Distribution Update: Allagash to Florida, Return Brewing in NYC, ZeLUS to Tennessee + seltzer distro news – Craft Brewing Business

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With exactly one zillion breweries operating across America, distribution news is always a steady constant in the CBB mailbox. Every week, we get virtual piles of announcements on new alliances, upcoming state expansions and even reductions from breweries growing and shrinking their distribution footprints. Here is some of that wholesaler news. Enjoy!

Allagash Brewing is now available in Florida

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Beer from one of the nation’s most celebrated breweries will now be available, year-round, to beer lovers in Florida. Today, award-winning Maine-based Allagash Brewing Co. announced it would once again distribute its beer across Florida beginning in mid-October. Allagash’s offerings will be anchored in its flagship beer Allagash White, with an array of formats including draft, 4 packs of 16 ounce cans, 12 packs of 12-oz cans, and 19.2-oz cans available throughout the state. River Trip and other specialty beers will follow in the coming months.

“Since we left Florida nearly a decade ago, our fans there have been constantly asking us to come back,” said Rob Tod, founder, Allagash. “We’re happy to finally make that happen, bringing my favorite beer, Allagash White, to our friends in Florida.”

Heralded as “one of the top 25 most important Craft Beers in America,” and “one of the most consistently perfect beers ever brewed on American soil”, Allagash White is revered around the world, earning coveted awards and accolades. In 2020, Allagash White took home the gold for Belgian-style witbier in the Great American Beer Festival — the fourth time it received that honor.

Allagash first started distributing in Florida in 2002, but pulled out of the state in 2010 in order to meet demands in other markets. The brewery made a return in May 2020, with a one-time drop throughout the state.

“Florida is the state we get the most requests from fans to return to, and we were able to successfully pilot a test return to the market last year,” said Naomi Neville, sales director, Allagash Brewing Co. “We’re thrilled to be able to expand in the state and work with our distribution partners to meet the demand there for our beer.”

With its expansion to Florida, Allagash now distributes in 19 states plus D.C. To learn more and locate Allagash beer, visit allagash.com.

Find Return Brewing in New York bars, retailers and restaurants

A New York-based team of brewing industry veterans announced the creation of Return Brewing this summer, to debut in fall 2021. Well, the beer’s already here. The brands Heathenous and Polished by Return Brewing are available now at bars, restaurants and retailers across the Hudson Valley and New York City (selected below):

BARS

  • ABC Beer Co, New York City
  • Alewife Brewery, New York City
  • As Is, New York City
  • Bierwax, New York City
  • Fool’s Gold, New York City
  • Green Growler, Croton-on-Hudson
  • Governer’s Tavern, Hudson
  • Half Moon, Hudson
  • Hops Hill, New York City
  • Main Street Publick House, Hudson
  • Mekelberg’s, New York CIty
  • Minnows, New York City
  • Northern Bell, New York City
  • Someday Bar, New York City
  • Underground Coffee & Ales, Highland

RESTAURANTS

  • Ai Fiori, New York City
  • Gage and Tolner, New York City
  • The Musket Room, New York City

RETAILERS

  • Beer World 
  • Wegmans
  • DeCicco and Sons

For a full list of retailers, please visit ReturnBrewing.com or @ReturnBrewing.

Return Brewing’s story

Returning to old-world craftsmanship while looking ahead toward paradigm-shifting innovation, Return Brewing represents the intersection of refined technical expertise and infinite exploration.

The new concept is cofounded by Mikey Lenane, Jack Liakas, JD Linderman and Robert Wise, the former three of whom bring over two decades of collective experience at Brooklyn’s nationally lauded Sixpoint Brewery where they respectively led innovation, design and brewing. The friends will each contribute their individual areas of expertise to all aspects of Return, with Lenane focusing on innovation and quality, Liakas on creative and design, Linderman heading up brewing and Wise managing finance and operations. They are joined by Eric Bachli, formerly of Sixpoint and Boston’s destination Trillium Brewing Co., who is lending his expertise to the project as a strategic advisor.

