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Everyone keeps telling you that you really should distribute and go big. And it’s really tempting. You think it would work…but you don’t really know anything about distribution.


Well, you’re not alone.


Join the many other craft brewers who are in the same boat without a good idea of which way to paddle. Distribution Insight is intended to help you get everything shipshape, raise the sail and hit the starting line at full speed.


Distribution Insight offers guidance for the craft brewer new to the world of distribution, answers to often asked questions and puzzling situations that craft brewers may experience while embarking or traveling along the distribution path, and some out-of-the-box ideas for both craft brewers and distributors when troubleshooting an existing distribution relationship.




The Bottom Line


Your beer and your brand are important and deserve the best focus and teamwork – all the way from your brewery to the craft beer lover’s hands. The ultimate team is knowledgeable, creative, passionate about the industry, and communicates well on all levels.


Go find your team members! Embrace this distribution tier that exists solely to facilitate your success. Create and cultivate that dream team on all levels, such that your beer and your brand can be the most successful that they can possibly be.




Table of Contents


  • Forward

  • Introduction

  • What is a Distributor?

  • Why You Need a Distributor

  • What to Know Before You Look for a Distributor

  • What to Do Before You Look for a Distributor

  • Checking Out Your Distribution Options

  • Interviewing Distributors

  • Distribution Partnerships: Key Elements

  • Why Isn’t it Working?

  • How Can I Improve the Relationship?

  • How Can I Improve the Sales?

  • How Can I Get Out?

  • How Can the Distributor Get Out?

  • Distributor Consolidation

  • Brand Valuation

  • Summary

  • Glossary

  • About the Author



Distributors: This is for You, Too!


Attention Distributors:


  • What do your craft brewery partners expect?

  • How can they help you sell their product?

  • How can you improve your relationship with them?

  • What else should be in your contracts?

  • What part should they play in your relationship?

  • What profit could you both make from the best possible teamwork?



All these points and more are covered from an independent distributor’s perspective. See what advice is being given to craft brewers to help you help them succeed with the best possible business relationship. They can’t do it without you, just as you can’t do it without them. Check it out and see what might be helpful to your business and your business relationships.

So, YOU make great BEER...

What are people saying?

“From planning to distribute, to maintaining your relationship and improving sales, Distribution Insight is the go to resource for the Craft Brewer. The conversational style of Distribution Insight makes this book an easy read, in layman’s terms. Because it contains useful information for all aspects of distribution, I’ve given Distribution Insight to my managers and brewery reps.


I wish I’d had access to this book when I was planning to transition from self-distribution, to a distributor partnership. Distribution Insight provides a wealth of insights that can smooth out the bumps in road to a successful distribution operation.”


Jim Stinson, Brewmaster

Rockyard Brewing Company

Castle Rock, CO




“Whether you are just starting out or ready to take it to a new “distributor” level, this book explains it all. The three tier system presents challenges even before your decision is made. Laura Lodge provides all brewers with the insider knowledge that they crave and need.


Choosing a distributor can make or break your business, but when you're using the helpful hints and practical advice found in this book, it is not about if you'll make it, it's only about how much.”


JoAnne Carilli-Stevenson

formerly with the Brewers Association & White Labs Yeast Co.




“An excellent resource for breweries of all shapes and sizes from a source with a wealth of experience in the industry on all sides of the bar.”


Andy Jessen, Co-Founder & Manager Bonfire Brewing, LLC

Eagle, CO




“The book has been really insightful and has already proved to be invaluable.


Patrick M Horn, Co-Founder/CEO Headlands Brewing Co.

Craft Beer Distributing




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