With exactly one zillion breweries operating across America, distribution news is always a steady constant in the CBB mailbox. Every week, we get 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].
Allagash expands distribution throughout Illinois
Award-winning, B-Corp certified Allagash Brewing Co. recently announced it will now distribute its beer statewide in Illinois, expanding beyond its current retail footprint encompassing nine counties in and surrounding Chicago.
“Chicago has been a key metropolitan market for us for quite some time now, but we know that Illinois is a huge state with a vibrant beer community,” said Rob Tod, founder, Allagash Brewing Co. “We’re glad that Allagash can now reach more people in Illinois far and wide.”
“We’re thrilled to be able to expand within the state and work with our terrific distribution partner, Marketplace Selections, to meet the demand for our beer,” added Naomi Neville, sales director, Allagash Brewing Co. “The expansion was an easy decision to make and is a win for everyone.”
Allagash’s Illinois offerings will be anchored by its year-round beers, including the flagship Allagash White and the Maine-based brewery’s newly released IPA, Hop Reach. Other year-round beers like Tripel and Curieux will also be available during the launch, along with some specialty items.
Along with being able to enjoy one of the country’s most revered beer brands, with accolades that include a James Beard Award, Great American Beer Festival medals, and Brewery of the Year, Illinois consumers can feel good about purchasing Allagash because of the brewery’s commitment to using beer as a force for good. Allagash has demonstrated these core values throughout their 28-year-history with consistent actions and initiatives. In 2022, Allagash gave more than $500,000 to community organizations, through donations tied to 1% of revenues. In addition, Allagash fulfilled its commitment to brewing with over a million pounds of Maine-grown grain, per year, and runs a recycling co-op with local businesses to get more hard-to-recycle materials out of the waste stream.The beer brand’s efforts earned Allagash a spot on Fast Company’s Brands that Matter list in 2022.
Memphis’ Wiseacre Brewing launches in Virginia
Wiseacre Brewing Co. recently launched statewide distribution in Virginia. Three of the Memphis-based breweries’ year-round beers — Ananda IPA, Gotta Get Up to Get Down Coffee Milk Stout, and the Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal-winning Tiny Bomb Pilsner — will be available, along with Seasonal and Specialty Releases, in all Total Wine stores across Virginia, along with many other better beer stores.
In celebration of its launch in Virginia, Wiseacre will collaborate with Richmond-based Bingo Beer to create a limited-edition brew that will be available only in Virginia.
“Jay Bayer, one of Bingo’s founders, and I have been friends for a long time; we went to brewing school in Chicago together. They have really zeroed in on lagers at Bingo — similar to how we’ve done at Wiseacre with Tiny Bomb pilsner, Irusu rice lager, Memphis Sands Helles, and many more. I am a huge fan of not only their amazing beers, but also what Bingo has done to raise the profile of lagers in general, which have tended to play second fiddle to IPAs in the craft beer scene,” said Davin Bartosch, Wiseacre brewmaster and cofounder. “In the years since we went to school together Jay and Bingo have come to our Taste the Rarity Festival in Memphis many times, we’ve both honed our craft and, with our launch in Virginia, this is the perfect time to get together and make something deliciously drinkable, as all lagers should be.”
Wiseacre’s Tiny Bomb has grown to become the No. 4 Craft Pilsner in the country, growth fueled in part by the state-of-the-art production facility Wiseacre built in Downtown Memphis in 2020, which quintupled the brewery’s previous capacity. The new facility also led to the development of new beers and the creation of new packaging options, which include 12-, 16- and 19.2-oz cans coming in six-packs, four-packs, 12-packs, variety packs and single-serve.
Wiseacre is currently sold in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C., so the expansion to Virginia means that Wiseacre fans in a total of 19 states and the District of Columbia will be able to buy their Wiseacre favorites closer to home.
Boston’s Castle Island launches distribution in New Hampshire
New Hampshire beer drinkers received good news this week when Castle Island Brewing Co. announced they will begin distributing its beers throughout the Granite State. The Boston-area brewery shared news of the expansion after months of planning and discussion with their distribution partner, Amoskeag Beverages, located in Bow. Castle Island and Amoskeag had been in discussions throughout the pandemic and ultimately decided to begin selling the brand in February.
“We are extremely excited to partner up with Castle Island Brewing and bring their amazing beers to stores and restaurants all across NH,” said Amoskeag Craft Brand Manager Bret Pollock. “The culture they have created in the beer industry is what NH craft beer drinkers are looking for: high quality beer, plenty of style offerings and consistency.”
For Castle Island, the move to New Hampshire is a strategic one. The company had an eye on New Hampshire for some time but needed a sales leader with experience selling into large chains before they felt comfortable expanding north. In 2022 Castle Island found that leader when they brought on Erica Talbot, the company’s Wholesale Director and a New Hampshire native, whose sales career spans more than a decade working for large breweries in New England and California.
