Granite City to Launch Bottled Beer Line
Granite City Food & Brewery on Monday announced plans to launch a bottled beer line.
The St. Louis Park-based restaurant chain has long brewed handcrafted beers on site at its 26 Midwestern restaurants. But the company said that it recently formed a partnership with distributors to also have its beer bottled and sold in liquor stores and grocery stores throughout the Upper Midwest.
Beginning in April, Granite City will begin to sell three of its handcrafted beers at retail locations in the Twin Cities; St. Cloud; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and various Kansas markets.
The inaugural batch to be bottled will include Northern Light Lager, Duke of Wellington India Pale Ale, and Brother Benedict's Bock-which the company said are three of its most popular beers.
Granite City's beer will be bottled at Minhaus Brewery in Monroe, Wisconsin. Meanwhile, St. Paul-based Associated Brewing Company will import and sell the beer, and various distributors-including St. Paul-based Wirtz Beverage Minnesota Beer, Inc.-will provide it to retailers.
“We see this as a great branding strategy for our restaurants with the opportunity to create many more loyal customers of our fine handcrafted beers,” Granite City President and founder Steve Wagenheim said in a statement.
“Whether they're dining at one of our restaurants or spending an evening at home, fans of the Granite City brand can now enjoy a great handcrafted beer whenever they like.”
Granite City claims to be the sixth-largest brewpub group in the United States, having sold about 600,000 gallons of beer in 2010. It is also Minnesota's sixth-largest brewery based on the number of barrels produced within the state in 2009, of which there were 3,800.
However, Granite City has struggled somewhat in recent years amid the turbulent economy. The company reported a net loss of $9.6 million, or $2.53 per share, in 2009-an improvement from the net loss of $15.8 million, or $5.85 per share, in 2008. In 2010, the company's net loss totaled $4.5 million, or 61 cents per share.
Granite City is among Minnesota's 75-largest companies based on revenue, which totaled $89.3 million in 2010-up from $85.8 million in 2009.