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!
St. Louis’ Schlafly Beer teams up with Indy-based Craftroads Beverage
Schlafly Beer, St. Louis’ original independent craft brewery, recently announced a partnership with Indianapolis-based Craftroads Beverage to re-establish Schlafly’s footprint across Indiana beginning in May. The partnership allows Schlafly Beer to further expand its availability in the Midwest with distribution throughout the 92 counties in Indiana. Schlafly is now available in 16 states, primarily the states surrounding Missouri as well as the East Coast. See here for Schlafly’s distribution footprint.
“Craftroads Beverage is a well-respected craft beer provider, and we’re confident in their ability to bring Schlafly Beer to consumers in Indiana,” said CEO Fran Caradonna. “We’re excited for the opportunity to relaunch Schlafly in Indiana and sell great beer together.”
Craftroads Beverage has more than 60 years of experience in Indiana’s brewing industry, focusing on beer quality, draft education and brewing collaborations. Schlafly Beer is the pioneer of craft beer in St. Louis, and the brewing team continues to find ways to innovate their craft. The historic downtown Tap Room was the first craft brewery to open in the city since Prohibition. Along with the Schlafly Bottleworks and Bankside locations, the brewpubs receive over half-a-million visitors each year, making Schlafly Beer a destination brewery in the Midwest.
Schlafly Beer produces roughly 30,000 bbls per year with year-round true-to-style offerings, such as the English Pale Ale and IPA to specialty beers like the award-winning Pumpkin Ale and Coffee Stout. Schlafly also hosts several destination-worthy events throughout the year such as the Schlafly Stout & Oyster Festival in March, one of the largest oyster festivals in the Midwest.
“Schlafly has an impressive 30-year track record of brewing quality beer,” said Craftroads Beverage General Manager Bill Jackson. “It is an honor for Craftroads Beverage to be representing Schlafly in Indiana.”
Belching Beaver Brewery expands distribution to Colorado
Belching Beaver Brewery’s lineup of beers will be available throughout the state of Colorado. Arriving on draft and in package, customers can find its brews in chain accounts, liquor stores and places where craft beer is sold.
“I’m a Colorado native and grew up in the amazing craft beer culture in and around Denver, Boulder, and Aurora before moving to California to work in the beer industry. I’m excited to have my family, friends and fellow Coloradoans enjoy our beers on a sunny, beautiful Colorado day. Cheers to you all and Go Avs!” said Rick Blankemeier, quality assurance manager at Belching Beaver. “I’m thrilled and honored to help introduce Belching Beaver’s line of beers to my home state of Colorado,”
Today, you can find Belching Beaver’s array of core offerings including Phantom Bride IPA, Peanut Butter Milk Stout and Here Comes Mango IPA, as well as their newly released hard seltzer line, Blender Series that include flavors like, Tiger’s Blood (watermelon, coconut, strawberry) Citrus Hibiscus (hibiscus, blood orange, tangerine) Concord Crush (concord grape) and Pretty In Peach (peach and white grape.)
“We are highly anticipating the release of Belching Beaver out of southern California into Colorado,” said Jim Hunt, brand manager at Crooked Stave Artisans Distributing. “They have been on CSA’s radar for quite some time and already garner many loyal fans in the Colorado market. We consider southern California to be one of the craft beer mecca’s and they find ways to stand out in that heavy hitting market. They are brewing up some of the finest IPAs and Stouts in the entire country. Their team has been an absolute pleasure to work with day in and day out. We are excited to show Colorado their world-class lineup of beers and are looking forward to growing with Belching Beaver for years to come.”
Colorado will be the 14th state distributing Belching Beaver.
“We are very excited about our new partnership in Colorado with Crooked Stave Artisans,” said Marc Truex, director of sales for Belching Beaver. “Not only have we been fans of their beers for numerous years, but the dedication and respect with which they handle their supplier partners and brand portfolio in the Colorado market make them a standout player in the state. We are honored to have partnered with them to finally bring our offerings to the Centennial State.”
