Sales of the Portland, Maine-based company’s beers began on Tuesday in San Francisco through wholesaler Matagrano Inc.
The move out west marks a slight shift in distribution strategy for the company: until this week, it had only sent its beers as far west as Georgia.
But Peak Organic co-founders Jon Cadoux and Rob Lucente said that San Francisco is just too important as a craft-centric market to ignore. It helps that it has heightened awareness of organic food and beverage products, as well, Cadoux added.
“First and foremost, San Francisco is a great beer market,” Cadoux said. “The notion of sustainable agriculture is certainly well understood in that market and we have seen our beers perform well in markets where that is a well-understood concept.”
Cadoux hopes that the company’s dedication to using locally-sourced, organic ingredients will resonate with West Coast consumers trying the company’s products for the first time.
“For us, it’s all about the ingredients,” he said. “That is where our story comes from. Picture a chef-owned restaurant where the owner puts a lot of care in the ingredients; those are the places where Peak rises to the top.”
Cadoux said Peak will initially begin developing sales in on-premise channels, which currently account for nearly 60 percent of the company’s overall sales revenue. Beyond that, Peak will also look to develop sales at independent grocery outlets and through Whole Foods.
“Our story resonates well with them,” Cadoux said of the natural foods giant. “They get what we are doing and their consumers get what we are doing. They do a great job and have been a successful chain for Peak.”
To help facilitate the sales efforts in San Francisco, the company hired Gwen Richardson, a former sales consultant with Berkshire Brewing, as its West Coast manager.
Richardson is one of a double handful of new hires the company has made in the last 12 months. Lucente and Cadoux said the investment in “feet on the street” helped contribute to 39 percent volume growth last year. While Cadoux couldn’t share the company’s exact barrel production in 2012, he did confirm that it had produced “well north” of 15,000 barrels.
Peak Organic Brewing currently brews its beer at Shipyard Brewing Company under an alternating proprietorship license. Cadoux said there are no immediate plans to enter additional markets in 2013.