Corvallis, Oregon-based Block 15 Brewing Company is expanding its 5-year-old self-distribution operation and creating Block 15 Distribution, an independent beer and coffee wholesaler, the company announced yesterday.
“After a year-long process of restructuring our licensing company-wide and dialing in our distribution systems, we’re so excited to launch this new endeavor in partnership with companies that we really believe in,” co-owner Nick Arzner said in the release.
The new venture operates in Oregon and Washington and serves accounts that include specialty markets, restaurants and beer bars.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the temporary shutdown of non-essential businesses and on-premise dining and drinking at bars and restaurants, Block 15 Distributing served 400 accounts, some of which have temporarily shuttered, Arnzer said in an interview with Brewbound.
In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available from the Brewers Association, Block 15 produced 5,105 barrels, a 45% increase over its 2017 output.
Block 15 Distribution’s initial list of suppliers includes Tillamook, Oregon-based de Garde Brewing and Corvallis, Oregon-based Bespoken Coffee Roasters. The company’s goal is to expand to include “a small family of artisan producers working in unison to provide the region high quality and thoughtfully made goods,” according to a press release.
“We landed on a model that is designed to enable the passionate small and medium-sized producer, with aspirations of moderate growth, to share their artistic offerings throughout Oregon and Washington,” Arzner said.
Arzner added that Block 15 will curate a stable of complementary, craft food and beverage suppliers.
“I could see a couple more breweries, cider, wine and other fermented beverages, as well as a small line of artisanal fermented foods such as cheese, vegetables, charcuterie rounding out our portfolio,” he said.
Block 15 is accepting inquiries from prospective suppliers during this launch period and will consider new additions later on.
“Timewise, we will organically grow our family, first dialing in our processes with our current suppliers,” Arzner said.
Block 15’s first brewery partner, de Garde Brewing, is a taproom-centric microbrewery that produced 1,450 barrels in 2018, according to the BA. Although de Garde sells the majority of its volume via its taproom, according to the company’s website, its beer is available in Washington and Oregon through Block 15 Distributing and in California through Lime Ventures.
“We have a huge amount of respect for the people, the beer, and the distribution organization at Block 15, and we can’t imagine a better partner,” de Garde co-owners Trevor and Linsey Rogers said in the release. “This project has been in the works for quite some time, and we are excited to get our beers back into regular distribution to all of our favorite retailers and customers.”