Taking inspiration from traditional brewing techniques, global and historical fermentation methods, the experimental ingredient treatments coming out of the world’s leading kitchens, and the seasonal availability of the bounties of the Hudson Valley, Return’s offerings will comprise a number of distinct identities, including:

“TAVERN” beers which encompass:

  • Accessible, quality-forward styles centering best-in-class ingredient sourcing and brewing technique

“GARDEN” beers which will:

  • Feature in-house fruit and herb processing to create farm-direct local Hudson Valley beers
  • Feature country and primitive style mixed ferments with foraged ingredients
  • Comprise a line of Eastern European raw ales

“ARCHIVE” which is a line of strong ales featuring:

  • Blending from an extensive barrel-aging fleet
  • An exploration into Whole Hive Mead
  • Components and blends heat-aged in a Maderization chamber to create new flavors

The range will be highly localized and largely focus on the bounties of the Hudson Valley, with the notable exception of Return’s hoppy ales which will feature specific farms from across the globe to center the unique terroir and characteristics in those exceptional hops. Return will open a Hudson, New York brewery and taproom next year — a true return home for cofounder Mikey Lenane who grew up in nearby Coxsackie. They look forward to working with the region’s farms, businesses, and the community at large to make a positive impact in Hudson.

Massachusetts’ ZeLUS Beer expands into Tennessee

ZeLUS Beer Co. continues its expansion into new states. The New England based brewer famous for its active lifestyle beer goes multi-regional and launches in Tennessee this week with distributor Best Brands Inc. This follows successful launches in Maryland and Pennsylvania in the past couple of months. The other states it sells in are Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. ZeLUS is actively looking for additional states in which to distribute and hopes to make further announcements in the next few months.

In 2021 ZeLUS has added three beers to its portfolio: Day Trip Belgian Witbier, Great Wylde New England IPA and Ankleknocker Gluten Free Pale Ale. Great Wylde is a supersession NEIPA at only 3.9 percent ABV. It is a unique low gravity beer and is sure to resonate well as the demand for NEIPAs grows. Ankleknocker Gluten Free will be a series of gluten free beer offered by ZeLUS as it seeks to become the nation’s home of functional beers. Ankleknocker is made from all gluten-free ingredients and rivals the taste of ‘real’ beer. Weekender German-Style Lager remains its flagship beer with around a third of its total volume. The Weekender was featured on Stephen Colbert The Late Show earlier in the year, as well as in Bloomberg and USA TODAY.

Upstreet Craft Brewing brings Libra, non-alcoholic beer to Sobeys in Atlantic Canada

Upstreet Craft Brewing, a B-Corp certified beverage company on a mission to refresh the community, brings Libra, its non-alcoholic craft beer, to the grocery aisle. Libra’s Pale Ale and Hazy IPA are now available at Sobeys stores across Atlantic Canada in the non-alcoholic beverage aisle.

“This is another important step in building our national retail presence in the non-alcoholic beverage market,” says Mitch Cobb, co-owner, Upstreet Craft Brewing. “We are thrilled to be working with Sobeys and making Libra even more accessible to Canadians who are striving to balance their wellness and social life.”

“At Sobeys, we are passionate about bringing high-quality, unique local brands to our shelves,” says Lynda Stewart, Local Development Manager, Atlantic Region at Sobeys Inc. “We think Libra’s sophisticated taste, focus on sustainability, and the arts community will resonate with our customers.”

Libra was created by Upstreet owners Mitch Cobb and Mike Hogan’s need to socialize without sacrificing their health. After two and a half years of research and development, Libra launched its first Libra Pale Ale in October 2020 and followed it up this summer with the Libra Hazy IPA, which sold out in a matter of days. The first B-Corp certified business on PEI, Upstreet Craft Brewing, is a sustainable, socially responsible and community-driven business. In addition to giving 10% of proceeds to its “Do Good” Artist program and supporting local artists and community organizations, it is always striving to use its business to drive positive change in the community and for the planet.

