Dear Santa, All I Want For Iowa Beer Distribution In 2018 - The Iowa Beer Blog

A blog about the beer produced, distributed and consumed in the great state of Iowa.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Dear Santa, All I Want For Iowa Beer Distribution In 2018

Sure, it's not even yet Thanksgiving but your local Super-Mart has had Christmas on the shelves for two months. Besides, Santa needs time to prep and it's never too soon to send him our list of wants and desires.

2017 was a solid year for the expanding Iowa beer selection. Of course, finally adding Firestone Walker and their award winning portfolio makes any year. Stores added Alaskan Brewing, Bur Oak, Church Street and Potosi. There's also the addition of Mikkeller SD, Boon, more Jester King and Marz through Abu Nawas beverage company.

So, let's make a list for 2018. We'll try to keep it reasonable. Obviously, everybody wants Treehouse, Weldworks and Russian River but that's not realistic. Region is key and that rules out many unless there's a sale like Wicked Weed (which I would assume we'll see flagships on shelves at some point).

Alesmith has us surrounded

1. ALESMITH - San Diego, California

An award winning brewery that's distribution seems to have Iowa surrounded. Alesmith boasts a solid portfolio of Wee Heavy, Belgium Ales and of course Speedway Stout (which is now canned). Imagine a day when you belly up to a tap takeover of Vietnamese Speedway Stout, Barrel-Aged Speedway Stout and all the variants.

2. THREE FLOYDS - Munster, Indiana

There was a time when the occasional FFF bomber would show up on Iowa shelves. A time long, long ago. The one-time brewery of the year is still expanding adding collaboration projects like War Pigs. The latest addition to the Three Floyds portfolio is contract brewed in Chicago and Wisconsin. They have 100,000 barrel capacity now. Perhaps Iowa sees some Zombie Dust soon.

3. PIPEWORKS - Chicago, Illinois

Easily the most unlikely of the list as PW just opened their Dojo in Chicago this Summer. Plans for a brew pub in Chicago were recently released too. While Pipeworks does distribute to New York, Connecticut, Boston and Colorado filling the demand of their current markets still appears to be the challenge. Still, cans of Ninja vs. Unicorn, Lizard King and Mango Guppy in Iowa would be nice.

4. 2ND SHIFT - St. Louis, Missouri

The St. Louis brewery just launched in Chicago a couple of months ago. Their portfolio includes a beautiful session pale that rivals Fulton's Hopstar. They also include a Hibiscus Wheat, Cat Spit Stout and Liquid Spiritual Delight and all of its variants. You can currently find their beer in St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago and Nashville.

5. ALLAGASH - Portland, Maine

Imagine entering any bar in Iowa and ordering an Allagash White to go with your dinner. It seems to be everywhere but Iowa. And, I mean, they have a coolship.

6. PERRENIAL - St. Louis, Missouri

Another Midwest brewery that you can seemingly get everywhere but Iowa. The eastern side of the state gets access to Sump and 17 Mint Chocolate Stout. Abraxas, of course, is worth standing in line. There's a lot to like for the Farmhouse fan and like Alesmith, imagine the tap takeovers.

7. HALF ACRE - Chicago, Illinois

Chicago hops? Hell yes. Half Acre would put tallboys of Daisy Cutter, Deep Space, Beer Hates Astronauts, Gone Away, Vallejo and Navaja in your fridge. In bombers and cans they consistently hit it out of the park and would sell well in the Central Iowa market. Last year they did expand into the Wisconsin beer market. Please make Iowa next and bring that Pony Pils.

8. EPIC BREWING - Salt Lake City, Utah

Epic recently brought their Big Bad Baptist and New England IPA (Citra Lush) into the Illinois market. I had my first BBB last week and for $11 a bomber it's terrific. A little stop and drop in Iowa on the way wouldn't hurt anyone. Especially that Big Bad Baptista.

9. INDEED - Minneapolis, Minnesota

They currently distribute across the entire state of Minnesota and a little into North Dakota. Rum King cans would disappear off shelves in Iowa as they quickly do in the brewery's home state. They have a nice wild side to their portfolio that perhaps rivals Destihl.

10. - MAUI BREWING COMPANY - Maui, Hawai'i

Ah, Maui. Beautiful beaches, ocean breeze, fruity drinks by the pool. Oh, and pretty decent beer. If you've been to the islands you've likely had a Big Swill IPA. Or, perhaps a Maui Coconut Porter. Don't get these confused with Kona, the In-Bev acquisition. These beers bring vacation to you on that cold February Saturday. Maui Brew expanded last year using Johnson Brothers of Wisconsin into Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Could Iowa be next?

Others: Dogfish Head, Maine Brewing, Revolution, Shorts, Bent Paddle, Fair State, Ninkasi, Cigar City and 18th Street

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