With some 7,000 breweries operating across the country, 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!
New York’s Radiant Pig expands distribution to Maine
Radiant Pig continues to radiate distribution throughout the northeast — now going to Maine through a partnership with Craft Collective. The partnership with Craft Collective will add Maine to the growing list of states Radiant Pig currently distributes in, which include Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York.
“Radiant Pig is proud to partner with Craft Collective. From the very beginning, they’ve shown a tremendous commitment to growing craft beer and building quality relationships in Massachusetts and beyond,” said Rob Pihl, founder of Radiant Pig. “We’ve been bringing Radiant Pig’s hazy IPAs to Massachusetts’ craft beer drinkers since 2017, and its Save the Robots IPA consistently ranks towards the top of our lineup of bestselling 16-ounce cans,” said Bryan Ferguson, cofounder and president of Craft Collective. “Considering this popularity, we’re pumped to bring Radiant Pig’s offerings to Maine’s discerning craft beer community.”
Beer drinkers in Maine will now be able to find Radiant Pig on tap in bars, restaurants, and other craft beer retailers. Brands initially launching into this expanded distribution include Save the Robots IPA, TV Party Pale Ale, and Own the Night IPA. About Radiant Pig Radiant Pig Craft Beers creates high-quality brews inspired by art, music, and NYC culture. Radiant Pig’s year-round favorites include their flagship IPA Save the Robots, TV Party, a New England pale ale, and Own the Night, their latest hazy IPA. Current distribution includes five states in the Northeast.
Nevada/Cali’s Great Basin Beverage acquires Dust Bowl Brewing distribution rights
Dust Bowl Brewing Co. signs with two new wholesalers, Great Basin Beverage, serving northern Nevada, and Alpine Beverage, serving northeast California. Both wholesalers are full-line beverage distributors serving retail outlets from supermarkets to neighborhood bars. Great Basin is expanding its beer distribution business from northeastern Nevada to now include Reno and the surrounding communities. They have acquired Dust Bowl Brewing Co. distribution rights from Revel (formerly Barone). Great Basin Beverage, formerly Digrazia Wholesaler, was founded in the 1930s by Joseph E. Di Grazia. In July 1999, Great Basin Beverage LLC was formed and acquired Digrazia Wholesaler. Great Basin Beverage purchased Alpine Beverage earlier this year. Alpine Beverage was originally established in 2015 by the purchase of D and L Distributing.
“The Dust Bowl team is excited to partner with Great Basin and Alpine,” said Marc Jalbert, director of sales and marketing. “Both distributors have a great reputation in the market for exceptional customer service. They are progressive in the industry and we’re confident our partnership will grow the Dust Bowl brand in Nevada and California.”
Established in 2009, Dust Bowl Brewing Co. offers an extensive craft beer portfolio ranging from traditional IPAs to unique specialty releases. The company launched a year-round, core brand 12-oz six-pack line this spring to complement its bottle, pint can and draft offering. Dust Bowl beer may be found throughout California, Nevada and Oklahoma. The company opened its third taproom this summer in Monterey, Calif.
Brooklyn Brewing partner and Colorado-based Funkwerks adds Kansas
This announcement comes after Funkwerks’ additions of New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Kentucky and Chicagoland to its footprint earlier this year continuing Funkwerks plans to align their distribution footprint with their partners, Brooklyn Brewery and 21st Amendment, and bringing the total count of savvy states serving Funkwerks beer to thirteen.
Draft and six-packs offerings of Funkwerks select year-round beers — Funkwerks Saison, Tropic King, Raspberry Provincial, and White — will be available in select, craft-centric establishments in the Crown Distribution and Central State Beverage distribution footprint along with limited quantities of specialty beers including Pineapple Provincial, Saison d’Brett, and Rhuberry Provincial.
“We are looking forward to serving our funky beers to our neighboring state,” said Funkwerks Cofounder and President Brad Lincoln. “We’ve heard great things about the craft beer community in Kansas and we look forward to working with Crown Distribution and Central State Beverage to expand our brand throughout the state.”
Kansas launch events
- July 31 — Wheel Barrel in Topeka, 5:30 p.m.
- July 31 — Red Lion Tavern in Lawrence, 6 p.m.
- August 1 — Barley’s Kitchen & Tap in Overland Park, 6 p.m.
Matagrano Inc. acquires distribution rights to Nevada’s Revision Brewing in the Bay Area
Matagrano Inc. recently acquired the exclusive distribution right to distribute Revision Brewing Co. brands in San Francisco and San Mateo county. Revision Brewing Co. out of Sparks, Nevada, has been working to increase production to meet consumer demand. With the next brewery expansion fast approaching, Matagrano offers an extensive distribution infrastructure which will help bring Revision Brewing Co. to their next stage of growth in the Bay Area.
At the end of June, two 120-bbl fermenters installed at Revision Brewing Co.’s two-year-old facility added fermentation space. The new equipment will enable Revision to achieve a twenty-three thousand-barrel a year brewing capacity by the end of 2019. Thus, working with a volume higher than the brewery projected initially makes it essential to have distribution partners that are strong at managing substantial quantities of product.
