We’ve been getting a ton of e-mails and direct messages recently about getting mead onto store shelves.
While it’s great that we ship to most of the US, we totally get it that sometimes you just want to grab a 4-pack on your way home from work. Plus there are the states that just don’t allow direct shipping.
So, what to do? The answer is: it’s a bit complicated.
(Click the image above to go to our distribution page and Mead Finder!)
First, a TL;DR: Reach out to us directly with your state name and any connections with local stores, or, better yet, a recommended distributor. We’ll take it from there.
Now the longer version.
The three tier distribution system means that in every state, we must have a distributor who carries our product and then resells it to stores, bars, and restaurants. The reason for this arrangement is shrouded in post-prohibition regulations, but essentially exists to prevent independent negotiations between megacorps and local establishments.
All-in-all, the three tier distribution system is a blessing for small producers.
This means that we need to find a distributor who’s a good fit for us and vice versa. Large distributors with a few major suppliers often see mead as too fringe to be worth their while. Small distributors sometimes don’t have the connections or the reach to get us into many locations.
Some states or regions may only have one or two distributors, other areas might have dozens. Both of these scenarios obviously come with their own drawbacks.
Once we establish a relationship with a distributor (which can take months or longer), we then need to get the product to them and they need to get it into stores.
This is where you really come into the picture. Once we’re available in a state, we need folks out there asking for it in bars and restaurants. It’s one thing to have one of our sales folks or a distributor say that our mead is a hot commodity, but bar owners only have so many taps, and want to know that it will really move.
So that’s the process! You can always reach out on our contact form or hit us up on social media if you have a lead!
 This is functionally true, but with a few weird exceptions that aren’t worth getting into.