‘A Very Meaningful Moment For Us’: New Belgium To Be Nationwide In April

The week of April 24, 2017 in Maine will be a cause for celebration in Colorado. That will be the week that the 50th state of distribution begins for New Belgium Brewing.

“It’s a very meaningful moment for us here at New Belgium,” said spokesman Bryan Simpson. “We’ve always been very deliberate in our growth plan. We’ve exercised restraint as we’ve worked through capacity logistics to ensure we’re servicing every market to our very best ability.  To finally arrive at the national distribution milestone is a reflection of so many co-workers’ efforts and we’re very excited to make that vision manifest.”

New Belgium — which finished 2016 just under one million barrels of production — will enter each market with a mix of year round, seasonal release and specialty beers in all draft, bottles and canned formats. The brewery has a capacity of 1.5 million bbls between its two production facilities.

“When you build capacity you want to make sure you’re using it, so getting both the Fort Collins (Colorado) and Asheville (North Carolina) breweries humming along will gain us greater efficiencies in process and transport,” Simpson said. “Also, there’s the benefit of being able to leverage some of our chain relationships in a more meaningful way for all parties.

“Plus, we have fans in those remaining states who have been very patient and you don’t ever want to take that for granted.”

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New Belgium has locked in distribution contracts to begin sending brands to Oklahoma on February 6; Vermont and New Hampshire on March 20; and Maine on April 24.

“It feels great to lock in these final states for distribution,” said New Belgium’s Northeast and Canada Sales Director, Rich Rush. “It’s immensely fulfilling to know that we’ll be a fully national brand with distribution in all 50 states this year.”

Simpson said that many consumers already considered New Belgium as a national US brand, so a change in message won’t be needed in marketing. That doesn’t mean the brewery will rest on its laurels.

“You want to make sure you a relevant, beloved and deeply engaged in your mature markets and you want to be converting new drinkers and creating excitement across new and emerging markets,” Simpson explained. “We still think there are a lot of domestic lager and import drinkers who are ripe for conversion, so we’ll continue to work those channels as well.”

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