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! If you have distribution news, send it to [email protected].
Schlafly Beer and NA brand WellBeing Brewing announce strategic joint venture that includes distro and more
Schlafly Beer and WellBeing Brewing Co. recently announced a new strategic joint venture that leverages the respective strengths of both Schlafly Beer, St. Louis’ original, independent craft brewery, and WellBeing Brewing Co., a fast-growing national non-alcoholic craft beer pioneer in St. Louis.
Consumers will soon be able to find WellBeing Brewing Co’s non-alcoholic craft beers in many of the same on- and off-premise establishments across Schlafly’s distribution footprint. From a business perspective, the partnership strategically aligns both companies by combining the strength of Schlafly Beer’s management and operational capabilities with WellBeing Brewing Co.’s focus on innovation and creative expertise as a growing non-alcoholic craft beer player.
“This is truly a joint venture. It allows us to scale our brand to a new level,” said CEO of WellBeing Brewing Co. Jeff Stevens. “We can utilize Schlafly’s operational resources, yet still grow our brand under our vision. As craft brewers look for ways to adapt to a changing consumer landscape, non-alcoholic offerings are becoming essential. We believe that we can be a driver of innovation across the adult non-alcoholic space.”
As partners, Schlafly Beer will manage the sales and production of WellBeing NA brands, collaborating with WellBeing’s current contract brewing and distributor partners. Schlafly will also brew and pack new non-alcoholic products for WellBeing, manage inventory, materials procurement, logistics, and sales support. WellBeing will oversee product development, marketing, content, publicity, and grow its e-commerce business.
“This is a really innovative way to approach collaborative partnerships,” commented Fran Caradonna, CEO of Schlafly Beer. “Under Jeff Stevens’ leadership, WellBeing Brewing Co. has built an incredible brand, and we align in so many ways from our focus on quality to care for the community. The non-alcoholic beer space is a growing category, so this relationship allows our team to get more beverage options in consumers’ hands through our combined distribution footprints.”
According to a February 2022 article in Forbes, research firm CGA Strategy found that no- and low-alcohol beer is one of the fastest-growing segments in the overall beer category, increasing by 96 percent over the last 52 weeks at the time of publication. Paste magazine cites the following 2021 study which states that the total volume for the non-alcoholic category is forecasted to grow by 31 percent in the overall total beverage alcohol market by 2024. The same study also found beer and cider brands dominate the overall no/low-alcohol market with a 92 percent share due to early innovation and investment in quality from brands like Wellbeing Brewing Co.
The new strategic partnership between Schlafly Beer and Wellbeing Brewing Co. also allows both brands to appeal to today’s modern drinking consumer. More than half (58 percent) of no/low alcohol consumers in the IWSR study choose to switch between no/low alcohol and full-strength alcoholic beverages on the same occasion, while only 14 percent state that they do not drink alcohol at all, signaling signs of moderation and health consciousness as consumer drivers.
Schlafly Beer and WellBeing Brewing Co.’s joint venture will begin now, and WellBeing Brewing Co.’s line of non-alcoholic craft beers, brewed by Schlafly Beer, will be on shelves later this year. For more information about Schlafly Beer distribution, see here. Learn more about WellBeing Brewing Co.’s story here and see their portfolio here.
Urban South Brewery expands distro throughout Mississippi
Urban South Brewery’s bold and innovative craft beers can now be found in almost every county in the state of Mississippi, thanks to a new partnership with Southern Beverage. A variety of Urban South’s core beers are now available in bars, restaurants and stores throughout the state, including both the Jackson and Hattiesburg metro areas.
“Mississippi was the first state outside of Louisiana that we chose to expand Urban South’s distribution footprint, and it was a very intentional choice,” said Kyle Huling, cofounder of Urban South Brewery. “Demand has been high from our fans in Mississippi as so many Mississippians have fond memories of time spent in New Orleans. We are very excited about this new partnership with Southern Beverage and look forward to sharing our favorite beers with new fans across the state.”
Urban South brews currently offered on draft and in cans in Southern Beverage’s distribution territory include:
- Paradise Park American Lager: An affordable, easy-drinking lager for the everyday beer drinker. 4.5 percent ABV, 10 IBU.
- Holy Roller IPA: Urban South’s flagship hazy IPA — big, bold and juicy. 6.3 percetn ABV, 60 IBU.
