Rightly so, the conversation of independent beer vs. big beer has dominated industry news of late – especially here in North Carolina.  Whether it’s the beer we drink or the products we represent, our personal preference is to seek out independent brands.

Atlantic Craft Beer and Specialty Wine Distributors was created specifically for independent brewers.  Those that are looking for distribution without having to compete for attention in an overloaded, unwieldy portfolio or with a ‘big’ brand in their chosen wholesaler’s book.  We’re a small, one truck distributorship; this means that as the owner & operator, breweries work directly with me.  No go-betweens or inconvenient chains of command.

With all the talk about craft vs. big beer and distribution laws, little has been discussed in how wholesalers could evolve to offer a more balanced partnership in the market place. As an independent distributor, our goal is to “rethink distribution”.

For us, that centers around a few key points.

  • We believe brewers should be allowed to keep the territory they have cultivated in their community. No statewide distribution rights required here – instead we’re simply the logistical means for regional brewers to reach a new market while growing their brand on their own terms.
  • Personal involvement and shared ideals go a long way toward brand development. Our intent is to focus on the details that have already made each brewery successful.  By meeting with our supplier partners and visiting their production locations, we serve as a true ambassador of the brewery in our market.
  • We’re focused on customer service. Our aim is to treat our Suppliers as our customers and that begins with the treatment of their beer from the time we take possession of it to well after the sale.  We understand that the money, time and effort breweries have invested in their product is immeasurable and that the condition it’s in when it hits the market can have a lasting impact on their brand (both good and bad!).  Their success is our success; which is why we take care in how the beer we represent is handled; from climate controlled storage to a refrigerated delivery truck to proper rotation in the field.

Atlantic Craft Beer and Specialty Wine Distributors is an independent wholesaler partnering with independent regional craft breweries, to bring fresh quality beer to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We are rethinking distribution and are ready to connect with the right Suppliers to build their brands.  If you are a North Carolina brewery interested in distributing in northeastern NC we’d love to talk to you, maybe have a beer.

Will Daughtry
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @AtlanticOBXBeer

Rethink Craft Beer Distribution

We choose quality. When it comes to our supplier/partner relationships, the product we sell and the customer service we provide, we opt for quality over quantity. Our passion for craft beer helps fuel our commitment to this philosophy.

This is not to say that growth is a bad thing. We all want success and any industry member whose sales out grow their current situation – be it their brewing capacity or wholesaler relationship – should be celebrated. However, in short: the larger the distributor, the more products/inventory they juggle, the more personnel they’re forced to manage, the more difficult it is to maintain the necessary quality control standards. We simply believe that craft beer by its nature is not suited for a mass, statewide distributor.

Craft beer is fresh beer. To say that it is different from ‘big’ beer is not enough. What separates craft from macro is so much more than ownership and production volume but, to us, freshness is paramount. Package rotation in retail and on-premise accounts, item-specific inventory management while warehousing, draft line cleaning/maintenance and customer education are flat out necessary. At this stage of beer’s evolution, consumers expect it.

This industry has clearly moved onto the next phase. Consumer demand for a higher quality product exists. Brewers are filling that need with said product. We feel that it’s well past time for third-party distribution to begin pulling its weight.

Why partner with us as your distributor?

With over a decades’ worth of industry experience in the OBX/Northeastern NC market, our supplier partners can be confident that we will meet all of their distribution needs without the overwhelming demands of a statewide wholesaler. We offer all the services of a large distributor with the focus and attention to detail of a one-truck boutique operation.

As small business owners we understand the personal commitment breweries and wineries make when they enter into a wholesaler agreement. We view our suppliers as our customers and we do not take this relationship lightly. Their goals are our goals.

What we’re about.

Atlantic Craft Beer and Specialty Wine Distributors was born out of a dedication to customer service and a love of craft beer and wine. Our goal is to provide the Outer Banks and Northeastern NC with a new wholesale source for hand-selected wines as well as to showcase North Carolina’s independent craft breweries.

Craft beer is fresh beer. At Atlantic, we aim to modernize distribution both in how we approach our supplier partner relationships and how we meet the demands of our customers to ultimately bring the freshest regional beer to the consumer.