If you enjoy experiencing the proliferation of local craft beer in your community, then you should find it pleasing to know that beers from Pompano Beach's 26 Degree Brewing Company will now be distributed throughout South Florida.
Owner Greg Lieberman said he signed with Gold Coast Beverage, which covers all of South Florida between Jupiter and the Keys. It wasn't an easy decision since Florida breweries are essentially stuck with their distributors forever.
"It's basically impossible for a brewery to break the contract with a distributor," Lieberman says. "Once signed, that distributor basically has exclusive rights to that territory for the life of the brewery."
It's a dilemma every Florida brewery must resolve: finding a distributor that's the best fit for the brewery. Unlike some states, Florida a three-tier state (manufacturer, distributor, retailer), which means breweries are bound by law to use a distributor if they want to see their beers beyond their tap rooms.
With a coverage area that includes all of Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties, Gold Coast is the one of state's largest beer distributor by volume, distributing about 27 million cases of brews to more than 10,000 retailers across Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties. The company also has warehouses in Homestead, Rockland Key, and Doral.
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Gold Coast expanded exponentially back in November 2014 when they were acquired by Chicago's Reyes Beverage Group, one of the nation's top beer distributors.
But at the end of the day, Lieberman is pleased with his decision and is confident they'll take care of business. It turns out that the two companies are neighbors. Gold Coast is based in Doral, but they have a warehouse in Pompano Beach.
The distribution deal means 26 Degree beers will be on tap in bars, restaurants, and even as guest taps in other local breweries. "Gold Coast is a class act and made it rather easy to make that decision," Lieberman says.
Here's an initial list of where you can find beers on tap from 26 Degree Brewing: Beer Trade Co. in Delray Beach, Bull Market/Chow/Whiskey/ Bar in Fort Lauderdale, The Coffee District in Delray Beach, Jacaranda Pizzeria Restaurant in Plantation, Mellow Mushroom in Delray Beach, Sand Harbor Hotel and Marin in Pompano Beach, Tap42 in Fort Lauderdale, The Foundry in Pompano Beach, Total Wine and Spirits in Coral Springs, and Tucker Duke's Lunch Box in Deerfield Beach.