Matagrano Inc. has a large fleet of delivery trucks, an ample sales team, and many merchandisers along with a dedicated craft beer specialist. Matagrano’s distribution infrastructure should help give a leg up to the already established Revision Brewing Co. brand in the Bay Area. Matagrano Inc. is a family-owned and operated distribution company, that moved its headquarters across the country to the South San Francisco almost 50 years ago.
Brewmaster Jeremy Warren stated, “Matagrano has a proven track record in San Francisco and San Mateo county. They’ve been a distribution partner that I’ve always aspired to partner with.”
Overall, with the new partnership, things look promising in the Bay Area for Revision Brewing Co. and Matagrano Inc. alike. This partnership will be sweetened when Revision Brewing Co. hires a sales representative for the Bay Area — an addition soon to come.
Minneapolis’ Indeed Brewing announces partnership with the online distribution services of Guest Brewer
Indeed Brewing Co. recently announced its latest partnership with Guest Brewer (an online platform that connects brewers with distributors all over the country), expanding distribution to a few select national markets. A newly founded program by Brew Pipeline, Guest Brewer aims to connect award-winning craft breweries to the top 100 markets nationwide.
“The objective of the Guest Brewer program is to provide reach to recognized brands into a new market, to provide distributors access and management of brands that increase their share of rotational accounts, and give consumers the opportunity to get what they are seeking in new, highly regarded, yet hard to find brands,” President of Sales Marty Ochs described. “Guest Brewer’s main focus for brewers is on new markets that they had little to no access to previously due to cost, logistics, or available and willing distribution partners to take the product to market.” With Brew Pipeline’s federal wholesale permit, they are able to act as a master distributor from start to finish by handling all logistics and communication from breweries to distributors and eventually the retailers.
A few years back president and co-founder of Indeed Nathan Berndt, came across Guest Brewer’s innovative business model and was enticed by the founders’ extensive experience in the industry. “Finding ways to innovate in craft beer is part of what makes the industry what it is today, and that includes finding new ways to market our beer in order to stand out.”
The team at Brew Pipeline vets breweries and beers by using third-party competitions such as the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup as guides. They also check the brands across beer-rating communities to ensure that they will be viable in the market. Guest Brewer has chosen Indeed’s L.S.D. Honey Ale and Mexican Honey Light as the two brands to introduce into selected markets for their brand recognition and unique stories, “We chose Indeed Brewing Co. first and foremost because of its reputation,” said Ochs. He goes on to say that the story of the Mexican orange blossom honey in Mexican Honey Light makes it an attractive brand. “Awards are a great means to justify a brand, but sometimes having a unique quality on top of a qualified brand name like Indeed will work too,” he added.
Both of these beers have been previously considered for national distribution, but not without barriers to entry. Berndt believes this program creates a low-risk path for Indeed to take this leap, saying, “There may be markets of the country where we strike a chord with unique beers like L.S.D. and Mexican Honey Light, and now Brew Pipeline’s Guest Brewer program offers that access to the market without the major investment of resources that would typically go into launching a new market.”
Brew Pipeline connects local breweries with other local distributors with a goal to introduce a long-term relationship between the two. Marty Ochs says the program is made to bring brands through new markets just once or twice a year and that introducing a new Indeed brand may be part of the future plans, “We would look at bringing in a different Indeed brand due to new states being added, new brand accolades or another unique story to share in 2020,” Ochs explained. “We’re working on other programs that Indeed may fall into for a more permanent spot in new markets.”
Indeed is looking forward to seeing what this program could mean for them. “These beers are in the market for a quick 30 to 60 day run and, if we’re lucky, we may find an area that one or two brands resonate,” said Berndt. “And then boom, we’ve found a new market for selling beer that we can justify the resources for pursuing sustainable growth. If not, then we’ve exposed and sold beer to a new audience and we can continue to execute our company vision for Indeed.”
Preorders for Indeed beer have been placed from Liberator Distributing in Georgia and Galli Beer Distributing, Wilsbach Distributors and Shangy’s in Pennsylvania, with more soon to come.
Central Florida’s Playalinda Brewing expands distribution to south Florida
Playalinda Brewing Co. is expanding distribution to the folks of St. Lucie, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Broward and Collier counties on July 8. Working with our statewide distribution partner, Cavalier Distributing Co., Playalinda plans on spreading great beer from the Space Coast to south Florida.
“It’s been a focus for us from the beginning to grow Playalinda steadily throughout the state of Florida. We’re excited to announce that in early July we will be expanding distribution into a large part of South Florida. This growth continues to solidify the success of our core brands that we’ve seen through Northern and Central Florida, along with our home market on the Space Coast,” said Co-owner Bryan Scott.
