Oskar Blues, recently named Craft Brewer of the Year by Beverage World Magazine in 2013, is one of the fastest growing craft breweries in the country, but the only way for Minnesotans to get a taste of their beer is to take a trip across the border to states where it is distributed. That is, until now. Oskar Blues announced today that they are launching distribution in the North Star State through Original Gravity beginning this February with a market kick off at The Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival 2014.
“Ultimately, the OG group was a great fit for Oskar Blues and we’re confident in their ability to dig deep in their markets and effectively grow the full portfolio of OB brands for many years to come. The decision was not an easy one as there were several strong potential partners in the mix” says Oskar Blues Business Development Director Chris Russell.
Oskar Blues opened in 1997 as Oskar Blues Grill & Brew Restaurant in Lyons, Colorado, brewing it’s first batch of beer in 1998 and taking home a bronze medal at that year’s Great American Beer Festival for their “Reverend Sandi’s Sinful Stout.” In 2002, the brewery became the first U.S. craft brewery to can its beer with its flagship, Dale’s Pale Ale, and in 2004 increased their canning capacity 400%. Since then the brewery moved to Longmont, converting the Lyons location back into a brewpub, and opened a second production brewery in North Carolina—all the while racking up honors and awards nationwide. The increased production capacity has allowed Oskar Blues the opportunity to open distribution to more states.
Now, Minnesotans will be able to find Oskar Blues beers in their home state as the brewery debuts at The Beer Dabbler St. Paul Winter Carnival on January 25 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. After the Beer Dabbler, Minnesotans can load their refrigerators with Dale’s Pale Ale, Ten FIDY, Old Chub, and more varieties when six-packs hit shelves in local liquor stores—sometime in early February.
The Minnesota launch follows additional 2013 Oskar Blues distribution in Central California and a new market launch in Indiana where Kroger is seeing increasing success with Oskar Blues brands. 2014 will see Oskar Blues increase distribution in a handful of new states including Idaho, Delaware, Kansas, Nevada and increased coverage in Southern Alabama.
In partnership with The Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation, The Beer Dabbler will host the 5th Annual Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival on January 25, 2014 at The Minnesota State Fair Midway. More than 150 craft breweries will be in attendance to share their craft. Live music, tons of fun winter activities, and loads of everyone’s favorite food trucks will round out the event. Tickets are available online at www.thebeerdabbler.com.