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].
California’s Karl Strauss Brewing expands distro to Nevada with Sauvage
Karl Strauss Brewing Co., San Diego’s longest continuously operating post-Prohibition brewing company, has expanded its distribution into Nevada. The craft brewery now distributes its beer throughout California, Arizona, and Nevada. Karl Strauss is partnering with Vin Sauvage Nevada Beverage Distributor to extend its lineup in the state. The partnership will allow Karl to introduce its brand to a new market of thirsty craft drinkers while enabling them to meet the demand of existing fans who have long awaited Karl’s expansion outside California.
“We’ve been aware of the demand for our beer outside of California since launching in Arizona a couple of years ago,” said Chief Operations Officer of Beer Chad Heath. “Our primary focus, however, is and will remain quality. Expanding slowly has allowed us to partner with like-minded wholesalers who understand our mission, will ensure our product integrity, and can help build our brand across state lines. Vin Sauvage was the natural choice, and we’re stoked to work together.”
The initial launch includes several Karl icons, including Tower X West Coast IPA, Red Trolley Ale, Aurora Hoppyalis IPA, and Boat Shoes Hazy IPA. A catalog of other fan favorites will also be available in draft and packaged beer as KARL extends its reach throughout the state.
“The Golden State, Copper State, and now, Silver State have Karl Strauss Brewing Company on the map, and if you ask Karl, that’s pretty metal,” said Brewmaster Paul Segura.
Karl Strauss has eight brewpubs throughout southern California, and a new beer garden concept will open soon in the City of San Marcos. KARL has earned hundreds of awards for its innovative, high-quality beers over its 35 years of operation.
Whether in California, Arizona, or Nevada, KARL can be found using the Beer Finder.
Tilray’s SweetWater and Montauk Brewing are now at Atlantis in the Bahamas
Tilray Brands, a leading global cannabis-lifestyle and consumer packaged goods company, announced today that two of its best-selling craft beer brands, Montauk Brewing Co., the leading and fastest-selling craft brewer in Metro New York1 and SweetWater Brewing Co., the ninth largest craft brewer in the U.S., are now available at Atlantis resort, on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, and will be available soon at additional locations across the Caribbean.
Tilray’s expansion into the popular tourism destination will be led by Montauk’s year-round favorite, Wave Chaser India Pale Ale (IPA), and SweetWater’s 420 Extra Pale Ale (EPA), two cornerstones of its craft beer portfolio, which also includes Green Flash Brewing and Alpine Brewing.
“Refreshing and easy drinking, SweetWater 420 and Montauk Wave Chaser were both inspired by the water and brewed to be enjoyed in the sun. Both of these delicious brews fit perfectly in the Caribbean, whether you’re unwinding with your favorite beer from the U.S. or looking to try something new,” said Ty Gilmore, President of U.S. Beers for Tilray.
Montauk’s Wave Chaser IPA (6.4% Alcohol By Volume (ABV)) is a super clean and refreshing ale that delivers tropical and pine aromas while SweetWater’s flagship beer, 420 EPA (5.7% ABV) is a refreshing West Coast-style pale ale with fresh, floral aromas and a crisp finish. In partnership with Webb Banks, each product will be available at the following outlets in 12-ounce cans at various outlets within Atlantis, Paradise Island, including: Paranza by Chef Michale White, Plato’s Lounge, Moon Bar, Café Martinique, Bar Sol, and Sun & Ice for consumers to enjoy on their getaway.
Montauk Brewing Co., founded in 2012 by longtime friends, embraces the motto “Come as You Are,” honoring adventure and passion for the simple pleasures in life. Today, the beloved brand is the #1 fastest selling Craft Brewery in Metro New York according to Nielson data and is a subsidiary of Tilray Brands. Montauk Brewing’s beloved brews are now available across 3,500 retail locations and several of NYC’s major venues including Citi Field, Madison Square Garden, Moynihan Train Hall, and UBS Arena. Montauk Brewing’s distributors in the U.S. include Shore Point Distributing Co., Kramer Beverage Co., Oak Beverages Inc., Lake Beverage Corp., Saratoga Eagle, Eagle Beverage Co., Try-It Distributing, A.L. George, Mc Craith Beverages, Dutchess Beer Distributors, Northeast Beverage, Boening Brothers, SKI Distributing, Kohler Distributing, F&F Distributors, Inc. and C&C Distributors RI.
