As we reported on previously, Deschutes Brewery is making some moves to increase its footprint. Now the growing craft brewer and its distributor partner in Illinois, Wirtz Beverage Illinois, announced first month sales performance results:
- More than 18,000 case equivalents to 1,800 customer accounts statewide.
- More than 550 tap handles across the state.
“We are thrilled by the volume results from our launch month,” said Stacy Denbow, market expansion manager for Deschutes Brewery. “Our exceptional beer was matched in quality by the execution level of our distributor partner, Wirtz Beverage Illinois. From product knowledge to preselling efforts, POS, event support and chain activations – it all came together resulting in one of our most successful launches to date.”
Deschutes Brewery and Wirtz Beverage originally announced their partnership in October 2012 and immediately set off on an aggressive, statewide blitz to support the craft beer brands’ official January debut. Through a variety of techniques, such as on- and off-premise promotions, gatekeeper educations and industry gatherings, the team created a decent marketing buzz. The market rollout was led by a collection of Deschutes Brewery’s best-selling and award-winning ales including Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Black Butte Porter and Chainbreaker White IPA, with selections changing seasonally.
“The reception of Deschutes Brewery in the marketplace has been remarkable,” said Julian Burzynski, senior vice president of Wirtz Beverage Illinois. “Chances are you can walk into any one of your favorite establishments and find Deschutes beer. It’s remarkable and a privilege to play a role in that. We couldn’t have found a better partner to enter the beer business than Deschutes Brewery.”
Deschutes Brewery marks the first beer brand for Wirtz Beverage Illinois, the state’s oldest and most established alcohol beverage distributor. Since joining forces with Deschutes Brewery, the company continues to expand its craft beer portfolio.
“When we threw our hat into the ring, we knew we had to hit the craft beer market hard. So, we leveraged our experience and channeled a unified approach,” said Danny Wirtz, senior vice president of Wirtz Beverage Group. “With Deschutes, we proved that not only can we do craft beer, we do it well. It’s very encouraging for what’s to come.”
Wirtz Beverage Group has operations in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada and Wisconsin.