Great Divide pulls distribution from several regions


(Denver, CO) – Another brewery struggles through growing pains…

[Update: Just to add a little context, the total region count over the past several months is nine. New Mexico, Tennessee and another region (unknown to me) were announced as pull-outs last fall.]

[Update II: For those in Virginia wondering if they are affected, you can enter Great Divide as a search term here. It will show the towns where GD is sold and which distributor handles that town. The distributor that will no longer be carrying Great Divide beer is Specialty Beverages.]

[Update III: Courtesy of Denver Off the Wagon via GD Marketing Manager, Hanna Laney: “We have been slowly pulling out of states since November and since then have now left Michigan, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Kentucky, DC, New Mexico and Alaska, statewide. Additionally, we have pulled out of certain territories within states. These partial states include: Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia. In these states, you can still get our beer in the following metro areas: Minneapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York City, Rochester, and northern Virginia, respectively. These partial territory pull-outs, aside from Virginia, have been effective since the end of 2010 and are not new.”]

Original Story: Please see updates above on list of states and regions

The Full Pint’s Dan Becker got confirmation from Marketing Coordinator, Hanna Laney, that Great Divide Brewing is pulling out of Michigan, Rhode Island, Delaware and Connecticut due to “exponentially increasing orders.” The brewery will also pull out of DC and southern and central VA according to TFP.

Great Divide President, Brian Dunn, actually notified distributors weeks ago and rumors trickled out from insiders over the past month.

Here’s a copy of the letter that Dunn sent to distribution partners:

It’s been an unbelievable run and we’re growing like gangbusters and we truly have many to thank:

  • Our wholesaler partners, who’ve worked so hard to keep Great Divide visible and available;
  • Our friends at retail, who put us on draft and in bottles in their establishments and help sample and educate their customers on our beers and craft beers in general;
  • And our beer drinking customers, who have shown such passion for our beers.

Regrettably and ironically, this wondeful story has a challenging chapter. Because of our growth, we just can’t keep up with supplying all of our markets with beer and doing so with good customer service. We’re ramping up our production aggressively but until we can get caught up, we’re forced to pull back from some areas. We’ve decided to pull back for a while starting in April 2011, and hope to come back as soon as we can.

Please accept our apologies for this curve ball and also our sincere thanks for your partnership and passion- they’re both very meaningful to us. Thanks again.

When he says gangbusters, he means it. Great Divide almost hit 20,000 barrels in 2010 after brewing 12,000 in 2009. The brewery is one of a handful of regional craft breweries exceeding 60% growth last year.

For Rhode Island, this is the second regional brewery to announce its pulling distribution from that state after Dogfish Head’s announcement a couple weeks ago.

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10 thoughts on “Great Divide pulls distribution from several regions

  1. Sounds like Rhode Island will be fine as its teeny and close to MA and CT. The one state of 50 who could complain the least is CT due to its proximity to neighbors and painfully small size.

    This would sting more if you lived in, say, Nebraska.

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  8. The Specialty Beverages merchandiser who services my story has informed me that Specialty is suing Great Divide for breach of contract and because the northern Virginia Great Divide distributor, Hop and Wine, also distributes to central and south east Virginia. So we may still be able to get Great Divide but not through the same distributor as before.

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