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].
Montauk Brewing expands distro across the Southeast and launches in Florida
Montauk Brewing Co., the No. 1 and fastest-selling craft brewer in Metro New York according to Nielson data, is now a subsidiary of Tilray Brands Inc. Just recently, it announced an expansion of its distribution into Florida. Montauk will bring two of its most popular styles, Wave Chaser India Pale Ale and Surf Beer Golden Ale, to the Sunshine State’s burgeoning beer market.
Starting with a launch in the Tampa-St. Petersburg Metropolitan Area, through partnerships with Great Bay Distributors, Pepin Distributing, and Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, Montauk Brewing is set to quench the thirst of Florida’s beer market. The rollout is a major milestone in Montauk’s growth plan, which has seen its presence expand significantly in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.
“We are incredibly excited to bring Montauk Brewing to Florida’s vibrant beer scene. The Sunshine State is a great opportunity for Montauk, with new drinkers that we’re eager to introduce to our coastal-inspired brews and a strong contingent of New Yorkers who are already fans,” said Terry Hopper, VP Sales of U.S. Beer at Tilray.
A light, easy-drinking brew, Surf Beer Golden Ale (4.5% alcohol by volume (ABV)) is an ode to keeping it simple and enjoying the No-Frills Good Life all year long. Wave Chaser IPA (6.4% ABV) is Montauk’s signature, approachable IPA packed with El Dorado, Azacca, Columbus and Chinook hops for incredible tropical and pine aromas and waves of endless flavors. Both will be available on draft and in six-packs of 12-ounce cans.
Montauk Brewing Co., founded in 2012 by longtime friends, embraces the motto “Come as You Are,” honoring adventure and passion for the simple pleasures in life. Montauk Brewing’s beloved brews are now available across 3,500 retail locations and several of NYC’s major venues including Citi Field, Madison Square Garden, Moynihan Train Hall, and UBS Arena. Montauk Brewing’s distributors in the U.S. include Shore Point Distributing Company, Inc., Kramer Beverage Company, Oak Beverages Inc., Lake Beverage Corporation, Saratoga Eagle, Eagle Beverage Company, Try-It Distributing, A.L. George, McCraith Beverages, Dutchess Beer Distributors, Northeast Beverage, Boening Brothers, SKI Distributing, Kohler Distributing, F&F Distributors, Inc., and C&C Distributors RI.
Montauk Brewing is a subsidiary of Tilray Brands, a leading global cannabis-lifestyle and consumer packaged goods company inspiring and empowering the worldwide community to live their very best life. For further information about Montauk Brewing Company, please visit www.montaukbrewingco.com and follow @montaukbrewco.
Good Time Brewing expands with direct-to-consumer shipping in time for Dry January
Good Time Brewing Co., founded by bar industry luminary Michael “Mikey” McFerran, recently announced the launch of direct-to-consumer sales for its non-alcoholic beer. The brand successfully debuted in New York City in fall 2023 with a curated list of establishments such as Veselka and Attaboy and is now available for at-home enjoyment. Nationwide shipping through goodtimebrewing.com is accessible just in time for Dry January.
Mikey McFerran, creator of Good Time Brewing and founder of NYC’s The Spaniard, was inspired to enter the fast-emerging non-alcoholic brewing market following the birth of his son with a congenital heart defect in 2020. This life-changing experience led him to create a versatile and enjoyable non-alcoholic alternative for all occasions.
“We have no interest in creating a moral message about drinking or not. We’re modernizing non-alcoholic beer’s image, crafting appealing options for all, even seasoned drinkers,” says McFerran. “There’s no catch … you can commit to NA beers for a while, dry January, or simply swap one out for your third drink of the night. It’s meant to be an easy choice.”
In a growing market where U.S. non-alcoholic beer increased by 30% in 2022 and is projected to rise by 20% in 2024 (Nielsen IQ), Good Time Brewing provides an alternative to non-alcoholic brands targeting athletes or wellness enthusiasts. It caters to everyone who values the experience of savoring a cold beer, whether at a bar, concert, game, or simply relaxing at home. With direct-to-consumer shipping, Good Time Brewing ensures beer enthusiasts nationwide have access to their non-alcoholic brew.
