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!
SweetWater Brewing announces expansion across Michigan
SweetWater Brewing Co. recently announced its market expansion across the state of Michigan, further accelerating the nation’s 11th largest craft brewer into the Great Lakes states. SweetWater’s high-quality craft brews, distributed by O&W Inc., are now available for purchase on draft and in cans and can be found in local restaurants, bars, grocery chains, liquor stores and other retail establishments wherever “the fishin’s good.”
Beer and hard seltzer fans throughout Michigan can now enjoy SweetWater’s core line of tasty brews including its flagship 420 Extra Pale Ale, its juicy H.A.Z.Y. IPA, SweetWater Oasis Premium Hard Seltzer and the newly introduced 420 Imperial IPA — its first line extension of the popular 420 brand. As one of the fastest-growing and largest craft brands in the U.S., the Georgia-based brewery’s expansion into Michigan marks an important step in its continued growth.
“SweetWater’s latest venture into Michigan is an exciting one, and we’re thrilled new brew drinkers can now embrace our motto “Don’t Float the Mainstream!” with us,” said Brian Miesieski, Chief Marketing Officer at SweetWater. “By September, SweetWater beers are expected to be available in every state east of Colorado. We’re working hard to make it a reality for craft beer lovers from coast to coast to have the chance to enjoy an always fresh, and always tasty brew with the stand-out, high-quality beer SweetWater is known to deliver.”
This new market is the 36th state, plus Washington, D.C., that SweetWater has dived into, representative of the expansive growth the leading brewing company has experienced over the last several years. Michigan is the 11th new market that the 420 lifestyle-focused brewery has entered this year — joining Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota, Maine, Nebraska, Wisconsin, New York, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire to SweetWater’s growing list of new states where its award-winning lineup of year-round, seasonal and specialty beers are now available.
“We are thrilled that SweetWater has partnered with us to handle their distribution with local Michiganders,” said Jamie Wanty, Vice President of O&W, Inc., a fifth generation beer distributor located in Southeastern Michigan. “The craft beer industry is huge here, and our locals love supporting passionate, authentic brands. We’re sure SweetWater’s delicious brews will thrive in Michigan and are excited to see what started as a local brewery quench the thirst of beer lovers throughout our great state.”
WTF? Boston Beer and PepsiCo dew it hard, plan to launch HARD MTN DEW in 2022. Read about it here.
SweetWater isn’t stopping with Michigan. The brewing company has major plans to further its expansion, with intent to enter new markets throughout 2021 and beyond, connecting SweetWater lovers coast to coast.
“This is really only the beginning of our plans to expand the SweetWater brand and outdoor-forward lifestyle,” said Miesieski. “Our exciting upcoming expansions will allow us to tap into new beer markets in late 2021, carrying into the 2022 new year.”
Michigan locals can catch the brewery’s iconic crafts, sporting its unforgettable rainbow trout logo as SweetWater floats further into the Great Lakes this summer.
California’s Farmers Brewing Co. partners with Humboldt Beer Distributors
Farmers Brewing Co. has signed a distribution agreement with Humboldt Beer Distributors. The farm-to-glass brews will be distributed by Humboldt Beer Distributors in Humboldt, Trinity, Siskiyou and Del Norte counties starting in August.
The partnership rounds out distribution for the remaining counties of Northern California. Farmers Brewing Co. products will now be available to consumers from San Francisco up to the Oregon border.
“We are thrilled to introduce our farm-to-glass brews to these Northern California counties,” said Bill Weller, founder of Farmers Brewing Co. “We felt very comfortable partnering with Humboldt Beer Distributors because of their professionalism and their commitment to good customer service.”
Founded in 2017 by a fifth-generation farmer, Farmers Brewing Company, LLC began brewing out of a garage in sprawling Princeton, Calif., with a population of 407. The true farm to glass brewery has expanded to a new facility and crafts lighter, sessionable and healthier beers in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California. Farmers Brewing prides itself on producing high-quality grains grown on its own farm to produce high-quality beers.
