With exactly one zillion breweries operating across America, distribution news is always a steady constant in the CBB mailbox. Every week, we get virtual piles of announcements on new alliances, upcoming state expansions and even reductions from breweries growing and shrinking their distribution footprints. Here is some of that wholesaler news. Enjoy! If you have distribution news, send it to [email protected].
Howdy Beer returns to full distribution throughout Colorado
Giddy up! Colorado’s two-time GABF award-winning Howdy Beer is being re-introduced to its home state. Brewed as a “Western Pilsner,” Howdy Beer was first launched in 2014 by The Post Brewing, which is operated by the Big Red F Restaurant Group in Boulder, Colo. A crisp, biscuit-y American-style pilsner featuring a beautiful light bouquet of aroma hops, Howdy has gained its share of national acclaim at the Great American Beer Festival, earning a Bronze medal in 2018 in the American-Style Pilsener category and a Silver medal in 2014 in the American-Style or International-Style Pilsener category,
Now, Howdy is primed for a national platform through broader distribution starting with campaign launches in Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma and returns to full Colorado distribution beginning this week.
“We have always believed that Howdy Beer is an incredible beer with awesome potential,” said Dave Query, founder of Big Red F Restaurant Group. “The partnership with Stem Ciders as our distribution partner will allow Howdy to reach its brand and distribution potential. They have a skilled sales team and a strong knowledge of the industry needed to launch a brand across several regions.”
“Our vision is to create solutions for our distributor partners by offering a high margin portfolio of brands that can capture multiple channel and beverage type opportunities, all with fully aligned production, shared logistics and front-of-house sales and marketing support,” explained Dave Duffy, CCO of Stem Ciders.
Long-time friends and collaborators through the Boulder restaurant and beverage scene, Query and Foster first began talking about the opportunity to give Howdy a larger platform as early as two years ago.
“We’ve been huge admirers of the Howdy Beer brand, and the beer itself, for such a long time,” said Foster. “But what’s more exciting is that Howdy also presents an opportunity for us to explore the unique middle ground between the premium and craft beer categories.”
The Post Brewing will continue to retain and brew the rest of its beer portfolio in-house under brewmaster Nick Tedeschi, but will also continue to feature Howdy Beer at all of its Big Red F locations. However, as Query notes, the alignment with Stem gives Howdy Beer the opportunity to grow nationally.
“Every great product, be it a beer or a wristwatch or a medical device or whatever, has to be stewarded by the best possible leader to take it to its full potential,” said Query. “I am a chef and restaurant guy and while making a ton of beer is now something we do, it doesn’t mean that I/we know how to market and distribute and assure its best success.
“We launched six beers into cans and bombers and sold them in liquor stores and restaurants across Colorado. What a pain in the ass it was. In this tough Colorado Craft Beer climate — taking a beer to market ain’t for beginners,” Query continued.
Howdy Beer will be available throughout the state of Colorado beginning the week of August 15. They also invite beer fans to join the Howdy Beer team out at the Great American Beer Festival for a rip roarin’ good time on the festival floor featuring a mechanical bull and several other surprises.
Minnesota-made Tail Chaser Brew launches across Minnesota
Tail Chaser Brew, a new locally brewed dog bone broth created by two iconic Minnesota brands — Craft & Crew Hospitality Group and FINNEGANS — launched this week in Cub Stores throughout Minnesota and at more than 70 breweries, hotels and restaurants.
Tail Chaser Brew came out of an idea from David Benowitz and Luke Derheim of Craft & Crew Hospitality Group, which owns six dog-friendly restaurants and bars across the Twin Cities. The Craft & Crew Restaurants have been welcoming dogs for many years, even having a special menu for them so it is no surprise they have created a dog brew — just for them!
“We wanted to create a one-of-a-kind bone broth brew that could be used both as a meal topper with nutritional benefits and also a special treat for dogs,” said Benowitz, co-owner of Craft & Crew. “Tail Chaser Dog Brew is unlike other dog brews on the market as it is 100 percent clean, made with just seven natural ingredients, no salt, preservative or fillers.”
Benowitz and Derheim reached out to a friend and now partner, Jacquie Berglund, founder of FINNEGANS about the dog brew idea, and she did not hesitate to get involved. Tail Chaser Brew is now locally brewed at FINNEGANS in Minneapolis.
