As long-time veterans of the import and craft beer and cider world, my partner Sean and I have seen a lot of things change over the years. Treasured brands change hands or disappear, beer styles flare up then fade. The only constant is that American consumers cannot seem to get enough variety. They are always looking around the corner for a new experience or flavor.
At the same time, the business of beer has become less flexible and more competitive. Easy growth isn’t easy anymore. New markets are harder to access and a successful strategy in the home market is critical. Distributors want to support their brands but a comprehensive sales and marketing plan comes with commitments and expectations.
While on a snowshoe hike in the Rocky Mountains, it came to us that what the industry needs is a lightweight new model to allow consumers the experiences they demand without the crushing weight of the traditional maker + distributor model. What is needed is some off-trail thinking.
As the managers of the Collective, Sean and I take a personal interest in connecting brewers, cider makers and other beverage creators with distributors. We allow the makers to focus on their critical home market through our network of distributors they can still access new markets and fresh opportunities.
We hold the licenses and manage compliance, allowing our Member Suppliers to focus on their critical home market.
Right now we are in the process of creation. We are building a distribution network and selecting our suppliers. Soon we’ll put together our first curated catalog of brands. Since we hold the licenses, we can take away the burden of compliance from our supplier members and at the same time off our distributor members a one-stop shop of quality brands.
So. . . “Why Collective?” Our goal is to build a global alliance of makers and distributors with transparency, collaboration, and flexibility at the heart of our plans. We envision long-term relationships and connections—something more than just business-as-usual. We feel like we are all in it together and stronger for being so.
If you are a craft beverage maker looking for a new opportunity or a distributor searching for new brands without major commitment, send us a note. It would be our pleasure to talk with you!