fair values on the date of the acquisition. The fair values assigned, defined as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between willing market participants, are based on estimates and assumptions determined by management. The excess purchase
 
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consideration over the aggregate fair value of tangible and intangible assets, net of liabilities assumed, is recorded as goodwill. When determining the fair value of assets acquired and liabilities assumed, the Company makes significant estimates and assumptions, especially with respect to intangible assets. The Company’s estimates of fair value are based upon assumptions believed to be reasonable, but which are inherently uncertain and unpredictable and, as a result, actual results may differ from estimates. The fair value of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed is typically determined by using either estimates of replacement costs or discounted cash flow valuation methods. When determining the fair value of tangible assets acquired, the Company must estimate the cost to replace the asset with a new asset taking into consideration such factors as age, condition and the economic useful life of the asset. When determining the fair value of intangible assets acquired, the Company must estimate the applicable discount rate, the royalty rate, and the timing and amount of future expected cash flows. During the measurement period, not to exceed one year from the date of acquisition, the Company may record adjustments to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed, with a corresponding offset to goodwill if new information is obtained related to facts and circumstances that existed as of the acquisition date. After the measurement period, any subsequent adjustments are reflected in the consolidated statements of operations. Acquisition costs, such as legal and consulting fees, are expensed as incurred.
Revenue Recognition and Classification of Customer Programs and Incentives
The Company recognizes revenue when obligations under the terms of a contract with its customer are satisfied; generally, this occurs with the transfer of control of its products. Revenue is measured as the amount of consideration expected to be received in exchange for transferring products. If the conditions for revenue recognition are not met, the Company defers the revenue until all conditions are met. As of December 28, 2019 and December 29, 2018, the Company has deferred $7.0 million and $4.6 million, respectively in revenue related to product shipped prior to these dates. These amounts are included in accrued expenses and other current liabilities in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets.
The Company is committed to maintaining the freshness of the product in the market. In certain circumstances and with the Company’s approval, the Company accepts and destroys stale beer that is returned by Distributors. The Company generally credits approximately fifty percent of the distributor’s cost of the beer that has passed its expiration date for freshness when it is returned to the Company or destroyed. The Company reduces revenue and establishes an accrual based upon both historical returns, which is applied to an estimated lag time for receipt of product, and knowledge of specific return transactions. Estimating this reserve involves significant judgments and estimates, including comparability of historical return trends to future trends, lag time from date of sale to date of return, and product mix of returns. Stale beer expense is reflected in the accompanying financial statements as a reduction of revenue. Historically, the cost of actual stale beer returns has been in line with established reserves, however, the cost could differ materially from the estimated reserve which would impact revenue. As of December 28, 2019 and December 29, 2018, the stale beer reserve was $1.8 million and $2.1 million, respectively.
Customer programs and incentives are a common practice in the alcohol beverage industry. Amounts paid in connection with customer programs and incentives are recorded as reductions to net revenue or as advertising, promotional and selling expenses, based on the nature of the expenditure. Customer incentives and other payments made to Distributors are primarily based upon performance of certain marketing and advertising activities. Depending on applicable state laws and regulations, these activities promoting the Company’s products may include, but are not limited to
point-of-sale
and merchandise placement, samples, product displays, promotional programs at retail locations and meals, travel and entertainment. Amounts paid to customers in connection with these programs that were recorded as reductions to net revenue or as advertising, promotional and selling expenses totaled $75.2 million, $55.5 million and $51.8 million in fiscal year 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively. Estimates are based on historical and projected experience for each type of program or customer and have historically been in line with actual costs incurred.
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Customer promotional discount programs are entered into with Distributors for certain periods of time. Amounts paid to Distributors in connection with these programs in fiscal years 2019, 2018 and 2017 were $43.9 million, $34.5 million and $30.2 million, respectively. The reimbursements for discounts to Distributors are recorded as reductions to net revenue. The agreed-upon discount rates are applied to certain Distributors’ sales to retailers, based on volume metrics, in order to determine the total discounted amount. The computation of the discount allowance requires that management make certain estimates and assumptions that affect the timing and amounts of revenue and liabilities recorded. Actual promotional discounts owed and paid have historically been in line with allowances recorded by the Company, however, the amounts could differ from the estimated allowance.
Customer incentives and other payments are made primarily to Distributors based upon performance of certain marketing and advertising activities. Depending on applicable state laws and regulations, these activities promoting the Company’s products may include, but are not limited to
point-of-sale
and merchandise placement, samples, product displays, promotional programs at retail locations and meals, travel and entertainment. Amounts paid to customers in connection with these programs in fiscal years 2019, 2018 and 2017 were $31.2 million, $21.0 million and $21.6 million, respectively. In fiscal 2019, 2018 and 2017, the Company recorded certain of these costs in the total amount of $21.6 million, $13.9 million, and $15.3 million, respectively, as reductions to net revenue. Costs recognized in net revenues include, but are not limited to, promotional discounts, sales incentives and certain other promotional activities. Costs recognized in advertising, promotional and selling expenses include point of sale materials, samples and media advertising expenditures in local markets. These costs are recorded as incurred, generally when invoices are received; however certain estimates are required at period end. Estimates are based on historical and projected experience for each type of program or customer and have historically been in line with actual costs incurred.
In connection with its preparation of financial statements and other financial reporting, management is required to make certain estimates and assumptions regarding the amount, timing and classification of expenditures resulting from these activities. Actual expenditures incurred could differ from management’s estimates and assumptions.
Stock-Based Compensation
The Company accounts for share-based awards in accordance with ASC Topic 718, Compensation – Stock Compensation (“ASC 718”), which generally requires recognition of share-based compensation costs in financial statements based on fair value. Compensation cost is recognized over the period during which an employee is required to provide services in exchange for the award (the requisite service period). The amount of compensation cost recognized in the consolidated statements of comprehensive income is based on the awards ultimately expected to vest, and therefore, reduced for estimated forfeitures. Stock-based compensation was $12.3 million, $10.0 million and $6.3 million in fiscal years 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
As permitted by ASC 718, the Company elected to use a lattice model, such as the trinomial option-pricing model, to estimate the fair values of stock options.. All option-pricing models require the input of subjective assumptions. These assumptions include the estimated volatility of the Company’s common stock price over the expected term, the expected dividend rate, the estimated post-vesting forfeiture rate, the risk-free interest rate and expected exercise behavior. See Note L of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion of the application of the option-pricing models.
In addition, an estimated
pre-vesting
forfeiture rate is applied in the recognition of the compensation charge. Periodically, the Company grants performance-based stock options, related to which it only recognizes compensation expense if it is probable that performance targets will be met. Consequently, at the end of each reporting period, the Company estimates whether it is probable that performance targets will be met. Changes in the subjective assumptions and estimates can materially affect the amount of stock-based compensation expense recognized in the consolidated statements of comprehensive income.
 
