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Big thanks for BeerNews.org and @Hoptopia for pointing this one out.  In an interview posted on WineLibrary.tv today, Gary Vaynerchuk interviewed Bill Covaleski from Victory Brewing in Pennsylvania.  At the 11:15 minute mark:

Gary Vaynerchuk: What’s the biggest state you’re not in?
Bill Covaleski: What’s the biggest state we’re not in?  We’re hearing a lot from Missouri and we’re not in Missouri.
GV: You’re not in the St. Louis market?
BC: No, we’re not.

Later:

GV: So is that because you haven’t found the right distributor or distributors haven’t come to you or you just want to feel it or you’re not ready there with volume?  Where are you at?
BC: Great questions. Basically we utilize the internet to listen to demand and so we’ve been told these are ready audiences. We’ve just had to add some additional capacity for fermentation. And then finding the right wholesalers, these are life-long relationships you really need to do the right thing.

If this means we’re at the tipping point, maybe it’s time for a push from the STL Hops crowd? Call, Email, Twitter, and Facebook them, let them know that St. Louis wants Victory. Just be nice about it, we want them to know we’re passionate, but please be courteous. Here’s the contact info:

Phone: 610-514-7000
Email: Anne Shuniak, Communications
Twitter: @victorybeer
Facebook: Victory Fan Group

This is the time to put the power of STL Hops to work.  Hopefully we’ll find a distributor that wants to pick these guys up.

Last May, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed into law a controversial bill that allowed restaurants to sell draught beer in growlers as long as the establishment had 45 tap handles and derived 50% of their business from food sales.  Without getting into the controversial political aspects of the bill, the provisions pretty much only allowed for a single restaurant in Missouri to sell growlers for off-premises consumption.

Well, the Missouri Legislature is back in session and an amendment to the original law has been proposed in the Missouri House of Representatives.  House Bill HB1355 is an amendment that reduces the amount of draught beer necessary from 45 to 20.  This is a big step as it would increase the number of places locally that could allow for growler sales.

But, without the food provision being removed it would also keep a lot of places from allowing off-premises sales.  So, it’s time for us all to take action.  Write and call your legislators, let them know that you want to have this bill changed to allow for more places in St. Louis to enjoy growler sales.

Don’t know who your legislator is?  Luckily, Missouri has made it easy for you to find out.  Get out there and make your voice heard.

If you’re an avid reader of Indiana’s beer blog, Hoosier Beer Geek, you may have noticed this little nugget of information in a recent interview they did with Tyranena Brewing Company‘s Stacey McGinnis:

“As far as opening distribution in other states, we have also been contemplating heading into Missouri, however, it’s not really an either-or kind of situation. When the time is right, we will take Tyranena where we feel it will be sold, consumed, marketed and appreciated appropriately!”

That sounds like we have another prime opportunity to bring a top tier brewery to Missouri.  If you haven’t had any of their beers, you’re in for a real treat.  Their Bitter Woman IPA is fantastic, as was The Devil Made Me Do It! Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Porter when I got to try it.

They sound like they’re on the edge, so let’s push them over that edge. It doesn’t take much to sit down a write out a couple of sentences to a brewery letting them know how interested and excited you are to have their product.

Let’s begin our campaign by letting Rob Larson (Founder of Tyranena) and Stacey McGinnis (Front Operations Manager) know how much you’d  love to seeing Tyranena in St. Louis. And for all of those who don’t know what to say, it can be as simple as this:

Dear Rob and Stacey,

I recently read an interview that stated you were interested in coming to Missouri.  I just wanted to send you an email to let you know just how much I’d love seeing Tyranena’s beer in my hometown.

I’ve always found that you guys produced some of the best beer in the Midwest, if not the United States. St. Louis and Kansas City both have rich beer history and your product would only help to continue that image. Please consider coming to Missouri soon!

Sincerely,

STL Hops Reader.

Let’s make this happen guys, this is another great brewery I think we’d all love to see in our local bars and retail shops.

stlhopslogosmall.gifSo the results are in and the top four breweries in the St. Louis Next Top Brewer poll are:

What does this mean to us?  It means that these are among four of the breweries that you’d most like to see in St. Louis.  The next question is, how do you make that happen?

Simple, you contact them.  Paul from the Wine and Cheese Place has showed his email prowess before with Moylans and we helped to bring Founders here.  Now we need to do it again.  You want Three Floyds here? You want Deschutes?  You want Oskar Blues?

