Oskar Blues Brewery will be charging out of the gates strong in early 2015 with the launch of Iowa, Nebraska, Maine, Vermont and downstate Illinois markets — filling in distribution of the brewery’s craft beers in the Midwest and Northeast.
Dale’s Pale Ale, along with the rest of Oskar Blues’ lineup of year-round brews are loaded up and trucking to Iowa, Nebraska and downstate Illinois from Oskar Blues Colorado brewery. Oskar Blues beers will hit the states of Vermont and Maine soon after, shipping from the brewery’s N.C. facility. The brewery’s beers will be available in grocery and specialty stores as well as restaurants, bars and watering holes in both cans and on draft. This expansion will put Oskar Blues beers in a total of 40 U.S. states — with more to be announced soon, the brewery promised.
Oskar Blues has partnered with Quality Brands of Omaha and Double Eagle Beverage of Lincoln led by Tony Gillick in Nebraska. Additional partnerships are being finalized for remaining regions of the state and will be announced soon.
In Iowa, Oskar Blues has partnered with Iowa Beverage Systems in the Des Moines metro market, led by Mike Brewington, and Fleck Sales Co. in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City markets, led by Dudley Fleck and Mike Schulte. As with Nebraska, additional partnerships will be announced soon.
In downstate Illinois, Oskar Blues has partnered with the Wirtz family and Wirtz Beverage Group to cover the remainder of the state outside of Chicagoland. This partnership continues a solid OB/Wirtz partnership that started early in 2014 with the successful launch of Nevada. That relationship developed further with the recently formed partnership between Oskar Blues and Major Brands in Missouri, where Wirtz has an ownership percentage.
In Vermont and Maine, Oskar Blues will expand its existing partnership with the Sheehan Family and the L. Knife Companies. As well, the brewery has chosen the Craft Beer Guild of Vermont and the Craft Beer Guild of Maine as distribution partners. This fills in Oskar Blues’ footprint in the Northeast, and provides beer drinkers in Vermont and Maine with brews from the North Carolina Oskar Blues brewery.
“As we continue to close the gaps in our national footprint, we’re humbled by the enthusiasm and eagerness that we see from distributors seeking to sell our brands in their markets. We take the process of choosing the right partners very seriously, and we’re confident that the distributor networks we’ve chosen in these states will provide solid partners who are invested in their businesses and their communities,” said Chris Russell, Oskar Blues director of business development.
Details of the official launch events in all states are still in the works but will be finalized soon. Look for more details on the kick-off events in the coming weeks, which, as always, will include full OB team support.
Additionally, beer drinkers will be able to sample Oskar Blues’ newest year-round brand, PINNER Throwback IPA, on tap during the initial phase of the launches and then in the CANundrum mixed 12-pack starting in February. Oskar Blues continues to grow exponentially as the brewery expands production, increases staff, and spreads the craft beer love across this great nation.