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!
NA brand Big Drop expands distribution in the Northeast
As a result, three of the most popular styles from Big Drop’s range (Galactic Extra Dark, Pine Trail Pale and Paradiso IPA) are now available to grocery stores, bars and restaurants in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine. For example, three groups where stock is landing are Total Wine, Craft Beer Cellar, Liquor Junction, and Kappy’s, plus many high-quality independent retailers. Big Drop is also available online but this partnership now brings Big Drop face-to-face with consumers in a total of six states (including Illinois, Michigan and Minneapolis).
Established in the United Kingdom but now brewed in the United States (at Great Central Brewery in Chicago), Big Drop has broken new ground in the NA beer category by winning international accolades and multiple global beer awards. These include two Gold Medals from the U.S. Open Beer Championship and four times World’s Best from the World Beer Awards, as well as the Holy Grail of any NA drink: beating full-strength rivals in blind-tastings. It has also attracted a total of $9M in equity investment to help boost its U.S. expansion and board advisors that include Mark Hunter, the former Global CEO of Molson Coors, and Stefan Orlowski, former President Europe of Heineken.
Rob Fink, founder and CEO of Big Drop, commented: “The timing could not be better, both for us and for any New Englanders who appreciate their beer. With interest in the whole NA category on the rise and a big summer on the cards, there’s a place at the table for beers that don’t compromise on taste, even if they only come in at 0.5 percent abv. And who better than Craft Collective to understand the market, seize the opportunity and make it happen.”
Big Drop was launched in 2016 as the world’s first brewer dedicated to alcohol-free beer by then City of London lawyer, Rob Fink and long-time friend James Kindred. Both had recently become fathers and were looking to cut back on the booze but could not find any decent alternatives to their favorite craft beers. Since its first 700-liter batch, Big Drop has gone on to win over 60 major international beer awards including four times being judged the “World’s Best” at the World Beer Awards and beating full-strength beers in blind tastings.
Recognized as the market leader in this rapidly growing sector, Big Drop is now available in over 20 countries. Big Drop contract brews in batches through a network of brewing partners worldwide which means it can produce its beer locally and ethically with a minimal carbon footprint. Its full range of craft beers, which are all <0.5 percent ABV, currently consists of: Stout, Lager, Pale Ale, IPA, Brown Ale, Golden Ale, Hazelnut Porter and a Sour as well as special editions and collaborations with other leading brewers.
Flying Dog expands distro and support for Pink Boots Society
In an effort to increase the brewery’s support of the Pink Boots Society, Flying Dog Brewery recently announced that Victress Tart Ale has returned with expanded distribution in 2021. The cranberry lime fruited kettle sour, which benefits the international nonprofit, will hit store shelves in mid-July.
Brewed by Flying Dog’s craft beer queens, Victress is a delicious fusion of sweet and tart flavors that create a super drinkable explosion of juicy hop filled goodness, perfect for summer BBQs in the backyard, pool parties with plenty of floats, and any time you want to celebrate the women in your life.
The 6.8 percent ABV ale (up from 4.2 percent in 2020) was brewed with the 2021 Pink Boots Hop Blend. Each year, in partnership with Yakima Chief Hops, members of the Pink Boots Society analyze and select a specific blend of hops to be used for Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day events.
Victress was created in conjunction with Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day and proceeds from the beer benefit the organization which works to assist, inspire and encourage female professionals in the beer industry to advance their careers through education. Funds raised are applied to educational scholarships and programming for members.
“The women of Flying Dog have come together for the last 5 years to brew world class beers as part of the Pink Boots Society’s Collaboration Brew Day and we are so excited to increase our support of the program this year with expanded distribution for Victress,” said Kristin Hanna, sales and marketing program director at Flying Dog Brewery. “Not only will this allow more consumers to sip on a delicious summertime beer, but it will also help spread awareness of the Pink Boot’s Society’s important mission and work.”
In addition to supporting the mission of the Pink Boots Society, Flying Dog is also taking the opportunity to honor the success of women locally during Frederick County’s upcoming S.H.E Week. Flying Dog will sponsor the final celebration of the week of events, which recognizes the Strength, Heart and Equality of women in Frederick County, and provide additional event support and giveaways as needed.
Victress will be sold in six-packs of 12-oz bottles. In addition to Maryland retailers, Victress will be available at select retailers in VA, NY, PA, DC, OH, WV, NC, DE, KY, WI, CO. Consumers are encouraged to visit the brewery’s Beer Finder to locate inventory near them: flyingdog.com/beer-finder.
San Diego’s Cerveza XTECA expands into Southern Riverside County
Cerveza XTECA, a Latino owned and operated craft beer company brewed in San Diego, Calif., known for making highly drinkable lagers, continues to expand into new distribution territories. You can now find Cerveza XTECA’s brands at your nearest retailers in the Southern Riverside County cities of Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar and Menifee.
