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Which state has the worst beer distribution?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Jwren5, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. jmw

    jmw Savant (440) North Carolina Feb 4, 2009

    This is truth. But in all honesty I think it is because they cannot understand you.

    I feel for KY. Yes, Lex and Louv'l are evolving, but the state as a whole is pretty fucked up. Learned that the hard way back in the 90's on a camping trip into the D.Boone and had to backtrack about a hundred miles just to find a county that allowed beer sales, and then had to find a store.
  2. islandboi8204

    islandboi8204 Savant (425) New York Jul 28, 2011 Verified

    Camp out early brother!
  3. kagent777

    kagent777 Savant (270) Utah Dec 6, 2009

    Actually, the cap is on draft beers or beers purchased outside of the state stores, and it is 3.2 ABW (4.0 ABV). Very frustrating seeing kegs of Epic (outside of the brewery) and knowing that none of them will be seen inside Utah bars.

    As for distribution, Utah is poor to decent. We do get a few gems and a lot of quality beer, but I always would like more selection.
  4. goodonezach

    goodonezach Initiate (0) New York Mar 24, 2011

    long island. everything goes to the city. well, a lot goes to the city. i just feel like bitching about the city.
  5. elkinbrown

    elkinbrown Advocate (540) Tennessee Jul 30, 2011

    I live in Mississippi. Here is our distribution:

    Bayou Teche
    Boston Beer Co.
    Diamond Bear
    Flying Dog
    Heiner Brau
    Lazy Magnolia
    North Coast
    Red Brick
    Sea Dog
    Sierra Nevada
    Widmer Bros.
    Let's look at this in terms of quality as well... Anyone else here have to travel 200+ miles to buy their favorite brews? I usually save up for a case of something each month and make a trip to Alabama were I can find:
    Anderson Valley
    Atlantic Brewing
    Back Forty
    Ballast Point
    Bard's Tale
    Bayou Teche
    Big Al
    Blue Pants
    Boston Beer Co.
    Bottle Tree
    Buffalo Bill's
    Butte Creek
    Cigar City [Limited]
    Clipper City
    Eel River
    Flying Dog
    Good People
    Gordon Biersch
    Great Divide
    Green Flash
    Heiner Brau
    Hook & Ladder
    Jester King
    Jolly Pumpkin
    Laughing Dog
    Lazy Magnolia
    Left Hand
    Magic Hat
    Matt (Saranac)
    Napa Smith
    North Coast
    Old Dominion
    Oskar Blues
    Pete's Place/Krebs/Choc (OK)
    Red Brick
    Sea Dog
    Shelton Brothers
    Shmaltz (He'Brew)
    Sierra Nevada
    Southern Star
    Spoetzl (Shiner)
    Starr Hill
    Stevens Point
    Straight to Ale
    Widmer Bros.
    Wild Heaven
    Williamsburg AleWerks

    Mississippi also has the fewest number of breweries in the nation.
    Hotmetal1 likes this.
  6. Not only is WV's domestic distribution horrible, the import selection is atrocious. Not even the most common Belgian beers can be found here. We get half of the Trappist beers, Gulden Draak, Piraat, Bavik, Wittekerke, and that's about it. The only sours to be had are from Lindemans. The sad part about all of this is that we have distributors that have the rights to more imports, but they don't do anything about it. Capitol Beverage has a contract with Shelton, yet they don't offer a single beer that Shelton distributes.
  7. gatornation

    gatornation Poobah (1,180) Minnesota Apr 18, 2007 Verified

    Im a Native of the state not the worst but in the bottom 10 is FL
  8. nikalus31

    nikalus31 Aficionado (125) Alaska May 23, 2011

    As a buyer for an alehouse up here in Alaska, I can say that we have a pretty decent selection considering our population and remoteness. We have two major distributors and a specialty distributor that works with Shelton Bros. The two bigguns carry ABInBev and MillerCoors as their flagships with their craft beer selections (I gather it's pretty similar in the rest of the country) also distribute in the Northwest as well, so we get a lot of west coast brews up here. We also have some great local beer around the state too (not just Alaskan Brewing), I maintain 55 taps (all craft) and could easily fill them local brews.
    Dirty25 and hardy008 like this.
  9. VegasHopHead

    VegasHopHead Savant (285) Nevada Jun 21, 2012 Verified

    Nevada sucks terribly. Im sure it isnt the worst, but considering we dont see distribution of a ton of stuff from California it sucks for that reason alone.
  10. voxomkid

    voxomkid Aficionado (145) Florida Jun 28, 2010

    North Florida has CCB and Swamphead. And Funky Buddha is still an hour away from me and doesn't distribute. So I'd have to say Florida as well.
  11. frazbri

    frazbri Advocate (695) Ohio Oct 29, 2003

    It must have been a real disappointment to drive over an hour to Ohio for Fat Tire when we don't get New Belgium distribution. (but at least we do get plenty of good stuff as long as it's under 12% ABV)
  12. KYGunner

