Brewbound Podcast Episode 27: Fort Point Beer’s Justin Catalana on Self-Distribution and Saying No

Fresh off a $3 million capital infusion from investment firm Circle Up, Fort Point Beer Company appears poised for another year of double-digit growth.

Since its launch in 2014, the San Francisco-based craft beer company has grown its revenue from less than $2 million in 2015, to $14.6 million in 2018, and its production has swelled to nearly 35,000 barrels.

Along the way, Fort Point’s employee count has also grown to about 200, largely due to a robust self-distribution division that has helped give the company a competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace.

During a conversation with Brewbound editor Chris Furnari, Fort Point founder and CEO Justin Catalana said self-distribution has been “tremendously helpful” when it comes to setting a go-to-market strategy.

“Not to squash any of the distributors that are here, they are just frankly not able to take a new brewery and bring them to market as effectively as doing it yourself,” he said.

In episode 27 of the Brewbound Podcast, Catalana shares his plan to grow Fort Point’s revenue to as much as $22 million in 2019, while hiring another five dozen employees.

He also discusses the pros and cons of self-distribution, why the company takes a debt-averse approach to financing growth, and how it builds strong core brands at a time when breweries and consumers alike are chasing new beer offerings.

Listen to episode 27 of the Brewbound Podcast above, as well as on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, and Soundcloud. New episodes of the Brewbound Podcast, which is co-hosted by Furnari and Justin Kendall, are published every Thursday.

Episode 28, featuring Brewers Association chief economist Bart Watson, will be released on Thursday, March 21.

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Brewbound Podcast

The Brewbound Podcast features interviews with beer industry executives and entrepreneurs, along with highlights and commentary from the weekly news. New episodes every Thursday.