“It’s one state over, so that makes it an easy jump,” he said. “Literally, the distributor warehouse is just a hair over four hours from our brewery, driving door-to-door, so that’s pretty painless.”
Sycamore’s beers became available on draft in Virginia in early December and packaged beer distribution will ramp up once the brewery’s new canning line is operational in early January, Gleason said.
“That provides not just the opportunity to do four times more cans a minute, but it also provides the opportunity for the first time ever for us to be in something other than a 16 oz. can, and so that’s exciting on a few levels,” he said.
Sycamore’s products will be distributed statewide by Sheehan Family Companies’ Specialty Beverage. The Sheehan Family Companies operates wholesalers in each East Coast state north of Virginia, and the wholesaler’s reach helped influence Sycamore’s wholesaler decision, Gleason said.
“As we look to go further afield, we wanted pull to be ahead of push,” he said. “If the demand is there, state-by-state moving north, you have a ready-made partner there in their network.”
Sycamore’s offerings available in Virginia include flagship Mountain Candy IPA, Sun Grown Lager, Juiciness IPA, a rotating IPA series and seasonal products. Sycamore’s hard seltzer line, Bubs, will also be available in January across the company’s entire footprint.
Sycamore plans to expand its distribution to Georgia in late February via Legacy South Carolina Partners, which covers coastal Georgia and Savannah through a partnership with Southern Eagle Distributors in Charleston, South Carolina; Beverage South in Columbia, South Carolina; and Georgia Crown Distributing, which serves the Atlanta area.
Gleason estimated that Sycamore can sell 15,000 to 30,000 case equivalents (CEs) in Virginia and 25,000 to 45,000 CEs in Georgia.
Sycamore produced 7,500 barrels in 2018, up 58% from 2017, according to the Brewers Association (BA).