|Photo c/o Poprock Photography|
Starting Monday, February 13, Birdsong will be available to retailers, bars and restaurants across the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill-area with an initial target list of 40 accounts.
The decision to move into a new market isn't that foreign, says Chris Goulet, Birdsong principal owner. Birdsong has been available in the region through a handful of loyal accounts that have driven across the state to pick up beer for years, he says. "Those pick-up customers have shown how successful the beer can be in that market and it's also clearly the next largest craft beer market, after Charlotte, in the state," he says.
Initially, the beers available in the Triangle through Artisan Beverage Group will be Birdsong's four year-round beers – Free Will Pale Ale, Lazy Bird Brown Ale, Higher Ground IPA and Jalapeño Pale Ale – as well as the main seasonal and possibly small amounts of limited releases, Goulet says.
The growth in Eastern North Carolina comes on the heels of a triumphant year for Charlotte's third oldest and third largest brewery. "Initially the Triangle introduction will be smaller (than South Carolina), account wise, but we anticipate that the Triangle market has a lot of potential over the long run," Goulet says.
In 2016, Birdsong celebrated its fifth anniversary and expanded distribution to South Carolina. That success is in part attributed to the brewery's notable focus on quality product, customer experience and philanthropy.
The brewery, with its 30-barrel brewhouse, is ready to accommodate the growth, Goulet says. "Depending on how we progress against our current forecast, we're expecting roughly 400 to 500 barrels in additional volume."
The growth will eventually bring with it an expanded workforce, he says. Birdsong expects to hire sales representatives to support Western North Carolina, South Carolina and the Triangle.