At the start of the pandemic, Cerveza XTECA was forced to look inward to analyze its growth strategies, as the effects of COVID-19 on the restaurant industry led to most of on-premise accounts to close or be suspended. Off-premises retail took on a greater weight in light of a downturn in the dining and entertainment on-premise accounts.
Cerveza XTECA saw many fans and retail consumers live in Riverside County through social media analytics and platform engagement, among these many San Diegans making the move to Riverside County recently. To celebrate this expansion and as part of its responsibility as a community-centered company, Cerveza XTECA was a supporter of the First Annual Cheech Marin Golf Tournament at the Victoria Country Club in Riverside on July 12, 2021. The event served as a fundraiser to benefit the future Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture, AKA “The Cheech.”
Cerveza XTECA President and CEO Fred Sotelo highlighted the importance of the company’s community involvement.
“As the XTECA family of beers expands into more communities, we want to do our best to make an impact by supporting local non-profits, small business organizations and other good causes,” Sotelo said.
“We are proud to support The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art and Culture and we believe in The Cheech’s mission to elevate and promote Chicano arts,” said Mario “The OG” Lopez, Cerveza XTECA Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer.
XTECA will lead with its Cerveza XTECA Original Mexican Style Lager at 5 percent ABV and More Bounce Hoppy Lager at 5.4 percent ABV.
Massachusetts’ True North Ale expands into New Hampshire
True North Ale Co. has chosen the founding members of the NH Craft Alliance, Bellavance Beverage Co. and New Hampshire Distributors LLC (NHD), to expand distribution of its flagship Northern Haze Juicy New England IPA and other award-winning craft beers to the Granite State.
“We have very successfully built our brand in the Massachusetts market over the nearly four years since first opening. We chose Bellavance and NHD to represent us in New Hampshire because of their outstanding reputation for excellence and integrity in working with independent craft breweries,” said Gary Rogers, founder and chief of business operations at True North Ales.
“My team is very excited to represent True North Ales and bring their strong lineup of highly sought-after craft beers to New Hampshire,” said Joe Bellavance, president of Bellavance Beverage. Added Tyler Kelly, vice president and partner at NHD, “We have both been very successful introducing new craft brands to the New Hampshire market. The strength of True North Ales across the border has locals eager to try their beers. We anticipate a very good reception and look forward to sharing a pint.”
True North Ale Company is located in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Opened in 2017, its beers have been poured in more than 1,200 bars and restaurants and sold in more than 1,000 stores in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The brewery has won major international awards, to include a Gold Award at the 2018 World Beer Cup and a Silver Medal at the 2020 Great American Beer Fest. It has been voted Best Brewery on Boston’s North Shore three consecutive years. Its North Shore location features 150+ seat open-air and tented patios and 150+ seat indoor seating. The events venue, The North Side, may host events with more than 250 guests.
TwoGuys Brewing partners with Henry A. Fox Sales for distribution throughout Michigan
- BC Blonde, a 5.3 percent ABV blonde ale
- Mosaic Quest, a 6.2 percent ABV American IPA made exclusively with Mosaic hops
- Trench Warfare, an English brown ale
All three beers are available in four-pack, 16-oz cans and on draft. Henry A. Fox Sales will also be rolling out TwoGuys Brian Seltzer, an unflavored hard seltzer, and the brewery’s wine spritzers.
“When we decided it was time to take the next step for TwoGuys Brewing and begin distributing our beers outside of our Wyoming brewery, we didn’t have to look far,” said Thomas Payne, owner of TwoGuys Brewing. “Henry A. Fox Sales checks all of the boxes for us: They have a strong commitment to their suppliers, know the market like the back of their hand, and can help tell our story beyond our taproom walls.”
Tom and his wife Amy started TwoGuys Brewing in 2018 after Tom spent more than a decade running TwoGuys homebrew club. Tom grew up near the brewery’s current location, and both he and Amy still live in the area.
“I grew up in Wyoming and it’s still home to me and my wife today, which is why it just made sense to go with a hometown distributor like Henry A. Fox Sales,” Payne said.
“TwoGuys Brewing has a fun, eclectic mix of beer, hard seltzer and cider and we’re thrilled to introduce Michigan craft beer lovers to what’s brewing in Wyoming,” said Steve Smith, craft brand manager for Henry A. Fox Sales. “We pride ourselves in working hand-in-glove with breweries like TwoGuys to help them succeed today and into the future.”
Both TwoGuys Brewing and Henry A. Fox Sales stepped up to help their communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. TwoGuys Brewing pivoted to selling take-and-bake meals to keep the brewery going and help feed their community. Meanwhile, Henry A. Fox Sales donated $100,000 to organizations and nonprofits across the state on the front lines of the pandemic.
Pennsylvania’s Workhorse Brewing partners with Cape Beverage Partners for New Jersey distribution
Cape Beverage Distributing recently announced the addition of another top-notch brewery to its roster: Pennsylvania’s Workhorse Brewing Co. This partnership will help bring Workhorse beers to the New Jersey market, with three core brands, New England IPA, West Coast IPA, and Golden Lager, and two seasonal brands, Cucumber Mojito and Prickly Pear Margarita, available throughout the state beginning August 2nd.
