Distribution Roundup: Breweries Enter Neighboring Markets

Contiguous expansion is at the heart of this week’s Distribution Roundup.

Last month, Minneapolis, Minn.-based Indeed Brewing Co. jumped across the St. Croix River into Hudson, Wis. and began self-distributing its two flagships — Day Tripper Pale Ale and Midnight Ryder American Black Ale — to area bars, restaurants, and liquor stores.

“We decided to enter the Hudson market because there is a strong core of craft outlets in the city,” said Rachel Anderson, the brewery’s co-owner and director of marketing. “We see it as an extension of our current metro reach.”

Indeed isn’t the only craft brewery expanding into a neighboring state. Boise, Idaho’s Payette Brewing is currently in the process of expanding its footprint across both the Oregon and Utah borders. The brewery has signed agreements with 13 new distribution partners.

Starting Feb. 26, Payette’s four year-round beers, as well as seasonals, will be available on draft and in cans throughout Oregon.

Payette has partnered with five new wholesalers in the Beaver State: General Distributors, Bigfoot Beverages, Summit Distributing, Clatsop, and Mid-Columbia Distributing. The company also has pre-existing partnerships with Hodgen Distributing and Owyhee Distributing Co.

“Beyond their love for craft beer, Oregon is an active place,” founder Mike Francis said in a statement. “Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Mt. Hood and Bachelor to ski, the Rogue and Deschutes River to raft, and those are the reasons we put our beer in cans.”

Meanwhile, in Utah, Payette has inked agreements with Bald Eagle Distributing, Marty Distributing, Bow Tie Beverage, C&H Distributing, Tooele Beverage, General Distributing, Big Four, and Wasatch Distributing. Rodeo Rye Pale Ale will be available in cans at grocery and convenience stores in the Beehive State beginning March 1.

It’s a similar story out East, where New Jersey-based East Coast Beer Co. has added a seventh state to its distribution footprint with a move into Maryland.

Per an agreement with Chesapeake Distributing, the brewery’s Beach Haus brand – which includes Classic American Pilsner, Winter Rental, Kick Back Ale, and Cruiser IPA – will be available statewide.

“We have been working hard these past years to make sure that folks who want to enjoy our beer are able to,” said John Merklin, the co-founder of East Coast Beer Co.. “Finding the right distributors across different states is a long process that takes a lot of due diligence and care. We are excited to be working with Chesapeake Distributing; they understand craft beer and the craft beer consumer.”

Beer drinkers in Maryland can also look forward to the launch of Lonerider Brewing Co., which will soon find its way to on and off-premise accounts over the next two months, according to the Triangle Business Journal.

The Raleigh, N.C.-based brewery is also expanding distribution to D.C., Tennessee, and Virginia. Sumit Vohra, the Lonerider co-founder and CEO, told the Triangle Business Journal that his company has inked agreements with 18 new distributors.

“We got to a certain stage in our growth where we were looking to expand our brand,” Vohra told the website. “This opportunity to expand our distribution to a new band of ‘outlaws is both exciting and why we do what we do daily, which is brew craft beers with the highest quality ingredients.”

The article adds that Lonerider’s beers will be available in Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville, Tenn. by Feb.17, in Eastern Virginia and Virginia Beach on March 3, and in Maryland and D.C. by later that month.

Finally, in Texas, Jester King has inked an agreement with Flood Distribution for “sporadic” coverage in Austin, Houston, San Antonio and surrounding markets.

“For the time being, given our very limited production, we don’t have a lot of our own beer for Flood to distribute,” the company said in a statement.

Flood is a new player in the distribution industry, which began distributing its first beers from Shelton Brothers Importers earlier this week.