International Industry Awards Small U.S. Breweries

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Feb 20, 2002
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Boston Beer Co. and Bridgeport Brewing Co. of Portland, Ore., were among the
finalists for the bi-annual Brewing Industry International Awards, “the Oscars
of the brewing industry,” as reported by Realbeer.com. Scottish Courage Brewing
was the only brewery other than Boston Beer to capture four awards for a variety
of brands, including Miller beer brewed at its Manchester, England-brewery.
Boston Beer’s medals will all go to Sam Adams beers.

First run in 1886, the awards honor excellence in “the commercial worth of the beer quality” and are only judged by currently practicing professional brewers. Beers are judged in eight categories, each with three sub-classes, for a total of 24 classes and just 72 medals. The actual medal rankings and Champion Beers will not be revealed until the April 16 ceremony in London, which is the centerpiece of the National Annual Luncheon of the Brewing, Food and Beverage Industry Suppliers Association.

Sam Adams knows it has won medals for its Boston Lager, Winter Lager, Scotch
Ale and Weiss Beer. Bridgeport, which claimed a gold medal for its IPA in 2002,
gathered honors for Ebenezer Ale, Blue Heron Ale and Old Knucklehead. For the
second consecutive competition, Alaskan Brewing Co. won two awards, as did Pete’s
Brewing Co., New Glarus Brewing of New Glarus, Wis., and Deschutes Brewery of
Bend, Ore.

Moderator Comment: How can stores use announcements
such as this to create excitement in-store and to build incremental sales beyond
a single category?

Looks like the making of a great retail beer and cross-merchandising
promotional event.

Following the announcement of the medallists in April,
stores could build a lobby or multi-endcap display stacked with product from
the winners of individual categories. The display design and supporting ads,
rotos, etc. would build on the angle that it was brewers from the USA that came
home with the medals.

Stores could run a contest where adults 21+ vote for
their favorite beers by category. Winners randomly selected could win a trip
to London (the place where the judging took place), Boston, etc., American flags,
and other assorted prizes.

Each of the individual beers has distinctive taste qualities.
Store signage and/or complementary displays could let consumers know what foods
go best with each beer. This would not only help create add-on sales but it
would it would bring category managers and store associates from different areas
together. This type of event creates teams because it gives everyone the opportunity
to share a common mission.

This promotion would also offer the opportunity for stores
to reap added publicity. A portion of profits for the promotional period would
go to MADD or other organization promoting education and responsible drinking
behavior. [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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