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!
Short’s Brewing announces year-round distribution expansion into Colorado’s beer mecca
Short’s Brewing Co. of Bellaire and Elk Rapids, Mich., will begin distribution of its beer in Colorado beginning in January with Elite Brands of Colorado. Official launch events will take place throughout the expanded distribution area the week of January 27.
Short’s, known widely for its flagship beers and experimental brews, prides itself on producing creative beers handmade by people who care in northern Michigan. Short’s plans to distribute flagship brands Huma Lupa Licious (India Pale Ale), Soft Parade (Fruit Ale) and Local’s Light (American Lager) along with Beaches Tropical Hard Seltzer beginning in January. Short’s will also be distributing the latest addition to its seasonal lineup, Psychedelic Cat Grass, and Beaches Cocktail-inspired Variety Pack beginning in March.
Distribution of Starcut Ciders, Short’s hard cider brand, has been handled by Elite Brands since 2016.
According to Pauline Knighton-Prueter, CSO at Short’s: “Elite Brands’ leadership and staff have proven themselves to be invaluable partners for the last four years as we worked to grow Starcut Ciders in the state. Our trust in their go-to-market strategy and thoughtful approach to growing brands gave us the confidence to launch Short’s Brewing Co. beers with their team.”
For more information about launch events and where to find Short’s brews in Colorado, please visit shortsbrewing.com/coloradolaunch.
Allagash to expand can distribution in certain East Coast markets
Allagash Brewing Co. will roll out cans of its flagship beer Allagash White, as well as year-round sessionable River Trip, throughout the remainder of its distribution footprint in the first quarter of 2020. Additionally, the brewery will launch 12-packs of Allagash White in select East Coast markets beginning in February 2020.
“We love that cans create a wide variety of new opportunities for people to enjoy our beer,” said Rob Tod, founder of Allagash. “Earlier this year, we successfully launched cans in states close to home. Now we’re excited to get Allagash cans into the hands of even more beer lovers.”
Allagash recently installed a state-of-the-art canning line and began canning Allagash White and River Trip in early 2019.
“The demand for our beer in cans has impressed us,” added Jason Perkins, brewmaster and VP of brewing operations at Allagash. “Our recently increased production capacity means we can deliver two of our most sought-after beers in a new, exciting way — while continuing to meet our high-quality standards.”
The Belgian-style wheat beer Allagash White has won a combined seven gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival, World Beer Cup and European Beer Star Awards, was lauded as “one of the top 25 most important Craft Beers in America,” by Food and Wine, described as “one of the most consistently perfect beers ever brewed on American soil,” by Popular Mechanics and hailed “one of the 19 best beers of 2019,” by Craft Beer and Brewing.
Inspired by a canoe trip taken by brewery employees to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, River Trip — a Belgian-style session ale — is dry hopped for balanced notes of grapefruit, melon and stone fruit. River Trip was announced as a 2020 Good Food Awards Finalist and was listed as one of only two beers on Gear Patrol’s 2019 GP100, that recognizes the 100 best new products of 2019. River Trip is brewed with local pale malt and locally grown oats. Refreshing and full of hop-forward flavor, River Trip is also the lowest-calorie beer in the brewery’s year-round lineup (170 calories per 16-oz can).
Four-packs of 16-oz Allagash White and River Trip cans will be available starting in January in the following markets: California, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania will come in February.
Twelve-packs of 12-oz Allagash White cans will be available within the majority of the brewery’s east coast distribution network (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Virginia and D.C.) starting in February.
Dogfish Head expands distribution to North Dakota
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery recently announced its collection of off-centered ales is in route to the great state of North Dakota. The Delaware-based brewery is partnering with Bergseth Bros. Co. Inc., Jerome Distributing Inc., Magic City Beverage Co., McKinnon Co. and Schwan Wholesale Co. to bring its full lineup of flavorful brews to residents throughout the Peace Garden State, increasing the company’s total market distribution to 46 states and Washington, D.C. Locals can look for Dogfish Head beers on shelves and taps starting in late January.