For further information about Montauk Brewing Company, please visit www.montaukbrewingco.com and follow @montaukbrewco.
One of Atlanta’s original craft breweries, founded 26 years ago, SweetWater Brewing is now the ninth largest craft brewers in the United states. With two flagship breweries in Atlanta, Georgia, and Fort Collins, Colorado, SweetWater’s award-winning craft beers and ready-to-drink cocktails are available coast to coast and in more states than ever before.
Through its annual Save Our Water campaign, SweetWater continues to raise funds to support nonprofit organizations fighting for clean water and habitat conservation, including the Waterkeeper Alliance, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, and Trout Unlimited. For further information about SweetWater Brewing Company, please visit www.sweetwaterbrew.com and follow @SweetWaterBrew across all social platforms.
Cleveland’s Saucy Brew Works expands into Kentucky with Heidelberg Distributing
Saucy Brew Works recently announced the state-wide distribution expansion into the Kentucky market in partnership with Heidelberg Distributing — a family-owned and operated business for over 84 years. Heidelberg services more than 26,000 retail and industry establishments across all counties in Ohio and Kentucky. This strategic distribution expansion marks a significant milestone in Saucy Brew Works’ mission to share its passion for craft beer with enthusiasts throughout the Midwest and beyond.
From 2019-2022, Heidelberg’s distribution rights covered the majority of Ohio, excluding nine counties in Saucy’s home market of Cleveland, Ohio. During this time, Saucy’s portfolio of products saw a total draft volume growth of +115 percent, and a total package volume growth of +84 percent. With total points of distribution (PODs) up +57 percent, Heidelberg’s impact has been seen across all channels. In 2023, Saucy announced the full transfer of home-market distribution rights to Heidelberg, setting the stage of the strongest year to date.
Heidelberg Distributing, with a legacy spanning over 80 years, is a trusted name in the beverage industry. Their commitment to quality and exceptional service aligns perfectly with Saucy Brew Works’ dedication to producing outstanding craft beers. With Heidelberg’s footprint extending across state lines, the potential for expansion into Kentucky was always top of mind for Saucy in 2023.
Kentucky beer lovers can now enjoy Saucy Brew Works’ diverse range of styles, from hazy IPAs to rich stouts, all crafted with the finest ingredients and a passion for brewing excellence. Saucy’s flagship beers such as Juicy Asap (American IPA) and Love You, Bye (Hazy Imperial IPA) will be available in bars, restaurants, and retail locations across the state.
Brent Zimmerman, cofounder and CEO of Saucy Brew Works said, “We’re thrilled to partner with Heidelberg Distributing to bring Saucy Brew Works to the beautiful state of Kentucky. Our team has poured their heart and soul into creating these exceptional brews, and we can’t wait for beer enthusiasts in Kentucky to savor the Saucy experience.”
Chris Emmons, vice president of sales of Heidelberg Distributing said, “We are excited to extend Saucy’s presence beyond state borders into Kentucky. The passion and dedication exhibited by the Saucy team align seamlessly with Heidelberg’s 85-year legacy in distribution, which began with a single man and a truck in 1938. We are honored that Saucy Brew Works has placed their trust in us to further expand the reach of their delicious brews.”
Founded in 2017, Saucy Brew Works is a Cleveland-based craft brewery sercing up a wide range of high-quality craft beer. With five locations in Ohio, Saucy Brew Works is firmly founded on a commitment to their first-rate people that, as a team, create consistently superior, quality products. In 2020, Saucy expanded its product offering with the introduction of Saucy Coffee — the sub-brand of Saucy Brew Works can be found in any of their four Brewpub/Coffeehouse locations as well as online and on Amazon. In 2019, Saucy was awarded Best Brewery in Cleveland, followed in 2020 with the Outstanding Small Business Award for their community-driven efforts during the pandemic. In December of 2022, Saucy Brew Works announced the acquisition of Cartridge Brewing, Maineville, Ohio’s premier craft brewery with historic roots, nestled along the banks of the Little Miami River.
