Colorado craft beer wholesaler Elite Brands has obtained the distribution rights to Wicked Weed Brewing, Maui Brewing Company and several import brands, Brewbound has learned.
In a joint press release issued on December 23, Elite Brands and Wicked Weed, a popular Asheville, North Carolina-based craft brewery, announced the new distribution agreement.
“Wicked Weed Brewing is excited to get back into the Colorado market and give our fans some more tasty liquid,” brewery owner Ryan Guthy said via the release. “We plan on sending a shipment to Colorado approximately once a month with a wide array of our sour and barrel aged portfolio. We are really looking forward to partnering with Elite Brands as we share the same passion and enthusiasm for craft beer.”
Wicked Weed had first entered Colorado in August via C.R. Goodman. However, a month later, the craft and import beer wholesaler was sold to multi-state beer, wine and spirits wholesaler Breakthru Beverage, leaving the rights to Wicked Weed and several other brands in limbo.
Guthy told Brewbound that, at the time of transaction, representatives from C.R. Goodman offered to transfer Wicked Weed’s rights to Breakthru or allow the brewery to exit its contract.
“It was a huge opportunity to shop around before jumping into decision,” he said.
According to the Colorado Liquor code, craft brewers are allowed to terminate contracts with wholesalers in the event of a sale, something that Wicked Weed was able to avoid with the offer from C.R. Goodman.
“We wanted to keep the momentum going,” Guthy said. “We just wanted to find a partner as good as C.R. Goodman and I think we did a good job in Elite.”
In the release, Elite Brands owner and president Terry Cekola said she was excited to work with Wicked Weed, which, in recent years, has expanded its operations to include four brewery and taproom facilities.
“Wicked Weed has an outstanding reputation and following around the country, evident by their long lines during the Great American Beer Festival,” Cekola said. “We’re thrilled to represent such a quality brand in the state.”
During an interview at the Brewbound Session, held earlier this month in San Diego, Cekola noted that her company had “picked up” some brands previously sold by C.R. Goodman that were not included in the transaction with Breakthru.
Those brands include Maui Brewing — which C.R. Goodman had sold in Colorado since November 2010 — as well three import portfolios: Global Beer Network (Gulden Draak, Monk’s Cafe, Petrus, Piraat, Silly), Total Beverage Solution (Blanche de Bruxelles) and Global Village Imports (Augustiner-Bräu).