“We are thrilled to not only be brewing Tail Chaser Brew but also offering it to our special dog customers who frequent our bar and patio with their dog owners,” said Berglund. “Our FINNEGANS Brew Crew takes much pride in brewing this healthy bone broth and are excited to see it available at Cub stores and other retail outlets in the future.”
Beginning August 16, Tail Chaser Dog Brew will be available at all CUB stores in Minnesota and retails for $7.99 for a four-pack. Tail Chaser Dog Brew bone broth is also available to purchase online at tailchaserdogbrew.com and available at all Craft & Crew restaurant locations, FINNEGANS, and more than 70 breweries in Minnesota and coming soon to North Dakota and Wisconsin.
And Tail Chaser Brew knows that taking the best care of your four-legged friend is important, no matter what your circumstances, which is why Tail Chaser Dog Brew is working with Pets & People together, a local nonprofit that provides pet food to food shelves in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area for families facing economic hardships. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to Pets & People together.
Hoplark expands footprint in the Pacific Northwest with Columbia Distributing
Hoplark, the makers of innovative, non-alcoholic beverages that provide a craft brew experience without the calories, recently announced its partnership with Columbia Distributing, one of the country’s largest total beverage distributors, offering a robust portfolio of beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages. Starting this month, Columbia Distributing will bring Hoplark 0.0, HopTea and Hoplark Sparkling Water to its retail partners in Washington and Oregon.
The expansion into the Pacific Northwest via Columbia Distributing’s footprint will give access to markets Hoplark has yet to enter and allow the brand to reach many more customers where they shop for beverages.
“Hoplark and the Pacific Northwest beverage consumer is the perfect match,” said Mike Specht, chief sales officer at Columbia Distributing. “They’re making innovative and totally refreshing beverages that today’s consumers are demanding, from the sober-curious to the craft beer lover who occasionally wants to imbibe on a healthier option. We’re thrilled to partner with Hoplark in Oregon and Washington.”
“Columbia is a world-class beverage company with a dynamic portfolio of brands that service every retail channel,” said Johnny Damiano, president at Hoplark. “Hoplark’s differentiated line of non-alcoholic products integrates really well with Columbia’s brand mix and together, we are strategically aligned to focus on future growth opportunities that will be a value add to retailers, Columbia and Hoplark. Most of all, we respect the people at Columbia and are proud to be working alongside them.”
The partnership comes during a year of tremendous growth for Hoplark which is celebrating its fourth year of business and recently announced the appointment of Betsy Frost as chief commercial officer.
Legion Brewing announces expanded distribution in the Carolinas
Legion Brewing, a Charlotte-based craft brewing company best known for its Juicy Jay IPA, recently expanded its distribution footprint outside of the Charlotte area for the first time in the company’s seven year history. Legion’s beer can now be found on tap and on grocery shelves in nearby Gastonia, Belmont, and Lincolnton in North Carolina through a distribution agreement with Standard Distributors. Legion will cross state lines to the south and partner with B&B Distributors to bring their brands to Fort Mill and Rock Hill, S.C.
“We are excited to be able to share what we love with our North Carolina neighbors to the west and our neighbors to the south in South Carolina,” said Phil Buchy, owner and CEO of Legion Brewing. “The Legion community is growing thanks to the support of our loyal local fans, and I look forward to introducing Legion beer to more cities throughout the Carolinas in the near future.”
This expansion is a natural next step for Legion to share its beer with nearby fans. Legion Brewing is a community-building brand that embodies “campfire hospitality” where friends and neighbors gather to share stories, drink great beer and make memories. Legion’s flagship beers that will be distributed include their signature Juicy Jay IPA, Penguin Pils and the Supernova line, a seasonal rotation of fruited sours.
“This has been a long-anticipated relationship with a fantastic Charlotte-based brewery that we have been looking forward to for a long time,” said Brandon Garrett, craft brand manager at Standard Distributors. “Juicy Jay is an absolute hammer to bring to the market along with all the other delicious brand extensions. Standard and Legion will work together to bring quality beer to Gaston County for a long time.”
