Local Opportunities Trump Out-of-State Distribution

For a lot of brewers, getting to a place where you can start distributing is the goal. For Monday Night Brewing in Atlanta, that’s not really the case.

Though Jeff Heck oversaw the brewery expand distribution to Tennessee last year, this was the first new geographic location expansion in four years, and only because it’s close to Atlanta.

With the city’s 4-5 million metro population, he sees expansion to new locations as a distraction of time, energy and money for the most part.

If there’s an opportunity to grow in the home market, where the brand should always be strongest anyway, then doing anything else is like taking his eye off the ball, Heck said.

“I think a lot of it for us has not just been about geographic growth and more facilities, but also just becoming a more professional organization and running like a business,” Heck said.

Monday Night is on tap at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium and some large concert venues, but Heck reiterated that it’s taken time to get there.

“And I think it starts like anything — with making really good beer — and then learning that business, and not just expecting that we can walk up with a sample to a big stadium and say, ‘This is awesome beer you should put it on,’ ” Heck said. “You’ve got to know what’s important to them, what does their portfolio look like; who are the right people you should be talking to; what do they care about; what does your pricing need to be?”

Heck and his two partners have all worked with larger companies, so he hopes Monday Night differentiates itself by being a small-to-mid-sized brewery where people feel like they’re working with real professionals that know its numbers, listen to customers and are responsive.

Monday Night has a new taproom slated to open in 2020 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Executive Editor Jon Sicotte contributed to this story.

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