As we’ve been discussing here for the last few weeks, the Great Beer Exodus of brewers leaving far-flung markets continues to ratchet up new entrants every week. The Avery Brewing Company of Boulder, Colorado, is the latest to announce the results of its overwhelming growth.
As I write in this month’s BeerAdvocate Magazine, craft beer lovers in many markets around the country are going to have to get used to traveling to enjoy dozens of their favorite brands. Now begins the age of local dominance. But with the increase of small and local driven nanos (500, 600, 700 at last count in planning?), things could get ugly on your package store’s shelves.
Here is the latest announcement from Avery.
Avery Brewing Co. Announces Plans To Exit 8 States and 7 Partial State Markets
Boulder, CO – Avery Brewing Company plans to withdraw from eight states and seven other partial-state markets beginning in April. Faced with skyrocketing demand–first quarter 2011 production growth for their home state of Colorado is 81% and overall production growth is 75%–the brewery has been forced to make the tough decision or lose the ability to support all markets with a steady supply of fresh beer.
Beginning in April 2011 beer shipments will be ceased to Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Tennessee. Avery Brewing Company hopes to re-enter these eight states at some point in the future once production capacity can catch up with demand. The brewery is also leaving several partial state markets, including: Northern California (Bay Area and Sacramento), Eastern Arkansas, Upstate New York (outside of New York City), Central Florida (Orlando area) and Wisconsin.
Avery Brewing Company would like to extend a sincere and heartfelt thank you to those who have supported us–and our beers–in these markets over the past years. To our distributors and their hard working sales staff, to our retailers in on-premise and off-premise channels who have promoted our products with zeal and passion, and to our loyal customers and fans who have challenged their palates and enjoyed our beers over the years: thank you, thank you, thank you!! Our apologies for any frustrations this change brings your way. According to Avery Brewing President/Founder Adam Avery, “We all feel terrible about having to pull out of these markets. No matter how you cut it, it is disappointing that we’ll no longer be able to serve our loyal fans in these areas. ” Ted Whitney, National Sales Director at Avery Brewing Company, added “This is certainly unfortunate, but it was done with the best intentions. It’s about getting fresher beer and better experiences for our customers.”
Avery Brewing Company is one of several craft breweries to announce such cuts in 2011, but these disappointing changes are actually the sign of a very positive trend in the industry. Exponential sales growth for craft brewers can only mean one thing: the craft beer movement is on fire, attracting more followers and gaining mindshare with people of all demographics across the country. More fans means more market potential for all of the craft industry, and that’s a very good thing that will bring more great beer into the lives of Americans everywhere. Here’s to American craft beer in 2011 and beyond!!