- Lime Cucumber Gose: An unfiltered, kettle soured wheat beer with kosher salt, house pressed cucumber juice and lime 4 percent ABV, 10 IBU.
Specialty releases and additional brands will be distributed throughout Mississippi over the next 12 months.
The largest craft brewery in New Orleans, Urban South currently distributes its beer in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. The brewery launched distribution on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in early 2021 and has now partnered with Southern Beverage to expand throughout the rest of the state with a focus on the Jackson and Hattiesburg markets. A number of launch events will take place throughout the week, featuring beer sampling, tap takeovers, and merchandise giveaways.
Urban South Brewery strives to embody the values and traditions of the Urban South while brewing the South’s most respected beer. To view Urban South’s full distribution footprint, visit: https://urbansouthbrewery.com/about/distribution-map.
Maui Brewing expands distribution into key markets like Nashville and eastern PA
Maui Brewing Co. will broaden its distribution footprint to 26 states this summer. Partnering with Bounty Beverage in Nashville, Tenn., and Stockertown Beverage in 26 eastern counties of Pennsylvania, fans can soon stock up on MBC favorites. The timeliness of this announcement hits just as summer kicks off. Maui’s flagship craft beers including Bikini Blonde Lager, Big Swell IPA, Coconut Hiwa Porter, and Sunshine Girl Golden Ale, as well as Maui Hard Seltzer varietals, will be available in cans at area retailers and on draft at local restaurants.
Chief Sales Officer Chris McJunkin stated: “Maui Brewing Co. is excited to be able to expand our footprint to coincide with our new mainland production. We have many fans from across the country that write in often, and we are now happy to let you know we are coming to Tennessee with Bounty Beverage and Pennsylvania with Stockertown Beverage. Soon, we’ll be in Alabama with United Johnson Brothers. Please be on the lookout for our beers and seltzers, both on- and off-premise in these great states.
Earlier this year, Maui Brewing Co. announced their production expansion partnership with Sleeping Giant Brewing Co. (Denver) to deliver a more sustainable, steady, and fresh supply of their craft beverages at competitive pricing and bring aloha to more mainland fans. Look for availability in Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, and Georgia in the upcoming months. The company will continue to announce new markets on their social media channels.
The MBC team are stewards of their communities and the ‘aina, and curators of the craft beer way of life. Their beers have been recognized worldwide for quality and innovation. For more information, visit MauiBrewing.com or follow @MauiBrewingCo on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Omission Balanced Brewing launches DTC website for non-alcoholic and gluten reduced beers
Building on its recent rebranding and expanding into the growing balanced choices segment, Omission Balanced Brewing just announced its refreshed website, which offers its Ultimate beers and non-alcoholic brews direct to consumer (site here).
Omission has been a pioneer in gluten reduced craft beers since 2012. Available now is Ultimate Golden Ale: 3 carbs, 99 calories, 0 grams of sugar, and always gluten reduced. This light and citrusy beer is refreshing and full of flavor. Later in June, the Ultimate Beers lineup will add Ultimate Wheat Ale, the company’s first national gluten reduced wheat ale, and Ultimate IPA.
Omission also launched its non-alcoholic line this year, extending the offerings of balanced choices for conscious drinkers who desire the full flavor of craft brews. Good to Go Golden and Bright Eyed IPA are great tasting non-alcoholic brews that deliver on the full craft beer taste and experience, without the alcohol — all while being better balanced and always gluten reduced.
“Omission has always been about balance with our gluten reduced beers. With consumers seeking new and different ways to achieve balance, Omission’s new lineup of great tasting and better-balanced Ultimate Beers and non-alcoholic craft styles uniquely satisfies this need,” said Ken Kunze, Omission Balanced Brewing general manager. “Starting as gluten reduced, and adding Ultimate Light in 2017, validated our vision; and extending the Ultimate beer lineup with the Ultimate Wheat Ale and Ultimate IPA plus having the new non-alcoholic brews is the next expression of our relaunch. As purchasing behavior continues to move online, consumers will now be able to find Omission in both traditional and direct-to-consumer channels.”
In addition to direct-to-consumer availability on its website, Omission Balanced Brewing products have national distribution in on- and off-premise, including placements in leading retail chains or menus focused on gluten reduction or health and wellness.
Badger State Brewing expands distribution into Wisconsin with Milwaukee, Madison and La Crosse territories
Badger State Brewing recently announced the expansion of beer sales into the Madison, Milwaukee, and La Crosse areas beginning summer of 2022. This comes after reaching formal distribution agreements with Beer Capitol, Frank Beer, and La Crosse Beverage in each of their respective territories.