Committed to delivering consistent, off-centered goodness to its fans, Dogfish Head has strategized and laid the groundwork for a forward-looking growth plan for North Dakota and beyond.
“We’re ecstatic to share our lineup of well-differentiated beers with Dogfish fans in North Dakota and to begin creating long-lasting relationships with the state’s beer drinkers, retailers and distributors,” said Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head. “We have our canning and bottling lines pumping out a boatload of beer, and we’ve got enough brewing capacity to ensure we can keep retailers well stocked with our family of off-centered ales for years to come.”
Dogfish Head fans in North Dakota can expect a gamut of the brewery’s iconic beers, like 60 Minute IPA, a continually-hopped, East Coast IPA; Slightly Mighty, a full-flavored, lo-cal IPA; SeaQuench Ale, a session sour quencher; and 90 Minute IPA, a continually-hopped imperial IPA. They will also see a selection of bottles from Dogfish Head’s 2020-2021 Off-Centered Art Series, including Sun-Day-Feels, Punkin Ale and Campfire Amplifier. Limited quantities of specialty ales and rarities may be available too.
Dogfish Head Brews & North Dakota Chews
For those that like having a bite with their brews, Dogfish Head suggests pairing these pints with some of North Dakota’s most iconic eats.
Grab a 90 Minute IPA to drink alongside Tater Tot Hotdish. The full-flavored malt backbone in the beer will complement the richness of this classic casserole, and the liquid’s assertive west coast hops will counterbalance the savory meat flavors of the meal.
SeaQuench Ale is the perfect pairing for some Lefse. The citrusy flavors of this sour ale provide a great balance to the dish’s light, potato-based flatbread, and the beer’s slightly-salty finish works well with both sweet and savory toppings.
Try 60 Minute IPA with Knoephla Soup. This off-centered beer’s citrusy hops provide a crisp finish, and its moderately-intense flavors will play well with the heartiness of the soup.
CERIA Brewing to launch cannabis-free, non-alcoholic beer nationwide with Total Wine & More
Is he doing it again? Keith Villa, Ph.D., world renowned brewmaster known for the success of Blue Moon Belgian White, one of many great tasting craft beers he created during his 32-year tenure at MillerCoors, has created a line of great tasting non-alcoholic craft beers. Dr. Villa retired from MillerCoors in 2018 and that very same year, in partnership with his wife and CEO Jodi Villa, launched CERIA Brewing Co., a Denver-area craft brewery, which initially targeted the cannabis-infused beverage market in Colorado by brewing non-alcoholic craft beers infused with THC.
Now, due to consumer demand, CERIA is introducing its non-alcoholic craft beers without cannabis.
Recently, CERIA announced it would be entering the growing non-alcoholic (NA) beer segment with a line of CERIA NA beers. CERIA consumers will be able to get their first taste of these beers at Total Wine & More’s 200-plus stores starting in February. CERIA NA will be immediately available in two styles: Grainwave, a Belgian-Style White Ale, and Indiewave, a West Coast-Style IPA.
CERIA Grainwave Belgian-Style White Ale NA is a refreshing medium-bodied brew made with blood orange peel and coriander at 77 calories per 12-oz aluminum can. CERIA Indiewave IPA NA is a flavorful West Coast IPA that balances Cascade, Citra and Amarillo hops with light caramel malts for a smooth citrus character, with 99 calories per 12-oz can. CERIA’s NA products will be initially available in six-pack cans which will be followed eventually by 12-packs, according to Dr. Villa. To support sales, CERIA is supporting the rollout with a full suite of operational marketing support, including shelf talkers, cold vault shelves, endcap displays and a life-size standup of Dr. Villa.
“The popularity of NA craft beers is being driven by millennials opting for a healthier lifestyle, a growing wellness mindset among a broad segment of the population in the U.S. and globally, and others who just want to reduce their alcohol consumption,” Dr. Villa said.