Emphasizing quality, Good Time Brewing ensures every can resembles a traditional (full-alcohol content) beer. Head Brewer Dylan Collins crafts the NA IPA, delivering an intense yet approachable “West Coast Hazy” IPA with a balanced bitterness akin to West Coast styles and a softer, fuller body reminiscent of Hazy/New England styles. The hop profile combines citrus, resinous, and stone-fruit notes. This hybrid style aims to entice beer enthusiasts and pave the way for more experimentation in the realm of non-alcoholic beer.
Wiseacre Brewing expands into Ohio with Cavalier Distributing
Wiseacre Brewing Co. is rolling into 2024 with two new product launches and some new distro news. First off, those two new brands include Hop Zip, a non-alcoholic hop-infused sparkling water, and Sky Dog, a 99-calorie premium lager that will offer a delicious flavor profile while targeting a price point lower than most craft brews. Both will cater to the evolving preferences of health- and budget-conscious consumers and craft beverage enthusiasts.
Hop Zip, a sparkling hop water that debuted at the brewery’s two Memphis taprooms on January 1, 2024, is a zero-calorie, grain-free, and yeast-free alternative to traditional beers. This sets it apart as an excellent option for those seeking a crisp, refreshing beverage without the alcohol. At the heart of Hop Zip’s flavor profile are Mosaic hops, carefully selected by Wiseacre for its ability to impart hints of melon and tropical fruit, plus a flavor spritz of natural lime. Hop Zip is made using an all-cold extraction method, a technique that preserves the hops’ delicate flavors and aromas. Hop Zip is currently available on draft and in six-packs at Wiseacre’s two taprooms and has shipped out across Tennessee and to Colorado with further distribution following soon.
Sky Dog Premium Lager is set to launch in late January. This brew combines the highest-quality ingredients — North American two-row barley malt, corn grits, and Saaz hops, imported from Czech Republic — to create a brilliantly clear and bright beer with a delicious crisp flavor, easy drinkability, and quenching aftertaste. With only 99 calories and 4% ABV, it’s an easy-drinking refresher. Wiseacre intends to offer Sky Dog Premium Lager at a lower price point, making it a flavor-forward but budget-friendly option.
“We know that there is increasing demand for non-alcoholic and low-ABV beverages, as well as more budget-friendly options, and so we want to make them the Wiseacre way: with exceptional flavor brewed from the best ingredients,” said Davin Bartosch, cofounder of Wiseacre Brewing. “I have always loved light lagers — and our flagship pilsner Tiny Bomb only has 129 calories — but Sky Dog will dive even lower in calories, with wider appealing drinkability and affordability. We also want our taprooms to be welcoming places for all guests, whether or not they drink beer. We are rounding out our offerings with Hop Zip and low-ABV beers — along with our spirit-based seltzer line The Set Up and our non-alcoholic Cold Brew Coffee. This means there is something for almost everyone.”
In February 2024, Wiseacre will expand its footprint as well, with a launch in Ohio in partnership with Cavalier Distributing. Two of the rotating seasonal six-pack lineup and the Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal-winning Tiny Bomb Pilsner — will be available, along with Specialty Releases, at retailers and grocery stores, including Kroger.
The addition of Ohio will mean that Wiseacre is distributed in 21 states — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin — plus the District of Columbia.
Rupee Beer is now available online in 45 states
Rupee Beer is an Indian inspired-brand crafted by a world-renowned master beer brewer and Indian chef. Sounds delicious, right? Rupee focuses on the way its beers are brewed and how consumers of the beer feel when pairing beer and global flavors. Rupee’s award-winning recipes have been featured in numerous global media outlets (ahem) and are available at select chains such as Costco, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Total Wine, Wegmans and numerous Indian and international restaurants.
With a retail presence in 14 sates across the east coast already established, Rupee Beer recently announced all three of its award winning beers are now available for direct-to-consumer delivery across 45 states. You can now get Rupee directly delivered to your door across 45 states including: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, LA, MT, ME, MO, MI, NE, NC, ND, NH, NM, NY, NJ, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA (not all zip codes eligible)
“We are excited to now provide an even larger footprint of how consumers experience Rupee across more states with our new DTC site via our website,” said founders Van and Sumit Sharma. To order, click here.
