Thoughts on Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Distribution Deal

Thoughts on Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Distribution Deal

Grapevine Craft Brewery Super Local

Image from Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Facebook Page

As a lot of you have probably heard at this point, Grapevine Craft Brewery has decided to no longer distribute their beers.  So that means that you can only get them at the GCB Taproom in Grapevine.  They referred to it as Super Local, so I guess that’s the glass half full way to look at it.

I had two thoughts of what could be going on based on the release that they put out. Here is a link to it on their Facebook page.

It basically says that they can no longer distribute their beer at a loss.  Interesting timing given the distribution rights win by Peticolas, Revolver, 512 Brewing, and others in state court a couple weeks ago.

So here are the two scenarios that I could come up with to make sense of this.

  • (Hopefully not the correct one) Grapevine Craft Brewery is basically dead, and they are trying one last thing before going under.  I don’t think that this is the case, but you could see that if they really were losing money distributing their beer, maybe this could extend their life a little.  Side note, hopefully everyone over there is getting to keep their jobs, but I can’t imagine that production will stay at the same rate with availability going down to only their tap room.


  • Grapevine had an issue with their current distribution, so they cancelled the contract.  I’m guessing that there is some kind of noncompete worked into the contract, so Grapevine decided that they could ride that out by just selling beers in their Taproom until the noncompete runs out.  Then they will set up a more favorable distribution agreement, and now potentially be able to sell their distribution rights.

Personally, I think that there is a lot of logic in the second theory.  The pieces fit together a lot better than a seemingly successful DFW brewery with some award winning beers going under suddenly.

Plus, you have to think that GCB is much larger and more established than when their distribution was originally set up, so I’m sure that they could get a more favorable deal at this point.

Even though no one asked for it, those are my two cents.  It’s just one of those situations that is tough to take at face value.  I have to believe that there is more going on than what was said in their release.



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