Cover Story Notebook: Finding a Niche for Growth

In a ongoing series, Brewer will take a small note from interviews of some of the cover stories it has run and give a small tidbit that didn’t make the issue, but is still worth diving into.


Destihl Brewery’s Matt Potts told Brewer Magazine during the interview for the January/February 2018 cover that Sours are what helped jump start his brewery’s business. It was something that separated it from the pack.

It wasn’t until March of 2014 though that the brewery started canning. Up to then, what is now known as the brewery’s Wild Sour Series was only available on draft and toted out of the Normal, Illinois facility by consumers in growlers.

Canned Sours was not the norm at the time since the artful style was thought of as a bottled product. Potts believes that very few other breweries were canning Sours at the time — Westbrook, Sun King, Anderson Valley are breweries he could list off the top of his head that debuted Sours in cans before Destihl. But that innovation in the region and pushing it out to its distribution area helped create a niche for the brewery to grow through.

“Why would we put a Sour beer in a can? Because we wanted to,” said Potts, as Destihl debuted in late 2014 with “Here Gose Nothing” and “Counter-Clockwise,” a Berliner Weisse. “That was such a key move for us, it gave us something that other breweries didn’t have. It’s the epitome of a niche. We really dedicated a lot of volume to producing. We started brewing with a 20-barrel brewhouse and started adding equipment to enable us to do even larger volumes of kettle Sours.”

Within a year of debuting Sours in cans, Destihl was at max capacity at its facility and began to look at a new home, which opened in late 2017. At the time of the interview in November of 2017, the brewery had about 60 percent of its production dedicated to Sours.

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