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Which state has the worst beer distribution?

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

  1. JediMatt

    JediMatt Aficionado (210) Iowa Jun 18, 2010

    Iowa is getting better but we have some really weird distribution laws. We couldn't even have beers above 8% until a year or two ago. Finally in the last year we've gotten Founders, Green Flash and Stone. Things are looking up! :)
  2. Canada
    mintjellie likes this.
  3. All of them? Tricksies question, OP, tricksies.
  4. BeerBuckeye

    BeerBuckeye Savant (420) Ohio Oct 2, 2009

    I'm a WV native (though live in Ohio now), and WV distributing is atrocious.

    One time, not thinking to bring some of my own goodies when visiting family, ended up finding some SN Hoptimum on a visit to a Kroger. And thankfully, you can also usually spot some Great Lakes in a pinch. But other than that, it's extremely slim pickings in West Virginia. The only thing WV has going for it is that the beer is usually cheaper than what I pay in Ohio.
  5. khargro2

    khargro2 Savant (470) Georgia Jan 11, 2012

    While I'm sure Wyoming and West Virginia are probable candidates, I believe that Arkansas and Mississippi are probably the worst. Tennessee and Alabama have improved distribution, but even most of the local breweries in the Southeast don't distribute beyond their state because they do not want to deal with the 3 tier system. The one exception are breweries in Georgia (where I now live!), which has great distribution. Another problem has to do with alcohol content laws, which discourage local southeast breweries from being creative. Many southeast breweries (e.g. Yazoo, Blackstone, Ghost River, Lazy Magnolia) don't make beers beyond 6% because they would have to distribute through liquor stores, where demand for beer and beer sales are much lower.
  6. I agree MS has to be one of the worst, I live here.
  7. WTF is that in your avatar?
  8. I would guess Hawaii, due to the cost of shipping by boat.
  9. If you live close to the MO border it's worth the drive over. There are a couple bottle shops in KC just across the border that have a huge selection of stuff not available in KS.
  10. Lantern

    Lantern Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2011

    Thanks for explaining. I knew Uinta brewed as high as at least 13 or so %. Wondered how that worked.
  11. Lantern

    Lantern Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2011

    Wow. That sucks. And I complain about NC's cap. I like my 120 and Fort.
  12. I can't complain relative to WV or MS, but it is frustrating to see the little MD/DE island with piles of great breweries skipping us on the way from PA to VA. See: Terrapin, Bell's, Founder's, Ballast Point, Left Hand, etc.
  13. PortLargo

    PortLargo Savant (375) Florida Oct 19, 2012

    The voters of the state of Washington approved dismantling the three-tier distribution system. Effective June 2012 any retailer can bypass distributors and deal directly with producers. Any member here from the Evergreen State care to share their observations?
  14. IDRINKBEER

    IDRINKBEER Aspirant (40) Jun 11, 2012


    PA blows. They treat alcohol like it's radioactive. We have to go to special distributors to buy beer and we have to buy a whole case at a time. No six packs etc. you can get a six pack from specialty shops that have a weird food/beer license and will sell beer to go, but then they hit us with 11.00 6 pack prices. And if you ever thought about selling beer in this state it will cost about 125k for a state license. Hard alcohol is run by the state...
  15. tniaPSM

    tniaPSM Disciple (70) Viet Nam Dec 5, 2012

    I hear it is really bad in Mississippi.
  16. Yay for Indiana!
    Abita
    Anchor
    Atwater
    Bard's Tale
    Bells
    Bison
    Bluegrass
    Boston Beer Co. (Sam Adams)
    Boulder
    Boulevard
    Breckenridge
    Brooklyn
    Buffalo Bill's
    Butte Creek [Limited]
    Christian Moerlein
    Clipper City
    Dark Horse
    Eel River
    Erie
    Figure 8
    Finch's
    Flat 12
    Flying Dog
    Founders
    Goose Island
    Great Divide
    Great Lakes [Limited]
    Hair of the Dog [Limited]
    Harpoon
    Hoppin Frog
    Jester King
    Jolly Pumpkin
    Lakefront
    Left Hand
    Leinenkugel
    Lost Coast
    Mad River (Steelhead)
    Magic Hat
    Matt (Saranac)
    Mendocino
    Moylan's [Limited]
    Napa Smith
    New Albanian
    New Belgium
    New Holland
    North Coast
    O'Fallon
    Ommegang
    People's
    Pretty Things
    Pyramid
    Redhook
    Rivertown
    Rogue
    Rust Belt
    Saint Somewhere
    Sand Creek (Lilja's)
    Schlafly
    Sea Dog
    Shelton Brothers (importers)
    Shipyard
    Shmaltz (He'Brew)
    Shoreline
    Sierra Nevada
    Sixpoint
    Southampton
    Southern Star
    Southern Tier
    Spoetzl (Shiner)
    Sprecher
    Stevens Point
    Stone
    Sun King
    The Bruery
    Thirsty Dog
    Three Floyds
    Tommyknocker
    Triton
    Two Brothers
    Tyranena
    Upland
    Victory
    Widmer Bros.
  17. Jursh

    Jursh Zealot (95) Texas Oct 10, 2012

    Texas misses out on a ton of major players in the craft beer scene. And the craft beer scene here in TX is bursting at the seams. It's ready to explode and the TABC is doing EVERYTHING in it's power to stop it. It's impossible for a new brewery to get distribution into TX. Southern Tier has tried for a while now with no luck.
  18. KansasBeerLover

