Schlafly beer switches distributors after 17 years with Major Brands – STLtoday.com

Beginning today, a network of eight wholesalers will distribute Schlafly beer to bars, grocery stores and other retailers throughout Missouri after a distribution agreement with Major Brands ended. 

Schlafly, St. Louis’ largest craft brewer that debuted in 1991, has had an agreement with Major Brands to distribute its beer in Missouri since 1998.

Effective today, Summit Distributing will distribute Schlafly beer in the St. Louis area. The other seven distributors that Schlafly has contracted with in Missouri are: Nauser Beverage, Central States Beverage, Kohlfeld Distributing, Grellner Sales & Service, Heart of America Beverage, Lloyd Distributing and Mark Twain Distributing.

St. Louis-based Major Brands, the largest Missouri-owned distributor of wine, spirits and beer in the state, issued a statement Monday saying it was releasing Schlafly from its distribution agreement to “focus on local and national craft beer industry leaders who are committed to growth and innovation.” 

Major Brands’ CEO Sue McCollum said she’s proud of the company’s long relationship with Schlafly but declined to comment on why the distribution agreement ended.

Other St. Louis craft beers Major Brands distributes include 4 Hands Brewing Co., Urban Chestnut Brewing Co., and Civil Life Brewing Co. Beer accounts for 10 percent of Major Brands’ revenue. 

“We’re great at brand building and now we can focus on high-growth brands,” she said.  

The St. Louis Brewery, maker of Schlafly beer, is on track to produce 52,000 barrels of beer this year, Schlalfy’s CEO James Pendegraft said in an email to the Post-Dispatch. Schlafly, which operates the Tap Room downtown and Bottleworks in Maplewood, produced just under 60,000 barrels in 2016.  

Referring to Major Brands’ statement that it’s focusing on high-growth brands, Pendegraft said: “We are committed to finding the same with our distribution partners, hence the switch.”

“We are really excited and proud to be

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