Libra can be found nationally on Drinklibra.ca and Well.ca, and Upstreet’s three locations in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. Select liquor stores in PEI, Nova Scotia, Alberta and Canadian non-alcoholic online retailers.

Upstreet Craft Brewery is a beverage company on a mission to refresh the community with its collection of craft beer, line of vodka seltzers, craft sodas, and Libra, a brand of non-alcoholic craft beer. It was the first company on Prince Edward Island to gain B-Corp certification and has three locations across two provinces and national distribution on Well.ca and at Sobeys in Atlantic Canada.

Two Roots Brewing expands NA beer distro in Northeast

Non-alcoholic craft beer brewing pioneer Two Roots Brewing Co. announced its continued distribution expansion with products now sold to grocery stores, liquor stores, bars, and restaurants across the Northeast market. The company has signed an agreement with Sheehan Family Companies to cover Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and upstate New York following a successful launch earlier this year in Massachusetts. Retailers are currently placing orders and products are hitting the shelves.

Recognized as a leader in the high-growth non-alc craft beer category, Two Roots is the only non-alcoholic craft brewer to win back-to-back medals at the Great American Beer Festival. The launch includes their three core non-alcoholic craft beers, including 2019 Gold Medal winner Enough Said, a crisp Helles, 2020 Bronze Medal winner Straight Drank, a West Coast-style IPA, and New West, an East meets West style IPA. All three styles are available in six-packs of 12-oz cans. The expansion now brings Two Roots availability directly to a total of ten states. (including California, Michigan, and Arizona).

“We are thrilled to partner with the Sheehan Family Companies in these key states as we execute our expansion plan across the country,” said Ron Goodson, president and CEO, Two Roots Brewing Co. “and CEO of Two Roots Brewing Co. The robust Sheehan distribution network, their strong retail partner relationships, and attention to our brand in the market will continue to accelerate the popularity of the non-alc craft beer growth phenomena. We are extremely confident in how Sheehan will represent Two Roots to meet the growing consumer demand for our ultra-premium, non-alc craft beer.”

“The non-alcoholic craft beer category continues to be in high demand,” said Robert Hodson, Director of Corporate Brand Management, Sheehan Family Companies. “The Sheehan Family Companies is excited to expand our partnership with Two Roots, bringing their incredible non-alcoholic craft beer offering to retailers and consumers across the Northeast region.”

Seltzer News!

Brew Pipeline Partners with 11 new distributors for Hell’s Seltzer Launch

Brew Pipeline announced its joining forces with 11 new distributors to bring Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Seltzer to new markets across the United States. Due to a successful summer launch, the hard seltzer will reach even more consumers with the help of these new states this September.

“We are extremely excited and proud to be extending the availability of Hell’s Seltzer to partners and consumers across the country,” says Scott Ebert, president of Brew Pipeline. “The early reviews by consumers, along with the success in markets by our partners and retailers, is driving demand and the need for expansion with increased production. Everyone is loving the unique flavor profiles inspired by Gordon’s restaurants. It truly is one Hell of a Seltzer!” Brew Pipeline’s new distributor partners include:

  • New York/New Jersey – Remarkable Liquids
  • Massachusetts – Martignetti Distributing
  • Rhode Island – McLaughlin & Moran
  • North Carolina – Try On Distributing
  • Virginia – Select Distributing
  • Michigan – Imperial Beverage
  • Illinois – Marketplace Selections and A.J. Maka Distributors
  • Arizona – Quail Distributing
  • Missouri – Show Me Beverage
  • Colorado – Colorado Craft
  • Nevada – Nevada Beverage

At 5.6 percent ABV, Hell’s Seltzer features four Hell’s Kitchen-inspired flavors including Berry Inferno, Knicker Twist, Mean Green and That’s Forked. Brew Pipeline and flavor consultants, Lift Bridge Brewing Co., worked with Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay on the development of each drink. Hell’s Seltzer is gluten-free and uses all-natural flavors. Sold in variety packs of 12-oz cans, the SRP is $15.99-17.99.

