Video: Deschutes Founder Discusses Success and Continued Expansion

Make no mistake, Gary Fish, the founder and CEO of Deschutes Brewery, envisions his brand being sold in all 50 states one day.

“We know we are going to get there, we just can’t tell you when we are going to get there,” he told during a video interview at the 2013 Craft Brewers Conference. “We are going to try to do it as intelligently as we possibly can.”

For now, that means a systematic approach to broadening the footprint. The company expanded to South Dakota and Illinois in January and recently announced that it would begin distribution in Iowa in July. Fish told Brewbound that he’s also got his eyes on Wisconsin and Nebraska, additions that would be consistent with the company’s contiguous approach to distribution growth.

“There is a lot in that general area for us to target for 2013 and 2014,” he said.

Part of the company’s growth plans will — more than likely — include the addition of cans, but Fish said he isn’t quite ready to give the final seal of approval.

“We have executed several brews,” he said. “We know that we aren’t to the point of having our beer to the specifications we want and there is a possibility that we never will.”

Deschutes is currently working with Third Street Brewhouse in Cold Spring, Minn. to lock in a recipe and matching flavor profile for its Mirror Pond Pale Ale. The company is still hoping to release 12 oz. cans in 12-packs this summer.

Deschutes produced approximately 250,000 barrels in 2012 and is currently outfitting its production facility in Bend, Ore. to be able to brew 460,000 barrels annually.

In the latest installment in our video series, Fish discusses the factors that have enabled Deschutes to become a top-five craft brewery, contract brewing partnerships and ongoing expansion strategies.

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