Columbia Distributing Signs Almanac and Crooked Stave

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Columbia Distributing has bolstered its portfolio of craft offerings, signing agreements with two high-end beer makers from California and Colorado.

The MillerCoors-aligned wholesaler, which operates branches in Oregon and Washington, today announced it has signed distribution agreements with Almanac Beer Co. and Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project for coverage throughout the Pacific Northwest. Beginning this week (and just in time for the Craft Brewers Conference in Portland) Columbia will distribute Crooked Stave beers throughout Oregon and Almanac beers throughout both Oregon and Washington.

Crooked Stave and Almanac, which both specialize in small-batch, barrel-aged, and sour offerings, are located in Denver, Colo. and San Francisco, Calif. respectively.

Though the two companies have established themselves as smaller, niche-players, Columbia – which currently sells craft brands from the likes of Lagunitas, Stone, and Boston Beer – serves more than 20,000 retail accounts across more than 135,000 sq. miles in Oregon and Washington.

Nevertheless, Almanac co-founder and brewmaster Jesse Friedman wasn’t deterred by the size of his company’s newest wholesale partner.

“There aren’t a lot of other breweries focusing on the same things we are and we know there is demand for Almanac,” he said. “We wanted someone who really understands the local beer market, sells other great brands, and above all else, respects quality and customer service. We found that in Columbia.”

For Crooked Stave, the launch was made possible by a recent expansion with the installation of six new 50-hectoliter fermenters at its Barrel Cellar, which allowed the company to begin focusing on extending its reach out of state.

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