The Hampton, N.H.-based brewery today announced it has inked a wholesale agreement with Ben E. Keith Beverages, which will distribute Smuttynose brands throughout Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, with rollout events slated for this week.
“[Ben E. Keith] has been kind of patiently checking in with us for a number of years now,” JT Thompson, brewery spokesperson, told Brewbound. “It’s a big state and as a whole, Texas drinks a lot of beer. Ben E. Keith knows what they’re doing. With all those factors — and we were looking for more markets — Texas seemed like a really good place to [be.]”
Asked whether the company would have been able to move into the Lone Star State without the new brewery, which immediately increased capacity to about 65,000 barrels, Thompson said, “Absolutely not.”
“We were doing the same barrelage essentially for three or four years at our old brewery,” he added.
As such, the increased capacity came as good news also to Kevin Nettleton, general manager of Ben E. Keith’s specialty division.
“Ben E. Keith has been patiently waiting for Smuttynose to complete their new brewery before Texas sales could begin and the time has finally come,” he said in a news release detailing the partnership.
Ben E. Keith, an Anheuser-Busch wholesaler, touts a number of major craft players in its portfolio, including Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, Brooklyn Brewery, Deschutes Brewing, Dogfish Head Brewery, and Lagunitas Brewing.
“We’re not in the boutique place where saying no to someone wanting your brand adds cool cache to [it],” added Thompson. “We want to sell beer to people. Being able to say yes is a very nice change to protocol.”
With the addition of Texas, Smuttynose now has distribution in 25 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and has a presence in six other countries as well. The brewery also has a deal to begin distributing to Nashville, Tenn. — the brewery launched distribution in Chattanooga and Cleveland, Tenn. in June — though Thompson would not disclose specific details.