Local bar owners react to distribution changes at Victory Brewing Co.
Peters and others speculate that Victory will eventually use Anheuser-Busch wholesalers for all of its national distribution, a potentially risky move for a small company.
But Covaleski contends he doesn't plan to go with Bud distributors. "We don't have a national agenda with Anheuser-Busch," he says.
Penn Distributors Inc. president Matt Funchion explains Victory's agenda with his company. "The motivation is that they're selling a very high-quality product that has huge local support," he says. "Our guys are very, very well trained and very well educated."
Local beer sellers tend to disparage Penn sales reps with generalizations about intelligence and beer knowledge--as in, Penn reps don't even know about IBUs.
That's an International Bitterness Unit, an important term when you're trying to describe Victory's strongly flavored HopDevil.
"I think their beer's going to suffer for it and they're going to end up with a sales force that doesn't understand beer," Peters says. "I don't think that's the way you do business. You leave with the guy who took you to the dance."
PW's Year of Beer: Allagash White