Terrapin Expands Distribution into Kentucky, Ohio, and Mississippi

Austin Ray

THE GIST
Terrapin Beer Co. seems to be finding ample room to stretch its legs inside the MillerCoors craft division. Earlier this month, and just three months after selling off a majority stake to the beer giant, the Georgia-headquartered brewery detailed plans to build out a tasting room and pilot microbrewery adjoining the new Atlanta Braves stadium. Now, the brewery has announced it will expand its distribution footprint and begin selling beer throughout Kentucky and Ohio, the first new market entries for Terrapin since 2014. With the addition of Kentucky and Ohio, Terrapin’s beers are now sold throughout 14 states, Washington, D.C., and internationally in Sweden and Puerto Rico. Terrapin sold a minority interest to MillerCoors in 2011.
 
WHY IT MATTERS
This pair of moves has been in the works for some time now. In 2013, citing 41% growth against the year prior, the brewery outlined plans to fill out distribution in a number of markets, including Kentucky and Ohio. While it did expand distribution into West Virginia, it ultimately held off entering Kentucky and Ohio.
 
“We’ve been talking about opening Kentucky and Ohio for almost three years," said VP of Sales and Marketing, Dustin Watts in a press statement, "but have held off because we wanted to focus our resources on Georgia and our current markets.”
 
Reached by email, company spokesperson Leah Kuck built on that, saying the company's pool of resources is now made deeper by MillerCoors.
 
“We definitely have access to more resources and connections,” she told GBH. “But [we] are still operating as an independent company, and will be hiring a regional sales manager for Kentucky and Ohio.”
 
But with those additional resources at its disposal, Terrapin has at least one more imminent move up its sleeve after nearly three years of inactivity on the new distribution front. In 2017, Terrapin plans to move into Mississippi, Kuck said. “We’ve yet to decide if we’ll open a new position for Mississippi, or have a current rep cover it,” Kuck said.
 
However, Kuck said the move into Mississippi “will most likely be it for the near future,” as the company’s volume goal for 2017 is set to max out capacity at its brewery. For how long those capacity constraints linger, though, with help from MillerCoors, remains to be seen. 
  
—Dave Eisenberg