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Oklahoma's brewers share challenges of out-of-state distribution

Marketing, promotion and brand building require extra effort outside of Oklahoma, state beer brewers say.
Modified: February 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm •  Published: February 8, 2013

“We seek wholesalers that recognize and understand the craft beer market and its potential for growth. Further, we seek wholesalers that have the time and capability to grow a brand organically. Craft beer is not sold through billboards, Super Bowl commercials or traditional marketing methods; it takes a more honest approach of hard work and building relationships. ... You would not expect to walk into a new market, put beer on draft or in a package store and expect the consumer to seek it out. The consumer must be educated and informed of the brand to pull through sales.”

On logistics challenges:

“Each market is different in terms of challenges and advantages. Firstly, shipping is expensive. We have had to learn to maximize shipping costs for volume. Starting in a new market, obviously shipments are not large or regular. Other costs include travel and licensing fees. All in all, out-of-state markets are not as profitable. However, the growth in sales and production help spread operational costs and allow us to take advantage of purchasing economies of scale.”

Zach Prichard, president of Choc Beer Co.

On producing enough beer to meet demand:

“Of course it complicates logistics and requires increased production. Those are all fun challenges to solve, though. We are always thinking about being able to supply all our distribution partners. In many ways it has caused us to be cautious. We hope to avoid having to pull out of markets due to inability to fill orders.”


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