“Amoskeag is a natural fit for Castle Island,” said Talbot. “They strive for world-class service for their retailers and we at Castle Island believe in creating outstanding beer that is approachable for everyone. We look forward to providing the live free or die drinkers a New England brand they can rely on.”
Castle Island is launching the state with their four top-selling brands — Keeper IPA, Fiver, Hazy IPA, White Ale and Hi-Def Double IPA — which will be available in both 16oz cans and kegs statewide. Launch parties and sampling events are scheduled for the week of February 6th. Details and more information can be found on the company’s website, Facebook page (castleislandbeer), and Instagram channel (@castleislandbeer).
Castle Island has locations in Norwood and South Boston, Massachusetts, both of which are open to the public for onsite taproom sales and cans to-go. Hours and additional information about the brewery, including a list of retail locations near you, can be found on the company’s website.
Oregon’s Migration Brewing to partner with Scout Distribution in Idaho
Migration Brewing has expanded its regional distribution reach to Idaho. This winter the Portland, Oregon, based craft brewery entered a partnership with Scout Distributing to bring its award-winning beers to the state of Idaho. This is the latest addition to the company’s west coast distribution network that also includes Oregon, Washington, and Colorado.
“We are very excited to be working with the experienced distribution team at Scout,” said Eric Banzer-Lausberg, cofounder and sales director at Migration Brewing. “Over the past few years, we’ve been able to gain traction in several secondary markets and we’re stoked on the opportunity to expand our regional reach to Idaho,” stated Banzer-Lausberg.
2022 was Migration’s largest production year to date and featured 76 different beers made plus 18 domestic and international competition accolades, including three (3) Oregon Beer Awards. As part of a continued growth strategy, the emerging regional brand is excited to work with Scout Distributing in Idaho. “Scout has a great reputation for their customer service mindset and for building brands. They’ve also done an amazing job putting together an awesome craft beer portfolio that we’re excited to be a part of,” explains Banzer-Lausberg.
Migration has already sent its first shipment of draft kegs and packaged products to Idaho, and they look forward to supporting the local market in 2023! Migration Brewing started in 2010 when four friends came together over a passion for craft beer and a dream of opening a brewpub. With a lot of bootstrapping, and a little luck, they have since opened four pub locations within Portland. As an award-winning brewery, the Migration team takes great pride in producing world-class beers that embrace innovation while respecting classic styles. For more information please visit one of the Migration brewpubs or email [email protected].
Drizly and Gopuff join forces for on-demand alcohol delivery
Drizly, an Uber company, and Gopuff recently announced a partnership to provide immediate, on-demand delivery of drinks to adults of legal drinking age. This new collaboration brings the full Gopuff Liquor & More assortment of beer, wine and spirits to Drizly’s beverage alcohol e-commerce shop, while also expanding the number of BevMo! and Liquor Barn stores on the platform.
Increasing Drizly’s network of partners to offer convenient delivery options for drinks, the partnership also expands Gopuff’s reach by tapping into Drizly’s customer base of high-intent alcohol shoppers. Gopuff Liquor & More, BevMo!, and Liquor Barn stores are now available on Drizly’s marketplace in 26 states, including Florida, Texas, New York, Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina and more.
The new partnership builds upon the addition of Gopuff to the Uber Eats app in 2021. As Gopuff continues to expand its platform to reach customers wherever they shop online, its partnership with Drizly enables a more seamless shopping experience for customers.
“As we continue to build the best shopping experience for beverage alcohol, teaming up with Gopuff is our next step in offering consumers convenient delivery options for drinks,” said Blaine Grinna, Drizly’s Senior Director of Retail Ops. “Drizly’s infrastructure for alcohol e-commerce coupled with Gopuff’s network of commerce locations will extend the ease of on-demand delivery of beer, wine and spirits nationwide and help even more customers of legal drinking age shop the best drinks for the moment.”
In addition to bringing new Gopuff locations offering beer, wine, and spirits to the Drizly marketplace, the company also adds nearly 20 new BevMo! stores to its platform, notably marking expansions into Arizona and Washington, and increasing the network of Liquor Barn stores available for rapid delivery across Kentucky.
“Gopuff continues to drive the future of commerce by leveraging our network and infrastructure to innovate, improve and streamline the shopping experience wherever consumers make purchases online – on Gopuff, third-party platforms, social media, and beyond,” said Daniel Folkman, Gopuff’s SVP of Business. “Today, we are excited to expand upon our relationship with Uber by offering our beer, wine and spirits selection to Drizly customers 21+ in applicable markets, bringing the unparalleled Gopuff experience to more consumers nationwide.”
Today’s news underscores Drizly’s commitment to becoming the go-to shopping destination for all beverage alcohol occasions. As the alcohol e-commerce pioneer, Drizly continues to build upon its expertise to help customers find the best drink for the moment via convenient delivery options and one of the widest selections, at a great value.
Consumers of legal drinking age in select markets can now visit Drizly.com, or download the Drizly app (App Store and Google Play) to shop a wide range of adult beverages from Gopuff, BevMo! and Liquor Barn.