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!
Bent Water Brewing expands distribution to Ohio
Bent Water Brewing Co. will soon be available in the state of Ohio. While the brewery has expanded significantly over the past year, adding several states to its distribution footprint, the expansion to Ohio holds special significance for the brewery.
“I’m from a Friday Night Lights type of town in Ohio,” explained Aaron Reames, cofounder and president of Bent Water Brewing. “In a sense, though we opened in Massachusetts, the brewery was really born in Ohio. That’s where I fell in love with science as a kid working in my dad’s lab, as well as the labs of The Ohio State University. Later, that fascination with science led me toward homebrewing. My love for beer really grew out of an interest in understanding how yeast metabolizes and how ingredients are scientifically manipulated to ultimately make beer.”
The homebrewing bug stuck with Reames and years later, after moving to Massachusetts, he approached a group of friends to partner with him to open Bent Water.
“Several of us started the brewery together, but this was always Aaron’s baby,” commented Bent Water Cofounder and Creative Director Mike Shaugnessy. “It was his idea, and he brought the rest of us on board with him. So by expanding to Ohio, we really are going back to the roots of the brewery, where the idea originated.”
Consistently focused on quality, Bent Water’s attention to this area received national recognition last year in the form of top beer ratings from the highly respected beer reviewers at Craft Beer & Brewing and Wine Enthusiast. Thunder Funk (a West Coast style IPA), Sluice Juice (a New England IPA), Equivalent Exchange (a New England Double IPA), Premium Lager (a Pre-Prohibition style lager) and Jolene (an American porter) all received Excellent or Superb ratings in blind taste tests.
Additionally, in 2020, Bent Water expanded its distribution beyond Massachusetts and New Hampshire, adding Florida, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Earlier this year, its beverages became available in New Jersey as well.
But it’s always been Ohio that Reames has had his sights set on.
“This feels like coming home,” continued Reames. “I’ve wanted to have Bent Water available in Ohio for as long as we’ve been open. Some of the most special moments in my life have happened in Ohio. I attended the Ohio State University. My wife Jen is also from Ohio and we grew up together. Most of my family is still in the state, so we visit often. Though we ended up moving to Massachusetts, my heart is still in the Buckeye State.”
Ohio will become the seventh state to sell Bent Water beer, and the first in the Midwest. Bent Water will enter the state with its three most popular flagship beers: Sluice Juice, Thunder Funk, and Double Thunder Funk, a West Coast-style DIPA that is referred to as the ‘big brother’ of Thunder Funk.
Bent Water Brewing will be distributed throughout Ohio via a partnership with Premium Beverage Supply.
Toppling Goliath expands distribution territory in California
Toppling Goliath is a world-renowned craft beer brand now distributing in 32 states with more than 40 rotational beers brewed annually. For news, tips, and reasons to celebrate with beer, visit the company at tgbrews.com.
Craft brew enthusiasts have and continue traveling from all across the globe to experience the award-winning barrel-aged stouts and IPAs from Toppling Goliath. Vested in Decorah’s nationally renowned limestone bluffs and outdoor recreation community, the location destination has helped cultivate the brand’s affinity shared by coteries of connoisseurs. However, enthusiasts across the state of California can now enjoy Toppling Goliath beers closer to home with distribution expansion into the northern California-Bay area.
The exciting expansion is made possible with the brewery’s newest addition to their distribution partners, Delta Pacific Beverage. With distribution footprints already in 19 California counties, Toppling Goliath will now distribute their renowned brews to an additional 16 counties.
“We’re overjoyed to continue growing and expanding our distribution footprint in California. In addition to the expansion, our partnership with Delta Pacific is significant from the perspective of a consistent vision shared — provide a world class customer experience through our beer and how we service our customers,” said Clark Lewey, founder and owner of Toppling Goliath.
The Northern-California Bay area can expect to see Toppling Goliath beer on shelves by mid-to-late summer. “We’re all very excited to work with the Toppling Goliath team. [We’re] looking forward to bringing their beautifully crafted beers to the Central Valley and Bay Area,” said Tommy Cantu, general sales manager of Delta Pacific Beverage.
