Founders Launches ‘South Central Region’

Founders Brewing Co. is expanding its distribution footprint to include Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas, the company announced today. Beer is slated to hit retail shelves and tap lines throughout each of the new markets this April.

Founders, which has expanding quickly of late from its home base in Grand Rapids, Mich., has signed distribution agreements with 10 new distributors in the three states.

Quality Beverage will represent the brand in Oklahoma while a group of six wholesalers — Buquet Distributing, Schilling Distributing, Mockler Beverage, Southern Eagle Sales & Service, Champagne Beverage and Southwest Beverage — will handle coverage in Louisiana. Meanwhile, Founders has signed with three distributors in Arkansas: Premium Brands of Northwest Arkansas, Coco Beverage and Golden Eagle of Arkansas

“For the most part, these are states we’ve been looking at opening for a while now,” said Co-Founder and CEO Mike Stevens in a press release.

Along with Texas, which the brewery opened last year, Founders has dubbed the expanded footprint the “South Central region.”

The company’s year-round and seasonal lineup will be available in bottles and on draft in each of the new markets, growing the brewery’s total footprint to 30 states.

In 2013, Founders joined the ranks of only 30 breweries in the country that produce more than 100,000 barrels annually. It rolled out 111,000 barrels last year, which was a 63-percent increase from the 70,800 it produced the year prior.

The driving force behind much of that growth was its flagship All Day IPA, which accounts now for 27 percent of the brewery’s overall production volume.

The brand was introduced as a seasonal, but quickly became its best seller. It was promoted to the brewery’s year-round lineup and evolved into what Stevens sees as a potential “leader in the session ale category.”

In 2014, the brewery has its sights set on rolling out 180,000 barrels.

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