New Belgium’s slow ride toward a national footprint continues.
The brewery today announced imminent plans to expand distribution throughout West Virginia, its 41st state, leaving it just nine shy of filling out the entire U.S. map.
Beginning mid-February, the company’s beers will be available statewide through six wholesalers including Northern Eagle, Eagle Distributing Co., the American Beer Company and Jefferson Distributing Co – all independent Anheuser-Busch InBev wholesalers – as well as Capital Beverage Co. and Wine and Beverage Merchants of West Virginia, two MillerCoors houses.
“We’ve spent a lot of time in West Virginia this past year and there is definitely a strong, emerging craft scene there,” said Rich Rush, the company’s divisional sales director, in a press statement. “We’re excited to get to work and to begin a great and long-lasting relationship with the beer drinkers, retailers, and our distributor partners in West Virginia.”
The company will launch in the new market with its flagship Fat Tire, Ranger IPA, Slow Ride Session IPA, and a spring seasonal to be available on draft and in bottles and cans.
This marks the ninth new state New Belgium has entered in the last two years. Last month, the company announced it would soon begin shipping to Hawaii. The company has in the past stated its intention to have its beer available in all 50 states by 2018, though that timeline relies on the completion of it secondary production facility in Asheville, N.C. In July, the company said construction on the new plant is “75 percent” complete and is scheduled to be open in “early 2016.”
The nation’s fourth largest craft brewery by volume, New Belgium sold 945,367 barrels in 2014, representative of 19 percent growth over the year prior, per the Brewers Association.