Growler Delivery Startup Hopsy Opens San Diego Distribution Center

Hopsy, an online marketplace and beer growler delivery service headquartered in the Bay Area of California, has expanded to craft beer-soaked San Diego with the opening of a 4,500 sq. ft. distribution center and retail shop.

The company, which delivered beer from over 20 Bay Area breweries to more than 10,000 customers during its first year, began selling products this month from a number of well-known San Diego breweries, including Coronado Brewing and Belching Beaver.

“Hopsy’s mission is to create the first brewery-to-table online marketplace and to bring the best beer experience to the home,” co-founder Sebastien Tron said via a release. “San Diego, with its vibrant and innovative beer scene, is the natural second market for us.”

Here’s how it works:

Consumers living in California can visit the Hopsy website, purchase beers ranging from $9.99 to $18.99 (for a 32 oz.) and have the beer delivered to their doorstep. Drinkers also pay a shipping fee ($9.99) and a growler deposit fee ($1), according to Tron.

“Even though the price is a bit of a premium, compared to what you would have at traditional retail, our customers are really loyal,” he told Brewbound. “The customers we get are people who know beer and want to discover something new.”

Hopsy manages order fulfillment and ensures that beer is packaged, stored and shipped cold, Tron said. Shipments go out four days per week, he added, and Hopsy will personally deliver to customers within a 10-mile range of its distribution centers on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

“Freshness and selection are the top factors why people buy from us,” Tron said. “If you want access to special-release beers, you have to go to the brewery or a special release at a bar. We are a third channel.”

In addition to growler fills, the company also sells TORPS – tubes filled with beer that are loaded into a “SUB” machine, made by Krups. The device gives customers an in-home “taproom experience,” according to the Hopsy website.

Hopsy also recently launched a beer club, which allows drinkers to create a taste profile and schedule monthly beer deliveries. That program already has more than 300 customers, Tron added.

Initially launched with $450,000 in seed money from private investors, the company raised $1 million last summer and is in the middle of a series A funding round, which is slated to close this summer, Tron said. When it does, the company plans to launch its services in New York City.

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