The brewery operates on a 30-bbl, five vessel brewhouse and produces about 44,000 bbls per year. Belching Beaver runs four locations in San Diego, which includes two restaurants.
Tributary Brewing’s Pale Ale is expanding across New England with Craft Collective
Tributary Brewing Co. has partnered with the distributor Craft Collective to distribute its legendary Pale Ale, vastly expanding its reach across New England. This dank and delicious brew is the brainchild of Tributary Co-Owner and Brewer Tod Mott. Mott has been a pioneering figure in the craft brewing industry since the late 1980’s, most well known for brewing a little known beer called the Harpoon IPA and a cult favorite Russian Imperial Stout known as Kate the Great.
Now his fan favorite, Pale Ale is slated to hit the shelves in southern New England starting late June. It’s a light, refreshing and crisp ale, perfect for those hot summer days! It’s brewed with Nugget, Warrior and Centennial hops giving it a beautiful fruity hop character with a clean, crisp finish. Dry-hopping with Citra, Warrior and CTZ hops (Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus) gives it that euphoric aroma just before it hits your lips.
Starting June 14, the Tributary Pale Ale will begin hitting shelves and draft lines in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and coastal Maine. No fanciful name or gimmicks here, you’ll see it on the shelves simply as the “Pale Ale.” But don’t let the no frills name catch you off guard, this summer favorite is begging to be consumed at your next barbeque, pool party, beach day or any summer adventure for that matter. Look for the big bold logo and Tributary “T.”
If you find yourself north of Massachusetts in the great state of Maine, stop by Tributary Brewing for a full selection of cans and draft beers. Located just five minutes off of I-95 in Kittery. It’s a perfect destination to sample the diverse portfolio of Tributary beers or stock up on it for your weekend get-away.
Short’s Brewing’s Starcut Ciders head to Connecticut via Craft Beer Guild of Connecticut
Starcut Ciders, a division of Short’s Brewing Co., is now available in Connecticut, courtesy of Craft Beer Guild of Connecticut. Starcut Cider was originally introduced at Short’s pub in late 2014. Starcut Ciders was born out of a passion to create high quality and innovative hard cider that focused on the flavor produced by real ingredients. It is brewed with apples from its home state of Michigan without backsweetening, so any sweetness comes directly from the apples. Short’s began distribution of this new division in 2015.
Starcut Ciders will begin distribution with three flagship varieties; Octorock, a semi-sweet hard cider, Pulsar, a dry hard cider fermented with Pinot Noir yeast, and Mosa, a mimosa inspired cider with real orange juice, and a variety pack that features the three flagships and a fourth rotating offering.
“Our state is known for its incredible apples, and by using only Michigan apples, Starcut is a reflection of that legacy, but of course our company is also known for innovation and doing things a little differently. We make cider in a modern style and are not afraid to go against the grain, using unique yeast strains to ferment, or blending it with fruit juice to create flavor forward offerings,” said Pauline Knighton-Prueter, Sales Director. “We have something for everyone in our lineup — from super dry Pulsar to orange juice-infused Mosa.”
Craft Beer Guild is a division of Sheehan Family Brands which includes importers, distributors, and marketing for spirits and has the distinction of being in the grocery and alcohol business for over 120 years. General Manager Adam O’Brien stated: “Starcut Ciders are a great fit for us. The Craft Connecticut team is very excited to get this incredible brand to retail so consumers across the state can enjoy it.”
“We’re looking forward to working with Craft Beer Guild of Connecticut,” says Pauline Knighton-Prueter, sales director for the brand. “When we initially spoke to them about focusing on cider, they saw an opportunity in the market for our style of cider instantly. Cider has a smaller market share than beer or seltzer, but there is room in the market for high-quality, accessible cider and we look forward to seeing the partnership grow.”
