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!
Stone Distribution expands into former AB Inbev warehouse
Stone Distributing Co. (SDC) recently announced plans to expand its SoCal operation, marked by its move to a significantly larger distribution warehouse in San Marcos, Calif. SDC, founded by Stone Brewing, is among the nation’s largest distributors of independent craft-centric beverages.
SDC’s new distribution headquarters, a former AB Inbev warehouse, will accommodate 100,000 sq-ft of cold storage capacity for its portfolio of brands including Modern Times, Oskar Blues, Pizza Port, Juneshine, Victory, AleSmith, Cigar City, Societe Brewing and Duvel among others.
“SDC was born of necessity in 1996 when distributors declined Stone’s bold and hop-forward beers, but today it’s a major contributor to Stone Brewing’s success,” explained Maria Stipp, Stone Brewing CEO. “SDC has proven to be a powerhouse for the SoCal craft market. We’re doubling down our focus on this part of the business, which has given so much to Stone and the craft beer community.”
The distributor’s move to San Marcos is ceremonious in more ways than one. On February 2, 1996 — 25 years ago this week — Stone received the keys to what would become its first brewery on Mata Way in San Marcos. The team spent nearly a decade there before building its flagship brewery and Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido.
“We are thrilled that Stone Brewing is coming back home to San Marcos,” said Mayor Rebecca Jones. “They opened their original San Marcos location 25 years ago in what is now The Lost Abbey, and we are delighted they are returning to their roots. Attracting, retailing and expanding businesses is at the forefront of what we do in San Marcos, and Stone Brewing is a prime example of a beloved North County business creating new jobs and boosting the local economy. Stone now has locations in four of Innovate78’s North County cities.”
SDC accounts for 30 percent share of the craft beer market in San Diego and 15 percent share in Los Angeles County. Despite COVID-19 challenges, the business posted a recent 32 percent increase in San Diego and 34 percent in Los Angeles.* With undeniable growth, Stone will prioritize SDC and the SoCal market in its 2021 strategy.
The company signaled this direction last month, when it signed San Diego mainstay Societe Brewing and Los Angeles newcomer Jiant Hard Kombucha to its portfolio. The team hopes to continue expansion of its portfolio this year.
SDC’s current distribution warehouse in Escondido will transition to house the brewery’s raw material and packaging storage. Stone’s flagship brewery and packaging hall continues operations in Escondido, Calif. For a list of all Stone breweries, Bistros and Tap Rooms, visit www.StoneBrewing.com/visit.
NOLA’s Urban South Brewery launches distribution in Mississippi
Urban South Brewery, which claims the largest craft brewery in New Orleans, recently announced that it will begin distributing a selection of its innovative beers in Mississippi this month. Through a partnership with Mitchell Distributing, a variety of Urban South brews will be available in bars, restaurants and stores in the Mississippi Gulf Coast region.
“Demand has been high from our fans in Mississippi, and our team is both grateful and excited for the opportunity to expand,” said Kyle Huling, cofounder of Urban South Brewery. “Our goal is to brew innovative, high quality beer while embodying the traditions and values of the South, and Mississippi fits perfectly into this vision. We’re fortunate to have amazing partners at Mitchell Distributing to help us plan a great launch in this new market.”
Urban South beer varieties that will be offered in the Mississippi market include:
- Paradise Park American Lager — an affordable and easy-drinking lager for the everyday beer drinker. Available on draft, in 6-packs and 15-packs.
- Holy Roller IPA — Urban South’s flagship bold, hazy IPA. Available on draft and in 6-packs.
- Throwback Vibes — A modern spin on the classic west coast IPA, Throwback Vibes is Urban South’s winter seasonal beer. Available on draft and in 6-packs.
- Paradise Park 100 — A low-calorie, snappy lager featuring flaked rice and pale malt. Available in 15-packs.
- Lime Cucumber Gose — An unfiltered, kettle soured wheat beer with kosher salt, house pressed cucumber juice and lime. Available on draft and in 6-packs.
“We are thrilled that Urban South chose to partner with us to bring in their brands from New Orleans,” said Adam Mitchell, CEO of Mitchell Distributing. “I, like many Mississippians, have so many fond memories from New Orleans, so bringing the premier brewer into the Gulf Coast is extremely gratifying. Urban South brings not only the highest quality craft brands, but an array of light beer and seltzers that provide options for every beer consumer. We are proud to work with them to serve the beer drinkers and retailers in our area.”
