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 is heading to Wisconsin
Wiseacre Brewing Co. recently launched statewide distribution in Wisconsin via Beechwood Distributing. Two of the Memphis-based brewery’s year-round beers — Gotta Get Up to Get Down Coffee Milk Stout and the Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal-winning Tiny Bomb Pilsner — will be available, along with seasonal and specialty releases, in Total Wine and Whole Foods stores across Wisconsin, along with many other better beer stores, bars and restaurants.
“In my time before Wiseacre, while brewing in Chicago, one of my favorite events each year was the Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison,” said Davin Bartosch, Wiseacre brewmaster and cofounder. “Wisconsin is truly one of the great beer states in our country, and we are honored to join the shelves next to other top notch breweries.”
Wiseacre’s Tiny Bomb has grown to become the No. 4 craft pilsner in the country, growth fueled in part by the state-of-the-art production facility Wiseacre built in Downtown Memphis in 2020 — photo below — which quintupled the brewery’s previous capacity. The new facility also led to the development of new beers and the creation of new packaging options, which include 12-, 16- and 19.2-oz cans coming in 6-, 4- and 12-packs, variety packs and single-serves.
Wiseacre is currently sold in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C., so the expansion to Wisconsin means that Wiseacre fans in a total of 20 states and the District of Columbia will be able to buy their Wiseacre favorites closer to home.
Wiseacre Brewing opened in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2013 after brothers and Memphis natives Davin and Kellan Bartosch gained experience working in the brewing industry around the country and even overseas including Davin’s brewing studies at Doeman’s Academy in Germany. Since then, Wiseacre has grown to have two brewery and taproom locations, more than 60 employees and distribution in 20 states and has made more 170 beers, ranging from German lagers, to hoppy American styles, complex and boozy Belgian beers and barrel aging beers to boot.
California’s Anderson Valley Brewing returns to Illinois via Oath Distributing
Boonville, California’s Anderson Valley Brewing Co. recently announced its return to Illinois through a new distribution partnership with Oath Distributing. This strategic partnership brings a renewed focus to Anderson Valley across the entire state with Illinois’ leading craft beverage distributor.
“We’ve been impressed with the traction the Oath team has made in Illinois and their approach to that market,” said Anderson Valley Brewing President and CEO Kevin McGee. “When looking to revive our presence in Illinois, Oath quickly proved they are the ideal partner to raise awareness for AVBC. They have an impressive portfolio of craft beverages, and we are looking forward to bringing our beers back to this key beer market.”
“We are honored to be welcoming Anderson Valley Brewing Co. back to the Illinois beer market,” said Oath Distributing Partner Aaron Tyrell. “We have been fans of their sustainable approach to crafting thoughtful and well made beers for years as beer enthusiasts. Their respected brewing history and business practices align with our own. We couldn’t be more pleased to represent them as a distributor.”
Oath Distributing will represent Anderson Valley’s entire portfolio of brands, including its iconic Boont Amber Ale, its Bourbon Barrel Series beers, its fruited Gose series, The Pilsner and the brand new Coastal Ale making AVBC’s beers readily accessible in top on-premise and off-premise accounts.
Founded in 1987, Anderson Valley Brewing brews hand-crafted, authentic beers with balance, complexity and an unwavering commitment to sustainably producing world-class beer. As the world’s first solar powered brewery, Anderson Valley leads the craft beer industry as pioneers in responsible brewing and innovators in environmental sustainability practices. Anderson Valley beer is available in 40 states and at its taproom in Boonville, California.
FÜL non-alcoholic beer is now available in six Midwestern states via Meijer stores
FÜL Beverages — a non-alcoholic beer + an energy/recovery drink brand — recently announced its products will be distributed in 130 Meijer stores across Michigan plus five other Midwestern states. The agreement comes after FÜL’s initial market success, which includes robust sales and four Michigan Brew Trail Magazine reader’s choice Best of the Best awards.
“We set out to create healthier, more refined and refreshing alternative sports drinks and non-alcoholic beers crafted by a local provider,” said Mark Rieth, FÜL founder. “However, sales success is always predicated on flavor and taste. Our public reception has shown that people enjoy our surprisingly refreshing products and plan to purchase them again. Now they’ll have the opportunity to do that at Meijer stores across the Midwest.”
For Rieth, partnering with Meijer represents an ideal partnership. “Meijer is a premier Michigan-based retailer with almost 100 years of experience understanding the market and anticipating its wants and needs. The beverage space is hyper-competitive, so we’re proud that our craft drinks have earned valuable shelf space and that Meijer shares our enthusiasm for taking FÜL products to a wider market.”
Unlike most energy drinks, FÜL uses all natural flavors, no preservatives and ditches unhealthy sugars in favor of natural coffee-berry caffeine. The drinks are lower in calories versus their counterparts while including electrolytes and Vitamin B to help the body recover and provide a healthier and more hydrating way to replace lost water.
Each of FÜL’s colorful cans is designed for a specific flavor and each carries the Fuel Your Quest for Alchemy tagline. Meijer customers will initially see individual cans of pre-workout drinks Savage — Berry and Lit — Blood Orange with other products following.
FÜL is also targeting the non-alcoholic beer market, the fastest-growing beer segment in the industry, with its NA IPA and Feel Better Blonde.
