Ever been in a strange town and homesick for a comforting craft beer? Gramercy Beverage Co. is hoping to solve that problem by launching its distribution service focused on introducing beloved artisan beers from the Eastern United States to West Coast bars.
“Most of the residents of Southern California are transplants, and many of these transplants grew up in the Northeastern U.S.,” said Jeremy Pevar, vice president of West Coast Operations for Gramercy Beverage Co. “These transplants have nostalgic associations with the regional beers that they left behind.”
A transplant from the East Coast himself, Gramercy Beverage Co. is Pevar’s brainchild and was born out of his desire to walk into his neighborhood bar in Hollywood and purchase a craft beer from back home. In putting the company together, he has overcome regulatory red tape and found an untapped niche in the beer distribution establishment.
Although Pevar’s goal is to concentrate on East Coast breweries, he is launching this month with selections made by the Abbey Beverage Co. of Abiquiu, N.M. Their Monks’ Ale, Monks’ Wit, Monks’ Tripel, and Monks’ Tripel Reserve are the only monastery-brewed ales in the United States. Produced in the Belgian tradition, and with native hops, these highly sought-after brews are being made available in California for the first time.
The Abbey beers will debut at the tap takeover at Sunset Brewing Co. in Los Angeles on March 22. This will also mark the official launch of Gramercy Beverage Co. as a distributor. The Abbey selections will also be poured at the upcoming Los Angeles Beer Festival at Paramount Studios on April 6.
Gramercy Beverage Co. separates itself from other distributors in its goal of making it easy on all sides of the beer distribution equation. Says Pevar: “Because it takes many kegs in the supply chain to maintain one keg at the tap, availability of kegs is the most significant barrier of entry for small brewers to move into new and distant markets. We have eliminated this barrier by supplying our own cooperage to the breweries. We handle our own keg logistics so producers will not tie-up valuable cooperage in the transcontinental supply chain.”
Baltimore Washington Beer Works has been added to the Gramercy Beverage Co. portfolio and the first shipment will arrive in summer 2013. All orders from its East Coast breweries are consolidated at a premium cold storage facility in Northern Delaware. The combined loads then ship to California in refrigerated containers to preserve fresh-brewed flavor. When the beer reaches the West Coast it will be stored in a 3,000-square-foot cold storage facility maintained at a constant 38 degrees. Delivery to bars and other retailers will take place in the company’s own truck, enabling Gramercy Beverage Co. to insure the integrity of the beer’s temperature from the brewery all the way to its final destination.