Stone and Maui Brewing Launch Joint Distribution Venture

Greg Koch and Garrett Marrero

Greg Koch began the first day of his four-month sabbatical like any typical businessman would, by launching yet another business in Hawaii.

While we’re pretty sure the new joint venture with Maui Brewing Company will afford time for Koch to work on his tan, Maui — Stone Craft Beverages (as its being called) will initially distribute about 12 craft beer brands on the island of Maui, including:

  • Maui Brewing Co.
  • Stone Brewing Co.
  • AleSmith Brewing Company
  • Avery Brewing Company
  • Bear Republic Brewing Co.
  • The Bruery
  • Oskar Blues Brewery
  • Port Brewing Company
  • The Lost Abbey
  • Saint Archer Brewing Co.
  • Mother Earth Brew Co.
  • Modern Times Beer

Maui Brewing Co. founder Garrett Marrero told Brewbound that initial discussions began about two years ago.

“We are selling so much beer locally and in order to continue supporting the brand, we would need to sell our distribution rights or start this business and invest,” he said.

Marrero opted for the latter and said the “generally equal” partnership is being financed via cash flow from Stone and Maui Brewing with no outside investors or bank debt.

“We are joining forces with the expertise that Stone has from a distributor level and bring our goodwill, brand recognition and reputation here locally,” he said.

Stone already operates a distribution company on the mainland, selling more than 30 craft brands throughout Southern California.

“We are leveraging both of strengths if you will,” said Marrero. “They bring a lot of resources from a structure, management, administration and technology standpoint and we bring a lot of access to market and goodwill.”

Marrero declined to comment on investment specifics but did say that a significant capital outlay was needed to begin operations, which includes building a 16,000 sq. ft. distribution center, purchasing delivery vehicles and hiring upwards of 12 new employees.

“It was a sizeable investment,” he said. “When you factor in the value of the brands, it is multiple millions.”

Marrero said beer could begin shipping from Stone Distributing’s Carson, Calif.-based distribution center as early as March 10.

More information is included in the release below.

MAUI, HAWAII (Feb. 13, 2014) — Maui Brewing Co. is pleased to announce that the authentic Hawaiian craft brewery is partnering with San Diego, CA-based Stone Brewing Co. to create a new craft beer distributor: Maui – Stone Craft Beverages. The distribution company was created by craft brewers specifically for Hawaiian craft beer enthusiasts. Maui – Stone Craft Beverages will offer both breweries’ beers as well as an amazing portfolio of other craft beer brands from Colorado and California. The ultimate goal of this joint venture is to elevate craft beer awareness island-wide and bring more craft beer to Hawaii.

Targeting April 2014, Stone will begin shipping a diverse portfolio of bottles and kegs to Maui from San Diego by way of refrigerated containers. Once the beer arrives in Maui, it will be transported to a 16,000-square-foot distribution center with a cold storage area. Stone Brewing and Maui Brewing’s joint efforts will ensure that fans have the opportunity to purchase various fresh craft beer brands at retailers for on-site and off-site consumption throughout Maui that will include:

Maui Brewing Founder Garrett Marrero and Stone Co-founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner have been long time friends and business acquaintances, working together to attain mutual success in the craft beer industry.

“Ever since Greg and I initially met and shared a cab in 2006 during the Seattle World Beer Cup, we have had a positive and continuously growing relationship as craft beer comrades,” said Marrero. “A major part of Stone and Maui’s successful relationship can be credited to both companies having aligned visions for the growth of craft beer, including environmental sustainability, regard for the community and uncompromising business ethics. Maui – Stone Craft Beverages is just another foray in the brewing companies’ shared mission of bringing great beers to deserving fans.”

Since 2008, Maui Brewing Co. has employed Stone’s own distribution company, Stone Distributing Co., to make its craft ales and lagers available to retailers throughout Southern California. Additionally, in 2009, Maui Brewing contributed to the collaborative brewing of Ken Schmidt/Maui/Stone Kona Coffee, Macadamia, Coconut Porter, and helped Stone secure special ingredients for the beer through its distributors.

As a result of this new distribution partnership, Maui residents may expect a dramatic increase in craft beer selections from notable brewers. Most importantly, because of this joint venture, Maui is about to become even more flavorful for residents and visitors alike.

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