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].
Memphis’ Wiseacre Brewing relaunches distribution in Chicago
Wiseacre Brewing Co. recently announced its plans to re-launch distribution throughout the greater Chicagoland, after a more than two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to a distribution partnership with Lakeshore Beverage, three of Wiseacre’s beers — Gotta Get Up to Get Down Coffee Milk Stout (made with Chicago’s Metropolis Coffee) and the Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal-winning Tiny Bomb Pilsner, as well as a rotating seasonal beer lineup (which will soon feature Strizzle IPA) — will be available throughout Chicago, including nearly 30 Binny’s locations.
“Shortly after COVID hit in March 2020, we stopped shipping beer up to Chicago. There was so much uncertainty at the time, and so much disruption to our industry since, that we are just now able to relaunch with real purpose. Needless to stay, we had our hands full with our new facility as did our partner Lakeshore Beverage, so we hit pause,” said Kellan Bartosch, cofounder of Wiseacre. “This pause gave us the time to rethink Chicago sales strategy so that we could really come back with a bang. And, speaking of bangs … we’re sure that our Tiny Bomb, which is the best-selling Tennessee-made craft beer and currently the No. 5 Craft Pilsner in the United States, is going to explode on its reentry into the Chicago market.”
“Chicago is one of the best beer cities in the country,” added Davin Bartosch, Wiseacre brewmaster and cofounder. “Consumers, stores, bars, and restaurants all have a great understanding of beer. Part of that means the craft beer scene isn’t solely focused on hoppy styles and bigger beers. There is a great understanding of the challenge of making lagers and appreciation that comes from it. Memphis’ soft water — which has been called ‘the sweetest water in the country’ — is very similar to the water of Plzen, Czech Republic, where the original pilsners were brewed in the 1800s. Tiny Bomb marries that perfect Memphis water with German pilsner malt and local wildflower honey for a crisp, clean finish.”
Wiseacre is sold in 17 states — Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas — and Washington, D.C. In 2020 Wiseacre built a state-of-the-art production facility in downtown Memphis that nearly quintupled its previous capacity. This paved the way for the brewery’s rapidly expanding distribution map, as well as the development of new beers and the creation of new packaging options, which include 12-, 16- and 19.2-oz cans coming in six-, four- and 12-packs and single-serve.
“From my brother’s time in brewing school in Chicago to the start of his professional brewing career there, it has always been a special city to us for both beer and non-beer reasons. Because of his friendships from time brewing there, we’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with some amazing Chicago breweries, like Off Color, Half Acre, Haymarket, Solemn Oath and others,” said Kellan. “Most of our team will be in Chicago to support the launch. We’re also excited to partner with CounterMeasures and their Chicago-based sales reps — because they are local, they really understand what both our distributors and our on- and off-premise accounts need. We didn’t anticipate that our COVID hiatus from Chicago would take as long as it did, but it ended up working out for the best because it gave us the time to put together a great plan.”
Ferment Brewing partners with Block 15 Distribution, expanding footprint throughout Oregon
Since 2015, Ferment Brewing has self distributed its beers in and around the Portland metro area and throughout the Columbia River Gorge. Recently, the brewery announced its new partnership with Block 15 Distribution, which will expand its availability throughout the state. Block 15 has taken over distribution in all regions outside the Columbia River Gorge and will celebrate with a series of events throughout the fall.
“From the beginning, it has been our goal to expand our beer’s availability throughout Oregon,” said Ferment Brewing Director of Operations Jenn Peterson. “Block 15 is known and respected in our industry for being a quality-first brewery and distributor. Relationships, alongside quality control and product freshness are our main priorities at Ferment, and we feel strongly that Block shares our same values. Both the timing of this union and the nature of Block 15’s business model are an ideal match for the goals and beliefs of our business.”
“Partnering with Ferment keeps us on track with our goal of having a small number of high-quality brands that are all killer and no filler,” said Block 15 Distribution’s Chief Operating Officer Ian Hutchings. “When someone orders from us, they know it will be good. I know this to be true of Ferment as well — I’ve always been a huge fan. In 2015 when Dan Peterson started making Ferment beer, I ordered their second ever keg. Since then, Ferment has continued to produce some of the best beer around.”
Block 15 Distribution was started in 2020 as a way to help like-minded breweries control how their product reached the market. The company creates partnerships with breweries that have a strict adherence to fresh product and that desire to be in control of their brands. Currently, Block 15 also distributes its own brand, Block 15 Brewing, in addition to De Garde Brewing and ForeLand Beer Co. It also sells Ale Apothecary in Washington state.
The first of Ferment Brewing’s beers to be distributed by Block 15 this October include Woodsman Porter, a beer made with foraged Doug Fir tips, and Pils Bernina, a 16-oz Italian Pilsner that is part of the Bottom Ferment series. To celebrate the expansion throughout Oregon, Ferment Brewing plans to host a series of events in its new and growing markets. To learn more about the upcoming events, sign up for Ferment’s new email newsletter at fermentbrewing.com and join the brewery on social media.
