­River Barrel Distributing Adds Ancestry, Half Lion to Portfolio

With a list of more than 10 craft beverage makers, River Barrel Distributing has been quickly growing since its launch in 2020. The company’s most recent additions include two more Pacific Northwest breweries – one from Oregon and one from Washington.

Ancestry Brewing was founded in Tualatin, Oregon by the Turner Family who have a history of service in the US Navy. Ancestry’s first location in 2016 in Tualatin, Oregon. The company quickly gained popularity and expanded to the Portland area in 2017. Since then, Ancestry has won several awards for its Irish Red Ale, Belgian Dark Strong Ale, and Kolsch. With a focus on detail and quality, the company continues to brew favorites like the Best Coast IPA, Porter, Piney IPA, and its small-batch series.

“We are excited to have a way to get our beer to customers in the Greater Seattle area who have been wanting Ancestry. Shout out to River Barrel Distributing for making it possible!” says Jerry Turner, Co-founder of Ancestry Brewing. 

River Barrel Distributing’s list also includes a second Washington-based brewery, Half Lion Brewing Company. The company began as a home brewing project and was jokingly referred to as Half Lion Beer, a name sparked by a conversation about large dogs bred to hunt lions; the mistakenly heard term “half dog, half lion” eventually became the name for Half Lion Brewing. The brewery opened its first location in Sumner in 2016 and since then has created its own line of hard seltzers in addition to classic beer styles like blondes, ambers, and IPAs.

“Partnering with a local distributor versus a national or even larger regional distributor gives us both a chance to show the small customers what great customer service is,” says Eric Haines, Vice President of Half Lion Brewing Company.

River Barrel Distributing has been growing its Washington-based team and is excited to continue partnering with local breweries, cideries, meaderies, and other craft beverage makers to bring quality beverages to the area.

“We’ve had big plans for RBD & it is exciting to see it all coming together,” says Joe Cohen, Sales Manager for RBD. “We’re thrilled to be working with a brand based right in our backyard of Kent/Sumner. There’s a lot of local excitement around Half Lion’s beers & we can’t wait to get them out to more customers.”

Cohen made his way from New England to Washington in 2008 and since then, has enjoyed working in the beer industry and creating his own home fermentation projects. He’s joined by another new member of the RBD team, Rick Jameson, a beer-fan-turned-Instagrammer with experience in the beverage sales industry from “nearly every angle.”

“Being on a mission to meet the beverage needs of my community with a whole portfolio of great options isn’t just an exciting career opportunity, it’s more like allowing me to walk in my passion,” says Jameson. “I am grateful to River Barrel for the privilege to do it.” 

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