Email them.  Call them.  I’ve listed the emails below.  Be nice, be kind, but you need to be passionate.  We need to show them that St. Louis, Kansas City, all of Missouri want their beer here.  Trust me, if they can see that they can survive in the land of AB, they’ll come.

Will they come tomorrow or even this year?  Maybe not.  But they’ll know we’re here and we want to drink their beer.  Do your part to make this happen and maybe soon we’ll toast each other with a beer from one of these breweries.

alphaking1@msn.com
beer@surlybrewing.com
GSchauland@deschutesbrewery.com
wayne@oskarblues.com

I would prefer that you not use a stock letter to email these guys, but if it makes your life easier, try something like this:

Dear <Insert Brewery Here>,

I want to send you an email to let you know just how much I enjoy <Insert Brewery Here> beer.  I’ve always found that you guys produced some of the best beer in the United States.  I’m currently located in St. Louis, Missouri and I think you beer would be a great fit for our city.

St. Louis and Kansas City both have rich beer history and your product would only help to continue that image.  Please consider coming to Missouri soon!

Sincerely,

STL Hops Reader.

founders_logoEmail I received from Founders Brewing Company:

Hi Mike,

I saw the trail of comments regarding Founders on the stlhops site. Impressive knowledge and great comments among the fans for sure! I will add in my response to the group shortly but I wanted you to know we are discussing wholesaler opportunities now and I think if all works well we are looking at May for FBC in MO.

I’m not responding to anyone else at this time but if you want to make a comment to the group feel free.

Cheers and thanks for the love…HELLO MISSOURI!

Michael Bell ~ Director of Sales
Founders Brewing Company

This is because of you guys and girls, making your voices heard.  We keeping working at this and the world will be our Oyster Stout.

founders_logoI don’t know how many of you participated in the Bringing Breweries to St. Louis, but I’m hoping it’s quite a few.  It doesn’t take much to sit down a write out a couple of sentences to a brewery letting them know how interested and exicted you are to have their product.  Well, it looks like we have another prime opportunity to bring a top tier brewery to Missouri.  Paul Hayden of The Wine and Cheese Place recently email Founder’s Brewery and received this response:

“You may have just moved Missouri to a top tier opportunity state for Founders.” — Michael Bell, Director of Sales at Founders

Maybe it’s just talk, but to me that sounds like the brewery on the edge of looking for a distributor.  So, now it’s our turn to push them over the edge.  Send an email to Michael, letting him know how much you enjoy Founder’s products and how much you’d love to see them in St. Louis.  And for all of those who don’t know what to say, it can be as simple as this:

Dear Michael,

I want to send you an email to let you know just how much I enjoy Founder’s beer.  I’ve always found that you guys produced some of the best beer in the Midwest, if not the United States.  I’m currently located in St. Louis, Missouri and while Founder’s products are attainable in Southern Illinois, I sometimes have an issue finding your product.  While I appreciate patronizing my Southern Illinois vendors, sometimes I’d love a Red’s Rye on this side of the river as well!  St. Louis and Kansas City both have rich beer history and your product would only help to continue that image.  Please consider coming to Missouri soon!

Sincerely,

STL Hops Reader.

So based on the results of our What Brewery Would You Like to See in St. Louis poll, you all want Dogfish Head, Russian River and Stone in St. Louis the most.  That’s all well and good, but sitting back and wishing they were here doesn’t really help the cause.  So, it’s time to harness THE POWER OF STL HOPS (sorry for the caps, it just felt like it needed to be said in caps) and try and bring these breweries to St. Louis.

So, how do we do that?  Simple.  You contact them.  Paul from the Wine and Cheese Place has showed his email prowess before with Moylans and he’s at it again with Stone.   Now it’s our turn to help.  You want Stone here? You want Dogfish?  You want Russian River? Email them.  Call them.  I’ve listed the emails below.  Be nice, be kind, but you need to be passionate.  We need to show them that St. Louis, Kansas City, all of Missouri want their beer here.  Trust me, if they can see that they can survive in the land of AB, they’ll come.

Will they come tomorrow or even this year?  Maybe not.  But they’ll know we’re here and we want to drink their beer.  Do your part to make this happen and maybe soon we’ll toast each other with a beer from one of these breweries.

email@stonebrew.com
info@russianriverbrewing.com
info@dogfishhead.com

Also, if you’re one of those Facebook nerds (like me) be sure to join the group Bring Dogfish Head to Missouri started by Bull E Vard of KC Beer Blog.