Distribution Roundup: Atwater Changes Hands, Surly Expands


Atwater Shakes Up Distribution in Expansion Markets

Coinciding with plans to build out new production facilities in Texas and the southeast, Atwater Brewery has shaken up its distribution network in each area and taken on new wholesaler partners.

In North Carolina, the Detroit brewery has signed with Craft Central for distribution throughout central and western portions of the state. Previously, Freedom Beverage Co. has sold the Atwater brand. The brewery also recently partnered with Brown Distributing in Texas, ending its preexisting relationship there with Mayan Distributing.

“Those two moves made a lot of sense, especially for what we plan on doing in the southeast and in Texas,” Atwater owner Mark Rieth told Brewbound. “We look at it on a market by market basis very closely. We’re very cognizant of our distributor partners.”

Rieth said a location for the southeastern facility is not entirely pinned down yet, but that they are in the “eight or ninth inning” of the selection process.

The moves will enable the company to extend its reach into chains and dig deeper into the two new “local” markets where the company is currently planning breweries.

Rieth said he anticipates the $15 million Austin facility to be up and running by the first quarter of next year. The southeastern facility is slated for a mid-to-late 2017 opening, he said.

Surly to Expand to Wisconsin

Surly Brewing has announced plans to expand distribution statewide throughout Wisconsin later this year, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal. The brewery, based out of Minneapolis, Minn., has signed on with Beechwood Specialty Sales and Service for statewide coverage, the website said. A precise launch date remains unspecified.

“We’ve only just signed up with the distributor, so plans for the Surly Dairy State invasion are still in the works in terms of scope and timing,” said Corey Shovein, national sales manager at Surly, in a statement obtained by the Business Journal. The brewery did make more than a dozen beers available at a recent tasting in the state, however.

Saint Arnold Taps Miami

More than a year after expanding distribution to Florida, Saint Arnold Brewing has now tapped the Miami market. The company has signed with Eagle Brands Sales.

“We wanted to take time to establish a solid footprint along the Gulf Coast before expanding into Miami,” said Brock Wagner, founder, Saint Arnold, in a news release. “During that time, we have seen demand for craft beer explode throughout Florida. We are very excited to join the Miami craft beer community.”

Beginning the week of April 6, Saint Arnold beers, including Fancy Lawnmower Beer, Santo, and Ale Wagger, will be available throughout the city.

Long Trail Heads to Ohio

Vermont’s Long Trail Brewing is set to expand distribution to Ohio per a new partnership with Superior Beverage Group in Columbus, according to a report from Cincinnati.com. Draft offerings were scheduled to be available in early April with packaged products slated to arrive later in the month. According to the website, Ohio makes for the first new market launch for Long Trail since 2012.

New Partnerships at Home

Big Ditch Brewing of Buffalo, N.Y. has inked a deal with Sanzo Beverage for distribution throughout Cattaraugus, Allegany, Wyoming, Genesee and Orleans counties, according to the Daily News.

Badger State Brewing of Green Bay, Wis. has partnered with Lee Beverage for coverage in Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, Stevens Point, Sheboygan, Eau Claire, Hudson, and Menomonie, per a report from the Green Bay Press Gazette.