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Future Arizona Sour Taphouse with some beer procurement questions

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  • Future Arizona Sour Taphouse with some beer procurement questions

    Hello everyone, thank you for taking the time to read this.

    I am currently in the process of opening Arizona's first sour beer taphouse. Our goal is to have the best sour beers from all over the world on tap and in retail. I have been in talks with a bunch of people from the city and their answers are less than helpful. My basic question is regarding breweries that self distribute (the wholesaler part is pretty staright forward) and the laws about bringing them into Arizona. Say a brewery makes great sours in CA or NM and agrees to give us some of their beer on draft and/or in bottles. How is it legal for us to serve this draft beer and to go for retail bottles?

    One of the best sour taphouses called Zoed Guur in Denver has an amazing selection and I was just wondering if anyone knows how they are able to get all those amazing beers.

    Thank you!


  • #2
    I would ask the AZ Brewer's Guild. They know what's up with distribution laws.

    My understanding is that the beer needs to be distributed in the state and all that paperwork filled out from the brewery to be able to sell it in another state. As far as imported beers, you'll need to find an in state distributor. I remember that a few years back, there was a big stink about bootlegged beer that was being sold in states where is was not being distributed. I'm pretty sure some folks got hit with fines for that.


    • #3
      Former beer distribution exec/expert here and former/soon to be again AZ resident here... The answer is the 3 tier system only, when crossing state lines. Breweries do not self distribute across state lines. You can argue about AB/InBev owning some distributors but that is another conversation. You will not be getting sours or anything else that small without going through Crescent Crown, Hensley or Breakthru Beverage, unless they are made in AZ. Where exactly did you plan on putting such a niche market operation? Denver is an advanced craft market. One or two outstanding distributors in that state and they have been at it since I sold beer in the early 90's. Arizona is way behind the curve for the most part. You asked the city?? Hahahaha
      Last edited by BeerBred; 02-08-2020, 11:01 PM.