Distribution by Producer

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Distribution by Producer

Postby luke646 » May 28th, 2013, 9:38 am

So my soon-to-be brother in law and I got into an argument this weekend. It started out with him referring to the recent article about KC being a top 5 beer town. I argued it wasn't even top 15. I mentioned St. Louis, for example, is far better right now since they have many more breweries and taprooms and his point was that KC has more smaller producers (that evidently I've never heard of) that sell straight to the store. I didn't think this was possible due to the three tier system.

Can anyone confirm the ability for a small time operation (anything under X amount of barrels per year in his opinion) to sell their products straight to the store? Evidently my googling skills are shit because I can't find many specifics about these laws (specific to MO). Any links would be swell!

Thanks!
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Re: Distribution by Producer

Postby beer4bill » May 28th, 2013, 9:52 am

I spoke with the Big Rip guys and there a license that allows for self distribution for smaller breweries.

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Re: Distribution by Producer

Postby johnf » May 28th, 2013, 11:08 am

Self distribution is possible in most places, including Missouri. It is a little convoluted in MO but Doodle self distributed, for example. That's the big lie in "Beer Wars". There is very little self distributed beer because breweries find that distributors add value and so it is uncommon for a brewery to choose self distribution even when it is allowed (it is very legal in a non-convoluted way in all three West Coast states).

That said, he is wrong about the existence of a large number of self distributing breweries in Kansas City. Ask him to name them.
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Re: Distribution by Producer

Postby EricH » May 28th, 2013, 11:36 am

johnf wrote:Self distribution is possible in most places, including Missouri. It is a little convoluted in MO but Doodle self distributed, for example.


So Doodle is gone now for sure, eh?
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Deux Rochefort, c'est moins.
Trois Rochefort, faut pas le faire."
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Re: Distribution by Producer

Postby luke646 » May 28th, 2013, 11:52 am

johnf wrote:Self distribution is possible in most places, including Missouri. It is a little convoluted in MO but Doodle self distributed, for example. That's the big lie in "Beer Wars". There is very little self distributed beer because breweries find that distributors add value and so it is uncommon for a brewery to choose self distribution even when it is allowed (it is very legal in a non-convoluted way in all three West Coast states).


Very interesting. I had no idea that self-distribution was possible. But it makes since that most don't go that route. Thanks for the information!

johnf wrote:That said, he is wrong about the existence of a large number of self distributing breweries in Kansas City. Ask him to name them.


Yeah, he couldn't name one.
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Re: Distribution by Producer

Postby johnf » May 28th, 2013, 12:52 pm

EricH wrote:
johnf wrote:Self distribution is possible in most places, including Missouri. It is a little convoluted in MO but Doodle self distributed, for example.


So Doodle is gone now for sure, eh?


That wasn't my implication but I think it came up in discussion recently (maybe you were there) that nobody has seen a recent batch in a while and Nick isn't showing up to festivals anymore.

I thought I had heard that Nick stopped self distributing (I believe technically he had separate production and distribution licenses and companies which was allowed because he was under a 22% license and not a beer license for production) and found a distributor at some point. So that was why I used past tense.
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Re: Distribution by Producer

Postby EricH » May 28th, 2013, 4:12 pm

johnf wrote:That wasn't my implication but I think it came up in discussion recently (maybe you were there) that nobody has seen a recent batch in a while and Nick isn't showing up to festivals anymore.

I thought I had heard that Nick stopped self distributing (I believe technically he had separate production and distribution licenses and companies which was allowed because he was under a 22% license and not a beer license for production) and found a distributor at some point. So that was why I used past tense.


Well I emailed Nick today, and sadly, the Doodle brewery itself is closed. He's apparently helping Martin City get their brewery off the ground, though, and said that it's possible that we might see Doodle again someday.
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Re: Distribution by Producer

Postby thomas15 » May 29th, 2013, 1:22 am

O mallets used to self distribute. Seemed like a lot of work and they got north Kansas City bev to start distributing their stuff for them. Distributors are more ready to distribute than brewers, they have the network of retail customers ready as well as the proper vehicles to distribute. I've never been at a store to receive doodle, but omalleys is the only brewery who I've I ever signed an invoice for as a self distributor.
I'm as biased as the any Kansas citian about how great we are but top 5 beer city we are not, and we certainly don't have any sort of number of self distributing breweries operating here.
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Re: Distribution by Producer

Postby beastiefan » May 29th, 2013, 11:28 pm

just to clarify, each state has separate laws regarding distribution. In some states its easier than others. For example in NY, from my understanding, as long as you are under a certain volume production you can self distribute. In MO, you need a whole different license.
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Re: Distribution by Producer

Postby johnf » May 30th, 2013, 6:11 am

And in some states it really is impossible. It's worth noting that there is a strong correlation between permissive self distribution laws and beer culture (eg CA, OR, WA, CO all very permissive). It is also worth noting that even though breweries rarely self distribute for long, the states where it is allowed often have very good craft beer distributors. Stone distributes in CA and keeps all beer refrigerated all the time. That is something one of the local distributors told me was impossible (although this particular distributor does manage to refrigerate their non-craft brand).
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