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].
Great Lakes Brewing is now availably in New York City via S.K.I. Beer Distributors
Great Lakes Brewing Co. (GLBC) announced its distribution expansion into New York City in partnership with S.K.I. Beer Distributors. The brewery began its introduction to New York City in October in conjunction with the launch of seasonal favorite Christmas Ale. In addition to the holiday classic, the brewery’s initial entry into the market includes the highly rated Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Vibacious Double IPA, and new Midwest IPA.
The launch will be supported by several kickoff events throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. While GLBC has served the state of New York for decades, this is a significant and strategic step to expand its distribution footprint.
“We’d been distributing to the state of New York, but never found the right solution for NYC until now. We are excited to finally bring our brands to the biggest city in the U.S. and introduce our powerhouse portfolio to the city that never sleeps,” said Chris Brown, GLBC Vice President – Sales.
The brewery has partnered with S.K.I. Beer Distributors, which Brown feels will be critical to enduring success in the market. “S.K.I. was the choice that made the most sense to us. With their energetic sales leadership and portfolio fit, we believe their partnership will drive our business in a highly competitive market for years to come. We look forward to working with their amazing sales force to finally bring Great Lakes beer to the five boroughs and Long Island,” he said.
The brewery’s New York City launch coincides with its 35th year in business, and leading with storied brand Christmas Ale makes for a strong introduction, according to Brown. “We’re thrilled to bring Christmas Ale, the largest selling holiday beer in the U.S., to the largest craft beer city in the U.S.”
Customers can expect to find GLBC’s Christmas Ale, Vibacious Double IPA, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, and Midwest IPA upon launch.
Wandering Soul Beer partners with Homegrown Distribution for sales in Massachusetts and Rhode Island
Wandering Soul Beer, based in Beverly Massachusetts, has recently signed a distribution agreement with Homegrown Distribution for Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Matt Smith, the owner and founder of the brand, had this to say about the new partnership:
“Since Wandering Soul took shape in 2019, I’ve been primarily self-distributing. My delivery vehicles have ranged from a Honda Accord to a 2002 Honda Odyssey with 300,000 miles on it, and I am very excited to not only have help with the deliveries, but also to have the support of a distributor that has a lot of resources that I simply don’t have as a single-person operation. Homegrown is a great fit for the brand, and I’m really excited about the future.”
Wandering Soul’s flagship beer Melody Maker (a New England Pale Ale) will be the first in its product line to have distribution with Homegrown. Melody Maker is dedicated to Smith’s first daughter Melody, who was stillborn in 2017. Wandering Soul has been a grief project for Smith, who wanted to have a legacy for his daughter.
“This was never supposed to be a business, but here we are. I’m so grateful for the support I’ve gotten from the craft beer community, and Wandering Soul has allowed me to have an outlet to process a lot of emotions” said Smith, when asked about how the business started.
Brian Murphy, president of Homegrown Distribution, had this to say about the new partnership:
“We are absolutely thrilled to announce our exciting distribution partnership with Wandering Soul Beer,” noted Murphy. “It’s a true honor to team up with Matt Smith who shares our passion for quality and innovation. We can’t wait to share his exceptional portfolio of beers with the Massachusetts and Rhode Island beer communities.”
Artisanal Imports acquires U.S. import rights from SHW Brands for five esteemed European beverage producers
Artisanal Imports, a leader in the U.S. specialty beverages import business, recently announced that it has acquired the import rights from SHW Brands for five esteemed European producers including Andechs Monastery, Bembel-With-Care, Früh Brewery, Praga Brewing Group and Weltenburger Abbey.
Under the terms of the agreement, Artisanal Imports will have exclusive sales and distribution rights for all of these brands throughout the western and southwestern United States and Texas, and additional sales and distribution rights for Bembel-With-Care and Kloster Weltenburger throughout the rest of the United States including the East Coast and Southeastern United States.
The acquisition bolsters Artisanal Imports’ German portfolio with world-renowned brands such as Früh Kölsch from Cologne, revered German monastic beers such as Weissbier Dunkel from Andechs Monastery and Kloster Anno 1050 from Weltenburger Abbey, the world’s oldest monastic brewery, as well as emerging German cider brands from Bembel-With-Care.
Further rounding out Artisanal’s portfolio is the addition of World Beer Championships gold medal-winning beers from the Czech Republic: Praga Premium Pils and Praga Dark Lager from Praga Brewing Group.
“We are honored to be trusted with this magnificent portfolio of German and Czech brands,” said Bob Leggett, founder and CEO of Artisanal Imports. “Andechs and Weltenburger perfectly fills the missing Bavarian region of our German portfolio. And we now represent two of Cologne’s highest-selling Kölsch beers with the addition of Früh alongside our existing Sünner Kölsch. Bembel-With-Care is Germany’s No. 1 cider that uses traditional Odenwald wine pressing techniques, which positions itself well with the next generation of drinkers, and Praga Pils is a classic gold medal-winning Czech brand. All in all, these are world-renowned beverages that fit neatly within our world-class portfolio.”
Andechs, Früh and Praga products are currently available in the western United States, and Weltenburger and Bembel-With-Care are both available nationwide. Interested consumers, on- and off-premises retailers and wholesale distributors may view the full product lines that are now available in the United States through Artisanal Imports on its website at www.artisanalimports.com.
Denver Beer Co. commences distribution of Easy Living Hop Water
Denver Beer Co. recently announced the market release of Easy Living Hop Water, a non-alcoholic sparkling beverage. Brewed and canned by Denver Beer Co., Easy Living is the first hop water from a Colorado-based craft brewery to be distributed in off-premise locations throughout the Colorado market and beyond. The sparkling beverage will be sold starting immediately in select independent off-premise retailers, restaurants and bars, as well as in all Denver Beer Co. taprooms.
Easy Living Hop Water contains zero sugar, zero carbohydrates and is both gluten-free and alcohol-free. Available in Citrus and Hibiscus flavors, Easy Living is a sparkling beverage containing carbonated water, CryoPop hops, citric acid, natural flavors and brewer’s yeast. Easy Living is a true “never-alc” product. Where some non-alcoholic beverages contain less than .5% ABV, Easy Living is not fermented and has not had alcohol removed in the brewing process. The beverage is 0% ABV and is crisp, light and refreshing with just a hint of hop aroma and flavor.
“We know there are many reasons and occasions for an NA beverage, and we wanted to provide our consumers with an option in those moments,” shared Patrick Crawford, cofounder of Denver Beer Co. “Easy Living pays homage to our brewing roots and features the hop flavors and aromas that the craft beer drinker knows and loves but also checks all the boxes for health-conscious consumers. Hop Water is a relatively new category of beverage and is a great NA option for someone who doesn’t want the calories, carbs or gluten that come with your typical NA beer. At the same time, it has a more complex flavor profile than just your standard bubbly water. Easy Living is super refreshing and can be enjoyed any time of day and on any occasion.”
Easy Living Hop Water first debuted in Denver Beer Co. taprooms in January, 2023, and was brewed in small-batch form. Easy Living is now available for purchase in six-pack cases as well as single serving cans at liquor stores, restaurants and bars, retailers and restaurants that are not licensed to sell alcohol, grocery and convenience stores, as well as Denver Beer Co. taprooms. Easy Living will be distributed throughout Colorado initially with additional market releases planned for early 2024.
For more information on Easy Living Hop Water visit denverbeerco.com/easy-living-hop-water or visit the brewery’s social media sites @DenverBeerCo.