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Urban South Brewery combines the heritage of European beer making with the brashness of new American styles, with the mission to inspire community and fellowship through the gospel of good beer. Founded in 2016, Urban South has deep roots in Louisiana and a new satellite location in Texas. The brewery strives to embody the values and traditions of the Urban South while brewing the South’s most respected beer.
A number of launch events will take place throughout the week, featuring beer sampling, tap takeovers, and merchandise giveaways. Events are currently scheduled for a variety of bars and restaurants in Gulfport, Biloxi, Bay St. Louis and Ocean Springs. For the most up-to-date launch event schedule, follow along on social media (@urbansouthbeer).
Wiseacre Brewing expands distribution footprint to five new states, launches new hazy IPA and variety packs
WISEACRE Brewing Co. just announced its plans to launch statewide distribution in five new states — Kentucky and New Jersey in February and Colorado, North Carolina and South Carolina in March. Just in time for this expansion, WISEACRE is also launching a new year-round beer Bow Echo, a hazy IPA with notes of citrus and tropical fruit and a fluffy texture derived from oats. Bow Echo Hazy IPA will join Ananda India Pale Ale, Gotta Get Up to Get Down Coffee Milk Stout and the Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal-winning Tiny Bomb Pilsner as part of WISEACRE’s signature lineup. WISEACRE is currently sold in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and Tennessee, so the expansion will mean that WISEACRE fans in a total of 14 states will be able to buy all of the Memphis-based brewery’s year-round beers closer to home.
“Bow Echo is somewhat of a child of MemFresh, the rotating series of small-batch IPAs we’ve worked on for a few years,” said Davin Bartosch, WISEACRE co-founder and brewmaster. “There were a lot of happy IPA fans when we launched the series and we’ve learned a ton about ingredients and processes on Hazy IPAs over those years. So we decided we’d better pump up the volume, literally, and make it available year-round. And, thanks to our new brewery, we have the capacity to get Bow Echo to fans in Memphis and beyond.”
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WISEACRE’s expansion into new states comes on the heels of the completion of its new 40,000 sq-ft facility in Downtown Memphis. The new brewery can produce 100,000 barrels of beer annually, nearly five times the quantity of the company’s first brewery, which it opened in 2013 and is still in operation. New canning technology and equipment has also made it possible for WISEACRE to introduce new packaging options like 16 ounce cans and 12-packs, including a 12-can Variety Pack featuring Ananda, Gotta Get Up to Get Down, Tiny Bomb and a rotating seasonal beer. Sun Bump Belgian Wit will be the first of the rotating seasonals — it made a brief appearance last year, but this marks its first full year of extended distribution.
“In light of COVID, we’ll hold off having events at bars and restaurants for now so we can continue to follow safe business practices for our staff, distributors, retailers and customers. And while this launch will look very different from those in the past, we are no less excited for it!” Kellan Bartosch, WISEACRE co-founder, said. “We will start shipping beer to new places with the promise that there will be a true On-Premise launch down the road when it’s safe. That may be in the summer or it may be well after, but we are committed to bringing the excitement of a market launch when the time is right. In the meantime, it is thrilling that, even in these times, we have distributor partners, retailers, and customers in far away places who can’t wait to drink Tiny Bomb and the rest of the WISEACRE family of beers!”
Wild Leap announces distribution expansion to South Carolina
In its third year of operation, Wild Leap Brewing. Co. just announced the expansion of its distribution to select markets in South Carolina. Wild Leap began distributing craft beer in the southwest Georgia market in 2017 and has grown distribution to cover three states. Wild Leap’s craft beer and spirits will be available in Charleston, S.C., and surrounding areas through Southern Eagle Distributing.
“Efforts to expand distribution have been more labor intensive with COVID-19 precautions and setbacks, but it’s definitely a labor of love,” said Anthony Rodriguez, Wild Leap’s CEO and cofounder. “The craft beer and spirits culture in Charleston is thriving and we’re thrilled to share
our products with our South Carolinian fans.”
Wild Leap started as a small-town brewery with local distribution, but Co-Founders Rob Goldstein and Anthony Rodriguez had dreams to go bigger. In three short years, the independent, fast-growing brewery extended its product line to include craft spirits and is now available statewide in Georgia and select markets in Alabama and South Carolina.
“When looking at new potential markets for expansion, South Carolina was top of mind. Aside from the logistical appeals, we saw very high market growth potential,” says Goldstein, Wild Leap Co-Founder and CMO. “We have a pre-existent South Carolina fan-base and receive a high-influx of inquiries from both fans and retailers to extend distribution to the area. The fans made it an “easy” choice.”
