Distribution Roundup: Lawson’s Finest Enters New Jersey; RNDC and Young’s Form JV

Lawson’s Finest Signs with Remarkable Liquids in New Jersey

Popular Vermont craft brewer Lawson’s Finest Liquids is partnering with Remarkable Liquids for statewide distribution in New Jersey, the company announced in a press release Tuesday.

According to Lawson’s, the company has signed a new distribution agreement with Remarkable to begin selling its flagship Sip of Sunshine IPA, as well as its rotating Super Session single-hop IPA series and limited-release offerings in New Jersey beginning in July. The company is also expanding distribution into 12 counties in Upstate New York, which will make Lawson’s products available statewide.

“We are thrilled to launch distribution of Lawson’s Finest in New Jersey, where we’ve received countless requests for our beer,” Lawson’s founder and CEO Sean Lawson said in the release.

Remarkable Liquids co-founder and general manager Spencer Noakes added that Lawson’s beer “has always been in high demand.”

“Sip of Sunshine and Super Session are household names in the craft community, the only thing holding most back from enjoying them is accessibility, and we’re excited to be the ones closing the loop and getting these amazing products into the hands of those who will enjoy them the most,” Noakes said.

Those offerings are produced under contract at nearby Two Roads Brewing in Connecticut.

Limited-release Lawson’s offerings, brewed at Lawson’s facility in Vermont, will be available bimonthly. Scrag Mountain Pilsner will be available in July, Hopzilla Double IPA in September and Fayston Maple Imperial Stout in November.

With the addition of New Jersey, Lawson’s offerings are now available in nine states. Lawson’s founder Sean Lawson told Brewbound that the company has no plans to add other “territories or markets at this time.”

Lawson discussed the growth of the Sip of Sunshine brand and the growth of his beer company on the Brewbound Podcast last month.

RNDC and Young’s Market Forge Partnership

Two months after abandoning a proposed merger with Breakthru Beverage, Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) announced a new joint venture with Young’s Market Company last week, according to a press release.

The transaction, pending regulatory approval, is expected to close in Q3 2019.

Under the “definitive agreement,” RNDC and Young’s would partner in 32 states and Washington, D.C. The two distribution companies have no overlap outside of Arizona, where they already operate a joint venture.

According to subscription-based newsletter Shanken Daily News, the joint venture would create a $11 billion wholesale company.

The direction of the joint venture would be led by a board of directors consisting of executives from both companies, however, RNDC would control its daily sales and operations, according to the release.

“The marketplace is changing quickly and significantly,” Tom Cole, CEO of RNDC, said in the release. “And while innovation and technology are on the forefront of our growing company, our partnership with Young’s Market Company allows us to expand our reach across America, building upon the great relationships they’ve created for more than a century. The new partnership will expand service and selection of our combined beverage alcohol portfolios from coast to coast.”

Young’s CEO Chris Underwood added that the partnership positions both companies to “better serve suppliers and creates more opportunities for employees as part of a truly national enterprise.”

RNDC, the second largest wine and spirits wholesaler in the U.S., has operations in 22 states, while Young’s operates in 10 states.

In April, RNDC’s proposed merger with Breakthru Beverage Group was abandoned due to a prolonged 16-month-long approval process by the Federal Trade Commission. In November 2018, Liberation Distribution (LibDib) and RNDC formed a strategic partnership to allow the Silicon Valley-based web-based distribution platform to expand distribution for its wine and spirits clients into the wholesalers’ 22-state footprint.

MillerCoors’ Revolver Brand Adds Distribution in 3 States

MillerCoors-owned Revolver Brewing is adding distribution in Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri, according to the company’s “Behind the Beer” blog.

The Texas craft brewery began selling its beer in Arkansas earlier this month, and will add sales in Kansas and Missouri in July. Over the last year, MillerCoors has expanded distribution of the Revolver brand into New Mexico, Oklahoma, western Louisiana and eastern Tennessee.

“It’s a regional strategy building concentric rings around the brewery,” Revolver co-founder Rhett Keisler told MillerCoors’ blog.

MillerCoors, citing Nielsen data, noted that volume sales of Revolver products are up 10.1 percent year-to-date through June 1. In an effort to maintain that momentum, the company is adding Mi Chéve Mexican-style lager to its core lineup, launching the brand this September in Texas with other markets to follow in 2020.

Seattle Cider and Sound Craft Seltzer Hit Pennsylvania

Penn Beer Sales & Service has reached an agreement to begin distributing offerings from Seattle Cider Company and its sister seltzer brand, Sound Craft Seltzer Co., in Pennsylvania. Starting this month, Seattle Cider and Sound Craft Seltzer offerings will be available in Philadelphia, Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, Berks, Delaware, Lehigh, and Northampton counties.

Karl Strauss to Distribute Duck Foot Brewing

Karl Strauss Brewing Company’s distribution arm has added Duck Foot Brewing Company to its portfolio, according to a press release. Miramar-based Duck Foot’s products will now be sold in bars, restaurants and retailers in Southern California.

Sup! Organic Hard Seltzer Rolls Out in Boston and NYC

Boston-based Liquid Collective plans to launch Sup! Organic Hard Seltzer in Boston and New York City in the coming weeks as the beginning of a national rollout, according to a press release.

Liquid Collective plans to roll out the USDA organic certified seltzer, which contains 100 calories and is 5 percent ABV, in nine states by the end of 2019.

“Sup! is a brand that was created to speak to a broader audience than the category does today,” Liquid Collective and Prospect Ciderworks co-founder Chase Brooks said in the release. “We’re taking notes from the non-alcoholic seltzer category far more than we are from our largest competitors.”

Champion Brands Adds Dog Rose Brewing

Northeast Florida wholesaler Champion Brands added its fifth in-state brand this year by inking a deal to distribute offerings from St. Augustine-based Dog Rose Brewing Company, according to a press release.

Dog Rose joins Marlin & Barrel; Distillery, Tabula Rasa Brewing, Congaree & Penn and Fishweir Brewing as additions to Champion Brands’ portfolio since February, the Jacksonville Business Journal reported.

Dog Rose’s products will now be available in Duval, St. Johns, Clay, Baker, Nassau and Putnam counties.

“We believe there is a gap in the market for quality true to style beers and with the help of Champion Brands, we are ready to fill it,” Dog Rose co-founder Doug Murr said in the release.

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