Oskar Blues Brewery has grown beastly. In 2015, the commercial craft beer juggernaut grew by 30 percent in year-over-year sales, reaching 192,000 barrels (bbls) produced. That number looks to grow even bigger in 2016 (cue sweet, T-Rex roar). Growth continues to be fueled at both its East and West Oskar Blues breweries. The North Carolina brewery in Brevard, N.C., brewed 90,000 bbls while Colorado contributed 102,000 bbls to the mix in 2015. Brevard is also in the second phase of its 17,000-sq-ft expansion project that will take its capacity over 200,000 bbls.
Where will all that beer be distributed? Soon, Oskar Blues will sell to all 50 states in America, as well as Washington, D.C. Holy hell, that’s a huge achievement, and we here at CBB tip our cans to Oskar Blues. What states are left to conquer for the Longmont, Colo.-based brewhouse? North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Montana (four of our favorites).
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Oskar Blues has signed distribution agreements and will partner with Johnson Brothers for the North and South Dakota markets. There will be full coverage in both states with Johnson Brothers of South Dakota and Johnson Brothers of North Dakota dba Ed Phillips & Sons Co. of North Dakota. In addition, Oskar Blues will partner with another Johnson Brothers company in NW Iowa with their blue network wholesaler, Johnson Brothers Beverages of Iowa Inc., which will open up the market in the Lake Okoboji area where cans will be a big hit for boaters and outdoor enthusiasts.
Oskar Blues will begin shipping cans and draft to the Dakotas at the end of this month and will hold its official launch in both states during the first week of March. The brewery will lead with Dale’s Pale Ale in both 12- and 19.2-ounce can packages as well as draft in all markets across the state. Additional can offerings of the brewery’s core brands, Pinner Throwback IPA, Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Oskar Blues IPA, Old Chub Scotch Ale as well as the Canundrum Variety 12-pack, will be immediately available. Specific details for the launch week and retail events will be released before the end of this month and Oskar Blues will have a team of OB sales peeps in both markets to execute the launch strategy and kick things off right.
Oskar Blues has also signed a distribution agreement and formed a partnership with Oklahoma Beer Imports, a Non-Resident Seller, operating state-wide in Oklahoma. Since the state operates as a 4-Tier state, OBI will sell to all Class B wholesalers and will represent the Oskar Blues brands throughout the entire state.
Oskar Blues plans to launch the brands in the Sooner State during the first week of April, pending final approvals from the state of Oklahoma, and will launch the full line of cans and draft offering led by Dale’s Pale Ale. In addition, Beerito, a new 4 percent ABV offering will be available immediately and will be sold throughout the state in cans. As with the Dakotas launch, final details of the official launch week and events in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa markets will be released by late March. As with the Dakotas, Oskar Blues will have a team in the market during the launch week.
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Oskar Blues is also on target to launch Montana soon after these three new states and will achieve its goal of being distributed in all 50 states by mid-year. Additionally, the brewery is in the process of evaluating a number of new international markets and will be announcing additional export partnerships in the coming months that will expand Oskar Blues’ presence throughout the globe led by the flagship brand, Dale’s Pale Ale.
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