Shares of Boston Beer Company (SAM) surged more than 6% in Wednesday trading after Goldman Sachs (GS) raised the company’s stock from a “sell” to a “neutral” rating. GS also boosted its price target for SAM shares from $141 to $162, based in part the sales outlook for its Angry Orchard hard cider brand, Benzinga noted.
In fact, hard cider sales are picking up across the country as Americans return to a drink favored by the colonial ancestors.
British settlers brought the drink to the nascent nation where it flourished, eclipsing beer in popularity during the 18th century. However, a later wave of German immigration boosted beer’s popularity and hard cider has languished since. Yet in recent years, sales of hard cider have soared from just 4 million gallons in 2004 to 17 million gallons last year, Seattle Weekly notes.
The rapid growth in cider consumption is putting some strain on apple producers, who traditionally produce far more culinary apples than the varieties used for cider. Cider-maker associations are working with farming groups to boost the production of cider apples to meet the rising demand.