Boston Reports Strong Qtr

Boston Beer Co.’s third-quarter profit jumped 27% as the brewer reported a jump in volume and higher prices which helped to offset some increased spending on advertising and promotional efforts.

Core shipment volume increased 17% to about 772,000 barrels for the quarter. Depletion’s rose 15%, due mainly to increases for Angry Orchard, Samuel Adams seasonals and Twisted tea, which offset weakness for other Samuel Adams styles.

Overall, Boston Beer reported a profit of $20.8 million, up from $16.3 million a year earlier. Net revenue climbed 23% to $166.4 million. Gross margin slid to 56% from 56.4% as increases in barley, hops and other ingredients were mostly offset by higher prices and lower operating costs per barrel.

Advertising, promotional and selling expenses jumped 21%, as the company continued to spend more to support its brands.

Boston Beer has beefed up its sales force and is spending more on ads and local marketing efforts to support its brands, in part reacting to the challenge it sees from both other craft and larger brewers.