Strategies in Expanding Distribution Reach

Being strategic in choosing where to distribute and who to partner with is important to a brewery’s success in new areas.

San Diego’s Modern Times Beer is increasing distribution to include Colorado permanently.

The brewery has previously tested the waters in the state on a limited basis through visits to the Great American Beer Festival along with other festivals and events.

“[We] have also done a bunch of one-off distribution runs for both on and off-premise sales, always accompanied by a lineup of beer events at our favorite spots around the state,” Modern Times’ Dan Reed said.

He added, “From a strategic point of view, we’ve seen amazing response to the limited distribution runs and events we’ve done in the area.”

That made Colorado an important target early on in the company’s history, coupled with the fact that the Centennial State has a large population of craft beer drinkers.

Reed said there were a lot of factors at play that got Modern Times to reach the decision to expand into Colorado permanently. The brewery took into account the general demand for beer in the region and requests from grocery and restaurant chains.

Proximity to the brewery’s existing distribution footprint made for fast and favorable shipping routes, and distributing to Colorado would allow more collaboration prospects. For reach in the Colorado market, Modern Times was particular in choosing its distribution partners.

“We chose Elite Brands and High Country Beverages,” Reed said, “two distributors who show an honest passion for craft beer and craft beer education, and whose approach to logistics ensures that our beverages reach fans in the most pristine condition possible.”

Thus far, Modern Times hasn’t hired anyone new on the sales team, but rather keeping it localized within the company.

We already have a highly capable [sales] team working with this market, so there isn’t a need to bring anyone else in just yet,” Reed said. “Long term, though, there will certainly be a need for additional support, and we’ll be reviewing both internal and local candidates when the time comes.”

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