The South Carolina distribution expansion comes on the heels of highly-esteemed industry acknowledgements and awards. After having three beers named as 2020 U.S. Open Beer Championship medal winners, Wild Leap named 10 beers to The Beer Connoisseur’s “Top 100 Beers of 2020” and five beers to the “Top 10 Double IPAs” in the style category breakdown. The
demand for Wild Leap craft beverages is gaining momentum.
Wild Leap beer, vodka and ready-to-drink cocktails are available in Charleston, S.C., and surrounding areas through Southern Eagle Distributing.
Hairless Dog Brewing expands distribution of its 0.0% ABV brews to Colorado
Hairless Dog Brewing Co. is expanding its footprint to include Colorado after announcing partnerships with Culture Beverage. The company recently announced the additions of Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee to its map.
Consumers who want to avoid alcohol without compromising flavor seek out non alcoholic beers, but some brews contain as much as 0.5% alcohol. Unlike category competitors who brew their NA beers with alcohol and then boil it off (a process which leaves some alcohol behind but also changes the flavor of the beer in the process), Hairless Dog Brewing Co. invented an innovative brewing process in which alcohol is never introduced, making them the first 0.0 percent ABV craft NA beer in the county.
Hollander and Pirner established the company after both deciding to opt for a life free of alcohol and their desire to make an NA beer that people wanted to drink for what it was rather than what it wasn’t. Hairless Dog Brewing currently has four styles of craft beer available, all of which are 0.0% ABV, including an IPA, Citra Lager, Coffee Stout, and Black Ale – with new flavors slated for release in early 2021.
Shipping to the lower 48 states, Hairless Dog’s brand new four-can sampler packs are the perfect COVID-friendly gift for that family member, close friend or indispensable coworker you want to treat (even if you can’t drink one with them).
NJ’s Ship Bottom Brewery to distribute NJ’s Battle River Brewing
Ship Bottom Brewery has entered into agreement to distribute Battle River Brewing. Ship Bottom will sell and distribute Battle River to 12 northern New Jersey counties plus Ocean and Atlantic counties. Sales reps will begin presenting the brand the second week of February.
Initial brands will include Patriot and Warhorse. Patriot is a West Coast Style IPA with moderate IBU and a vast mix of aroma of Citra, Galaxy and Mosaic hops. Hop Profile: Columbus, Eldorado, Citra, Galaxy and Mosaic. Additions N/A 16-oz cans, 7 percent ABV, IBU 41.
Warhorse is a classic New England style double IPA, with medium body and smooth mouth feel. Hop overload with huge tropical aroma of citrus, mango, and pineapple. Hop Profile: Denali, Citra, El Dorado, Galaxy. Additions: Mango, Pineapple, Apples. 16-oz cans with a 7.5 percent ABV and IBU 25.
Holidaily Brewing is set to sell its gluten-free beer in Kansas City Metro and Kansas in March
Holidaily Brewing Co., America’s dedicated gluten-free brewery, is set to distribute to Kansas City Metro and all of Kansas on March 15, 2021. They have partnered with distributors to make this expansion possible, including Central States Beverage Co.
Holidaily Brewing opened in Golden, Colo., in 2016 and is the passion project of Karen Hertz, who survived both melanoma and thyroid cancer, leading to a treatment regimen including a gluten-free diet. Hertz struggled to find a great tasting, 100 percent gluten-free beer and was driven to solve this problem. After years of research and testing, Holidaily Brewing Co. was born.
Exponential growth in Colorado led Holidaily Brewing to build a 10,000-sq-ft production brewery in May of 2019, making them the largest dedicated gluten-free brewery in the United States. The expansion increased their brewing capacity, equipping them to serve Kansas City Metro and Kansas.
“We’ve heard the pleas and we’re answering the call,” said Hertz. “Out of 1,500 website requests, Kansas City was in the Top 3 most requested cities. We’re excited about the opportunity to bring our beer to a market that is gluten-free savvy and appreciates craft beer.”
Starting March 15, Holidaily Brewing can be found in liquor stores, bars, restaurants, and grocery stores throughout the Kansas City Metro as well Kansas including Wichita, Dodge City, Topeka and Lawrence.
“We have seen demand and anticipation for gluten-free beer,” said John Kane, vice president for Central States Beverage Company. “Holidaily brews incredible gluten-free beer. Their gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival is a testament to that and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with them here in KC to provide an innovative, world-class product to our market.”