Boston Beer Co Announces New CEO Amid Revenue Losses

After over six years in the role, it’s last call for Boston Beer Co. CEO Dave Burwick, who is retiring effective April 1. 

At that time, Nike alum and current lead director Michael Spillane will take over as president and CEO, Boston Beer Co. – parent company of Angry Orchard, Dogfish Head, Truly Hard Seltzer, and Twisted Teas, along with flagship Samuel Adams – announced this week.

The news came as Boston Beer Co also reported net revenue losses of around 12% for Q4 of 2023.

"We've grown from $850 million in revenue when he began as CEO to more than $2 billion in revenue with a portfolio of powerful brands in attractive categories today,” Boston Beer Co. founder Jim Koch said of Burwick in a statement announcing the news.

During Burwick's tenure, he led the company in a strategy largely revolved around expanding beyond the beer category through the building up of the Truly and Twisted Tea brands that the company characterizes as “”two-billion dollar brands,” leading it to the number two position in the “beyond beer” category, according to a news release.



Burwick also drove collaborative partnerships connecting the company to major brands like Beam Suntory and PepsiCo. And early in his leadership role, Boston Beer Co brought on Lesya Lysyj as CMO, who brought the brand to the Super Bowl with “Your Cousin From Boston” in 2023.

Spillane’s career includes serving in a series of executive leadership roles at Nike.

"Michael's strong track record as a consumer executive and his experience on our board make him the ideal person to lead Boston Beer as we continue to forge ahead in a rapidly evolving beer industry," Koch said in a statement. "Given his already extensive knowledge of our company and our culture, we expect Michael to hit the ground running as he steps in to help lead us into our next chapter."

In an earnings call with investors, the company made clear that it viewed the appointment of Spillane as CEO as a long-term, not an interim appointment.

Boston Beer Co. also highlighted the growth of Twisted Tea last year as a bright spot in its brand portfolio, reporting the brand had 29% dollar sales growth for the quarter. Burwick cited “a highly effective advertising campaign; increased media investment and expanded college football tailgating platform in the fourth quarter; and optimized packaging design that highlights the brand's distinctive assets” as among the factors contributing to the brand’s growth.

“We intend to invest heavily in 2024 with a goal of continuing Twisted Tea's trajectory in the face of more competition,” he said.

The company’s Truly Hard Seltzer brand didn’t fare as well, with a dollar sales decline of 22% for the quarter, but the company plans to continue making it a marketing focus. “We expect hard seltzer category volumes to decline low teens in 2024 compared to a decline of 21% in 2023 and remain focused on investing in innovation, advertising and growing fiscal availability of our lightly flavored portfolio to hold share,” Burwick said. 

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