Tallgrass Brewing Company has begun distributing its beers in Illinois. The Downstate distribution will be followed by the Chicago area in June. The Kansas-based brewery has been growing fast in sales and territory since it began in 2007, but this will be its first venture into the Land of Lincoln.
“This is a big step for our little brewery. We’re trying not to freak out too much about it,” says Tallgrass founder and recovering geologist, Jeff Gill.
Since Gill founded the brewery in 2007, Tallgrass has experienced yearly sales growth in excess of 25 percent and this year will exceed the 15,000-barrel threshold. Although Tallgrass is currently available in many major metropolitan areas (Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Kansas City), taking on Illinois and Chicago is still a major step for a brewery of this size.
Tallgrass brewmaster, Andrew Hood, is excited, but not intimidated by the Illinois launch. “We have delicious beers, a fun crew, and great wholesale partners across the state. Success is just a matter of letting the craft beer drinkers of Illinois experience these beers that we love to brew and drink.”
Tallgrass has built a reputation in the craft industry with its innovative branding, remarkable beers, and its willingness to take chances. In 2010 Tallgrass was one of the first craft brewers to turn its back on bottles and begin offering its beers exclusively in 16-ounce cans. The brewery followed its “canifesto” by releasing Velvet Rooster, the world’s first Belgian-style Tripel in a can. 2012 saw the release
of 8-Bit Pale Ale, chosen by Esquire as one of the best new beers of 2012. This May, Tallgrass will launch Ethos IPA, a brightly-hopped IPA, which is expected to surpass the explosive launch of 8-Bit Pale Ale last year.
Tallgrass beers will be handled exclusively Downstate through the Illinois Distribution Alliance and in the Greater Chicago Area by River North Sales.
“We have been patiently waiting for Tallgrass to come to Chicago ever since we started hearing about their delicious beers. We love their beers and the way they’ve built and promoted their company. These guys are going to be a big hit in Chicago,” says Wei Fraser, River North Director of Marketing.
Tallgrass Brewing Company was started in Manhattan, Kansas, in 2007, by Jeff Gill and his wife, Tricia. In May of 2010 Tallgrass declared its “Canifesto” and began packaging exclusively in cans. Tallgrass’s line of beers includes Pub Ale, Buffalo Sweat Stout, Oasis, Velvet Rooster, Halcyon Unfiltered Wheat, 8-Bit Pale Ale, and ETHOS IPA. Tallgrass Beers are available in cans and on tap in 15 states.