A few months back, I noticed that BevMo’s Rogue shelf had run bare. There was Dead Guy, and the Morimoto’s, but not much else. Where had all the Rogue gone. Recently, we were excited to see Dogfish Head hitting the shelves locally in May. Yet as June wears on, we have nothing. What’s going on?
Once upon a time, you could find a wide range of Rogue Ales on the shelves at various beer stores and warehouses in Sonoma County. That was when distribution was handled by the Wine Warehouse. While Wine Warehouse distributed mostly wines and fine spirits, they also had a nice selection of high end craft beers. Unfortunately, this distribution deal didn’t work for Rogue for whatever reason. Now, Rogue is handled by Mesa Beverage Company, and while sales through the region are up significantly, the availability of many of their brews has become nonexistent. Dead Guy Ale can be found in every gas station and liquor store throughout the wine country, but good luck finding the dry hopped St Rogue Red that my friends in Oregon have been talking about so much.
Maybe I’m just bitter because I love Rogue Ales and now they are much harder to find. Well, Mesa has done me wrong a second time. Morris Distribution was set to handle the arrival of Dogfish Head in May. Mysteriously, this never happened. I complained about having high hopes for Dogfish Head and being disappointed when I discovered there was no 60 Minute IPA to drink. Through means by which I do not understand, Mesa has ended up with this distribution deal as well, and is doing a poor job of distributing the beer, as it has yet to reach the shelves.
So what’s going on here? Under Mesa, Rogue sales are up, so obviously this is good news for the bottom line, but what about the craft beer fan? Can flagship beers sustain the growth they are seeing short term? Which of your favorite brews will be victimized next?
Tell me what you think about this. We talk a lot about big bad breweries like A-B and MillerCoors, but what about the distributors?
Note: Mesa Beverage company is a part of Liquid Investments, Inc.