Milwaukee Brewing Company has made public plans to expand distribution of their brands to the Chicago market. The Craft Brewery located in Walker’s Point has agreed to partner with Chicago beer distributor, River North.
“It wasn’t in our 2012 plans to expand to Chicago, but when we met River North, and did the proper due diligence it was obvious to us that this was an opportunity that we needed to jump on”, said Jim Hughes, managing principal of Milwaukee Brewing Company.
President and CEO of River North, Yusef D. Jackson says; “Chicago is a top craft beer market in the U.S., and Milwaukee Brewing Company is one of the fastest growing brands in our neighbor to the north… Wisconsin. Chicagoans are thirsty for new beers, especially regional breweries with great beers and great stories. We are thrilled to be sharing Milwaukee Brewing Company’s great beers and great stories with Chicagoans!”
Milwaukee Brewing Company and River North met early 2012, after the brewery had undergone an extensive rebranding. The rebranding included an overhaul on their packaging, as well as establishing stories around their six year round beers.
“We feel like the timing is perfect. We had a great year last year, our sales growth was tremendous, and we doubled our capacity.” says Jim McCabe, owner and founder of Milwaukee Brewing Company. “There’s such strong demand for Wisconsin craft beer in Chicago, we’re excited to bring them another brand to enjoy. We believe that the new packaging and the narrative that we’ve created around local stories will resonate with Chicago beer drinkers. Not to mention, we believe we’ve created a quality product.” MBC experienced 80% plus sales growth with their hometown distributor, Beechwood Sales and Service in 2011. Additionally, Milwaukee Brewing Company distributes their product throughout Wisconsin with various distributors including Frank Distributors in Madison and Kay Distributing in Green Bay. The brewery has plans to increase its capacity again this spring.
Milwaukee Brewing’s first public event in Chicago will be the inaugural Chicago Beer Festival on March 31st at Union Station.