LONGMONT, CO, and BREVARD, NC—Oskar Blues Brewery, creator of the first American craft beer in a CAN, will be charging out of the gates strong in early 2015 with the launch of Iowa, Nebraska, Maine, Vermont and downstate Illinois markets—filling in distribution of the brewery’s craft beers in the Midwest and Northeast.
The beer that started the craft-beer-in-a-CAN revolution, Dale’s Pale Ale, along with the rest of Oskar Blues line-up of year-round brews are loaded up and truckin’ to Iowa, Nebraska and downstate Illinois from Oskar Blues Colorado brewery this week. Oskar Blues beers will hit the states of Vermont and Maine soon after, shipping from the brewery’s North Carolina facility. The brewery’s award-winning beers will be available in grocery and specialty stores as well as restaurants, bars, and watering holes in both CANs and on draft. This expansion will put Oskar Blues beers in a total of 40 U.S. states—with more to be announced soon.
Oskar Blues has partnered with Quality Brands of Omaha and Double Eagle Beverage of Lincoln led by Tony Gillick in Nebraska. Additional partnerships are being finalized for remaining regions of the state and will be announced soon.
In Iowa, Oskar Blues has partnered with Iowa Beverage Systems in the Des Moines metro market, led by Mike Brewington, and Fleck Sales Company in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City markets, led by Dudley Fleck and Mike Schulte. As with Nebraska, additional partnerships will be announced soon.
In downstate Illinois, Oskar Blues has partnered with the Wirtz family and Wirtz Beverage Group to cover the remainder of the state outside of Chicagoland. This partnership continues a solid OB/Wirtz partnership that started early in 2014 with the successful launch of Nevada. That relationship developed further with the recently formed partnership between Oskar Blues and Major Brands in Missouri, where Wirtz has an ownership percentage.
In Vermont and Maine, Oskar Blues will expand its existing partnership with the Sheehan Family and the L. Knife Companies. As well, the brewery has chosen the Craft Beer Guild of Vermont and the Craft Beer Guild of Maine as distribution partners. This fills in Oskar Blues’ footprint in the Northeast, and provides beer drinkers in Vermont and Maine with brews from the North Carolina OB brewery.
“As we continue to close the gaps in our national footprint, we’re humbled by the enthusiasm and eagerness that we see from distributors seeking to sell our brands in their markets. We take the process of choosing the right partners very seriously, and we’re confident that the distributor networks we’ve chosen in these states will provide solid partners who are invested in their businesses and their communities,” says Chris Russell, director of business development.
Details of the official launch events in all states are still in the works but will be finalized soon. Look for more details on the kick-off events in the coming weeks, which, as always, will include full OB team support.
Additionally, beer drinkers will be able to sample Oskar Blues’ newest year-round brand, PINNER Throwback IPA, on tap during the initial phase of the launches and then in the CANundrum mixed 12-pack starting in February. Oskar Blues continues to grow exponentially as the brewery expands production, increases staff, and spreads the craft beer love across this great nation.
More about Oskar Blues Year-Round Brews
Dale’s Pale Ale: As Oskar Blues’ flagship beer, this American Pale Ale delivers balanced rich flavors of malts and hops (6.5% ABV, 65 IBUs). The award-winning beer was named the “Top U.S. Pale Ale” by The New York Times and is the number-one selling pale ale in ColoRADo.
Pinner Throwback IPA: Oskar Blues newest CANned beer is a crushable India Pale Ale with a delicate balance of citrusy, tropical hop aroma and a toasty, biscuit-like malt backbone (4.9% ABV, 35 IBUs).
Mama’s Little Yella Pils: This Bohemian Style Pilsner offers a refreshing balance of Saaz hops and specialty German malts while providing a gentle flavor (5.3% ABV, 35 IBUs). Like summer in your mouth.
Old Chub Scotch Ale: Strong Scotch Ale, brewed with rich malts, specialty and smoked grains to deliver flavors of semi-sweet cocoa and coffee (8% ABV).
Old Chub NITRO: Old Chub, but on NITRO, which adds a creamy, velvety mouth-feel. And a little less ABV at 6.9%.
G’Knight Imperial Red IPA: The dry-hopped double-red IPA embodies a strong aroma and malty hopped flavors while providing a rich finish (8.7% ABV, 60 IBUs).
Deviant Dale’s IPA: American-style India Pale Ale, Deviant exemplifies aromas of citrus, grapefruit rind and piney resins to deliver a full-flavor (8% ABV, 85 IBUs).
The 2015 launches follow additional Oskar Blues distribution expansion in Missouri, Kansas, Nevada, Delaware, Minnesota, Idaho, southern Alabama, and central California in 2014. Oskar Blues plans to launch an additional 3 to 4 states in 2015. Other state expansion details to come.
About Oskar Blues Brewery
Founded as a brewpub by Dale Katechis in 1997, Oskar Blues Brewery launched the craft beer-in-a-can apocalypse in 2002 using a tabletop machine that sealed one can at a time. In 2008, the makers of the top-selling pale ale in ColoRADo, Dale’s Pale Ale, moved into a 35,000-square-foot facility in Longmont, ColoRADo. The brewery has since experienced explosive growth—packaging 59,000 barrels of beer in 2011 and 86,750 barrels in 2012. In December 2012, Oskar Blues opened the doors to an additional brewery in Brevard, North Carolina. Recently, Oskar Blues secured an additional 60,000 square feet in their Colorado location to allow additional production and add six full-size Brunswick bowling lanes to the Tasty Weasel Taproom. Together, the breweries packaged 119,000 barrels of beer in 2013 and 149,000 in 2014. Oskar Blues now distributes trail-blazing craft brews to 40 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.