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].
NA-brand RationAle Brewing expands into Oregon, SoCal and Colorado
RationAle Brewing, the San Diego-born, Sonoma-brewed non-alcoholic craft beer brand, recently announced a series of distribution moves, including partnerships with two Oregon-based distributors — Bigfoot Beverages and Maletis Beverage — to build upon the traction it has gained in neighboring states. As more and more consumers seek options for moderation, Oregon retailers, such as family-owned Market of Choice, will begin carrying RationAle’s brews to meet the state’s high-consumption, high-demand non-alcoholic beer market.
“In Oregon, craft beer is deeply entrenched in its DNA, bringing communities and people together; for many, it is part of their identity. And in that strong culture is the perfect environment to introduce RationAle, as an option to moderate without sacrificing the taste, quality or variety that’s loved by all beer drinkers,” said Jamie Fay, founder and CEO of RationAle Brewing. “We couldn’t be more stoked to be teaming up with two of the most reputable distributors in the state to seize the opportunity that exists for non-alcoholic craft beer, and raise the bar for what consumers expect out of NA options.”
Launched in late 2021, RationAle has added variety, flavor and innovation to the fast-growing U.S. non-alcohol beer category, providing brew-loving consumers with delicious options to enjoy craft beer in moderation. All of RationAle’s completely-crushable, non-alcoholic craft brews are served in 12-oz. cans, made with high-quality ingredients and in small batches, maintaining the bold, refreshing taste of traditional craft beer.
“We believe in providing a portfolio of category-leading brands that keep pace with trends and change, like RationAle Brewing, while staying true to our roots, with brands locals have grown to love,” stated Paul King, director of craft beer, Bigfoot Beverages. Bigfoot Beverages and Maletis Beverage are locally owned and operated, and distribute beer, cider, wine and non-alcoholic beverages across the state.
RationAle’s expansion into Oregon follows its partnerships with Karl Strauss Brewing Co. — to strengthen distribution through southern California — and Breakthru Beverage Group, a leading North American distributor of the world’s top beer brands — to support the brand’s expansion into Colorado — as well as the appointment of Debbie Novograd, former vice chairman of the board and CEO of BevZero and director of marketing for Starbucks, as a strategic advisor.
RationAle’s Brews are available via RationAleBrewing.com and continue to carve out desirable beer fridge real estate in strategic retail and on-premise partners, throughout California, Colorado, and Oregon, including Whole Foods Market, Market of Choice, Erewhon Market, Mollie Stone’s, Olivers, Lassen’s, and Seaside Market.
AleSmith takes Non-Alcoholic IPA to wholesale distribution
After the successful launch of its Non-Alcoholic IPA through the direct-to-consumer channel, AleSmith Brewing Co. recently announced it’s bringing its Non-Alcoholic IPA nationwide. AleSmith fans can now start finding this hoppy and refreshing craft brew on shelves in select markets this quarter before rolling out nationally in January 2023.
AleSmith first launched its Non-Alcoholic IPA this past March at its tasting room and online. With the overwhelmingly positive feedback and demand for this non-alcoholic brew, the San Diego brewery has expanded its footprint through its distribution partners to expand its offering outside of its Miramar-based location. Available in 12-oz six-packs and at only 75 calories, AleSmith Non-Alcoholic IPA can be found in stores throughout California, Oregon, Ohio, Connecticut, Arizona, and Canada.
With changing consumer tastes and drinking habits, AleSmith Brewing is continuing to build out its innovation line with a focus on non-alcoholic brews. Its non-alcoholic line emphasizes on flavorful beverages that match the AleSmith craftsmanship that the brewery is known for with the rest of its beers. Brewed to IPA perfection, AleSmith Non-Alcoholic IPA provides moderation while still maintaining the taste and experience of a quality craft beer. AleSmith Non-Alcoholic IPA delivers tropical hop notes and aromas that is balanced with a light body and solid bitterness on the finish.
“The innovation for developing a Non-Alcoholic beer has been an interesting and exciting challenge for our company. Our team throughout 18 months of R&D has developed a flavorful and refreshing brew that we think NA and beer drinkers will enjoy,” stated Brandon Richards, president at AleSmith Brewing. “The non-alcoholic craft brew segment is underrepresented throughout southern California. We are excited to continue building out this innovation and adding more offerings to our portfolio.”
With the success of its initial launch, AleSmith Non-Alcoholic IPA will now be available year-round with plans to add a second beer style in late 2023. Get your hands on this brew by visiting the AleSmith Tasting Room or by checking out AleSmith’s ordering page. The brewery is offering free shipping on the purchase of two or more six-packs throughout October.