    KYGunner Advocate (520) Kentucky Sep 16, 2012

    I guess I didn't write that very well. I meant to say that I had driven to others states for beer, TN specifically for Fat Tire and Ohio for others.
    frazbri likes this.
  13. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poobah (1,440) California Mar 18, 2010 Verified

    Hawaii is pretty weak. My parents live in Hawaii now, so I have first hand experience every time I go over there.
  14. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Champion (855) North Carolina May 13, 2011 Verified

    Oh, ok. Thanks for the clarification
  15. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,355) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002 Verified

    Yep, we, WY, don't get a lot of brewers that most states get ie Stone, Dogfish Head, Great Divide, etc but the distribution of beers from the brewers we do get have kicked it up a notch or 3 lately.
  16. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Champion (855) North Carolina May 13, 2011 Verified

    I highly disagree. When I moved to FL from Delaware, I was blown away by having Bell's, Lagunitas, Avery, Weyerbacher, Ballast Point, Terrapin and Breckenridge all at the tips of my fingers in bars and stores. Not to mention Cigar City and Saint Somewhere. All of these breweries I've mentioned are nonexistent in Delaware. The only breweries I miss that distribute to DE but not to FL are Troeg's and Allagash (although, if you know where to look, you can get Allagash white and Hopback). Also, if you're in DE, Dogfish is right there but, since their distribution is massive, that only really matters for rare/special releases. However, CCB's distribution is primarily Florida and nowhere else so, if you want any of their beer, you'd better be living in their state. All I'm saying is Delaware is lower on the totem pole than Florida distribution-wise and I still wouldn't consider it being in the bottom 10.
    BAstoutsNsours likes this.
  17. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Champion (855) North Carolina May 13, 2011 Verified

    South Florida gets CCB too...It's not cheap, but we get it.
  18. JamesShoemaker

    JamesShoemaker Advocate (665) Michigan Sep 21, 2012 Verified

    I find it really interesting that there are so many different opinions out there. There are some serious deficiencies in every state in terms of beer distribution; someone will always want something that can't be had in a particular state.
    I found that Minnesota was the worst. I lived there for two years and I like their enthusiastic beer culture, but the distro sucked. Maybe I'm just projecting my hatred of their liquor laws in general. (No alcohol sales on Sunday, all liquor stores must close before 10 pm.)
  19. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Advocate (635) Minnesota Feb 15, 2005

    Duluth and the North Shore are exceptions. A few good breweries actually exist up there. Also, Brainerd and Bemidji both some new local options.
  20. JamesShoemaker

    JamesShoemaker Advocate (665) Michigan Sep 21, 2012 Verified

    I agree, but in terms of importation, it's tough to find good stuff outside of MSP.
    Gonzoillini likes this.
  21. jmw

    jmw Savant (440) North Carolina Feb 4, 2009

    I was hoping you'd weigh in about Equality State. I've wondered about it from some of your previous comments. Seems WV and WY are similar. We don't get the ones you mentioned either, but we get things like Great Lakes, and we get all of them. Sierra of course which keeps the blood alcohol levels tolerable, things like Widmer and Breckenridge. Rogue. Many more. Lots of saturation but not much variation, no? All in all, we appreciate all of it and don't often fall into a false sense of entitlement due to overexposure.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  22. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Advocate (635) Minnesota Feb 15, 2005

    You can't be serious. When did you live here? The Twin Cities get a ton of great breweries including Bells, Founders, Deschutes, Central Waters, Victory, Great Divide, New Belgium, Dark Horse, Lagunitas, Jolly Pumpkin, Stone, Southern Tier, Epic, Goose Island (including their sours and stouts), Great Lakes, Two Brothers, Boulevard, Big Sky, etc. etc. etc. We also have access to Oskar Blues, New Glarus, Three Floyds, the Bruery less than a half hour away in Western Wisconsin. Western Wisconsin is also supposedly getting Ale Smith, Green Flash and Sixpoint soon as well. Between the two states we have one of the best distribution situations in the country.
    hardy008, dizztracted and gatornation like this.
  23. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,355) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002 Verified

    I look at it this way, with the smallest population of any state in the union, having too many brewers distributing here would ultimately lead to a lot of out of date beers on the shelves. I have enough trouble with that as is; I was going to send some Zonker Stout from Snake River as an extra but nay. The best by dates on the 6 pack of cans, all over town, was Oct 21st of this year!?