A recent example of this is the 26 percent increase in non-alcoholic beer volume in the United States over the Fourth of July 2019 holiday. It is expected that NA beer will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 7 percent through 2025 according to Global Market Insights, versus minimal incremental growth across the rest of the beer category. This is projected to be even more pronounced for craft beer, with an expected CAGR of nearly 14 percent globally through 2025, according to Zion Market Research.
Joe Messina, founding partner of InterContinental Beverage Capital (IBC) New York, advisors to CERIA, cited statistics that almost 50 percent of consumers have purchased a non-alcohol alternative to an alcoholic product in the last 12 months. The Villas have been assisted by IBC since CERIA’s inception.
Dr. Villa explained: “IBC has been a valuable advisor in the areas of business strategy and planning, distribution and capital formation.”
Messina said, “IBC has been honored to contribute to CERIA’s success and Keith’s growing legacy and impact on the beer industry these past two years. We expect there is even more to come in the next two years.”
Central Coast Brewing gets local California distribution with Local Craft Distribution
Central Coast Brewing (CCB) in San Luis Obispo, CA, has signed a distribution agreement with Local Craft Distribution, based in Solvang, CA. Local Craft Distribution specializes in sales and distribution of finely crafted beer, wine, cider, and spirits to customers in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties.
George Peterson, owner and founder of Central Coast Brewing noted “at CCB, we pride ourselves on selling the freshest beer possible. We believe that Local Craft Distribution is the perfect partner to help maintain our high standards and to continue to help educate the craft beer consumer on the importance of fresh beer.”
“The CCB team has always admired Local Craft’s excellent customer service and sales efforts,” said Stormy Trevino, director of sales and marketing at Central Coast Brewing. “They have a well-deserved reputation for building strong, long-lasting relationships with their customers. Of equal importance to us is that Local Craft is an independently owned and operated company. All this adds up to a perfect fit with CCB.”
Established in 1998, Central Coast Brewing offers an extensive craft beer portfolio ranging from award winning IPAs, Pale Ales, and Lagers to unique specialty releases. CCB has won awards at the local, state, national, and international levels, including numerous Great American Beer Festival medals and a prestigious Gold placing for its Lucky Day IPA at the bi-annual World Beer Cup. As a community driven business, CCB donates beer, time, and money to dozens of worthy charities and non-profits up and down the state.
CCB beer has been found throughout the Central Coast of California for many years. This new agreement with Local Craft Distribution allows CCB to provide award winning beer to their loyal customers throughout the Central Coast and to grow into the Santa Barbara and Ventura County areas. The entire CCB team is excited to be a part of this new opportunity and partnership.
J. Wakefield Brewing to begin distribution of two core beers in 40 Publix supermarkets
J. Wakefield Brewing will begin distributing two of its core beers in 40 Publix supermarkets, from Broward County to Key West, beginning this month. El Jefe and Hops 4 Teacher will be available in four-packs of 16-oz cans in the craft beer section of the stores. All of the beer will be brewed and packaged exclusively at JWB’s brewery on 24th Street in Wynwood by the JWB brew team.
“We couldn’t be happier to make our beer available through Publix. It seems like people have been asking us about Publix distribution, since we opened the brewery. We really wanted to make sure that we could adequately meet the demand, without contracting out the brewing. It was important to us that the beer be brewed here, by our team” said JWB Owner, Founder and Brewmaster Johnathan Wakefield. “It’s the first of several major announcements that we’ll be making in 2020.”
- El Jefe (5 percent ABV/13 IBU) is a traditional German Hefeweizen with the addition of fresh coconut flakes for a taste of Miami.
- Hops 4 Teacher (6.5 percent ABV/67 IBU) is generously Citra hopped India Pale Ale with notes of grapefruit and passionfruit.
