New Belgium Brewing announced this week that it will be distributed in all 50 states within the first half of 2017. The Fort Collins, Colorado–based brewery, which launched a second production brewery in Asheville, North Carolina, in 2016, said it will open distribution to Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Oklahoma, making its distribution footprint national by the end of April.
According to New Belgium, distribution into the brewery’s final four frontiers are effective February 6 for Oklahoma, March 20 for Vermont and New Hampshire, and April 24 for Maine. The brewery will enter each market with year-round offerings, seasonal releases, and specialty beers in all draft, bottled, and canned formats.
The distribution expansion is a result of recent partnerships with several distributors, including Baker Distributing in Vermont; Clark Distributors, White Mountain Distributors, New Hampshire Distributors, Inc., and Bellavance Beverage Company, Inc. in New Hampshire; Pine State Trading Co. and National Distributors, Inc. in Maine; and Capital Distributing, Hitchcock Distributing Inc., Glazers Beer and Beverage, Jett Distributing Company, LDF Sales and Distributing Co., Pope Distributing Company, Southwest Sales Inc, and Oklahoma Beer Imports in Oklahoma, according to New Belgium.
The brewery also noted that for its beers sold in Oklahoma, only Oklahoma Beer Imports, LLC, a division of LDF Sales and Distributing, Inc., will distribute full-strength New Belgium brands for sale in independent liquor stores; all other Oklahoma wholesalers will distribute the 3.2 percent version of the brewery's flagship brand, Fat Tire, through grocery channels.
(In the state of Oklahoma, which has some of the strictest alcohol laws in the country, alcoholic beverages containing more than 3.2 percent alcohol by weight, or 4 percent alcohol by volume, can only be sold at room temperature in state-licensed liquor stores; grocery stores and convenience stores can only sell “low-point” beer, or beer between 0.5 percent and 3.2 percent alcohol by weight. You can learn more about Oklahoma’s archaic and totally unfair alcohol laws here.)
“It feels great to lock in these final states for distribution,” said New Belgium’s Northeast and Canada sales director, Rich Rush. “We have always taken a very measured approach to growth, and that model has served us well. That said, it’s immensely fulfilling to know that we’ll be a fully national brand with distribution in all 50 states this year.”