Boston Beer Up 2.5% in 2004

The Boston Beer Company, Inc. announced today that shipment volume increased 6.0% in the fourth quarter and 2.5% for the full year. Net revenue increased 9.9% in the fourth quarter and 4.5% for the full year, while Net income in the fourth quarter was $2.8 million, down 21.4% from last year primarily due to increased advertising, promotions and selling expense. Net income for the full year was $12.5 million, an 18.4% increase over 2003.

“We were delighted with 4.6% depletion growth in the fourth quarter as we increased our brand support spending” said Jim Koch Chairman and Founder. “While pleased with our revenue and earnings performance for the full year and our strong fourth quarter sales performance, we believe that we can do better. We will introduce new brand communications very soon that we think will capitalize on the roots and essence of Samuel Adams’ success. We are excited by this new campaign.”

Martin Roper, Boston Beer President and CEO said, “We believe the Samuel Adams brand is stronger, as demonstrated by the level of growth in the fourth quarter. However, on-premise trends were not as strong as off-premise in the second half of the year, and we are evaluating the cause and potential solutions. We are currently finalizing the strategy and communicating plans behind our new brand message. We are encouraged by the initial quantitative testing of the television commercials which indicates that this campaign is even stronger than our current work, and we will be evaluating its performance in market to determine appropriate investment levels. As a result, our full year projections of brand investment may change depending on campaign performance.”

Shipments and orders in-hand suggest that shipments for the first quarter 2005 will be up approximately 5.0% over the first quarter 2004. Based on information available to Boston Beer as of March 8, 2005, depletions for January and February combined look like they could be down a couple percentage points. Actual shipments for the current quarter may differ and no inferences should be drawn with respect to shipments in future periods.

For full details of company’s annual results go to