In addition to Hell’s Seltzer, the 12 new distributors will carry additional year-round brands supported by Brew Pipeline in the coming months. A few notables include Motörhead Pale Ale, Rosa Stiefel and the Tipsy Tea series.

Oh Hi CBD seltzers joins Republic National Distributing portfolio

Republic National Distributing Co. announced the addition of Oh Hi CBD drinks to its portfolio that will take place in mid-August. This partnership will add seven states — Alaska, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas to Oh Hi’s distribution footprint. Oh Hi CBD seltzers are available in canned 12-oz four-packs in four flavors: Pomegranate, Lemon Lime, Ginger Basil Limeade, and Grapefruit with 20mg of CBD

RNDC is thoughtful and innovative in their approach to CBD sales,” says Jonny Radding. “We’re proud to be an early adopter of the new category of CBD beverages in one of the first national distribution houses forward thinking about cannabis drinks in their portfolio.”

Launched in 2018 in Durango, Colorado with a combined 25 years of experience in cannabis and beverages among its owners, Oh Hi went to market with a THC seltzer line. The Pomegranate THC seltzer variety took gold at the Cannabis Cup that same year. Oh Hi then branched out with a popular line of CBD seltzers featuring the same flavors as the THC line, as well as a high dosage, functional THC drinks line called Budtender’s Reserve.

Oh Hi CBD seltzers are also available in Oklahoma through OKCannaBev (who also produce and distribute the THC line) and in Michigan through Oath Distributing.

Volley tequila seltzer to expand distribution to Washington, D.C.

Volley, the award-winning tequila seltzer made with just three clean ingredients: 100 percent blue agave tequila, sparkling water, and organic juice, announces that it has appointed Breakthru Beverage Group to service the Washington, D.C., market. Breakthru Volley plans to roll out in several new markets across the United States within the coming months.

“This is a very exciting time for Volley, and we feel grateful to continue distributing our product across so many different markets and now we add Washington, D.C., with Breakthru’s proven brand building capabilities to that growing list,” said cofounder Camila Soriano. “We’re fighting for more transparency in the products we consume every day and Volley showcases this by not only being free of any added sugars, syrup or additives, but also as an honest product made with only real ingredients. We’re so excited that consumers in Washington, D.C., can now experience that!”

As the first hard seltzer of its kind crafted with only three clean ingredients and zero additives, Volley launched in July 2020, stirring up the booming ready-to-drink category. Following immense success and local buzz on the East Coast and in many New England and Southeastern markets, Volley’s founders, a husband and wife duo, Christopher Wirth and Camila Soriano knew it was time to expand into Washington, D.C.

“We’re excited to expand our relationship with Volley and build on the success we’ve had together in Florida, South Carolina and Arizona. We see this as a tremendous addition to our growing RTD portfolio where we have honed our strategies in this space to meet changing consumer demands,” said E. Lloyd Sobel, chief commercial officer for Breakthru Beverage Group. “We are passionate about building a diverse portfolio that is reflective of the customers and the communities we serve, and Volley, which was co-founded by Camilia Soriano, is a brand with a great story that will make a meaningful connection with D.C. consumers.”

Volley is made with 100 percent blue agave tequila from the highlands of Jalisco, avoiding the harmful additives of “mixto” tequila and other malt liquors. Mixed with 100 percent organic fruit juice never from concentrate, Volley is available in four classic flavors: Zesty Lime, Spicy Ginger, Sharp Grapefruit and Tropical Mango. Enjoy Volley chilled from the can or on the rocks, and don’t forget to flip the can before serving to activate the real, organic juice that has settled at the bottom!

Volley is now available in New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Arizona, South Carolina and Washington D.C. markets at a suggested retail price of $14.99 for a four can variety-pack or single flavor four-pack, or individually at $3.75 per 355ml can.

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