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Business Environment
The alcoholic beverage industry is highly regulated at the federal, state and local levels. The TTB and the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives enforce laws under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act. The TTB is responsible for administering and enforcing excise tax laws that directly affect the Company’s results of operations. State and regulatory authorities have the ability to suspend or revoke the Company’s licenses and permits or impose substantial fines for violations. The Company has established strict policies, procedures and guidelines in efforts to ensure compliance with all applicable state and federal laws. However, the loss or revocation of any existing license or permit could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations, cash flows and financial position.
The High End category within the United States is highly competitive due to large domestic and international brewers and the increasing number of craft brewers in this category who distribute similar products that have similar pricing and target drinkers. The Company believes that its pricing is appropriate given the quality and reputation of its brands, while realizing that economic pricing pressures may affect future pricing levels. Large domestic and international brewers are able to compete more aggressively than the Company, as they have substantially greater resources, marketing strength and distribution networks than the Company. The Company anticipates competition among domestic craft brewers will remain strong, as the number of craft brewers continues to grow. The Company also increasingly competes with wine and spirits companies, some of which have significantly greater resources than the Company. This competitive environment may affect the Company’s overall performance within the High End category. As the market matures and the High End category continues to consolidate, the Company believes that companies that are well-positioned in terms of brand equity, marketing and distribution will have greater success than those who do not. With its over 400 Distributors nationwide and the Company’s sales force of approximately 426 people, as well as a commitment to maintaining its innovation capability, brand equity and quality, the Company believes it is well positioned to compete in the High End Beer category.
The Potential Impact of Known Facts, Commitments, Events and Uncertainties
Contractual Obligations
See Note J of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
See Note B of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
Off-Balance
Sheet Arrangements
The Company has not entered into any material
off-balance
sheet arrangements as of December 28, 2019.
Item 7A.
Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
 