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Anderson Valley Brewing announces Eagle Distributing expansion in northern California
Anderson Valley Brewing Co. (AVBC) recently announced its expanded distribution partnership with North Bay’s Eagle Distributing. Initially bringing Eagle Distributing on board in May 2020 to distribute AVBC in Mendocino and Lake Counties, Eagle Distributing has now added Sonoma and Marin Counties.
After a successful year focusing on availability and awareness in its home markets, along with a rebranding, AVBC developed a strong synergy with the team at Eagle Distributing, who is based less than 30 miles from AVBC’s Boonville taproom and brewery. Eagle Distributing will now handle distribution for AVBC in the “home market” territories of Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties in Northern California.
“After a significant repositioning in 2020 in our most important California markets, moving distribution in these critical markets to Eagle Distributing was a natural progression for AVBC,” said President and CEO Kevin McGee. “Working with Eagle in Mendocino and Lake Counties over the past year has been great and it became clear that the team at Eagle is a great fit for us. We’re really excited to be able to expand our relationship by adding the Sonoma and Marin markets to their territory.”
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.
New Tipsy Series by Great South Bay Brewery now available nationwide via Brew Pipeline
Brew Pipeline, a direct-access platform between craft beverage producers and new markets, announced that the new Tipsy Series by Great South Bay Brewery is the latest brand to join its PORTFOLIO program. Geared up for year-round distribution, the four non-carbonated drinks available nationwide include Tipsy Tea, Tipsy Tea Lite, Tipsy Lemonade and Tipsy Punch.
“We’re ecstatic to announce we’ve partnered with Brew Pipeline for the launch of our Tipsy series,” says Chris Davis, co-owner of Great South Bay Brewery. “With their help, our Tipsy line is now available to distributors nationwide. This large reach would have been much more difficult to accomplish solo. Our Tipsy series is a boozy, full-flavor twist on iconic soft drinks that we feel fills a void in the ever growing selection of IPAs and Hard Seltzers coming to market. These products have done so well locally, that we’re confident the brand will be a fan favorite at a national level as well.”
The Tipsy Series is sold in 12-packs of 12-oz cans — packages include a Tipsy Variety Pack, Tipsy Tea and Tipsy Tea Lite. In the coming weeks, 12-packs of Tipsy Punch and Tipsy Lemonade will also be available. The suggested retail selling price will range from $15.99 to $18.99 depending on individual state taxes and promotions. At 5 percent ABV, the four product descriptions are below:
- Tipsy Lemonade — Made from real lemon juice and cane sugar, it has a subtle sweetness, a pleasantly tart finish, and tastes just like fresh squeezed without the hassle.
- Tipsy Punch — Brewed in small batches with quality ingredients including a tropical blend of pineapple, orange, cherry and lime.
- Tipsy Tea — A blend of real black and green teas, cane sugar, and natural lemon flavor to create the nostalgic, home-brewed taste.
- Tipsy Tea Lite — Lightly sweetened green and black tea brewed for the health conscious at only 100 calories.
Cider Corps now at Sprouts Fresh Market, expands Arizona availability
Craft beverage lovers from Flagstaff to Tucson can now find an Arizona-made hard cider on the shelves of Sprouts Fresh Market. Cider Corps craft cidery announced that its award-winning hard cider Mango Foxtrot is now available at most of the grocery store’s Arizona locations. It is the first statewide distribution of its canned drinks.
“This opportunity means a lot to us,” said Cider Corps Co-owner and Cidermaker Jason Duren (Sgt. USMC, Ret.). “It lets us share our ciders with parts of the state that haven’t always had access to it.”
More than half of Sprouts’ Arizona locations now stock four-packs of Cider Corps’ Mango Foxtrot including locations in Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tucson, Oro Valley and Prescott Valley. The cidery plans to add more locations throughout the summer. The Mango Foxtrot cider is a blend of mango and rose hip with an apple cider base. The style won a gold medal at the 2019 U.S. Open Cider Championship and is one of the Mesa-based cidery’s most popular styles. It has a 7 percent ABV.
Cidermaking started as a therapeutic hobby for brothers Jason and Josh Duren as Jason recovered from injuries suffered while serving in Afghanistan. They founded Cider Corps in 2017 and it is now Arizona’s largest craft cidery. In addition to Sprouts, Cider Corps’ canned ciders are available at Phoenix-area Whole Foods, AJ’s Fine Foods, Total Wine and dozens of independent package and bottle shops.