Beer drinkers from Fort Pierce to Hollywood will now be able to find Playalinda Brewing Co. on tap in bars, restaurants and other craft beer retailers. Brands initially launching into this expanded distribution include Pleasure Chest IPA, Robonaut Red Ale, Playalinda Blonde Ale, Tropical Wonderland Orange Wheat Beer, amongst other seasonal and limited releases in distribution.
“South Florida is known for having a diverse palate and we’re thrilled to feature our beers alongside the many notable breweries that get to call South Florida home,” said Co-owner and Brewmaster Ron Raike.
To kick off the launch, fans will be able to taste Playalinda’s beers and meet the owners at a launch kickoff party taking place at DAS Pizza + Craft Beer in Riviera Beach on Thursday, July 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. Beer drinkers in the area can also find Playalinda’s beers on tap at the following bars and restaurants the week of the launch:
- DAS Pizza + Craft Beer, 2415 N Ocean Ave, Riviera Beach, FL 33404
- Dixie Grill and Bar, 5101 S Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, FL 33405
- Revelry, 7 S J Street, Lake Worth, FL 33460
- Brass Tap Boynton Beach, 950 N Congress Ave, Boynton Beach, FL 33426
- Craft Beer City, 221 Center St, Jupiter, FL 33458
- DAS Beer Garden, 1203 Town Center Dr #116, Jupiter, FL 33458
- Robot Brewing Co., 2621 N Federal Hwy Suite Y, Boca Raton, FL 33431
- Rebel House, 297 E Palmetto Park Rd, Boca Raton, FL 33432
- Papa’s Raw Bar, 4610 N Federal Hwy, Lighthouse Point, FL 33064
- GQ’s Craft House, 4497 N University Dr, Lauderhill, FL 33351
New Belgium contract-brewed Island Coastal Lager goes to Connecticut
Island Coastal Lager (ICL) has risen up to announce a breakthrough into the Northeast by starting distribution throughout Connecticut in a partnership with Star Distributors. The partnership with Star Distributors will add Connecticut to the rapidly growing list of states ICL currently distributes, which include South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee.
“Star Distributors is proud to partner with East Island Brewing [Island Coastal Lager] to bring an easy-drinking, premium lager to our customers across the state. Our goal is for all types of beer drinkers to enjoy a slice of the island life here in Connecticut with Island Coastal Lager,” said Rocky Gallo, VP of Star Distributors.
“We’re excited to partner with Star Distributors and the Gallo Family in Connecticut. They are great people who have built a company with a legacy of quality relationships in Connecticut and beyond,” said Scott Hansen, cofounder of Island Coastal Lager.
Island Coastal Lager is brewed with the freshest, high-quality ingredients. It was first brought to market in South Carolina in October of 2017, and became the number one six-pack lager sold in major grocery chains across the state within a year. This expansion will bring the coastal-inspired brand to new heights and introduce the Northeast market to a rapidly emerging premium macro beer.
“Island Coastal Lager has carved out its own clean, easy-drinking category providing an alternative to mass-produced beers brewed with fillers and preservatives,” said ICL Cofounder Brandon Perry.
Island Coastal Lager (ICL) is a beer and lifestyle brand with current distribution in six states in the Southeast and on the water with Carnival Cruise Lines. An American Premium Lager brewed with the highest quality ingredients containing no fillers or preservatives, ICL is an easy-drinking beer at just 4.5 percent ABV with a smooth, crisp finish. ICL is available on draft and in 12-oz cans in both six-packs and 12-packs and 16-oz tall boy format.
Star Distributors is a third-generation wholesale beverage distributor founded in 1936 by Michael Gallo Sr., located in West Haven, Conn. Star Distributors is the third-largest beer distributor in Connecticut, and the largest non-Anheuser Busch distributor with approximately 40 percent market share.
Maine’s Lone Pine Brewing Co. adds distribution in Connecticut
Lone Pine Brewing Co. will now be distributing to Connecticut (like that headline says). The Portland and Gorham-based Maine brewery is expanding its growing distribution network to the state of Connecticut. This comes shortly after a strategic approach to expansion in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania in the spring was met with early success.
“We’ve seen increased demand throughout New England for our beers,” said Tom Madden, co-founder and head brewer, Lone Pine Brewing. “That’s why we’ve been gradually introducing our product to more of the states we know are excited to see us on the shelves.”
“We’re excited to get our beer into the hands of enthusiastic out of state supporters while ensuring we always take care of our backyard — our friends and neighbors in Maine — first,” added John Paul, co-owner of Lone Pine Brewing.
Lone Pine will distribute throughout Connecticut with distribution partners Rogo, F&F, Star and A Gallo & Co. Lone Pine Brewing will now be available in six states, with Connecticut joining Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
Lone Pine Brewing Co. is a Gorham- and Portland, Maine-based brewery focusing on American ales and small batch specialty beers that feature unique, local ingredients. Founded in 2016, Lone Pine currently operates its production facilities in Gorham, with tasting rooms in both Gorham and on Anderson Street in the East Bayside neighborhood of Portland. The Brewers Association named Lone Pine the fifth fastest growing brewery in the nation in 2018.