SweetWater Expands Throughout Northeast

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Continuing its expansion along the East Coast, SweetWater Brewing yesterday announced new distribution agreements in New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Beginning this month, the company’s beers, including its flagship 420 Extra Pale Ale and IPA, will be available in New York City through Manhattan Beer Distributors, the state’s largest wholesaler.

Rob Mitchell, Manhattan Beer’s vice president of sales, believes that because so many New York residents hail from other parts of the country, a significant number of consumers in the city are already familiar with the Atlanta-based brand.

“There’s a lot of people who know the brand in New York City, it’s a lot of people from everywhere,” said Mitchell. “It’s a lot of people who know the brand, have an affinity for the brand, who lived in the south, traveled in the south, went to school there. There’s a lot of pent up demand.”

In November, SweetWater’s portfolio will also be available in Western Connecticut, through Star Distributors and A. Gallo & Co., and in Central Pennsylvania where the brand will be represented by Wilsbach Distributors.

The moves follow what had been a busy summer for SweetWater, which in June announced plans to expand into northern New Jersey and the Philadelphia area. In July, the company shuffled its executive roster by appointing Kim Jones, who guided the company through its minority sale to private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners, as its new CEO. It then hired former MolsonCoors executive Bill Waters as its new CFO.

SweetWater, the nation’s 18th largest craft brewery by volume, sold 192,400 barrels in 2014, up 34 percent against the year prior, according to the Brewers Association.