Dogfish Head pulls out of four states, UK and Canada

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(Milton, DE) – Dogfish Head just made the official announcement.


The @midtownwine Twitter account reported yesterday that Dogfish Head was pulling out of 14 states or nearly half of its distribution area. This caused a frenzy and a long speculative thread on Beer Advocate which was eventually nuked because the above report was only partially true. If you’ve been following my Twitter feed this morning, you would have heard that Indiana and Tennessee were among the casualties. Now we know the others. Per the official blog:


In the past few months, weve alerted our wholesale partners in both the U.K. and Canada that we do not expect to be able to support any export in 2011. We need all the beer were brewing right now for the U.S. market. But realistically, we werent sending much there anyway, so we need to make even more changes. It is tough to hear from retailers across the country that they arent getting all the Dogfish they think they could sell, but without drastically changing our company and the way we operate, we cannot satisfy that demand.

So it is bittersweet for us to announce that we are pulling out of, or limiting some of our core beers from, a number of states. Yes this sucks. The glass-half-full view is that we (and a handful of other U.S. craft breweries making similar moves) have to do this because your numbers the number of U.S. drinkers buying and enjoying craft beer – are growing so quickly! We sincerely apologize for any frustrations this may cause distributors, retailers, and beer lovers who are affected by our decision. This decision will allow us to still get many different, exotic, Dogfish specialty and seasonal beers into our slightly smaller footprint. It will also ensure that more cases and kegs of our core, year-round beers will be available closer to home. The distributors in the states we are pulling distribution from (Tennessee, Indiana, Wisconsin and Rhode Island) have already been notified of our decision. If your favorite pubs and beer outlets are no longer able to obtain Dogfish products, we are sorry that we are no longer able to supply them. Thanks for understanding and we are hopeful for your ongoing support.

In other news, the brewery still doesn’t have an air date for episode 6 of Brew Masters.

They’re also hoping to release 120 Minute IPA by the end of next month.

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24 thoughts on “Dogfish Head pulls out of four states, UK and Canada

  1. Pingback: Dogfish Head Reduces Distribution - Home Brew Forums

  2. This, unofrtunately for those regions, is a mix of laziness and looking out for the bottom line. What’s 4 states…1/7th od the DFH distribution. They could support all the markets, each with 1/7th less beer, but are CHOOSING not to because itcosts a little more. Very disappointing, and I don’t even live in those regions.

  3. @Chris There are several breweries that have made a similar move albeit they were able to do so more quietly. It will happen to more breweries in the future and yes, it creates a real pain point for loyal customers in those markets. I wouldn’t call it laziness but probably more like Dogfish saying let’s take it easy on our people who have probably been running around like crazy since Brew Masters.

  4. Being from Canada, it was hard to get anyway. I make my own version. Thanks for the shows Dogfish.

  5. I can’t even sell the two cases I have in CA. Perhaps they should drop us? RI is much closer.

  6. Really pissed that these guys sold their beer for years in these states and made a good profit and became what they are today. Now I guess those four states are not good enough. I live in one of those states and if I ever drink another dogfish it will be too soon. There are plenty of great craft beers available to me in my market and just like Sam C. I have a choice to NOT drink his beer anymore.
    See ya Sam, don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya !
    Mike

  7. @ Beer Coasters: They were working with a well-established distro in Indiana so I’d wager that wasn’t the case with that one in particular.

  8. Mike, I agree with the sentiment. Without a doubt DFH made 2 or 3 of my favorite brews and now I will have to travel to KY to obtain a 4 of Midas Touch, which adds a considerable surtax to the already high price per bottle. What mystifies my thinking is that they have to cross Indiana to deliver to Illinois and Michigan anyway! Too bad a few cases couldnt just “drop off the back of the truck” on the way…

  9. In fact, Dogfish head CONSISTENTLY could never get beer to Indiana on time. Also, whatever they got to Indiana always sold out. It never hung around. I think Brew masters shot them in the foot. It ramped up the brand but they couldn’t meet the level of demand. It was; they were growing, they’re bottle line broke down, you aren’t selling the right mix of product. They could never keep Indiana in stock. Really REALLY poor supplier side support. No point of sale, no one in the market really. The closest guy to support the brand is in Chicago. Never saw him. They are really only making their own lives easier and focusing on larger demographics. So what. Indiana has plenty of local breweries who need our support. I won’t miss DFH except for their one-offs.