Established in 2015, Legion Brewing has three taprooms throughout Charlotte. The brewing company first launched their canning operations in the Queen City during the pandemic in 2020 when taprooms and restaurants were forced to shut down. Fortunately, during this time, Legion was already making moves to open a new brewery and adjusted their plans. With a 100,000-bbl capacity, Legion’s new West Morehead location now serves as the company’s primary production facility and was built to meet the anticipated need from the increased on-premise and off-premise retail distribution.
“We are beyond excited and proud to have this opportunity to distribute and build awareness for Legion’s delicious beers,” said David Spafford, general manager at B&B Distributors. “Phil and his extremely talented team have embraced our culture, and we certainly have embraced their mantra of ‘Friends & Beer’. It is with that calling we will endeavor to make Legion Brewing one of the best-selling local craft beer companies in our portfolio, and we are off to a quick start!”
Cape Beverage partners with NA brand Grüvi for New Jersey distribution
Cape Beverage Distributing recently announced the addition of its first non-alcoholic brand to its distribution portfolio: Grüvi. Cape Beverage will begin distributing three popular Grüvi brands to New Jersey retailers starting this month: Non-Alcoholic Juicy IPA, Alcohol-Free Dry Secco, and Alcohol-Free Bubbly Rosé.
“Cape Beverage is very excited to add Grüvi to our portfolio as our first non-alcoholic offering,” says Cape Beverage Brand Manager Chris Verderame. “We can’t wait to spread their award winning products across New Jersey.”
Grüvi launched in 2019 as a family operation, committed to providing quality non-alcoholic beverages and fostering an inclusive community focused on health and wellness. They have quickly become a popular brand amongst consumers, and they even picked up a gold award for one of their non-alcoholic beer offerings at this year’s World Beer Cup.
“We are extremely excited to partner with Cape Beverage,” says Grüvi Founder & CEO Niki Sawni. “Their team truly understands brand building and will be a great partner as we introduce New Jersey to Gruvi’s delicious variety of alcohol free social beverages.”
Shifts in consumer behavior have changed alcohol buying habits, and non-alcoholic brands are on the rise. Many Americans have cut back or reduced alcohol consumption, and now over 30 percent of American adults do not consume alcohol. The non-alcohol category itself is expected to grow over 30 percent in the next few years. In fact, non-alcoholic wine grew nearly 40 percent in 2021.
Cape Beverage is proud to bring its customers a community-driven, non-alcoholic brand known across North America.
- Non-Alcoholic Juicy IPA keeps a hazy color and mouthfeel while delivering a taste of the tropics. Juicy IPA is packed with pineapple and nicely balanced with notes of citrus and a hint of fig.
- Alcohol-Free Dry Secco is delicate, floral, and semi-dry with a touch of tartness. It’s also their most popular beverage option, and is completely gluten-free and sulfate-free.
- Alcohol-Free Bubbly Rosé is fruity on the nose and pours a light pink hue. Tiny, effervescent bubbles compliment notes of tart, green apple and fresh strawberry. Gluten-free.
San Diego’s Eppig Brewing expands distro to Orange County
Eppig Brewing, known for its expertly-crafted lagers and ales, is expanding its footprint into Orange County. The Vista-based brewery will offer its lineup of brews on draft and in 16-oz cans where fine craft beer is sold in partnership with their San Diego distributor Scout Distribution.
Fans can expect to see beers on taps and store shelves in cities including Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana, Huntingdon Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach and San Clemente. Whole Foods, Bev Mo and Total Wine & More are among the first OC locations where Eppig beer will land this week in addition to local shops and bars specializing in craft beer.
Eppig’s most popular beers include year round flagship releases 10:45 To Denver IPA, Special Lager, Harbor Cruise Kölsch and Try This West Coast Pale Ale. Limited releases such as Beach Beer Mexican-style amber lager, Eagle Rider Double IPA, Glitz & Glam Berliner Weisse and Wake Up & Slay IPA will also be available seasonally.
Starting in late-August through October, Eppig will be turning its brewing efforts toward Festbier, its true-to-style Oktoberfest lager which is more complex and flavorful than a pilsner but less malty than a marzen. This award-winning lager draws attention twice a year when the release of this classic Bavarian style indicates the arrival of the spring and fall seasons. Orange County can expect its share of Festbier to arrive within the month and lager-lovers should stay tuned for announcements about Eppig’s participation in local Oktoberfest celebrations and bar events.
