Dogfish Head, Ballast Point Distribution Rights Traded in Illinois

The distribution rights to a pair of notable craft beer brands were recently swapped in Illinois after multi-state alcohol distributor Breakthru Beverage traded Ballast Point to a cluster of MillerCoors wholesalers in exchange for Dogfish Head.

Speaking to Brewbound, Dave Kahle, a craft beer specialist with Breakthru Beverage in Illinois, said the company took on the distribution of Dogfish Head as a result of Constellation Brands’ continued effort to move Ballast Point — which it purchased for $1 billion in 2015 — into its so-called “gold network” of wholesalers.

“We were happy to get the Dogfish Head brand in return,” he said, noting that Breakthru already distributes Dogfish products in Colorado, Minnesota and the brewery’s home state of Delaware.

A press release issued by Dogfish did not mention the swap but confirmed the change and noted that Breakthru would distribute its products statewide.

“We’re excited about teaming up with longtime partner, Breakthru Beverage Group, a family-owned company that shares the same commitment to quality, world-class execution, community enrichment and teamwork as we do at Dogfish Head,” brewery founder and CEO Sam Calagione said via the release.

Dogfish products were previously sold throughout Illinois by 17 different wholesalers, most notably Chicago Beverage Systems, which is also owned by Reyes Beverage Group.

Sales of Dogfish Head beer grew 18 percent in 2017, the brewery said in its release.

This is the second notable swap of craft brands in Illinois in recent months. Earlier this year, Lakeshore Beverage traded the distribution rights of Brooklyn Brewery brands to Windy City Distributing, which is also owned by Reyes, for Surly Brewing.

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