  10. I live in Virginia, northern VA specifically, and I used to be able to get any variety of DFH that was produced, but it has become difficult to find anything other than the staples due to the increased popularity. Let’s be real here, first off, Delaware is a SMALL state!
    DFH is a SMALL brewery with grand distro.
    I equate them somewhat in scale to New Belgium, who has still just yet to distro here, though it’s supposed to be in progress.
    I’d love to be able to buy Bitches Brew or the other exotics, but i can’t find it on the shelf, just an empty space where it was (for about 30 minutes on the day of delivery). Meanwhile, i have friends in upstate NY who found it regularly in stock. what gives? I’m 3 hours from the brewery!

    so, like New Belgium, I respect DFH for restricting their distro, to ensure delivery, timely delivery, and overall, freshness and a quality product.

    not to mention, all breweries don’t get along with all distributors, which in no doubt played some role at least somewhere.

  11. @Jay For what it’s worth, New Belgium is over 5x the producer that Dogfish Head is..pretty remarkable given that DFH does several more states.

  12. Dogfish has always been a sought after brand and with the popularity of the TV show, they have caused a buzz they couldn’t keep up with. They spread themselves too thin to begin with and should have really kept their distribution to the Atlantic Coast until they could keep up with the demand there before spreading their wings. It is unfortunate that they are cutting distribution to some states but they have to do what makes the most sense because in the end, they are in business. For someone to make the comment that it is laziness is just stupid. Also, just because they cross through your state to deliver to the next isn’t a reason to stay in the state. If they aren’t selling enough in the state to warrant distribution in it, then smart business would be to pull out. Laziness is making a stupid comment without taking the time to think of the reasons why someone would make a decision to pull out of your state. If they continue to lose money by distributing to states that don’t make them money, they close their doors and then they don’t distribute to anyone!! If you are angry, get angry at your neighbors who continue to buy that foreign owned pisswater Budweiser, Miller or Coors and don’t support the American breweries that actually make good beer!!

  13. it’s so sad i’ll maybe never have the chance to
    try your sooo much special beer that alots
    Montreal amateur of beer really really lile.
    : ( i didn’t aleeady had the chance to go in Ontario
    to get some: ( Oooo we really apreciate
    your Randall animal in our brewpub here..reallly cool!

    By the way ::: have a Nice day
    Sert for m’y english i use to speak french so.

  14. @Jim: “If they aren’t selling enough in the state to warrant distribution in it, then smart business would be to pull out.” I find it hard to believe that they can’t find enough beer lovers in the state of WISCONSIN that they can’t make enough profit there. I understand Dogfish Head is too popular for its own good, but how did they choose these specific states to pull out of? I don’t know much about Rhode Island and Tennessee, but there’s obviously plenty of great local breweries in Indiana and Wisconsin to support. If Dogfish Head wants to stay small, let ’em, I’ve got to admire them for their philosophy. But it smacks of elitism to continue to supply Chicago but pull out of surrounding areas “because we want to keep our beer fresher” or some B.S. Sounds like the Republican trickle-down effect to me.

  15. This news is painfully disappointing. I began drinking Dogfish roughly two years ago and it has since been my go-to beer of choice 99 percent of the times I make a purchase. I’ve also spent the last month of the last two summers anxiously awaiting the arrival of DF Punkin’ for autumn. This sudden pulling of inventory from Tennessee is objectionable. I’m originally from the Northeast, so I took pride in supporting a beer from that corner of the USA, and feel like my loyalty has been flushed straight down the can.

  16. Pingback: Great Divide to pull distribution from six regions | Beernews.org

  17. Pingback: Coming and Going: distribution movements among craft breweries | Beernews.org

  18. I SALE DFISH AND MAIN REASONS FOR THEM PULLIN OUT O STATES IS THEY HAVE RULES TA MOST DIST.WEVE BEEN TOLD FOR MONTHS AND MONTHS TA NOT OPEN UP ANYMORE ACCOUNTS AND WITH THERE NEW POPULARITY EVRY BAR AROUND WANTS IT NOW! I BELIEVE ALOTTA DIST.HAVENT BEEN ABIDING BY THAT RULE ANDPROB.CONTINUE TA OPEN UP NEW ACCOUNTS EVERYDAY! IF U DONY PLAY BY THE RULES U EVENTUALLY GET THROWN OUTTA THE GAME! IT SUCKS BUT THATS JUST THE WAY THEY ROLE AND U HAVE TA RESPECT THE FACT THAT DFISH WANTS QUALITY NOT QUANITY!

  19. Pingback: 99 Pours » Blog Archive » Research this for your Beer Store business plan

  20. I was sad when I heard DFH wasnt getting my home state of Indiana. Im in the MIL and live in NC where I can get it all day long. My wedding is this weekend so what am I doing? I bought all the dogfish in town and we are taking it with us! I’m even making some profit from some diehards on some 4’s of Midas and 90m. Hopefully Sam can handle getting big while still thinking small.

  21. The last time I had this suoerb beer in the UK is around 2011and it was £9 a bottle in a bar!!!!! They didn’t sell much of it.

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