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!
Seattle’s Reuben’s Brews expands to Colorado and the UK
Reuben’s Brews is well known for brewing a wide breadth of beers, including over 180 different beers last year alone. That breadth has always been a defining characteristic of Reuben’s, and now the Seattle-based family brewery is embracing a new whole new kind of breadth. Starting in March, Reuben’s Brews will have its beers available in both Colorado and the United Kingdom.
Reuben’s Cofounder Adam Robbings, a U.K. native who moved to Seattle in 2004, maintains a strong connection to his roots in London and the nearby Berkshire area. Now, following on the heels of Crikey IPA being named “Best North American Beer” at the 2020 Brussels Beer Challenge, Reuben’s has partnered with award-winning West Berkshire Brewery to brew and distribute a special range of beers around London and the wider U.K. market. The new partnership will allow for some of the finest beers from across the pond to be brewed, distributed and enjoyed fresh on British soil.
“Adam and his team share the same passion and respect for beer that we do,” said Managing Director for West Berkshire Brewery, Tom Lucas. “We both focus on the drinker, creating full flavoured brews of all styles with balance and drinkability at the heart.”
Robbings added: “I’m very excited that my parents, family and friends can now try our beer as fresh as possible at their homes in the U.K. and taste the flavour of true West Coast-style beers that we brew in the great tradition of our region.”
WBB and Reuben’s will begin offering three beers: a special UK edition of their decorated “Crikey IPA”, a UK version of their Hazy India Pale Ale “Hazealicious IPA”, and “Pacific Pils”, a new pilsner that honors the ingredients and terroir of the Pacific Northwest. All three beers are available starting March 2021 through WBB and its distribution partners. The Trans-Atlantic partners are also developing an “exchange” program for their brewers and teams to share ideas, experiment with new brews, and have a bit of fun along the way.
At the same time, Reuben’s is expanding distribution closer to home. Reuben’s core beers Crikey IPA, Hazealicious and Pilsner will be widely available in specialty beer shops and liquor stores around the state of Colorado through a new partnership with Colorado Craft Distributors. Colorado craft beer lovers will also have access to Reuben’s wider range of seasonal offerings in the months to come including their Crush Series, their Unbound Series, and their limited-release Breadth Series.
“Colorado has a deep, rich brewing tradition and millions of knowledgeable and passionate craft beer lovers, similar to Washington. We visit at least once a year for the Great American Beer Festival in Denver and have a love for the place and the people,” said Robbings. “Because of our success at the GABF over the years, and our many friends around the state, we’re proud to now have a chance to share our breadth of balanced beers with the great people of Colorado.”
Night Shift Brewing can now be enjoyed by the entire state of Maine
Night Shift Brewing is now available throughout Maine. The expansion occurred after the brewery initially launched in the state with a focus on Portland and surrounding areas. Based on early success, they decided to make their beers available throughout the state. The Everett, Mass. based brewery has strategically launched in several new states over the course of the past year, and the deepening of their commitment in the Lone Pine State is part of an overall plan to find like-minded, passionate craft beer enthusiasts to share their beer with. It’s also a personal investment for the Night Shift team.
“My great grandparents were potato farmers in Houlton, all the way in the northern part of Maine, right at the border of Canada,” said Rob Burns, cofounder and president of Night Shift Brewing. “Ultimately, they relocated to the Auburn/Lewiston area, where they owned a funeral home business for many years. There is actually a street named after my grandfather, Bob Burns, where the funeral home once sat: Burns Street.”
While Burns has a very personal relationship with Maine due to multiple childhood memories that were forged there, Night Shift’s connection to the state extends to many of the initial investors and one of the cofounders of the brewery, who all met at Bowdoin College.
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“I spent a lot of time in Maine as a child, and eventually went to Bowdoin where I met Michael Oxton, one of my partners at Night Shift,” continued Burns. “It was at Bowdoin that I fell in love with beer and started homebrewing in my dorm room. Effectively, Maine is where the whole Night Shift journey began, even before I mashed in my first beer.”
Night Shift Brewing will be sending a broad variety of beer to Maine, which includes a range of well-established flagship brands such as their award-winning East Meets West IPA, Santilli and its Hoot Hard Seltzer line, as well as monthly limited-edition beers.
Night Shift is currently available in the states of Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York and Pennsylvania. The expansion deeper into Maine is made in partnership with Central Distributors.
“We are so happy to represent Night Shift Brewing here in Maine,” said Matt Bolduc, Central Distributors. “The beer and the team are exceptional and we can’t wait to share their passion with a big audience of craft beer lovers all through the state.”
Mass.’s Bent Water Brewing expands distro to New Jersey
Bent Water Brewing Co. will soon be available in the state of New Jersey. The move follows a recent run of strategic expansion into new markets over the last year. The Lynn, Mass.-based brewery is currently available in the states of Massachusetts, Florida, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. New Jersey will become the sixth state to sell Bent Water beer and the fourth new state to carry Bent Water’s beers in the last eight months.
Bent Water Brewing will be distributed in New Jersey by Black River Traders.
