Whoo pig sooey, Stone Brewing has kicked off its latest expansion effort into The Natural State, home of the Razorbacks, land of Bill and Hillary — Arkansas.
Stone’s line of craft beers debuted Monday at Arkansas with a kickoff party in the afternoon at Liquor World on N College Avenue, Fayetteville.
The party moved across town in the evening to Puritan Brew Co at 205 W Dickson St., where they imbibed the likes of Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone IPA, Stone ruination Double IPA 2.0, Stone Americano Stout and Stone Pale Ale 2.0 until the wee hour of 2 a.m. when taverns must close in the great state of Arkansas.
“With so many fans asking for Stone to arrive, we’re excited to finally make our beers available in Arkansas.” Todd Karnig, Stone VP of Sales, said. “This is the first new state we’re launching in 2016, and with Stone Brewing – Richmond opening this year, even more fresh beer will be on its way nationwide.”
The much-ballyhooed Arkansas launch goes forth and conquers through April 1. Events on tap included special release beers and appearances by Stone representatives.
For their part, Arkansans seemed to be going hog wild over their new Stone encounters of the thirst-quenching kind.
“We are thrilled to welcome Stone Brewing to Arkansas,” said David Machen, Director of Operations for Arkansas Craft and O’Connor Distributing Alliance. “It’s both the company’s integrity and commitment to quality brewing and the culture of craft beer that make Stone a wonderful partner for us in our great state.”
That was just the beginning for Stone’s new southeastern initiative, expected to be further served through the Escondido company’s new Richmond, Virginia brewing complex set to open later this year.
Stone’s year-round beers and various limited and special releases will be distributed by Arkansas Craft Distributors and O’Conner Distributing – the company’s wholesale partners in Arkansas.
America’s ninth largest craft brewer, Stone now taps out in 41 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and 14 nations. Company officials say they will be in all 50 states by the end of the year, not to mention five European countries due to the new Berlin brewing operation topped off with giant restaurant and brew pub this summer.
The Berlin facility with package product exclusively in kegs and aluminum cans although on tap is always hot inside the brewing campus.
As for Arkansas, it has become a hot spot for craft brewers looking to expand their markets. Stone is but the latest to seek the holy razorback grail. Two other Top-10 U.S. craft brewers are expanding there. Lagunitas, No. 6, went into Arkansas last August while Bell’s, No. 8, is expected to debut next month.
Other major brands to hit state shelves in the last couple of years include Oskar Blues, Victory, Clown Shoes, Sixpoint, Founders, Summit, and Prairie Artisan Ales. And those are just the national players.