I am trying to start a small craft beer distribution company. Any advice? If anyone can give me a place to start my research that would be great.
A few ideas to start your research:
• Talk to as many distributors, of all sizes, as possible. Small, specialty distributors will be the most relevant to talk to, but it would be a good perspective to talk to larger ones as well. Since distributors in your local area probably won’t want to help (you will be their competition), seek those outside your area.
• Talk to as many small brewers as possible. Your local breweries can give you insight into the local distribution scene. Others can lead you to distributors outside your local area who would be willing to talk to you. Small brewers will probably be the best source of information initially.
• All states have a statewide beer distribution trade organization. Contact them and ask about membership costs and benefits.
• Also check out the National Beer Wholesalers Association. Contact info is at www.nbwa.org. They can give you the contact info for your state trade organization.
There really isn’t much written about starting or even running a small distributorship. You will have to mainly seek out the information from others. Do as much homework as possible. Good luck!
Let us know here on the Forum about your progress.