    KansasBeerLover Savant (320) Kansas Feb 16, 2009

    Kansas is far better than Nebraska or Oklahoma. Biggest problem here is getting breweries to export to Ks. This is usually due to a lack of capacity, such as Stone and Founders. It can take a while to get beers approved by the state, on occasion I am surprised when we are one of the first to get a new release.
  19. Texas might not be the worst if you are just looking at the number of breweries distributed in the state but per capita we probably win the award hands down. Yes, we do have some great internal breweries and we do get some okay distribution from around the country but we don't get distribution from a lot of great breweries coming into the state because the TABC rules on labeling and product names coupled with the BMC stranglehold on a lot of the state keeps a lot of business out. There's several Colorado breweries, for instance, that have to skip over Texas and distribute into the deep south.
  20. Hooooray for O-H-I-O. Not only do we have awesome distribution, we also have awesome breweries! But... we do like our beer, because beer in ohio makes living in this wasteland oh so sweeter.
  21. wow. If Sierra Nevada wasn't there (and I don't know if they get the seasonals) it would be tough as hell to drink.

    FT Leinenkugel Fruity Pebbles ISO: Dark Lord
  22. kirbmeist

    kirbmeist Savant (340) Florida Mar 16, 2012

    West Virginia blows in distro for sure. Family is from there and some still live there and went to WVU my freshman year. I also visit a couple times a year. this time im bringing up probably some ruination, narwhal, hoptimum, some ccb goodies, and my last bottle of last years brooklyn bcs to share with my friends dad who ever so graciously brought out his last bottle of batch 9000 last time i was up there.
  23. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (380) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    MA in no way has the worst distribution, and might even be one of the best...but I will say this: we are still being dragged down by 200+ year old puritanical blue laws. We can only buy beer at liquor stores...not grocery stores, gas stations, etc. This creates massive market inefficiencies and the consumer pays for it. You can't discount alcohol in MA. That's right, no sales at stores, no happy hours, etc. There's happy hours where you can get discount food if you buy full price liquor, but if you just want a beer or 2 after work you're SOL. I could go on and on. It's SLOWLY getting better, but it's still obnoxious.
  24. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (380) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    I forgot to mention that it is also illegal to ship alcohol in MA. That's right, I'm prohibited from ordering alcohol of any type from any online retailer. Why? WHO THE HELL KNOWS?????
  25. If you mean worst by the actual worst it must be Hawaii. If the contiguous 48 states I would go with idaho
  26. GRbruR

    GRbruR Aficionado (130) Utah Jan 5, 2008

    Check that... it's actually 3.2% ABV. Ugh, Mormons.

  27. "Might" being the optimal word here. Philly is close to impossible to beat for distribution of beer brands.
  28. I agree, the rules are very challenging at times, but Philly has the best distribution in the country so none of what you are saying plays a factor in breweries decisions to sell beer in PA.
  29. legend8706

    legend8706 Savant (310) Virginia Oct 31, 2012

    It may look like Virginia gets good distribution here, and they do to a certain extent, but if you do not live in NOVA you don't get the 'great' stuff! It was ridiculous getting Bolt Cutter! I know its a first year beer and that it is limited but only 2 cases in 50+ mile radius? That's a bit absurd. And to think we don't get Jolly Pumpkin, limited Bruery stuff, Cascade, Cigar City, and to think of all the 'local' breweries around here that don't distribute well, it is ridiculous! Virginia's best brewery, Hardywood Park doesn't even distribute outside of Richmond, so that says something about VA. Hope one day we can get the good stuff, but if you're new into craft brews, then I suppose VA is good for that purpose.
  30. That list on seekabrew is wrong. We have things not listed on there. What I want to know is how the hell did Epic get on there? Never seen that within the state....ever! I wish it were true. Seems to me that list hasn't been updated in years.
  31. kagent777

    kagent777 Savant (260) Utah Dec 6, 2009

    Yes, you are correct that the church and the legislature are way too close. But I must respectfully disagree, the cap is 3.2% ABW and 4% ABV. Think about it this way, one liter (or any volume) of ethanol has a mass of 789 grams. The same volume of water is by definition 1000 grams. The ethanol weighs less. So, when measuring the percentage of ethanol in water by weight, the resulting number will be less the same measure by volume.

    See: http://utahbeer.blogspot.com/2006/01/32-i-dont-think-so.html

    To stay on topic, yes, the distribution is bad here in SLC. Yesterday, I was able to buy my first Celebration of the season. How long has it been on shelves in California?

    Cheers,
    Scott
    Chemistry Geek
  32. Bad_Trader

    Bad_Trader Initiate (0) Namibia Nov 8, 2012

    Does anyone want to give me a job to get me out of Louisiana?
  33. Tomlin091744

    Tomlin091744 Aficionado (195) Texas Jun 16, 2008

    I feel like i am the only one living in TX that doesnt like JK, its ok, not near as good as Real Ale, 512 or Karbach

  34. I am from MS. I would agree it is the worst. We have had more restrictions for ABV and ABW of brews. July 1st our laws changed but still restrict anything over 11% ABV. So that means a lot of breweries aren't going to distribute because they don't want to exclude some of their line. I'm hoping this changes soon.

  35. I'm right here with you on this one! I make many runs and bring back lots on my trips for work. I'm leaving Orlando today and have already sent a huge box of stuff back to my house in Flowood.
    elkinbrown likes this.
  36. APB

    APB Savant (415) Nebraska Dec 15, 2012

    No questions asked Nebraska its so frustrating!!!!
  37. Stouttyme

    Stouttyme Savant (250) Nebraska Nov 17, 2011

    Agreed, Nebraska is f-ing horrible.

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