Distribution Roundup: Colorado Breweries Expand Westward; Heavy Seas Hits Virginia

Left Hand Brewing Enters Idaho

Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing has added its 41st state — Idaho — after launching distribution this week in the Boise and Nampa areas of the state.

Longmont-based Left Hand is partnering with Hayden Beverage Company, a MillerCoors wholesaler that will initially sell kegs of Milk Stout and Travelin’ Light Kolsch as well as 6-pack cans and kegs of Milk Stout Nitro, IPA and Juicy Goodness golden ale. In a press release, Left Hand called its the entry into the Gem State an extension of its “Left Coast” expansion.

“We’re thrilled to introduce Left Hand to our western neighbors and craft beer enthusiasts in Idaho,” Left Hand director of marketing Jill Preston said, via a press release. “We’re celebrating our 25th anniversary this month so it’s an extra special time of year for us.”

Funkwerks Adds Nevada Distribution

Fort Collins-based Funkwerks today launched distribution in Nevada via Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits.

In a press release, the Colorado craft brewery said draft and 6-packs of year-round beers — Funkwerks Saison, Tropic King, and Raspberry Provincial — will be sold in “select, craft-centric establishments” across the state.

Funkwerks — which sold a minority stake to Brooklyn Brewery last year and formed a national sales platform with the New York brewery and California’s 21st Amendment — now sells beer in 10 states, including Arizona, Texas, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, California and its home state of Colorado.

Heavy Seas Distribution Rights Sold in Northern Virginia

Baltimore’s Heavy Seas Beer has signed a distribution agreement with Virginia Eagle Distributing Company for coverage in North Virginia and the Fredericksburg area, the two companies announced in a press release. UPDATE: Heavy Seas’ previous wholesaler in Northern Virginia, Select Wines, sold Heavy Seas’ brand rights to Virginia Eagle.

“This Northern Virginia area is extremely important to us and we believe that Virginia Eagle’s structure and dedication to the craft beer business will help expand our brand,” Heavy Seas founder Hugh Sisson said, via the release..

“Pursuing this partnership has been a personal labor of love for me,” Virginia Eagle COO Scott Heinz added. “We have worked hard to build a portfolio of craft beer supplier partners that truly are a cut above. Adding Heavy Seas will make us better.”

TRVE Brewing Brands Distribution Network

Denver’s TRVE Brewing has rebranded its 3-year-old distribution arm as High Plains Beer Distribution.

The company said its “small boutique distributorship” started as a way to help other small breweries “organize, attend and send” their offerings to the Denver market during the annual Great American Beer Festival. However, s the company’s portfolio has grown to 15 breweries, TRVE said it needed to distinguish its own brewery from its distributorship.

“Separating High Plains as a unique entity affords us the opportunity to promote the in-bound brands with more clarity,” founder Nick Nunns said, via a press release.

High Plains brands — including J. Wakefield Brewing, Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company, Civil Society Brewing Company, Great Notion Brewing, Finback Brewery, among others — will be showcased during events in Denver during GABF week in mid-September.

Fat Head’s Expands to Western New York

Ohio-based Fat Head’s Brewery will begin selling beer to the Rochester and Buffalo markets of New York starting in mid-September, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

The Middleburg Heights craft brewery will launch 6-packs of three flagship releases — Head Hunter IPA, Sunshine Daydream Session IPA, and Bumble Berry Blueberry Honey Ale. Rare and seasonal releases are expected to follow.

“There is still a strong, growing demand for our beer,” Fat Head’s sales and marketing director Bill Wetmore told the outlet.

Stem Ciders Grows in Missouri

Offerings from Colorado’s Stem Ciders are now available in the greater St. Louis area of Missouri via Craft Republic. The cidery will begin selling cans and draft offerings in the market, including Real Dry Apple, Hopped Apple, Raspberry Apple, Off-Dry Apple, Pear, and a rotating seasonal release, starting with A Salted Cucumber.

“The team at Craft Republic has a real set of taste buds for proper cider and we’re proud to be partnering with them to finally bring Stem’s full lineup of ciders to the good people of St. Louis and beyond,” Stem Ciders national sales director Matt Hoskins said, via a press release. “Their enthusiasm and knowledge of the market thrilled us and we can’t wait to see it hit the streets this week.”

“Stem fits well with our portfolio and St. Louis will welcome them with open arms,” Craft Republic president Brian Dix added, in the release.

Stem products are also available in the greater Kansas City, Missouri, area via North Kansas City Beverage Company.

Guinness Blonde Shipments Begin From Maryland Brewery

Diageo began shipping Guinness Blonde from its Relay, Maryland-based production facility at the end of August, according to the Baltimore Business Journal. Chesapeake Beverage began distributing about 6,000 cases of the American lager made at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House, which opened to the public on August 3.

Since its introduction four years ago, Guinness Blonde had been produced at City Brewing in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Now, the beer features packaging that includes the tagline “Made in Baltimore” and features the state flag.

Guinness ambassador Ryan Wagner told the outlet that future shipments of the beer are destined for Washington, D.C., and elsewhere in the region with production eventually increasing to supply the rest of the country. “We’re going to be sending it across the country as soon as we can get the production level up, packaging, all that stuff,” he told the outlet.

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