Distribution Roundup: Dogfish Head, Green Flash, New Belgium on the Move

More than two years after pulling its distribution from Tennessee, Indiana, Wisconsin and Rhode Island due to capacity constraints, Dogfish Head today announced plans to re-enter all four markets before the end of the year.

“It wasn’t our goal to upset Dogfish Head fans and distributors, but with demand so far in front of supply, we just couldn’t brew enough beer,” Dogfish founder Sam Calagione wrote on the company blog. “We were left with a choice: leave shelves empty and frustrate beer enthusiasts everywhere, or stay true to our off-centered roots, pull back, and focus on strong, smart growth.”

Now, with a $52 million expansion nearing completion and 300,000 barrels of capacity scheduled to become available in the next few months, Calagione said he now feels confident meeting the demand in the markets the company exited in March, 2011.

Calagione said he plans to begin interviewing potential wholesale partners in each state soon. Formal distribution agreements in each state have not yet been announced. Dogfish beers were previously distributed by World Class Beer in Indiana, C&C Distributors in Rhode Island, Specialty Beverage in Wisconsin and Southwestern Beverage in Tennessee.

Jim Schembre, World Class Beer’s national general manager, said he’s eager for the opportunity to once again distribute Dogfish Head products.

“We think we did a great job distributing the brand before they pulled out and without question, we would love to get the brand back.”

In the meantime, World Class Beer will begin rolling out core and seasonal beers from another new vendor, Green Flash Brewing Company. World Class will start distributing Green Flash in the central and southern regions of Indiana on July 15.

“There are a number of notable West Coast brands that have yet to enter Indiana so we think there is a tremendous opportunity to build Green Flash,” said James Printz, a sales manager for World Class Beer.

The distributor said it has plans to initially launch the brand in 200 off-premise and 20 on-premise retail accounts.

New Belgium Brewing, the country’s third largest craft brewery, also confirmed reports that it would be entering the Utah and British Columbia markets.

“I can confirm that Utah and BC are on the ‘add’ list for this year and we will be considering several others,” said company spokesman Bryan Simpson.

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