“We have created a hybrid model that offers members of the alcoholic beverage industry an alternate route to market in New Jersey,” says Cape Beverage CEO Ryan Krill. “We have statewide distribution to 1,700 points of distribution with an experienced team of industry professionals.”
Previously, Workhorse self-distributed in Pennsylvania, as well as offering beers in their taproom in King of Prussia since August of 2018. Now, just three years later, beer aficionados throughout the region will be able to appreciate the craft and skill behind these brands.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Cape Beverage,” says Workhorse VP of Sales Doug Gardner. “Their unwavering commitment to craft made this an attractive partnership for Workhorse as we continue to grow.”
Cape Beverage is excited to bring on another brand with a similar dedication to craft and service to consumers.
“We believe Cape Beverage Distributing is a great fit for us,” says Workhorse Director of Taproom Operations and Marketing Jackie Tancredi. “Workhorse is driven by quality first and the idea of beer ‘Made Right.’ Our commitment to quality starts with the beer itself: our award-winning brewmaster Nate Olewine leads our production team while ensuring we are creating excellent traditional styles as well as experiential and innovative beers that capture the imagination of our customers. The Cape Beverage team is packed with passionate, well-organized individuals that, from the very start of this partnership, have shown us that our values align and our brands are in good hands.”
The Cape Beverage team is excited to welcome Workhorse to its lineup of stellar beer varieties.
“Workhorse is a solid local brewery in Pennsylvania. They have nice brands and get a ton of buzz so far in Philly,” says Cape Beverage Director of Sales Bill Zaninelli. “They are really thoughtful about what they produce as well as their messaging and branding. The management and marketing team is buttoned up and we think that they have a great chance to do well in New Jersey. They will have a dedicated salesperson in New Jersey, which is a big plus for any brand that is looking for distribution and sales. We are excited to roll them out in August with both package and draught.”
- Workhorse’s New England IPA is a hazy IPA loaded with juicy American hops. At 6.7 percent ABV, it’s bursting at the seams with tropical, fruity hop character.
- Workhorse’s West Coast IPA is a 7 percent ABV brew with a clean malt profile of biscuit, and light caramel notes that produce the perfect backdrop for flavorful American hops, with resinous notes of citrus and pine.
- Golden Lager, aptly named, is their Munich-style helles lager. It’s well-balanced and crisp, featuring traditional German malts and hops. At 5 percent ABV, it makes for a great “all day” beer with a clean, golden color.
- Workhorse’s Cucumber Mojito is a 5 percent ABV cocktail-inspired key lime gose ale brewed with sea salt, cucumber and mint mojito flavors.
- Prickly Pear Margarita, their additional seasonal coming to New Jersey, is a gose ale brewed with sea salt, prickly pear, and key lime. At 4.9 percent ABV, it’s the ideal beverage to enjoy on a warm day, or after a long week.
Beginning August 2, Workhorse will be distributed throughout New Jersey.
Anderson Valley Brewing and Sarene Craft Beer Distributors announce eastern New York distributor partnership
Anderson Valley Brewing Co. (AVBC) recently announced its return to eastern New York State through its existing distribution relationship with Sarene Craft Beer Distributors. Already a part of Sarene’s portfolio in the New Jersey and Connecticut markets, AVBC’s partnership with Sarene will continue to increase the brewery’s presence throughout the Northeast markets.
“Sarene’s commitment to both independent craft brewers and mission to grow the New York craft beer market made them the ideal fit for Anderson Valley Brewing Co. as we continue to expand our availability on the East Coast,” said President and CEO Kevin McGee. “We have developed a strong rapport with the Sarene team while ramping up the New Jersey and Connecticut markets. We are looking forward to continuing a similar approach with them in Eastern New York.”
Sarene will represent AVBC’s entire portfolio of brands, including its iconic Boont Amber Ale, Barrel Series beers, Poleeko Pale Ale and Goses and also have access to the limited-availability offerings from AVBC’s sister brewery, the Healdsburg Beer Co. Representation for the brewery will span the eastern region of New York, making AVBC’s beers readily accessible in top retail accounts.
“Anderson Valley Brewing Co. has been an exemplary partner to us over the years,” said Sarene Co-Founder Matthew Schulman. “Their commitment to quality and innovation has made them continue to shine, and we’re looking forward to expanding our relationship with them once more.”
For over 32 years, Anderson Valley Brewing Co. has sustainably hand-crafted authentic ales and lagers with balance and complexity. Founded in 1987 in the lower level of Boonville, Calif.’s Buckhorn Saloon, Anderson Valley Brewing Co. has grown to be widely recognized as one of the true pioneers in craft brewing. From the flagship Boont Amber Ale to innovative seasonal offerings like the Blood Orange Gose, every Anderson Valley Brewing Co. beer is crafted with purpose and an unwavering commitment to producing world-class beer. Anderson Valley Brewing Co. is available in 39 states and at its Taproom in Boonville, Calif.