Distribution is a necessary evil. And I don’t say this because of the often political nature of it, but just having to develop a new facet of the business that packages beers, works with accounts, sends beer out the door and monitors/grows demand at all of these places is something you’d avoid if you could. If only you could just focus on what’s inside your taproom walls and have someone start delivering your beer straight to a customer’s house, right?
*All of us start rubbing our chins*
*The screen gets wavy.*
Meet Hopsy, an online marketplace for local craft beer that launched at the start of the year. Hopsy’s technology enables brewers to have fresh draft beer delivered to local customers while providing beer lovers unprecedented access to local beer when they want and where they want.
Before everyone gets too excited, this dream sequence is limited to the San Francisco Bay Area, but the company has plans to quickly expand in all major craft beer markets. The first step in that direction is a partnership with Caviar, which is an easy way to order from popular local restaurants, to offer on-demand delivery of fresh draft beer from a list of local breweries. Starting now, residents of the East Bay can get growlers of local craft beer delivered to their doorsteps in as little as 30 minutes.
“Until now, we’ve offered next-day delivery three days a week. The partnership with Caviar allows us to go a step further in our customer service by offering on-demand delivery 7 days a week,” said Sebastien Tron, Hopsy’s co-founder and CEO. “This is huge for both our customers and our partner breweries, as we bring together the highest level of quality and freshness and the highest convenience possible.”
The number of breweries across the country reached an all-time high of 4,144 in November. The San Francisco Bay Area alone counts more than 160 breweries. However, only a fraction of these local microbreweries are distributed in retail, where shelf space is dominated by the big beer companies, and where beer can be stored for weeks or months before it is consumed.
“Hopsy has created an alternative distribution system where customers can order fresh draft beer from local breweries in small 32-ounce growlettes,” Tron says. “The partnership with Caviar allows us to completely eliminate the tension between quality, freshness and convenience.”