New Belgium fans in Ohio can start to rejoice. The brewery, known for its best-selling Fat Tire Amber Ale, will expand distribution to the Buckeye State later this year, likely in December. The Fort Collins, Colo., brewery is the third largest craft operation in the U.S., behind only Boston Beer Co. and Sierra Nevada, according to the Brewers Association.
"We’ve been hearing from folks in Florida and in Ohio for probably the longest and loudest," New Belgium spokesman Bryan Simpson said Tuesday. "And we were fortunate enough to open Florida this year and Ohio is coming soon. We're excited to come there and be part of that craft beer community."
So what took so long?
"It’s something we’ve long wanted to do," Simpson said. "The reason it’s taken awhile is we have to keep adding on capacity at the brewery in Fort Collins. We did just add on about 70,000 barrels and in doing so we created a situation where we can start filling in some states. Ohio should be our 35th state of distribution."
New Belgium is meeting with potential distributors now, he said. Further details about the move into Ohio haven't been finalized yet and will be released later, he added.
Scene Magazine reported last week that industry sources indicated that the brewery had plans to come to the state.