Forged in 1995, AleSmith has been recognized by consumers and critics alike as one of the world’s foremost craft brewing companies, with accolades that include medals won at prestigious national and international beer competitions. AleSmith’s range of craft beers (Speedway Stout, Nut Brown Ale, and San Diego Pale Ale .394) are distributed in 28 U.S. states and eight countries.
Ska Brewing launches distribution in Wyoming with Western Distributing
Ska Brewing Co. and Western Distributing Co. recently announced a new distribution partnership. Residents and visitors in the Cowboy State can now find Ska beer on tap and in cans from Laramie to Casper to Jackson and beyond. After 27 years and now as one of Colorado’s five largest craft breweries, Ska is quite frankly flabbergasted that they haven’t poured proper beers for their neighbors in the north until now.
“Sharing the border with Wyoming, we travel there often for our outdoor pursuits — and it was starting to get weird not offering our beer there,” said Ska Brewing Cofounder and CEO Dave Thibodeau. “After making the connection with Western Distributing a while back, this expansion of our reach out West feels like a long time coming.”
Based in Durango, Colo,, Ska Brewing was founded in 1995 and produces more than a dozen award-winning beers fueled with Ska music and lots of it. Pioneers in the canned craft beer movement, Ska Brewing is known for an array of styles in 12-oz cans that include True Blonde, Modus Hoperandi and Rue B. Soho. For information, music, and a good time, visit www.skabrewing.com.
Crowns & Hops Brewing adds e-commerce platform, partners with The Gathering Spot
Crowns & Hops Brewing Co., the first Black-owned craft beer brand in Inglewood, Calif., recently announced it was honoring Historically Black Colleges and Universities with the limited release of two IPAs — the “HBCU” West Coast IPA and “HBCU” DDH Hazy IPA. See photos above. The beer represents a full-circle moment for Crowns & Hops Brewing Founders Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter, who went to Spelman and Howard. With that launch, Crowns & Hops also announced some cool distribution news.
To ensure that fellow HBCU alumni and students gain access to this special brew, the company has expanded its distribution footprint to the D.C. area with the launch of a new e-commerce platform — Crownsandhops.com. Customers can order select products and receive the beer direct-to-consumer shipped directly to their homes. Shipping will be limited to select cities. Both of the HBCU beers, as well as the brand’s core beers, will be available online.
In other news, Crowns & Hops Brewing recently partnered with The Gathering Spot to offer its members Crowns & Hops beers in all three of its flagship locations in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. The brewery was also featured on a new series on PBS entitled “Fresh Glass” during an episode about Neighborhood Brewing that aired on October 6.
Mississippi’s Fertile Ground Beer signs partners with Capital City Beverages to begin distribution in Jackson
Fertile Ground Beer Co., Jackson, Miss.’s newest craft brewery located in the Belhaven Town Center, has announced that it will begin distributing its products to taprooms of bars and restaurants in the greater Jackson area through its new partnership with Capital City Beverages.
Residents throughout the Greater Jackson area will begin to see some new beers on tap at a few of their favorite bars and restaurants. Partnering with fellow Jackson-based company, Capital City Beverages, Fertile Ground Beer is officially ready to take the next step by distributing its beer to several locations around the Greater Jackson Area.
“We have had an overwhelming response for our product since opening the doors back in May,” said Matthew McLaughlin, cofounder of Fertile Ground Beer. “Knowing that the demand and support is there for our beer has given us the confidence to move forward with the first phase of distribution to local bars and restaurants.”
Since inception, Fertile Ground Beer has built its ethos around urban development and revitalization in Jackson, touting the importance of support for local businesses. Through its new partnership with Capital City Beverages, Fertile Ground beer will now be available for purchase in those very bars and restaurants they hope to support.
“We had a very exciting conversation with the team at Fertile Ground about their beer and our mutual desire to get it into the hands of our customers around the Greater Jackson Area,” said Brian Drennan, president of Capital City Beverages. “We have been big fans of Fertile Ground Beer Co. since they opened and are proud of the opportunity to distribute a Jackson-based beer to our customers.”
Fertile Ground Beer Co. and Capital City Beverages have planned an official “Launch Week” beginning Monday, Oct. 31 (today!) through Friday, Nov. 4. Throughout the week, they will be rolling out several of products each night at a participating restaurant or bar, kicking off what is sure to be a long, bright future for Fertile Ground Beer. There will also be a beer crawl on Thursday, Nov. 3, during Fondren LIVE, which will include stops at several restaurants throughout the Fondren District.
Fertile Ground Beer Co. is located at 800 Manship Street Ste. 100 Jackson, MS 39202. Capital City Beverages services 1,500 stores and restaurants across 18 counties in Mississippi. They represent more than 30 supplier partners, carrying a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and have been serving the Jackson-metro for more than 80 years.
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