Distribution Roundup: Cigar City Lands in New Jersey; Pabst and New Holland Kick Off Nationwide Distribution Agreement

Cigar City Expands to New Jersey

Cigar City Brewing today announced expanded distribution to New Jersey, signing with Sheehan Family Companies’ Hunterdon Brewing Company outfit for statewide coverage.

“Hunterdon Brewing Company has been the premier craft brewing wholesaler in the Garden State for many years, so our decision to partner with their team was an easy one,” Neil Callaghan, a Cigar City spokesman said via a press release. “Their talent will help put Cigar City Brewing’s beer into the hands of craft beer lovers all over New Jersey, a state we’ve been eyeing for quite a while.”

The foray into New Jersey marks Cigar City third new market entry in 2017. Earlier this year, the company expanded into North Carolina and Tennessee.

12 oz. cans of the brewery’s popular Jai Alai IPA, Maduro Brown Ale, Florida Cracker Belgian-style White Ale, Invasion Pale Ale and Tampa-style Lager are now available in New Jersey, the company said. Draft beer offerings will be shipped to the state in coming weeks, it added.

Cigar City, which sold to Oskar Blues Holding Company last year, also sells beer in eight other states, including Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Pabst and New Holland Kick Off Distribution Agreement

Pabst Brewing Company officially kicked off its nationwide distribution agreement with Michigan’s New Holland Brewing last week, marking the occasion with a celebratory collaboration brew.

“This collaboration brew represents the great fit between our two companies and the strong shared culture embodied by the partnership,” New Holland co-founder VanderKamp said via a press release. “We’ve used Wisconsin malts and Michigan hops to pay homage to the birthplaces of these two brands and to symbolize the beauty and remarkable experiences that are created when we work together.”

First announced last December, the arrangement between the two companies gives New Holland access to Pabst’s nationwide distribution network and allows it to tap into Pabst’s robust sales organization in exchange for a percentage of sales profits.

“We are thrilled to be pioneering a new approach to partnerships – we aren’t taking any ownership and New Holland is remaining fully independent,” Pabst CEO Simon Thorpe said in the release. “It’s as pure a partnership as you’ll see.”

In the press release, the two companies also described the partnership as an opportunity for Pabst to “increase its product portfolio” and “strengthen” its position in the craft segment.

Sales of New Holland beers are up 27 percent in the first quarter, according to the company. The brewery’s flagship offering, Dragon’s Milk imperial stout, is also up 30 percent.

UFO Beer Hit Minnesota

Harpoon Brewery’s unfiltered line of “UFO” beers landed in Minnesota last week, the company announced via a press release.

J.J. Taylor Distributing Company, which also sells Harpoon’s core lineup, will distribute the UFO range of products statewide.

“We are very excited to introduce the line of UFO wheat beers to the state of Minnesota,” Mike Oelrich, vice president of sales and marketing for J.J. Taylor Distributing said in the release. “The unique and unfiltered offerings from UFO will give consumers easy drinking refreshment just in time for the summer months.”

First introduced in 1998, the UFO line recently underwent a refresh that included new packaging, crowns, embossed bottles and new tap handle.

“We are beyond excited to bring UFO to Minnesota,” UFO brand manager Victoria Kidder said via the release. “These beers are brewed to be fun, interesting, and full of flavor – in fact, there’s a flavor adventure in every bottle and can.”

Catawba Brewing Enters Georgia

North Carolina’s Catawba Brewing will expand distribution to Georgia this month, singing a distribution agreement with United Distributors of Smyrna, Albany, and Savannah, GA for statewide coverage.

“Georgia is an amazing mix of large cities and rural areas, but it seems everyone there shares a love of craft beer,” Catawba Owner and CEO Billy Pyatt said via a press release. “We’ve had so many Georgians visit our NC tasting rooms. They enjoy what we do and wish Catawba products were available in their home state.

Pyatt said the company spent $2 million to expand its production capacity in 2016, enabling the company to look at out-of-state markets.

The brewery’s White Zombie Belgian Wit, Mother Trucker American-style Pale Ale, Farmer Ted Cream Ale and Peanut Butter Jelly Time Brown Ale will be the first product to hit the Georgia market.

“Cans will be available in grocery and chain stores statewide starting mid-April,” the brewery wrote. “Additional year-round, seasonal, and specialty beers, in both draught and cans, will become widely available this summer.”

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