Two Roots Brewing expands NA beer distribution in Northeast
Non-alcoholic craft beer brewing pioneer Two Roots Brewing Co. announced its continued distribution expansion with products now sold to grocery stores, liquor stores, bars, and restaurants across the Northeast market. The company has signed an agreement with Sheehan Family Companies to cover Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and upstate New York following a successful launch earlier this year in Massachusetts. Retailers are currently placing orders and products are hitting the shelves.
Recognized as a leader in the high-growth non- alcoholic craft beer category, Two Roots is the only non-alcoholic craft brewer to win back-to-back medals at the Great American Beer Festival. The launch includes their three core non-alcoholic craft beers, including 2019 Gold Medal winner Enough Said, a crisp Helles, 2020 Bronze Medal winner Straight Drank, a West Coast-style IPA, and New West, an East meets West style IPA. All three styles are available in six-packs of 12-oz cans. The expansion now brings Two Roots availability directly to a total of ten states. (including California, Michigan and Arizona).
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“We are thrilled to partner with the Sheehan Family Companies in these key states as we execute our expansion plan across the country,” said Ron Goodson, President and CEO, Two Roots Brewing Co. “The robust Sheehan distribution network, their strong retail partner relationships, and attention to our brand in the market will continue to accelerate the popularity of the non-alcoholic craft beer growth phenomena. We are extremely confident in how Sheehan will represent Two Roots to meet the growing consumer demand for our ultra-premium, non-alcoholic craft beer.”
“The non-alcoholic craft beer category continues to be in high demand,” said Robert Hodson, Director of Corporate Brand Management, Sheehan Family Companies. “The Sheehan Family Companies is excited to expand our partnership with Two Roots, bringing their incredible non-alcoholic craft beer offering to retailers and consumers across the Northeast region.”
The Bruery and Offshoot Beer expand distro and DTC footprint
As the summer heats up, the finest beers from The Bruery and Offshoot Beer Co. are headed to new spots across the country. The past few months have brought expansion to The Bruery, from opening new direct-to-consumer states, to distribution and increased tank space to keep the beer flowing.
Since January, The Bruery has extended their direct-to-consumer shipping footprint, opening up Virginia, Pennsylvania, Vermont, North Dakota, New Hampshire and Ohio. The brand also continues to offer same-day delivery in areas of southern California and the Washington, D.C., metro area where they have a base of operations.
“Demand in the DTC channel has accelerated greatly through the pandemic and now that the regulatory hurdles have dropped, adding these states allows us to build our reach with our most exclusive brands,” says VP of Marketing Daniel Munoz.
The Bruery and Offshoot Beer Co. are now distributed in 29 states and Washington, D.C. For the newest states, they have partnered with Craig Stein Beverage in Idaho, Low Country Craft Distribution in South Carolina, Lipman Brothers in Tennessee and Speakeasy Distribution in Kansas and Missouri.
“We are incredibly lucky to partner with such passionate and talented teams in these new states. Sales in the first few months have been outstanding and we’re all very excited about how we can grow together,” says CEO Barry Holmes.
To satisfy this growing demand, The Bruery has increased internal capacity in its Orange County, Calif., facility. Six new fermentation tanks went online in February, three more are going up this month, and more are planned by the end of the year.
“Brands that have a foothold in the e-commerce channel have certainly grown over the past eighteen months but we’ve also seen a strong correlation to our distributed brands and have opened up new states at the request of several retailers. We believe the DTC and wholesale channels build on each other and help us appeal to a broader range of consumers.” says Holmes.
While the four-pack, 16-oz format has been growing share in all of craft beer (+2 points in the latest 26 weeks), Offshoot has been quietly leading the way in the competitive Hazy IPA category since its launch in 2018. Relax and Retreat are currently the #3 Hazy IPA and #4 Hazy Double IPA respectively in craft four-packs in Nielsen Total US Food reports.