Fretboard Brewing to launch distro in Kentucky with Heidelberg Distributing
After three and a half years of operation, Fretboard Brewing Co. is set to cross state lines for the first time with distribution of their award-winning beers in Kentucky. Partnering with Heidelberg Distributing, Fretboard beers will be available on draft and in package beginning the week of June 21. Fans of the Blue Ash, Ohio brewery can expect core brands like “Reba” Strawberry Blonde, World Beer Cup winner “Vlad” Pilsner and their West Coast IPA, “Improv” — along with seasonal releases — to be available in cans throughout the state. Draft will be found at bars and restaurants in northern and central Kentucky.
Since their grand opening in the fall of 2017, Fretboard had self-distributed solely throughout greater Cincinnati. The announcement to partner with Heidelberg, and bring their beer to Kentucky, comes just months after their arrival in the Dayton market last February. With the consumer shift to packaged beer in 2020, it’s expected that trend will continue throughout 2021. With a new canning line recently installed, Fretboard hopes to extend their presence on shelves between Ohio and Kentucky, with familiar favorites and exciting new releases.
First to cross the river will be two of Fretboard’s most exciting summer seasonal releases; “Kool On” Ocean Shandy and Klosterman Honey Wheat Lager. The latter is a familiar collaboration with Cincinnati’s own, Klosterman Baking Company, first brewed in 2019. The Honey Wheat Lager is a nod to Klosterman’s famous honey buns – a staple at cookouts throughout the Midwest — and is brewed with locally sourced honey from Don Popp’s Honey Farm in Hamilton, Ohio. “Kool On” Ocean Shandy is a new product that follows the reemergence of the shandy craze. Brewed with lemonade and pink guava , it’s a light and sessionable beach-side summer sipper. Both beers will be available in six-packs for a limited time.
“As a music-themed brewery, one thing we’re really excited about, upon entering Kentucky, is new opportunities to work with local music venues,” says Fretboard Marketing Director, Mitch LaGrow. “That’s the biggest ice breaker and common bond. We’re as passionate about the music as we are about our beer.” While Fretboard works out the details of their initial launch parties in northern Kentucky, one connection has already been made thanks to Kevin Moreland, Partner at Fretboard. Florence Speedway, the long-standing dirt track in Boone County, Ky., will be carrying Fretboard beers throughout the remainder of the 2021 and full 2022 seasons.
Keep an eye out on Fretboard’s social media accounts for updates as they approach the launch. Special tapping events will be happening at bars throughout northern Kentucky.
Canada’s Glutenberg enters Texas, posts double-digit growth in the last fiscal year
After seven years in the U.S. market, Glutenberg recently completed a partnership with Favorite Brands, a statewide distributor in Texas. “For years, we have been searching for the right partner to help us bring our unique gluten-free beer to the Texas market and it is now a reality,” says Fred Thibault, VP of sales and marketing at Glutenberg.
With the addition of Texas, Glutenberg is now available in 42 states. The brand is one step closer to nationwide distribution in the USA thanks to the support of their importer, Total Beverage Solution. Over the last year, which has been challenging for everyone, Glutenberg wrapped up their fiscal year posting a 25 percent growth in shipments, exceeding 10,000 bbls destined for the USA, seeing their depletion grow by 29 percent between May 31, 2020, and June 1, 2021. ”We are very grateful for our distribution partners, retailers and our Glutenberg consumers who continue to support us in these times of uncertainty,’’ says Thibault.
To help support their growth, Glutenberg has invested in increasing their production capacity by 20 percent for the upcoming years.
“With this capacity increase and the help of Total Beverage Solution, we are convinced that we will further secure our position as leader in the 100 percent gluten-free beers in North America,” says David Cayer, CEO at Glutenberg.
Glutenberg is one of the most rewarded gluten-free breweries in the world. Based in Montreal, Canada, the brewery was founded in 2011 by two long-time friends. Known for its audacity and creativity, Glutenberg rapidly established itself as a leader in its category by offering beers of unmatched quality. This 100 percent gluten-free brewery has a complete range of regular and seasonal craft beers that are sure to please all beer lovers. Glutenberg is the one for all!