    I can live with what I have here and...the occasional trade or online purchase.;)
  24. Treyliff

    Treyliff Poobah (1,105) West Virginia Aug 10, 2010 Verified

    WV is pretty limited, but its getting better. We are supposed to start getting Southern Tier and North Coast. One thing about living in WV, I have tried nearly every Saranac beer ever made :/
  25. JamesShoemaker

    JamesShoemaker Advocate (665) Michigan Sep 21, 2012 Verified

    See, that's what I meant! Everyone's opinion is different because everyone has different tastes. I admit that I didn't know about those great breweries distributing to WI, but to be fair, that's WI, not MN. I really wish I knew as much about craft then as I do now that I live in NY, but at the time I was disappointed in MSP.

    We'll have to get together next time I'm in MN so you can prove me wrong!
  26. landrewg

    landrewg Savant (305) Michigan Nov 11, 2008 Verified

    Michigan because we get Founders specialties long after everybody else!
  27. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Advocate (635) Minnesota Feb 15, 2005

    Even without the WI options, we are still well above average as far as distro goes. Certainly not "one of the worst". I'll be happy to show you around our beer bars and craft stores when you make it back here.
    JamesShoemaker likes this.
  28. jarrgal

    jarrgal Advocate (555) North Dakota Mar 12, 2012 Verified

    The Fargo-Moorhead area isn't that bad. I've been to multiple TC bottle shops and the selection is similar but not as extensive up here. Moorhead stores 99 Bottles and Bridgeview Liquor feature a lot of breweries only seen on the MN side (e.g. Surly, Founders, Odell) while in ND we see the likes of Bell's, Goose Island, and Deschutes, which can all be found in MN as well.
  29. NH is up there as one of the worst.

    We get Founders, but not FBS and probably not KBS or any back stage series beers. We get Goose Island, but not BCBS or Madame Rose. We get Dog Fish Head, but just the basics and not Nobel Rot, World Wide Stout, Positive Contact, 120, etc... This is the first year I've seen Bitches Brew on the shelves and it was quite limited.

    The Alchemist and Hill Farmstead would rather send small batches of beer to Boston, Philly and NYC than their neighbors in NH.

    Shelton Brothers doesn't seem to have any interest in distributing in NH when they are based in MA.
  30. jmw

    jmw Savant (440) North Carolina Feb 4, 2009

    Sorry brother your argument is lost on me

    They buy more beer than you. Better exposure for a brewery flirting with expanding their market.
  31. Patrick999

    Patrick999 Savant (425) Florida Oct 18, 2006

    There was a time you probably could have said Florida, but these days we are far from the worst. Sure, there are some things we can't get, but by and large we don't have it all that badly.
  32. kini

    kini Aficionado (115) Hawaii Jun 24, 2008

    Hawaii without question. Especially the outer islands. We can get one ommegang brew,
    Two unibroue brews, an ocassional flying dog, Chimay and a few Sierra and deschuttes seasonals.
    Missed out on the 2011 abyss. There are a few others we can get all at some pretty high prices too.
    Overall the selection is poor and pricey.
  33. WoodburyMN

    WoodburyMN Savant (340) Indiana Aug 5, 2012

    Oklahoma is pretty bad IMO. Moving from OKC to Indiana was a huge change in the number of beers i had access to.
    Tadloco likes this.
  34. hardy008

    hardy008 Champion (770) Minnesota Jan 12, 2008

    I don't know about Hawaii, but I was in Alaska last year, and they have a good selection of beer.
  35. You really prefer Choc over Marshall? I think Marshall has one of the best seasonal rotations of any brewery in region.
  36. Flyway

    Flyway Zealot (95) Wisconsin Oct 22, 2012

    Can someone tell me where to find the state specific lists (apologize if I missed it in my scan of thread) that have been posted in here? I'm specifically interested in Hawaii. Thanks!
  37. http://www.seekabrew.com/distro/index.html
    [Mentioned numerous times on page 1 of the thread]
  38. GRbruR

    GRbruR Aficionado (150) Utah Jan 5, 2008

    Utah. Don't believe me? Come here and see. Also, they cap anything that you order from a tap at 4.0% ABV, and enything bought in a grocery store at that same level. If you want high gravity stuff, you need to go to a brewery store or a specialty liquor store, where the selection is awful, too. Frickin' Mormons.
  39. Truth.
  40. bastu

    bastu Savant (290) Tennessee May 5, 2011

    The grass is always greener...

    Tennessee sucks but it could be worse.