Colorado brewer New Belgium to roll Fat Tire, other craft beers into Ohio

By
  • NEW BELGIUM BREWING CO.
    New Belgium’s Fat Tire has a cult following.

November 6, 2013

Central Ohio aficionados of New Belgium craft beer, such as the popular Fat Tire amber ale, will be able to make their purchases in-state starting on Dec. 16.

The Fort Collins, Colo., brewer has chosen Superior Beverage Group of Solon in northeastern Ohio to distribute some of its craft-beer labels in central Ohio.

“New Belgium is one of the most acclaimed breweries in the country, and we can’t wait to share their beer with Columbus,” said Geoff Randolph, brand manager at Superior Beverage, in a written statement.

Initial offerings from the nation’s third-largest craft brewer include 22-ounce bottles of Fat Tire, Ranger IPA, Trippel and Lips of Faith, plus draft offerings of Fat Tire, Ranger IPA and Accumulation White IPA, Superior Beverage said.

Ohio will be New Belgium’s 35th state.

An expansion at the brewer’s Fort Collins brewery enabled it to enter the Ohio market, said Brian Krueger, New Belgium’s sales co-pilot, in the distributor’s statement.

Lack of capacity has been a perennial problem for many craft brewers, which have accounted for the majority of beer-industry growth in recent years.

New Belgium also is pushing into Ohio because of fan requests. Florida and Ohio beer drinkers send the most emails asking, “When are you coming?” said Bryan Simpson, spokesman for the Colorado brewer.

Rin Gristwood, a beer expert at Savor Market in Columbus, is happy New Belgium is finally coming to town.

“They make a lot of really great, solid flagship beers,” said Gristwood, alluding to the cult-like following for Fat Tire.

New Belgium also signed contracts with eight other Ohio distributors, including Heidelberg Distributing Co. in Cleveland, which will cover part of Columbus, according to trade website Craft Brewing Business.

mvanac@dispatch.com

@maryvanac