J. Wakefield Brewing is Wynwood’s only 100 percent independently-owned craft brewery and tap room. Located in the heart of Miami’s art district, J. Wakefield Brewing makes quality beers that don’t always fit the norm. From their renowned sours to instant classics like El Jefe Coconut Hefeweizen and Hops 4 Teacher IPA, J. Wakefield Brewing crafts traditional styles while utilizing local and occasionally unexpected ingredients as well as flavor-enhancing techniques like barrel-aging, to give these styles a unique twist. J. Wakefield Brewing is located at 120 NW 24th Street, Miami.
Westbound & Down partners with Culture Beverage for Colorado distro
Westbound & Down Brewing Co., an Idaho Springs, Colo.-based brewpub, and Culture Beverage, a Westminster, Colorado-based distributor, announced a new partnership that will bring Westbound’s award-winning beers to liquor stores, bars and restaurants across Colorado.
“We are really excited to have Westbound join our list of partners here at Culture,” said General Manager Xandy Bustamante. “Westbound makes some of the best beers in the state, and their barrel and sour program is taking off. We couldn’t be happier to have them join our family.”
Westbound & Down was named Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival, winning medals for their Westbound Double IPA and Double Barrel Louie, part of their limited release series. Westbound & Down had been self-distributing but was ready to take the leap to full scale distribution as their beers have become more and more popular.
“This is a great opportunity for us to join a team of similar-minded breweries and beer enthusiasts,” said Sean Dugan, sales director at WB&D. “When we look at Culture’s portfolio, we see breweries that inspire us and we’re very excited to be represented alongside some of the most respected beer brands in the world.”
Culture took over distribution January 11 and will be distributing its draft beers, 750-ml specialty barrel-aged and sour beers and brand-new four-pack 16-oz cans across the Front Range and I-70 Corridor.
“We are really happy to be distributing such a well-respected local producer,” said Culture Beverage Vice President Lauren Shepard, “especially since they are a great group of people making excellent beers. We are happy to be able to work with them to share those beers with more Coloradoans.”
Westbound & Down will be the second local brewery that Culture Beverage has begun distributing since opening in April of 2019, joining Lafayette, Colorado based Cellar West Artisan Ales, alongside international makers such as Drie Fonteinen, Cantillon, Oliver’s Cider and Perry and many more.
North Channel Brewing partners with Ludington Beverage for west Michigan distribution
“We’re eager to give craft beer lovers across west Michigan a taste of beers brewed up north, and we’re excited to partner with a local distributor to make it happen,” said Dawn Ford, owner of North Channel Brewing. “Our beers tell the story and history of Manistee, and we’re proud to share that story with west Michigan craft beer drinkers — one pint at a time.”
North Channel Brewing opened in 2017. The brewery is in the historic North Channel Building on Washington Avenue in downtown Manistee and is situated right next to the Manistee River and the drawbridge. Captain Piles Pilsner and Manistee’s IPA will be craft beer lovers’ first introduction to the Manistee craft brewery. Captain Piles is an easy drinking, Czech-style Pilsner brewed with Pilsen Malt and Saaz Hops. Manistee’s IPA is North Channel’s flagship IPA and is brewed with two row and rye malt with heavy additions of Citra hops to produce a beer bursting with citrusy aromas while maintaining a balanced malt flavor.
“At Ludington Beverage, we’re proud to promote growth, choices and competition by working with local craft breweries — like North Channel Brewing — to help them succeed today and into the future,” said Tad Reed, president of Ludington Beverage. “We’re honored North Channel Brewing chose to partner with us to help tell their story and introduce more craft beer lovers to what’s brewing in Manistee. Ludington Beverage has a long history of supporting the Manistee community, and we are excited to participate in its further economic development.”
Owned and operated entirely by veterans, Ludington Beverage is a fourth-generation family owned beer distributor located in Ludington. The distributor services retailers in Manistee, Mason, Oceana, Lake, Osceola and parts of Benzie and Newaygo Counties.