In late July, one of Austin’s most beloved breweries, Independence Brewing Co., announced distribution expansion throughout Arkansas. This marks the brands first expansion outside its home state of Texas. I sat down with Marketing Director, Courtney Cobb to discuss the expansion.
You are expanding with the core line up now – will you add seasonals at any point in the future?
The initial launch the 23rd-29th of July launched with: Redbud, Liberty Lunch, Power & Light and Austin Amber. Stash IN CANS followed about a week later. We did not want to introduce Stash in bottles and immediately change the packaging option, so stash came a few weeks later.
Yes, we will introduce seasonals, and likely on a case to case basis. With seasonals, you always want to make sure you can take care of your home market, and the immediate surrounding market, first. Also, you want to make sure it is a seasonal that is something the market will enjoy.
Are you investigating options to expand into other states as well?
We are currently looking into more options! However, the process is slow, and many stars have to align to make sure it is the correct state: the right person needs to be on the ground, the right distributor needs to be selected, and a market launch needs to be in place. The hardest part, is, usually there is not a singular “right” answer. Many options can be a good one! But usually your instincts will help guide you towards a great decision, the perfect fit!
What are other exciting things on the horizon for Independence?
Since the beginning of 2017, things are constantly changing for Independence. More personnel has been added, more tanks have been fermenting beer, new distribution deals have been signed (Ben E Keith is now our distributor in both Houston and DFW), more beers have been or will be released and our beloved Stash is now available in cans. We partnered with an amazing non-profit, Service Dogs, to help raise $45,000 to fund a Service Dog by Veterans day, and we are continuing to make new seasonals. It’s exciting because we are continuing to grow, and we are learning every day.
Read the full press release:
AUSTIN, Texas (July 26, 2017) – Independence Brewing Co., one of Texas’ original craft breweries, today announced the company will begin distributing its lineup of award-winning beers throughout the state of Arkansas. The new territory signals the brand’s first expansion of distribution outside its home state of Texas.
Independence’ Brewing Co.’s core lineup of craft brews, which include Austin Amber, Liberty Lunch IPA, Redbud Berliner Weisse, Power & Light Pale Ale, and the brand’s top-selling beer, Stash IPA, are available now in both on-premise bars and restaurants as well as off-premise retail stores. Little Rock-based Central Distributing have signed on as Independence’s wholesale partner throughout the Natural State.
“We had canoed and camp along the Buffalo River years ago, so when we began looking into new markets for Independence, Arkansas really stood out against the other states we were considering,” said Amy Cartwright, co-founder and president of Independence Brewing Co.
“The people of Arkansas really seem to hold similar values as we do at Independence; a love for the outdoors, supporting local music and the arts, and giving back to the community. We’re truly excited to hit the ground running in our first new state and hopefully become a part of its amazing culture for a long time ahead,” Cartwright said.
Independence Brewing Co. was founded in Austin, Texas in 2004 by the husband and wife team of Rob and Amy Cartwright with the goal of brewing craft beers for “independent thinkers and independent drinkers.” The brand ranks among the top independent brewers of craft beer in the state of Texas with nearly 16 thousand barrels produced in 2016.
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