And that’s not in the works, it’s already happened.
A number of Destihl’s beers have been on draft at bars like Maduro and Brasserie V in Madison and Sugar Creek and The Rumpus Room in Milwaukee since this summer, according to Destihl CEO Matt Potts.
Destihl inked a deal with Watertown, WI based River City Distributing in April and began sending beer there in July. Under the current agreement, Destihl produces and kegs beer at its Normal brewpub for distribution in Wisconsin. River City boasts nearly a dozen Destihl beers in its portfolio, including the brewery’s much sought after sours.
So why Madison and Milwaukee over Chicago, or Peoria or Springfield? Potts says it was easier to expand distribution to another state than it was to expand distribution in Illinois because of Illinois’ self-distribution laws, which require brewpubs to have a separate production facility in order to self-distribute. Essentially, he didn’t want to put those self-distribution rights in jeopardy before he had a chance to use them.
“For us to distribute beer in Illinois from the brewpub prior to the production brewery, we would have been required to assign wholesale rights to our beers to an Illinois distributor, but we wanted to preserve the wholesale rights to our beers for eventual self-distribution under the craft brewer law,” said Potts. “ If we had granted those rights away for minimal distribution from the brewpub, it would have been difficult to get those rights back for self-distribution from the craft brewery.”
In the end the distribution deal in Wisconsin came down to low risk, high reward. “We had no desire/ability to self-distribute in Wisconsin, so there was no risk signing on with a distributor there,” said Potts.
As we told you in November, Destihl’s production brewery in Bloomington is under construction and should be operational by early next year.
The brewery is working its way through the craft brewer application process, in order to self-distribute, as we speak.