Bell’s Brewery Inc. is heading into the Pacific Northwest and Utah as it continues expanding its distribution footprint following its 2021 sale to an international beverage company.
Kalamazoo-based Bell’s said this week that it inked deals with distributors in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Utah to bring its beers to new markets.
As part of the expansion, Bell’s flagship Two Hearted IPA and rotating variety packs will be available year-round in cans and bottles and on draft in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Distributors in all five states will have access to Bell’s Oberon Ale from March to September.
“Expanding our footprint to become a national brand is a top priority this year, and we can’t wait to share Bell’s beer with more fans across the country,” Carrie Yunker, Bell’s executive vice president, said in a statement. “We’re particularly excited about entering the Pacific Northwest market, a notably strong craft beer market already, where folks have been asking for Bell’s for decades.”
In 2021, Bell’s sold to Australia-based Lion Little World Beverages Inc., a division of Japan’s Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd. that also includes Fort Collins, Colo.-based New Belgium Brewing Co.
Since the deal, Bell’s has been shifting its distributor network to the Reyes Beverage Group in all markets except Michigan to align with New Belgium’s wholesalers, as trade publication Brewbound previously reported. Last year, Bell’s changed distributors in Wisconsin, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New Jersey and parts of New York.
The Pacific Northwest expansion included deals with 10 wholesalers that also carry New Belgium Brewing products.
Bell’s Brewery was the sixth-largest craft brewery nationwide and ranked 15th in overall breweries with production of 490,000 barrels of beer as of 2021, the most recent year for which Brewers Association data are available. Bell’s also operates Escanaba-based Upper Hand Brewery.
With five new states added to the Bell’s distribution, the brewery now sells beer in every U.S. state except for Hawaii, plus Puerto Rico.
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