 
 
In the ordinary course of business, the Company is exposed to the impact of fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. The Company does not enter into derivatives or other market risk sensitive instruments for the purpose of speculation or for trading purposes. Market risk sensitive instruments include derivative financial instruments, other financial instruments and derivative commodity instruments, such as futures, forwards, swaps and options, that are exposed to rate or price changes.
The Company enters into hops purchase contracts, as described in Note J of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, and makes purchases of other ingredients, equipment and machinery denominated in foreign currencies. The cost of these commitments changes as foreign exchange rates fluctuate. Currently, it is not the Company’s policy to hedge against foreign currency fluctuations.
 
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The interest rate for borrowings under the Company’s credit facility is based on either (i) the Alternative Prime Rate (4.75% at December 28, 2019) or (ii) the applicable LIBOR rate (1.75% at December 28, 2019) plus 0.45%, and therefore, subjects the Company to fluctuations in such rates. As of December 28, 2019, the Company had no amounts outstanding under its current line of credit.
Sensitivity Analysis
The Company applies a sensitivity analysis to reflect the impact of a 10% hypothetical adverse change in the foreign currency rates. A potential adverse fluctuation in foreign currency exchange rates could negatively impact future cash flows by approximately $3.8 million as of December 28, 2019.
There are many economic factors that can affect volatility in foreign exchange rates. As such factors cannot be predicted, the actual impact on earnings due to an adverse change in the respective rates could vary substantially from the amounts calculated above.
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Item 8.
Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
 
 
 
REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
To the shareholders and the Board of Directors of
The Boston Beer Company, Inc.
Boston, Massachusetts
Opinion on the Financial Statements
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of The Boston Beer Company, Inc. and subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of December 28, 2019 and December 29, 2018 and the related consolidated statements of comprehensive income, stockholders’ equity, and cash flows, for each of the three fiscal years in the period ended December 28, 2019, and the related notes. In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of The Boston Beer Company, Inc. and subsidiaries as of December 28, 2019 and December 29, 2018 and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three fiscal years in the period ended December 28, 2019, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
We have also audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 28, 2019, based on criteria established in
Internal Control — Integrated Framework (2013)
 issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission and our report dated February 19, 2020, expressed an unqualified opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting.
Change in Accounting Principle
As discussed in Note B to the financial statements, effective December 30, 2018, the Company adopted FASB Accounting Standards Update
2016-02,
Leases (Topic 842)
, using the modified retrospective approach.
Basis for Opinion
These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
Critical Audit Matter
The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current-period audit of the financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of critical audit matters does not alter in any way our
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opinion on the financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.
Acquisition of Dogfish Head Brewery — Refer to Note C to the financial statements
Critical Audit Matter Description
The Company completed the acquisition of Dogfish Head Brewery for total consideration of $336 million on July 3, 2019. The Company accounted for this transaction under the acquisition method of accounting for business combinations. Accordingly, the purchase price was allocated, on a preliminary basis, to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed based on their respective fair values, including identified intangible assets of $102.3 million and resulting goodwill of $108.8 million. Of the identified intangible assets acquired, the most significant is a brand indefinite lived intangible asset of $98.5 million (the “Dogfish Head brand trade name”). The Company estimated the fair value of the Dogfish Head brand trade name using the relief-from-royalty method, which is a specific application of the discounted-cash-flow-method that required management to make significant estimates and assumptions related to forecasts of revenue growth projections, including growth rates for a
10-year
time period, royalty rates, discount rates, and methodologies utilized in the valuation models.
We identified the Dogfish Head brand trade name for Dogfish Head Brewery as a critical audit matter because of the significant estimates and assumptions management made to fair value this asset for purposes of recording the acquisition. This required a high degree of auditor judgment and an increased extent of effort when performing audit procedures, including the need to involve fair value specialists, to evaluate the reasonableness of management’s forecasts of future revenue, specifically the long-term growth rate, as well as the selection of the royalty rates, discount rates and methodologies utilized in the valuation models.
How the Critical Audit Matter Was Addressed in the Audit
Our audit procedures related to forecasts of revenue growth projections, the selection of the royalty rates, discount rates, as well as the methodologies utilized in the valuation models for the Dogfish Head brand trade name included the following, among others:
  We tested the effectiveness of controls over the valuation of the Dogfish Head brand trade name, including management’s controls over forecasts of revenue growth projections, the selection of the royalty rates, discount rates, as well as the methodologies utilized in the valuation models.
 
