Oskar Blues, known for being the first craft brewery to can its beer, has signed agreements with Stagnaro Distributing to cover parts of Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky, as well as Superior Beverage Group in Columbus and Cleveland, to distribute all five of its year-round beers styles in both 4- and 6-packs.
Company spokesperson Chad Melis told Brewbound.com that Oskar Blues had identified the two areas as “emerging opportunity markets for craft,” and selected Stagnaro and Superior distributors because of their “chain store program and focus.”
“Chain stores are an area that we think we can find some growth,” said Melis. “Being a Colorado-based company, we have inherently grown the business by loading up the van and hand-selling one at a time to liquor stores. As we continue to grow and develop, chain stores are an area where we can improve.”
Melis also said the decision to enter these markets made even more sense given the company’s plans to open a secondary East Coast production facility in nearby Brevard, N.C. That site is scheduled to open in mid-December, and Melis said that once operational, production of beer earmarked for all four of the company’s recently added markets will shift to Brevard.
Oskar Blues is still on pace to produce 90,000 barrels in 2012, up from 59,000 in 2011. Melis said the company is currently experiencing 50 percent volume growth year-to-date.
Below is the official press release from Oskar Blues.
Longmont, CO. Ten years ago funky little Oskar Blues Grill & Brew started the “Canned Beer Apocalypse” by stuffing their voluminously hoppy Dale’s Pale Ale in a can. Today Oskar Blues announced a partnership with Stagnaro Distributing (Ohio & Northern Kentucky) & Superior Beverage Group (Columbus to Cleveland) to expand their line of boundary busting canned beer to the burgeoning craft beer scene of Ohio and Northern Kentucky.
“This CAN easily be the biggest craft beer launch Ohio has ever seen,” said Archie Gleason, Stagnaro Distributing’s Director of Sales and Brand Development.
This announcement follows record setting releases in the Alabama and Chicagoland markets over the previous two months by the brewery. Oskar Blues’ passion play announcement to open an additional brewery in the beer and outdoor centric mountains of North Carolina has allowed the rapidly growing brewery to create capacity to open new markets for the first time in three years. The North Carolina brewery is on pace to begin brewing beer in December of 2012 and produce 40,000 barrels in 2013.
Oskar Blues grew from 13,000 barrels (2007) to 59,000 barrels (2011) in five years while craft beer in-a-can has come of age. America’s first craft brewery to can their beer is projected to produce 95,000 barrels in 2012.
Last year Oskar Blues began “The Oskar Blues Ordeal” bus trips and claimed three medals at the GABF. This year during GABF the brewery will be releasing 16oz. cans of the 2012 World Beer Cup Gold Medal winning G’Knight Imperial Red IPA, a second collaboration beer with Sun King Brewery in the Ball Corporation Alumi-tek Can and a yet to be announced revolutionary NEW package to craft beer. Join the free release of this new package at the Blake Street Tavern (Denver, CO) on Thursday with live music by Halden Wofford and the Hi-Beams and Oskar Blues Beer.
In addition to distributing in 29 states Oskar Blues has two beer-blessed restaurant locations and launched a fistful of new projects in 2011, including the opening of their sustainable Hops & Heifers Farm, producing their own line of mountain bikes with REEB Cycles (www.REEBcycles.com), rolling out the Bonewagon Food Truck and posting a 52% increase in nationwide revenue. The brewery grew from 42,000 barrels in 2010 to 59,000 barrels in 2011 without opening any new markets — the 17,000 barrel increase represents nearly the equivalent of what the brewery produced in all of 2008.
ABOUT OSKAR BLUES
Dale Katechis founded the quirky brewpub turned regional craft brewery inside his original restaurant and music venue in 1999. Three-dimensional brewing since 1999, Oskar Blues began the “Canned Beer Apocalypse” in 2002 when Dale’s Pale Ale became America’s 1st CANNED craft beer. For additional info, interviews, images or samples please contact Chad Melis at firstname.lastname@example.org, # 720.273.8888 or visit www.oskarblues.com.