Anderson Valley Brewing announces Maine partnership with Mariner Beverages
Boonville, Calif.’s Anderson Valley Brewing Co. (AVBC) recently announced its new distribution partnership with Maine’s Mariner Beverages. This strategic partnership with the state’s largest independent distributor of craft beer will increase the presence of AVBC throughout Maine.
“Mariner has an impressive reputation as being an independent distributor representing the beverage industry’s top brands,” said President and CEO Kevin McGee. “Their commitment to developing quality partnerships and elevating the state’s beverage industry made them an ideal partner for bringing Anderson Valley Brewing Company beers to Maine.”
Mariner will represent AVBC’s entire portfolio of brands, including its iconic Boont Amber Ale, Barrel Series beers, Poleeko Pale Ale and Goses. Beer Shepard’s representation for the brewery will span the entire state, making AVBC’s beers readily accessible in top retail accounts throughout Maine.
“We are excited to be working with Anderson Valley Brewing Co. for several reasons, but the number one is the quality of the beers and the reputation of the brewery,” said Tim Wisseman, founder of Mariner Beverages. “The beers they produce are a fantastic complement to many of the local and regional offerings we carry. This will give Maine consumers a chance to enjoy some of the great beers coming from the West Coast. The new packaging is fun and plays to the outdoor nature of Maine as well. We are starting off with cans and anticipate adding draft as the Covid pandemic winds down and restaurants & bars are able to return to normal.”
CERIA Brewing doubles its NA Beer Distribution network in 12 months
CERIA Brewing Co., makers of Grainwave Belgian White and Indiewave IPA non-alcohol craft beers, reports its distribution network has doubled in the past 12 months. The two CERIA styles, created by legendary Colorado brewmaster Keith Villa, Ph.D., are currently carried by 40 distributors in 18 states and U.S. territories, including recent distributor relationships in Texas and Puerto Rico.
Increased interest in health and wellness, spawned by the pandemic and the low- and no-alcohol movement, and CERIA’s 0.0 percent ABV positioning, are credited with distributors’ interest and desire to take on the brand, according to Dr. Villa.
“Told repeatedly to wash their hands and to wear face masks to control the spread of Covid-19, consumers have become more conscious of their health, in many cases reducing or avoiding the consumption of alcohol. Adding to growing interest in NAs, particularly craft beers such as CERIA, are Facebook groups and new mobile smartphone apps developed over the past year to help consumers consider non-alcohol refreshment and provide ‘better for you’ beverage solutions,” said Dr. Villa.
“YTD 2021 dollar sales of non-alcoholic beer are up 31.5 percent, according to market research firm IRI, and we anticipate that trend will continue through the summer, traditionally a strong time for craft beer consumption. This places NA beers in a prime position to compete against ready-to-drink teas, energy drinks and bottled water for hot weather refreshment.”
Says Terry Cekola, president, Elite Brands, Denver, “While alcoholic beer has long been America’s favorite adult beverage, it’s not always suitable for every occasion. Certainly not like bottled water, tea or coffee. But take out the alcohol while maintaining great beer taste, and you have the best of both worlds: a craft non-alcohol beer from CERIA’s legendary brewmaster that Elite Brands is proud to carry.”
Brendan Dalton, General Manager of Kramer Beverage, Hammonton, N.J., says, “The NA category growth will continue as innovative, differentiated products enter the category. Keith’s track record of success excited us about CERIA. CERIA’s taste will drive its success.”
Grainwave Non-Alcohol Belgian-Style White and Indiewave IPA:
- Grainwave is a refreshing, medium-bodied Belgian-Style White, made with organic malt, and grains. At only 77 calories, it’s brewed with blood orange peel and coriander and contains 0.00% alcohol by volume (ABV).
- CERIA Indiewave NA, at 99 calories, is a flavorful IPA that perfectly balances Cascade, Citra, and Amarillo hops with light caramel malts for a smooth citrusy character. It also comes in at 0.00% ABV.
Based upon the growing popularity of CERIA in the U.S., the company is testing its non-alcohol brands in Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and the U.K.