  We evaluated the reasonableness of management’s forecast of revenue growth projections by comparing the projections to historical results and calculating independent revenue projections based on objectively verifiable evidence.
 
  With the assistance of fair value specialists, we evaluated the reasonableness of the revenue growth projections, royalty rates, discount rates, and valuation methodologies by:
 
  Testing the source information underlying the determination of revenue growth projections, specifically the long-term growth rate, royalty rates, and discount rates, and testing the mathematical accuracy of the calculations.
 
  Developing a range of independent estimates for the discount rate and comparing those to the discount rate selected by management.
 
 
 
 
/s/ Deloitte & Touche LLP
 
Boston, Massachusetts
February 19, 2020
 
 
 
We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2015.
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THE BOSTON BEER COMPANY, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
(in thousands, except per share data)
                         
 
Year Ended
 
 
December 28,
 
 
December 29,
 
 
December 30,
 
 
2019
 
 
2018
 
 
2017
 
Revenue
  $
  1,329,108
    $
  1,057,495
    $
  921,736
 
Less excise taxes
   
79,284
     
61,846
     
58,744
 
                         
Net revenue
   
1,249,824
     
995,649
     
862,992
 
Cost of goods sold
   
635,658
     
483,406
     
413,091
 
                         
Gross profit
   
614,166
     
512,243
     
449,901
 
Operating expenses:
   
     
     
 
Advertising, promotional and selling expenses
   
355,613
     
304,853
     
258,649
 
General and administrative expenses
   
112,730
     
90,857
     
73,126
 
Impairment of assets
   
911
     
652
     
2,451
 
                         
Total operating expenses
   
469,254
     
396,362
     
334,226
 
                         
Operating income
   
144,912
     
115,881
     
115,675
 
Other
(expense)
 
income, net:
   
     
     
 
Interest income
   
647
     
1,292
     
549
 
Other expense, net
   
(1,189
)    
(887
)    
(82
)
                         
Total other
(expense)
 
income, net
   
(542
)    
405
     
467
 
                         
Income before provision for income tax
   
144,370
     
116,286
     
116,142
 
Provision for income taxes
   
34,329
     
23,623
     
17,093
 
                         
Net income
  $
110,041
    $
92,663
    $
99,049
 
                         
Net income per common share
-
 basic
  $
9.26
    $
7.90
    $
8.18
 
                         
Net income per common share
-
diluted
  $
9.16
    $
7.82
    $
8.09
 
                         
Weighted-average number of common shares
-
Class A basic
   
8,908
     
8,620
     
8,933
 
                         
Weighted-average number of common shares
-
Class B basic
   
2,873
     
3,002
     
3,102
 
                         
Weighted-average number of common shares
-
diluted
   
11,908
     
11,734
     
12,180
 
                         
Net income
  $
110,041
    $
92,663
    $
99,049
 
                         
Other comprehensive
(loss)
 
income, net of tax:
   
     
     
 
Currency translation adjustment
   
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