What’s the backstory here? Well, brothers Van and Sumit Sharma, sons of Indian restaurateurs in the business internationally for over 50 years, found themselves continually frustrated they could not find any Indian beer in Maine. They decided to not only create their own beer, but set out to game change the food and beverage industry in a bold and diverse way. The Sharma brothers strategically partnered with global craft brewing legend Alan Pugsley, 40+ year master beer brewer, lover of Indian food as a British expat, and creator of over 100+ global beer brands, to create Rupee Beer and re-write everything society understands about craft beer as it relates to spicy world cuisine.
US Beverage signs partnership with Erdinger to distribute its portfolio in the United States
US Beverage (USB), one of America’s leading beverage distribution companies, recently announced that it has signed an agreement with Erdinger — the best-selling brand of wheat beer in Germany. Under the terms of the agreement, which went into effect January 1, 2024, USB will be the exclusive U.S. importer, as well as provide sales and marketing support, for the Erdinger portfolio.
Celebrating nearly 30 years of operations, USB focuses on building its portfolio of recognized craft, import, cider and FMB/RTD brands through a national network of distributors.
Headquartered in Erding, Germany, privately-owned Erdinger has perfected Bavarian brewing methods for more than 130 years at the largest family-owned wheat beer brewery in the world. The result is a portfolio of outstanding quality. Erdinger Weissbräu products are all natural, never pasteurized and fermented twice, a unique and complex brewing process — similar to the champagne method — that produces unparalleled freshness and taste.
Per the agreement, USB will provide sales, brand building and logistics support to Erdinger brands throughout their current footprint while helping them expand to new markets.
“Wheat beers are gaining momentum in the U.S. as consumers seek distinct flavors and characteristics, and the Erdinger portfolio is an exceptional example of how delicious this category can be,” said Kris Sjolander, Vice President, Brand Development, U.S. Beverage. “Retailers and beer lovers alike are excited by the Erdinger name, and we are thrilled to help them grow in the U.S.”
“The U.S. market is an important one for Erdinger and when we looked for a new sales and marketing partner, the U.S. Beverage team was the clear choice,” said Michael Austermayer, Senior Regional Sales Director, Erdinger Weissbräu. “Their experience and systematic approach will be vital to our expansion and as another family-owned business, they share our values.”
The Erdinger portfolio is available in most major markets and includes:
Erdinger Weissbier — The taste of Bavaria and #1 selling Weissbier in Germany. A classic wheat beer featuring gently spicy wheat and yeast aromas blended with mildly bitter hops. A premium beer whose full-bodied yet elegant character leaves a lasting impression of ultimate Bavarian enjoyment. ABV: 5.3%
Erdinger Non-Alcoholic — An innovative and flavorful option for beer lovers who want less alcohol but more beer flavor. Made from all natural ingredients.
Erdinger Kristall — Crystal-clear with an inviting frothy head. This refreshing and lively wheat beer features fruity-fresh aromas. It gets its shining, crystal-clear appearance from intensive filtration. ABV: 5.3%
Erdinger Dunkel — A specialty beer for connoisseurs. Carefully selected dark malts with delicate roasting aromas give this elegant wheat beer its full-bodied flavor and strong character. A lustrous, deep dark-brown appearance in the glass with hints of caramel, nuts and fresh bread. First created as a birthday present for the owner, who liked it so much he put it on the market. ABV: 5.3%
Erdinger Pikantus — The Bavarian aperitif surprise. Fans of strong beer delight in a complex symphony of aromas. A dark color and smooth creamy head offers a well-rounded and malty taste with a hint of nutmeg and fine nougat. A sparkling nature harmonizes perfectly with a slightly sweet character, and a soft and delicate finish. ABV: 7.3%
Erdinger Oktoberfest — An unrivaled option for Oktoberfest moments. A full-bodied wheat beer with a higher malt content. Thanks to a particularly long maturing time ERDINGER Oktoberfest features a beautiful amber color. ABV: 5.7%
Erdinger Brauhaus Helles — Quality without compromise is the tradition in Erding so it’s no surprise that the same Erdinger brewmaster quality is also given top priority for the authentic new Bavarian Helles Lager. The highest quality ingredients make it easy drinking with an incredibly smooth finish. 5.1% ABV