“Over the past few years we’ve been receiving more and more requests to make our beer available outside of Massachusetts,” said Aaron Reames, cofounder and president, Bent Water Brewing. “New Jersey is one of the states where those requests have come from. We’ve always said that we wouldn’t expand unless we could do so in a way that maintains our high-quality standards and also makes our beer very accessible. Black River is able to support both of those, so we’re very excited to work with them to grow our business.”
Bent Water will enter the Garden State with five different brands, including its three most popular flagship beers: Sluice Juice, a New England IPA; Thunder Funk, a West Coast-style IPA; and Double Thunder Funk, a West Coast-style DIPA that is referred to as the big brother of Thunder Funk. Sluice Juice and Thunder Funk were recently awarded rankings of 94 and 95 respectively from noted beer and spirits publication, Wine Enthusiast, which categorized both beers as Superb.
Customers in New Jersey will also be able to get their hands on Endless Rays, a Belgian-inspired Witbier, and Tell Me I Can’t, a hazy New England IPA brewed in collaboration with the Pink Boots Society to commemorate International Women’s Day.
Mother Earth Brewing announces new distribution partners in NC
Mother Earth Brewing recently announced new distribution partners across the state of North Carolina. As of March 1, Mother Earth Brewing’s North Carolina distribution network now includes Carolina Premium Beverage, Costal Beverage Company, Harris Beverages, Healy Wholesale, RH Barringer Distributing and Skyland Distributing.
“These partners share Mother Earth’s philosophy for bringing beer drinkers fresh, local and award-winning beers,” said Mother Earth Brewing President Trent Mooring. “We are thrilled to partner with such well-established wholesalers, with the abilities to broaden our footprint throughout North Carolina.”
Founded in 2009, Mother Earth Brewing is a premier producer of fine craft beer in North Carolina. Mother Earth’s beers, including flagship offerings like Long Weekend IPA, Weeping Willow Wit and Endless River Kolsch have been recognized in multiple national and international competitions for their top-tier quality, and are produced in a state-of-the-art green brewery in Kinston, N.C. The facility is the first production brewery in the United States to achieve a Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building program, the preeminent program for design, construction, maintenance and operations of high-performance green buildings.
Ridgefield Craft Brewing heads to stores and taps across western Washington
Ridgefield, one of the fastest growing cities in Washington state, is home to one of the fastest growing craft breweries in the state. Operating a brand-new 10-bbl farm brewery just south of the sprawling suburban community, Ridgefield Craft Brewing has expanded from area taprooms to its own Taproom in the quaint downtown, to having its products featured at the popular ilani Resort and Casino nearby.
Now, the community-minded brewer has enlisted the support of local beverage distributors Kendall’s Pioneer and Browar Polska to make craft brews available to beer enthusiasts by delivering cases and kegs to area retailers, restaurants and taprooms.
“We are a local craft brewer and we want to stay a local craft brewer,” said Steve Dronen, owner of Ridgefield Craft Brewing. “We want to make great beer and have it available throughout the community. We are happy to leave the distribution and back-office work to our partners who are eager and ready to support craft brewers.”
Dronen began with self-distribution but decided to partner with the two distributors whose parent company is Corwin Beverage Co., also based in Ridgefield. The partnership affords Dronen and his fiancé and general manager Ariana Overton the time to focus on innovative beers and operate a taproom while also raising three school-age children in the Ridgefield community.
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“We will be well positioned across all distribution channels as we move out of the pandemic,” said Dronen.
Distribution will center on two of the brewery’s nine beers, including an IPA and amber, which are proving to be their most popular so far. Brews such as Archaic Amber and New Whirled Order IPA are appearing in retail specialty coolers, along with eventual seasonal options. Meanwhile, at least five beer styles will be distributed for draft service as the brewery matches its creations with emerging craft beer tastes and preferences.
“We look forward to making these fresh, local beverages available for beer enthusiasts across the region,” said Sam Madrid, chief operating officer Corwin Beverage Co, and general manager of Browar Polska. “This is one of the nicest breweries anyone could imagine, with amazing equipment, quality assurance laboratories and a very committed staff.”
Bale Breaker expands distribution to southern Idaho with Hayden Beverage
Bale Breaker Brewing Co., a family-owned brewery founded in the Yakima Valley in 2013, recently announced expansion of its sales territory to include the southern Idaho region in partnership with Hayden Beverage. Bale Breaker currently distributes throughout all of Washington state, most of Oregon and northern Idaho. This launch into southern Idaho is an exciting expansion that completes the brewery’s distribution into all counties in Idaho and will reach a new and avid contingency of craft beer drinkers.
“Idaho craft drinkers around Boise have been requesting our beer for a while now, so we’re very excited to partner with Hayden Beverage to bring our fresh-off-the-farm brews to them,” said Kevin Quinn, Bale Breaker co-owner and sales manager.
Bale Breaker’s sales plan has always been to stay close to home, and southern Idaho is a natural extension of its footprint — not to mention the fact that Idaho is home for Quinn, who grew up in the northern part of the state.
Starting immediately, Bale Breaker beers will be available at bars, restaurants, bottleshops and grocery stores throughout southern Idaho, serving up their flagship IPA Topcutter, fan-favorite Pale Ale Field 41, Imperial IPA Bottomcutter and new staples like the Bale Breaker Variety Pack, Hazy L IPA, and Bale Breaker Pilsner