Deschutes Brewery announced today (Nov. 5) that it will start distributing in Ohio and Kentucky starting Jan. 24. The Oregon-based brewery will work with Heidelberg Distributing Co.’s Rampant Brands Division. Rampant serves all of Ohio, as well as all retailers in the wet counties of Kentucky.
Initially, the brewery plans to offer Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Black Butte Porter, Inversion IPA and its spring seasonal, Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale. The beers will be available in six-packs and on draft.
“With 11 million future fans and more than 22,000 licensed retail accounts, we knew moving into Ohio would be a huge undertaking," Stacy Denbow, expansion manager for the brewery, said in a prepared statement. "Partnership with an expert company like Heidelberg’s Rampant Division gave us a great opportunity to launch in Ohio, as well as extending into the great Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
Deschutes, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, had confirmed in August to the Akron Beacon Journal that it planned to move into Ohio next year. Deschutes' entry into Ohio is big news for beer drinkers. The well-respected brewery has won 42 medals at the Great American Beer Festival since 1990.
It is the fifth-largest craft brewer in the U.S., behind only Boston Beer, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium and Gambrinus, according to the Brewers Association. It also will be the last of that top 10 largest craft brewers to crack the Ohio market. New Belgium announced plans to enter the state next month. (December)
Deschutes said it will celebrate in Ohio and in the Louisville area with special tastings and other events from Jan. 24 to Feb. 6.
Earlier this year, Deschutes completed an expansion at its main facility in Bend, Ore., with a total of 10 new 1,300-barrel fermentation tanks. The brewery will have the capacity to brew more than 460,000 barrels annually to fill demand in its expanding distribution footprint, Deschutes said.