Willie’s Superbrew is now available in North Carolina via Artisan Beverage Group
Willie’s Superbrew hard seltzer is now on shelves across North Carolina. Brewed with real fruit, Superbrews are 100 percent gluten-free and vegan, balanced by just the right ABV with less sugar than other leading hard seltzers. Through a partnership with Artisan Beverage Group, Willie’s Superbrew is currently available in select retail locations in the Raleigh-Durham, Winston-Salem, Asheville, Greensboro and Charlotte areas. Parent company Superbrew Acquisition is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“I am thrilled to welcome Willie’s Superbrew to my home state and share some of my favorite flavors,” said Amos Beason, local investor and Superbrew Acquisition Board Member. “I believe this brand has what it takes to stand out in the market, which is why I’m proud to be part of the group of early investors who are writing the next chapter of the Willie’s Superbrew story.”
Full distribution currently includes Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut and now, North Carolina, with plans for continued expansion. Willie’s currently offers two superfan favorite flavors, Juicy Ginger Lemon and Juicy Mango Tango, with a third bold flavor launching this fall. The adult beverage brand expects to share more additions and seasonal releases in 2024.
Consumers will have the opportunity to sample Willie’s Superbrew at several North Carolina retailers over the next few months.
Willie’s Superbrew is an innovative, award-winning adult beverage business creating unapologetically flavorful drinks. Brewed with real fruit, Superbrews are 100 percent gluten-free and vegan and balanced by just the right ABV with fewer calories and less sugar than other leading hard seltzers. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and brewed in Rhode Island, find Willie’s Superbrew in east coast states from Maine to Florida starting in June 2023.
New Jersey’s Cape May Brewing ceases self-distribution
Cape May Brewing Co. announced its strategic decision to divest its distribution rights and cease self-distribution of its products through Cape Beverage Distributing. New Crystal Red is a drum roasted crystallized malt that contributes gold and red hues at low usage rates with minimal flavor impact. It can be used at moderate levels for caramelized notes and darker red/brown hues. Crystal Red works well in a variety of beer styles from lagers to dark ales.
“At the heart of this decision is our renewed appreciation for our entrepreneurial roots and what has driven our success from day one,” said Ryan Krill, Founder, Cape May Brewing. “We know what we do exceptionally well. We create delicious and innovative craft brews and spirits that have made fans happy for years, leaving them in anticipation of what’s next from us. That’s why we want to funnel all of our time, energy and resources into delighting them with our products.”
Frank Stempin, president of Cape May Brewing, added, “This transaction will allow us to do that next level – reinvesting into Cape May Brewing in a variety of ways such as expanded production, state-of-the-art brewing equipment and growth of footprint.”
Effective September 25, distribution of Cape May Brewing products will be managed by four family-owned, industry-leading distributors:
- Kramer Beverage Company of Hammonton, N.J.,
- Peerless Beverage Company of Union, N.J.,
- Shore Point Distributing Company of Freehold, N.J. and
- Kohler Distributing Company of Hawthorne, N.J.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
“In finding the right partners to take the distribution reins from us, we followed our own advice and sought out companies who know what they do better than anyone,” continued Stempin. “We chose four companies who demonstrate what’s possible when you focus on one thing and execute with excellence. Kramer, Kohler, Peerless, and Shore Point are all family-owned companies who have amassed formidable distribution expertise over the generations. Their deep understanding of the landscape will enable them to seamlessly continue to serve our valued customers with the same dedication and efficiency they have come to expect from Cape Beverage over the years.”
With the largest territory coverage in the state of New Jersey, Kramer Beverage Co. will distribute a majority of Cape May Brewing inventory. Cape May Brewing will actively support former employees of Cape Beverage Distributing, offering job placement assistance, severance, and continuation of benefits packages to aid in this transition.