“NA beers are exploding. There’s a lot of customers who desire the crisp, full-bodied taste of a craft brew, but want to avoid the alcohol,” Rieth said. “Partnering with Meijer is a gigantic lead forward for FÜL. We’re expecting other regional and national retailers will follow its lead. Stay tuned.”
pFriem Family Brewers teams up with Scout Distribution for distro in LA and surrounding counties
With a reputation for expert craftsmanship bolstered by an extensive collection of prestigious brewing-industry awards, pFriem Family Brewers is a model craft brewery with a fan base spanning far beyond its home base of Hood River, Oregon. For much of the company’s decade in business, enthusiasts have had to travel to the source in the Pacific Northwest to enjoy its varied line of beers, ranging from poignant IPAs and pristine lagers to funky barrel-aged beers. Last year the brewery started expanding its distribution footprint with a move into Idaho, and now pFriem beers will be available throughout the greater Los Angeles area through the company’s recently expanded partnership with Scout Distribution.
“The Los Angeles beer scene has become a hot spot for high-quality, creative, unique and decorated breweries. This has created a craft-beer consumer that is curious and values quality,” said pFriem Cofounder and Brewmaster Josh Pfriem. “Over the years, we’ve received many requests to have our beer available in the L.A. market. With Scout’s recent growth in and around L.A. County, it has created the opportunity that we have been waiting for to launch in this exciting market.”
Following a quality-over-quantity philosophy, pFriem’s near-term focus will be to offer its finest and freshest beers to draft and specialty accounts. The following are the pFriem beers Scout will distribute to retailers in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern.
- Pilsner (4.9%): A classic crisp, snappy Czech-style pils with hop-borne floral, grassy character.
- Lager (5%): A smooth everyday drinker with nuanced notes of melon and honey.
- IPA (6.8%): New World hops — Chinook, Mosaic, Citra lend this India pale ale a piney aroma and huge citrus punch.
- Hazy IPA (6.8%): Mosaic, Citra, and El Dorado hops bring on fruity notes of clementine, peach, strawberry, mango, and papaya.
- Pale (5.4%): An American-style pale ale with mango and cantaloupe notes from Citra, Mosaic and Cashmere hops.
- Belgian Blonde Ale (7.5%): Pear-like fruitiness and cloven spice are highlights of this strong-yet elegant offering from pFriem’s select family of exotic ales.
- Seasonal Sparkling IPA (6.6%): An Australian-inspired IPA with kiwi, wine-grape, and guava flavors from New Zealand-harvested Nelson Sauvin hops.
- Seasonal Strata IPA (6.7%): This IPA’s popular namesake hop introduces flavors of starfruit and lychee.
- Seasonal American Lager (5%): An easy-drinking, effervescent corn-infused lager hopped with Perle and Tettnang.
Scout’s representation of pFriem in the southern California region follows the company’s proven success as partners, with the latter having distributed the former’s beers throughout Idaho for the past five months.
“Over the past year, we have gotten to know the team over at pFriem on a personal level, but we have been fans of their beers for years. The quality and care they put into each of their beers is exactly what we look for in a partner,” said Scout Distribution CEO Jeff Hansson. “We look forward to bringing this great brand to the greater L.A. region and sharing their portfolio with our customers.”
“We’re excited to build on our partnership with Scout, which started in the fall as we launched our presence with them in Idaho,” said Pfriem. “Scout’s understanding and commitment to beer freshness and their high level of customer service made them an easy choice when looking at distribution partners for us in the L.A. region.”
Indian-inspired Rupee Beer expands to Pennsylvania and Rhode Island
Rupee Beer is on a mission to bring Indian craft beer to the world, and it recently announced its expansion into two new markets to include distribution across Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Rupee Beer is specially brewed to pair with Indian, spicy and world cuisine. It is the first Indian-inspired beer to bridge the gap between world cuisine and craft brewing, with placement at select Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Costco & Total Wine locations.
Rupee is growing the presence of its multi award winning lager at 4.75% ABV fast, with availability across 10 states presently. Brothers Van and Sumit Sharma, sons of Punjabi restaurateurs in the business internationally for over 45 years, found themselves continually frustrated they could not find any Indian beer in Maine — where their family immigrated to from the United Kingdom and Germany in the early 90s.
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 80+ global beer brands, to create Rupee Beer and re-write everything society understands about craft lager as it relates to spicy world cuisine.
Brewed with pristine quality in mind and premium rice, maize, malt and three types of hops, Rupee Beer dismantles the traditional lager experience by lowering levels of carbonation to allow for a more comfortable and enjoyable dining experience. Learn more right here!
RT @CraftBrewingBiz: Distribution update: pFriem Family Brewers goes to LA + news from Wiseacre, Anderson Valley, FÜL and more @avbc @Beech…
@avbc @BeechwoodSales @wiseacrebrew @PfriemBeer @meijer 🙏🏾🍺🔥🚀
Distribution update: pFriem Family Brewers goes to LA + news from Wiseacre, Anderson Valley, FÜL and more @avbc @BeechwoodSales @wiseacrebrew @PfriemBeer @meijer @rupeebeer https://t.co/HS0r4FlL9y https://t.co/3elL93SsZV