Readers who are interested in learning more about the Eppig Brewing’s beer, San Diego locations, its rich Bavarian brewing history dating back to the 1860s and its many awards should visit Eppigbrewing.com.
The Bronx Brewery expands into Puerto Rico
The Bronx Brewery recently announced its market expansion across Puerto Rico. The Bronx Brewery’s high-quality and well-balanced brews, distributed by TOMA!, will be available for purchase on draft and in cans and can be found in local restaurants, bars, and convenience and liquor stores.
Craft beer lovers across Puerto Rico can now enjoy The Bronx Brewery’s core portfolio, including World Gone Hazy, City Island Sour IPA, No Resolutions IPA, Smile My Guy IPA, Well Earned Pilsner and Now Youse Can’t Leave Double IPA; seasonal favorites like Summer Pale Ale and World Gone Rosé and their collaboration-focused Y-Series limited release beers. As one of New York City’s most vibrant and iconic craft brands, The Bronx-based brewery’s expansion into Puerto Rico marks a new chapter in its continued growth.
“Having our beer available in Puerto Rico is an exciting step for us as a brewery and aligns well with so much of the work we’re doing now,” said Damian Brown, cofounder and president of The Bronx Brewery. “As a brand that is all about using our beer to build community in a borough and city with deep ties to Puerto Rico, we’re thrilled to be able to connect with new fans and hopefully inspire positive change along the way.”
After a successful launch of the brewery’s second location in the East Village earlier this year, this new market expansion represents the brand’s continued growth since its founding in 2011. The Bronx Brewery’s current distribution footprint includes New York, New Jersey and several export markets, including Sweden, Finland, Canada, Italy, Norway and now Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rican craft beer lovers — as well as fans of The BX and NYC — will be able to enjoy a taste of The Bronx at over 30 locations across the island, including local favorites like BUNS Burger Shop, El Tap PR, El Grifo, Pimentón, Ceviche Market and Bottega, with more bars, restaurants, and retailers being announced throughout the year.
Where to find BXB in Puerto Rico:
- La Esquinita – @laesquinitajardincervecero
- La Taberna Lupulo – @latabernalupulo
- 100×35 Beer Boutique – @100x35beerboutique
- Taberna Boricua – @tabernaboricua
- El Tap – @eltappr
- El Grifo – @elgrifopr
- Pimenton – @pimentonpr
- Casa Pimenton – @casapimentonpr
- Cafe la Estacion – @cafelaestacionpr
- La Super Duper – @lasuperduperpr
- Victory Gulf – @victorygulf
- Gulf By Pass Station, Ponce – @gulfbypass_station
- La Revuelta Beer Garden & Bar – @la_revuelta_beer_garden
- Rincon Beer Company – @rincon.bc
- Bonding Bar – @bondingbar
- La Penultima – @barpenultima
- Mai Pen Rai Santurce – @maipenrai.santurce
- La Lomita de Charlie – @lalomitadecharlie1
- Aibonito Beer Garden – @aibonitobeer
- Antesala Coamo – @antesalacoamo
- Dylan’s Biergarten Hatillo – @dylansbiergartenhatillo
- El BeerGarden & Pizza Rustica – @elbeergardenpizzarustica
- Ceviche Market – @cevichemarketmiramar
- Pizza E Birra Miramar – @pizzaebirrapr
- Bottega – @bottegacalleloiza
- The BRGR Shop – @thebrgrshop
- BUNS Burger Shop – @bunsburgershop
- DNUEVO COFFEE SPECIALTY – @dnuevocafe
- DiZucchero-La Piazza – @dizucchero
- El Cielo Wine Beers – @elcielowinebeers
- Hostos Beer Garden – @hostosbeergardenpr
- Ikebana Sushi Bars – @ikebanasushibar
- Jamon Jamon – @jamonjamonpr
- Jobos Convinience Store – @jobosconviniencestore
- La Vieja Pizza & Beer, Cupey – @laviejapizzabeer
- Los Frescos – @losfrescospr