Indian-styled craft brand Rupee Beer announces distribution across NYC, DC and Virginia
Rupee Beer recently announced it had expanded its reach by picking up distribution across New York City, Washington, D.C., and Virginia — all key markets where the brand is set grow and meet market demand. Read all about this cool craft brand right here.
When you think of beer, you wouldn’t necessarily think of India. That’s about to change this year. Rupee Beer is on an global mission to become a household name in the food and beverage world. Branded as the global beer for curry, its award winning recipe is smooth, light and refreshing. It pairs exceptionally well with complex and spicy world cuisine such as Indian, Thai, Middle Eastern and Mexican food. Enjoy some key facts about the Rupee brand:
- It’s brewed by a world renowned master beer brewer and an award winning Indian chef with a combined 85 years international industry experience
- It’s a specially crafted recipe made for Indian, spicy, and world cuisine, equally enjoyable as a standalone craft beer
- It’s brewed with top quality rice, maize, three types of hops
- It uses lower levels of carbonation allowing for a more comfortable experience.
- Rupee has won a bunch of awards: Best Indian Beer: Food & Drink Awards • Voted Top 5 Best Global Beers to have with a Curry • Viewed as ‘The Next Biggest Ethnic Beer to Watch’
Anderson Valley Brewing announces partnership with SouthBound Distributing to sell into southwest Washington
Anderson Valley Brewing Co. (AVBC) recently announced its southwest Washington state distribution partnership with SouthBound Distributing. This strategic partnership with the state’s rising craft beverage distributor aims to strengthen AVBC’s presence in the southwest Washington market.
“The SouthBound Distributing team’s knowledge and passion for the craft beverage market made them a perfect fit to represent Anderson Valley Brewing Co. in southwest Washington,” said President and CEO Kevin McGee. “They have a natural synergy with our brand and will be instrumental in bringing AVBC front and center in one of the country’s top beer drinking markets.”
SouthBound Distributing will represent AVBC’s entire portfolio of brands, including its iconic Boont Amber Ale, The Pilsner, Barrel-Aged Series, Solstice beers and Goses, making AVBC’s beers readily accessible in top on- and off-premise accounts.
“We are thrilled to be adding such an iconic craft brewery to SouthBound’s beer portfolio,” said Matt Libbey, owner/chief of operations of SouthBound Distributing. “We are longtime fans of Anderson Valley Brewing Co. and are looking forward to solidifying their presence in southwest Washington. This market has some of the most well versed beer drinkers around. They want nothing less than great, quality beer and AVBC has a long history of producing exactly that.”
For over 34 years, Anderson Valley Brewing 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 has grown to be widely recognized as one of the true pioneers in craft brewing. From the flagship Boont Amber Ale to the renowned bourbon barrel aged portfolio and as pioneers and innovators of Gose and fruited-sour styles, every Anderson Valley Brewing beer is crafted with purpose and an unwavering commitment to producing world-class beer. Anderson Valley Brewing is available in 39 states and at its taproom in Boonville, Calif.
Kentucky’s Goodwood Brewing announces it will distribute spirits in 10 new states
Goodwood Brewing and Spirits announced a move into craft spirits with the launch of a premium bourbon, aged in stout barrels, in 2019. Now, Goodwood recently announced the opening of spirits distribution in 10 new states throughout the United States. Distribution is now available in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Washington.
“Visitors to our restaurants have enjoyed our beer barrel finished bourbons with very limited opportunity to purchase the product in their home states. To meet this increased interest, we are excited to partner with distributors and move into new states,” said Ted Mitzlaff, CEO and owner of Goodwood Brewing.
Goodwood spirits are Kentucky based and aged in used beer barrels. Currently, the series includes two bourbon expressions and one rye, with one additional bourbon scheduled to be released soon. Through a partnership with Green River Distilling, in Owensboro, Ky., Goodwood has been able to perfect its process of producing, finishing and packaging bourbon to meet increasing demands. All products have an emphasis placed on quality and craftsmanship, with months of preparation and experimentation going into each spirit. Bourbons are aged in charred white oak American barrels for four to eight years, before being finished in beer barrels, for a special flavor that can only develop by aging for this long. The beer-barrel aging lends malt sweetness and a cocoa character to the robust whiskey tones of vanilla and sweet caramel.
“A great bourbon brings people together. We have already created relationships with new distributors in these states and are looking forward to creating more,” said Thomas Crockett, VP of bourbon for Goodwood.
Goodwood Spirits are currently available in select retail stores throughout Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Washington. All Goodwood products can also be purchased at Goodwood locations and online at shopgoodwoodbrewing.com.
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