Following the July Fourth weekend, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. will send its first shipments of Red Trolley Ale and Tower 10 IPA into Northern California, marking the first time in the company’s 23-year history that its beers will be available for regular distribution outside of Southern California.
The San Diego based craft brewer has signed with DBI Beverage Inc. for distribution throughout the Bay Area (excluding the Easy Bay) and is currently in negotiations with additional wholesalers to fill remaining gaps across Northern Calif..
But Karl Strauss General Sales Manager Michael Yao told Brewbound.com that this isn’t the first time Karl Strauss beers have been available in the Northern Calif. Market. Yao said small, sporadic shipments of various 6-pack offerings were previously made available exclusively at BevMO, through a distribution agreement with Alta Marketing Co.
“We’ve been hoping to fully expand up into Northern California for a few years now and we have put a lot of planning in place,” Yao said in a video interview with Brewbound at the 2012 Craft Brewers Conference.
Yao said the Northern Calif. launch will be initially focused at on-premise sampling and regional grocery business through chains like Lunardi’s and Nugget Markets.
Karl Strauss recently received authorizations at Whole Foods, Ralphs, Vons and Albertons markets in Southern California and will look to expand those placements (where possible) in Northern California. The company is also in talks with the nation’s second-largest grocery chain Safeway.
“We are really starting to expand our business with the chain grocers,” Yao said.
In our latest video interview, we chat with Yao about brewery expansion and the Northern California rollout.