Volvo Trucks delivers five electric trucks to New York’s Manhattan Beer Distributors
Volvo Trucks North America recently delivered its first Class 8, battery-electric regional hauling truck on the East Coast to its customer Manhattan Beer Distributors. Five zero-emission Volvo VNR Electric trucks are joining the New York City-based beer and beverage distributors’ fleet of more than 400 delivery trucks to service customers throughout New York City, Long Island, and the surrounding counties. Manhattan Beer Distributors commemorated the delivery with an August 12 press event co-hosted by the New York City Department of Transportation at its distribution warehouse in the Bronx.
“Volvo Trucks commends Manhattan Beer Distributors for continuing two decades of leadership in bringing the most advanced and sustainable commercial trucks to New York City,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “By working together with customers like Manhattan Beer Distributors that are dedicated to reducing their environmental impact, Volvo Trucks has been able to make meaningful progress on the path toward widescale commercial deployment of VNR Electrics from coast to coast.”
Driven by a goal of reducing the company’s environmental impact, Manhattan Beer Distributors began building its low-emission fleet in the ‘90s, which today includes more than 160 Volvo VNR and VNL CNG Class 8 trucks, which will soon be joined by five new Volvo VNR Electrics. To support the charging of its battery-electric fleet, Manhattan Beer Distributors has installed three Level 3 DC fast chargers at its Bronx facility that can fully recharge its Volvo VNR Electric trucks up to 80 percent in 70 minutes. Manhattan Beer Distributors’ battery-electric trucks were the first Volvo VNR Electric models to enter full serial production at Volvo Trucks’ New River Valley manufacturing plant in Dublin, Va., which assembles all Volvo trucks sold in North America.
“As one of the largest beverage distributors in the U.S., Manhattan Beer Distributors recognizes the broad sustainability impact that we can make by eliminating our fleet’s tailpipe emissions,” said Simon Bergson, founder, president & CEO of Manhattan Beer Distributors. “Volvo Trucks has long supported our sustainability goals and demonstrated that their low- and zero-emission truck lineup provides the safety, performance, and reliability we’ve come to expect. We look forward to gaining hands-on experience with our first five VNR Electrics and working with Volvo Trucks and local Volvo Trucks dealership Milea Truck Sales and Leasing to continue expanding our zero-emission fleet.”
Manhattan Beer Distributors helped spur the development of a robust regional sales and service network for the Volvo VNR Electric model, led by Volvo Trucks dealership Milea Truck Sales and Leasing. Milea, which serves New York City and the tri-state area, is Volvo Trucks’ first East Coast Volvo EV Certified Dealer and is fully prepared to consult fleets in the region who are considering investing in the Volvo VNR Electric. The dealership installed heavy-duty-capable charging infrastructure onsite, and its service team has been fully trained and equipped to safely perform battery-electric truck maintenance and repairs.
“As a Volvo EV Certified Dealer, Milea is proud to partner with Volvo Trucks to bring their first battery-electric Class 8 regional-haul trucks to New York and support the ongoing deployment of Volvo VNR Electrics for local and regional distribution, pickup and delivery, and food and beverage distribution in the region,” said Barry Milea, president of Milea Truck Sales and Leasing. “With the deployment of these VNR Electric models, Milea looks forward to continuing its long-standing support of Manhattan Beer Distributors in achieving its fleet sustainability goals while maximizing vehicle uptime and efficiency.”
Manhattan Beer Distributors secured funding for the Volvo VNR Electrics from New York State’s Volkswagen settlement funds, through the New York City Department of Transportation’s (NYC DOT) NYC Clean Trucks Program. New York State’s Volkswagen settlement plan, Clean Transportation NY was developed to reduce emissions in major transportation corridors, including Hunts Point, by funding zero-emission vehicles and equipment.
“This summer, the subjects of infrastructure and climate change are on everyone’s minds, as we witness extreme weather events, with increasing frequency, all around the world,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman. “This is the perfect time to focus on the importance of transitioning to electric-zero emission trucks. We are so pleased that in partnership with New York State, DOT’s NYC Clean Trucks Program was able to provide funds to support Manhattan Beer Distributors’ investment in Volvo VNR Electric trucks. In addition to great lager and ale, these new trucks will deliver cleaner air and quieter streets.”
To learn more about Volvo Trucks North America and the Volvo VNR Electric, visit the company’s website.