Word has traveled quick via Russian River’s Blog that they have sadly chosen to pull out of the Washington State market. I’d like to take this opportunity to look at the glass half full. The Cilurzo’s have spun this as means of supplying their brewpub with more beer and not re-appropriating it to other markets. Well, without any proof, I would say this helps us SoCal fans, as perhaps now that the brewpub can be right-sized, I won’t have to be limited to a one fricken bottle allocation of Blind Pig every two weeks!!!
Vinnie and I have recently made the difficult decision to stop distributing in the state of Washington. Unfortunately, the letter we drafted and addressed to our Washington accounts made it’s way to the media and is online for the whole world to read! If you have not yet read it, go to the Seattle Beer News website. It’s clear and it’s honest. There is a lot of chatter and speculation on the internet about what’s “really” going on. The truth is spelled out and not between the lines. We just don’t have the beer. For those of you who have been to our brewpub, you are well-aware of how busy it is all of the time. Our brewpub accounts for more than 50% of our revenue, which is extraordinary for a brewery our size! The beer we are not sending to Washington is going straight to Downtown Santa Rosa to feed the machine we call our brewpub. It will not be distributed to other wholesalers. I did, however, address the difficulty we have had managing our brand in Washington, which appears to be due to some unique state liquor laws. But that’s not why we pulled out. That only helped us decide which market. If we had the beer, we would absolutely be happy to continue our relationship with Click and ship our beer to the beautiful state of Washington regardles of state liquor laws. To squelch any other rumors: we have NO plans for expansion at this time. Those conversations are still at the “Vinnie and I chatting on the couch in the evening over a couple glasses of wine” phase. As for the rumor that we are pulling out of Oregon or any other market: those aren’t true at all! Any other rumors, probably not true either 🙂
I hope this clears things up. We are most apologetic to our fans and friends in Washington. We also hope to return someday if you will have us back!
Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo