Stone Distribution Rights Sold to Sheehan in Massachusetts

For the second time in just five months, Massachusetts’ Atlantic Beverage Distributors has sold the distribution rights to a prominent San Diego-based craft brewery.

Beginning today, Craft Beer Guild LLC, a subsidiary of Sheehan Family Companies, will distribute Stone Brewing Company products throughout the state.

A sale price was not disclosed, but Atlantic Beverage Distributors general sales manager Mino Soghomonian confirmed to Brewbound that “fair market value” was paid for the rights to distribute Stone brands across the Commonwealth.

Earlier this year, Atlantic sold the rights to San Diego’s Ballast Point, which was acquired by Constellation Brands in 2015. Since that transaction, Constellation has worked to move Ballast Point into its so-called “Gold Network” of distributors.

Speaking to Brewbound, Soghomonian characterized the Stone move as a “mutual decision,” and said Atlantic would “reinvest” in its growing portfolio of regional brands.

“Atlantic Beverage Distributors will continue with a refined focus on serving and expanding upon the national, regional and local brewery partners in our portfolio,” he said. “We are appreciative of our longstanding relationship with Stone Brewing and wish them continued success.”

Atlantic currently distributes products from notable New England breweries such as Jack’s Abby, Lord Hobo Brewing, Lawson’s Finest Liquids and Zero Gravity. It also sells a number of prominent national craft brands, such as Dogfish Head, Avery Brewing and Uinta Brewing, among others.

“We are not looking away from national brands,” Soghomonian added. “But we also do see that the landscape is changing and where we find ourselves strengthening is with regional brands and others that we feel could be relevant in our market.”

For its part, Stone Brewing said it was “very proud” to be part of Atlantic’s “rich portfolio of craft beers” for 15 years.

“Atlantic communicated directly with The Sheehan Family Companies on the change, and we supported their mutual decision,” a spokeswoman wrote to Brewbound in an email. “We welcome the opportunity to work in Massachusetts with a company that we already have a deep relationship with.”

Stone Currently works with Sheehan Family Companies subsidiaries in Wisconsin, New York City, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.

“They are a very important and valued partner,” the spokeswoman added.

Atlantic, meanwhile, now distributes products from just one San Diego-based craft brewery: Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey.

The Holliston-based beer distributor, which recently began distributing products from Wyoming’s Melvin Brewing and Philadelphia’s Evil Genius, also plans to announce a pair of new craft brewery partners in the next 60 days, Soghomonian added.

“These are relevant, resonating brands that will make a difference and make an impact on independent craft,” he said.

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