State brewers share challenges
faced in out-of-state distribution
Oklahoma beer brewers share the challenges they face when selling beer outside state lines.
Tim Schoelen, president of Mustang Brewing Co.
On choosing where to sell:
“We try to be strategic on where and with whom we choose to partner. It's not as simple as just getting a distributor to buy your product. Before you can distribute in another state, you must register with their respective alcohol tax/trade bureau. That can take anywhere from a couple of months to a year. Of course, there is a registration fee. There are also taxes associated with each state. You have to make sure you know the states' distribution laws.”
On developing a strategy:
“Once you can legally sell to a distributor, you then need a go-to-market strategy. How much will freight cost to get your beer to the distributor? Which beers are right for the market? Who are the local and regional competitors? How do you incentivize the distributor to sell your product over others? Every promotional event costs something; whether it be free pint glasses, coasters, posters or travel costs to/from the location. All of that adds up. You can grow yourself out of business pretty quickly if you're not careful.”
Wes Alexander, director of sales and marketing at Marshall Brewing Co.
On picking the right partners: