Saturday, August 11, 2007

Coastal rumor

The April 2007 creation of Coastal Brewing from the smelting together of Dominion Brewing with Fordham Brewing and Anheuser-Busch has been missing a crucial element in its own back yard.

Background information ....

The Dominion plant is in Ashburn, near Dulles Airport. Dominion's beers have long been distributed by the Anheuser-Busch distributor network. And recently, the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company, itself, purchased the rights to distribute InBev's portfolio of Belgian and other imported beers throughout the US.

Virginia is a franchise state: once a wholesaler has been awarded the rights to distribute a brewery's beers, it retains them in perpetuity, unless both it and the brewery agree to part ways, and usually for 3 year's worth of gross sales!

In northern Virginia, it is Premium Distributing/Reyes which owns the rights to InBev's beers, and it has not been willing to surrender them. Thus, I believe that northern Virginia is one of the only areas in the US where the A-B network does not have the rights to InBev's distribution.

But ....

I have been told that an agreement has been reached between Anheuser-Busch and Premium Distributors/Reyes Holdings. It has something to do the resolution of an issue between the two in California.

As a negotiated trade-off, Premium will sell its rights to InBev products to the two Anheuser-Busch distributors in northern Virginia as early as September. There'll be some hefty compensation to be paid to Premium, but the invisible banker will be Anheuser-Busch itself.

I'll respect my source's request for anonymity.

[UPDATE 2007: It's a done-deal.]

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