10 Barrel Brewing is making its first major push outside of the western region since selling to Anheuser-Busch InBev 18 months ago.
The Bend, Ore.-based company, one of the earliest U.S. craft breweries to join a robust A-B High End portfolio that now includes brands such as Golden Road Brewing, Devils Backbone and Breckenridge Brewing, among others, will begin selling its products in a number of new states this month.
Previously distributed in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Nevada, Hawaii, Alaska and Montana, 10 Barrel has partnered with about 20 A-B wholesalers in a handful of new craft-centric markets, including New York City, Boston and Minneapolis, co-founders Chris and Jeremy Cox told Brewbound.
“When we partnered with A-B, this was the plan,” Chris Cox said. “We always wanted to grow the brand and sell our beer in some of these metropolitan cities.”
A full list of new states was not available as of press time.
As part of the expansion, 10 Barrel will also leverage A-B’s network of High End sales representatives who will be tasked with securing new on-premise retail placements. The brand will initially only be available on draft, the Cox brothers said.
In addition to a distribution expansion, the company is also growing capacity at its Bend brewing facility. Currently capable of producing about 80,000 barrels, 10 Barrel is in the process of upgrading its brewhouse and packaging equipment and installing additional fermentation tanks. The modifications will bring total capacity to 130,000, barrels the company said.
And except for a limited run of the brewery’s “Pray for Snow” offering, which was produced at A-B’s Fort Collins brewing facility, all 10 Barrel beers all still being made in Bend, Chris Cox said.
“We don’t have any immediate plans to brew any beer outside of Bend,” he said.
Except at its brewpub locations. 10 Barrel currently operates satellite brewpubs in Portland, Ore., and Boise, Idaho and two more are planned for San Diego and Denver.
In San Diego, there was a small but vocal group of craft brewers and aficionados who bemoaned the idea of an A-B-owned craft brewery encroaching on San Diego’s largely independent craft beer scene.
“This is not a great thing for San Diego,” Kevin Hopkins, the president emeritus of the San Diego Brewers Guild and an executive with Mother Earth Brew Co. told the San Diego Union-Tribune at the time news of a 10 Barrel brewpub surfaced.
The objections led San Diego’s Downtown Community Planning Council to host a public hearing in February, a meeting that 10 Barrel founding partner Garrett Wales describes as more of a speed bump than a setback.
“We are definitely moving forward,” he told Brewbound. “We initially targeted San Diego even before we sold to A-B because it is an educated market. Our goal all along has been to go compete in the strongest markets in the West.”
The 10,000 sq. ft. brewpub and taproom is slated to open in the fourth quarter, he added, noting that the company is “close to breaking ground.” Wales said he also expects the company’s Denver brewpub location to open later this year.
10 Barrel, which produced about 50,000 barrels of beer in 2015, is up 46 percent year-to-date, the company said.