The long wait for SanTan Brewing Company’s out-of-state expansion is nearly over.
The Chandler-based brewery announced this week it is teaming up with Reyes Beverage Group to introduce its uniquely southwestern style craft ales to the Southern California marketplace. Distribution is expected to begin later this month.
SanTan Brewing, which in 2012 was rated the country’s 14th fastest growing craft brewery by The New Yorker, plans to begin distributing its core beers — Devil’s Ale, HopShock IPA, Mr. Pineapple Wheat Beer — as well as a SanTan variety pack.
The Reyes Beverage Group will SanTan reach craft beer retail and tap accounts throughout San Diego and Los Angeles. Reyes Beverage Group California beer distributorships include Crest Beverage in San Diego, Gate City Beverage Distributors in San Bernardino, Allied Beverages in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties and Harbor Distributing in Orange County and Los Angeles.
“We believe in true partnerships with friends that are committed to educating, serving and selling craft beer in America,” Anthony Canecchia, SanTan Brewing founder and brewmaster, said. “Reyes Beverage Group have undisputedly dedicated their houses to the development of the American craft revolution, which is part of our mission at SanTan Brewing.”
Social media will play a key role in the launch. SanTan Brewing has set up a dedicated Facebook page to keep thirsty fans in SoCal updated on where to find SanTan beers on tap and in cans.
“We are thrilled to bring SanTan to Southern California – there’s no better market for great craft beer meant to be paired with great food and conversation,” said Tom Reyes, president of Harbor Distributing. “We expect SanTan’s southwestern style ales to be in hot demand and we will ensure the right outlets across Southern California have the brewer’s brands stocked.”
Distribution to Northern California and Nevada should begin next quarter, Wendy Weather, SanTan national business development manager, said earlier this year. SanTan also could invade Colorado, Texas and New Mexico in the second quarter, Weathers said.
Out-of-state distribution was the goal when SanTan opened its $6 million manufacturing and distribution facility late last year. SanTan was running at a 16,000-barrels-per-year pace at its downtown Chandler brewery. Canecchia and crew could brew 40,000 barrels annually at the new plant, with plenty of room for future expansion.
“We’re very fortunate that we currently sell our beer within 70 miles of our brewery and usually within three or four weeks. That will change when we go out of market and shelf life will become important,” Canecchia, in October, said of quality control.
Canecchia said he hopes to continue to grow barrel production by 50 percent each year, and to work with the Arizona Brewer’s Guild to increase the allowable state limit of 40,000 barrels before SanTan reaches that mark.
SanTan is the second largest craft brewery in Arizona. Phoenix Ale Brewery and Grand Canyon Brewing Co. are the only Arizona craft brewers currently distributing out of state.
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