“It is now safe to say the Badger has landed, and we’re ready to begin officially supporting and becoming part of these great communities in the major metro areas of our state,” said Andrew Fabry, president and founder of the Badger State. “After a few years of this distribution expansion being delayed, we are excited to formalize these partnerships and add to the selection of great beer made and sold right here in the state of Wisconsin.”
The expansion nearly completes statewide distribution for Badger State after nine years in business. While the core business continues to be focused in northeastern Wisconsin, the brand has long expected to continue into full statewide coverage with its portfolio still being only available in Wisconsin. Badger State Brewing has continuously expanded each year and remains focused on an organic growth strategy using high-level branding and awareness coupled with the finest liquid.
Dran Graziano, VP of sales and marketing for Beer Capitol added “Our partnership with Badger State has been a relationship in the making for over eight years, and it has been exciting to see their business expand over than time. We are fortunate to now help accelerate their growth and build the Badger State brands in the Milwaukee market as their distributor.”
The excitement was equally echoed by Mike Frank, president of Frank Beer Distributors: “Our team is thrilled to represent Badger State Brewing as they approach their 10th anniversary of providing Wisconsinites with innovative brews. Our retail partners have been asking for it for years and we look forward to selling such great and local WI beer”.
Distribution expansion will be led by Badger State favorites including BRW-SKI Light Lager, Grassy Place Hazy IPA, On Wisconsin Red Ale, and Buzzy Badger Coffee Ale. The new territories will also see the distribution of seasonal and limited release favorites including the Tiki Tom Slushie series and more.
Full Sail Brewing’s Session Cerveza is now on Alaska Airlines (dig this giveaway)
Pack your bags, Full Sail Brewing Co. and Alaska Airlines recently announced a collaboration between two iconic Pacific Northwest brands. Full Sail Brewing’s Session Cerveza lager is now being served on Alaska Airlines flights nationwide. This gold medal winning beer is just the ticket: a light, crisp, refreshing, craft lager that is sure to satisfy your thirst for adventure.
To celebrate this partnership and Session Premium Lager’s recent reformulation, Full Sail Brewing and Alaska Airlines have teamed up to giveaway a travel giveaway on Alaska Airlines for two. Who wouldn’t want to win a getaway on Alaska Airlines and crack open a cold Session in the air, on a beach, under the stars or anywhere your travels take you?
“Alaska Airlines serves the highest quality of food and beverage offerings by partnering with brands who put the same amount of care into their products, ingredients and business practices as we do,” said Todd Traynor-Corey, managing director of guest products at Alaska Airlines.
The Full Sail crew is known for their commitment to sustainably brewed, award-winning beers. “We are honored to partner with an iconic Pacific Northwest brand like Alaska Airlines and to offer this gold medal winner in-flight,” says Full Sail Brewing VP of Commercial Sales Justin Gwin. For the latest on what Alaska Airlines is offering on board, check out their food and beverage section on its website.
When Session Lager was launched in 2005 it was a ground-breaking move viewed by some as the start of the craft lager revolution. It quickly became one of the hottest new craft-beer brands on the market, which has since brought home more than 125 medals, including 70 golds. Flash forward to 2022, in that spirit of creativity and innovation, Full Sail Brewing’s Session Premium has evolved to be even more crisp and refreshing than ever.
“As our drinkers’ palates and preferences evolve, we respond and feel confident that this new, refreshed Session Lager recipe will be equally pleasing to both new drinkers and longtime fans,” added Gwin.
Session Lager’s evolution will be hitting retail shelves starting this summer in the iconic 11-oz stubby bottles as well as 12- and 16-oz cans.
Perched on a bluff in Hood River, Ore., overlooking the mighty Columbia River’s epic wind and kite surfing and the snow-capped volcanic peaks of Mt. Hood, Full Sail is a true craft-brewing pioneer. Since 1987, Full Sail has been pouring pure Mt. Hood water, local ingredients and responsible processes into each and every pint. Full Sail’s brews and sustainable practices have garnered more than 300 national and international awards, including over 200 gold medals and Beverage World ‘s “Craft Brewer of the Year” distinction. From Full Sail Amber to Session Lager and new offerings, Full Sail consistently strives to brew complex, balanced and ridiculously tasty beers.
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