Deschutes Brewery will continue distributing in the St. Louis area, albeit with a new wholesaler, the Oregon-based beer maker announced today.
The company has signed an agreement with Major Brands, the largest Missouri-owned distributor of wine, beer, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages.
“We’re excited to partner with Major Brands for our continued success in St. Louis,” Stacy Denbow, Deschutes’ business development director said via a press statement. “We have always had tremendous support from the craft drinking community there since launching a few years ago and we look forward to ‘re-launching’ our brands with this respected partner.”
The brewery’s products had previously gone to market on Grey Eagle Distributors’ trucks. Last December, however, the wholesaler informed Deschutes of plans to stop selling its beer.
Grey Eagle’s decision to drop Deschutes from its portfolio, according to the Wall Street Journal, stemmed from Anheuser-Busch InBev’s plans to incentivize wholesalers by offering upwards of $1.5 million if 98 percent of the beers they sell are A-B InBev brands.
In addition to a few non-alcoholic brands, Grey Eagle currently lists nine “craft partners,” including Deschutes, on its website. A majority of the company’s beer sales come from Anheuser-Busch products, however.
Deschutes first launched in Missouri in early 2012, at the time signing with 10 wholesalers, including Grey Eagle, for coverage throughout the Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield and St. Louis markets.
The other nine wholesalers will continue to sell Deschutes products and the current distributor change only involved Grey Eagle, a brewery spokesperson told Brewbound.
Major brands will service the St. Louis, St. Charles and Lincoln Counties, according to a press statement.