Orcas Distributing announces a partnership with Great Notion Brewing
When I heard the news several weeks ago, I kind of shrugged it off as no big deal, but once it sank in, I had a “wait… what?” moment. A brewery signing a contract with a beer distributor is not exactly big news. It happens all the time. However, when Great Notion Brewing does it, that’s a bit different. That’s noteworthy. Orcas Distributing announced on social media that it would begin distributing Great Notion’s beers in Washington.
Consumers may have already started to see the brewery’s beers on shelves at stores and pouring from taps at bars. The deal was inked back in June. That’s pretty cool. It makes this renowned brewery’s beers available to a wider audience.
Since its inception in 2016, the Portland-born brewery focused largely on a D2C commerce model. That is, Great Notion sells its beers direct to consumers, shipping beers from the brewery straight to customers in a dozen states and the District of Columbia, skipping the distribution and retail tiers. They even introduced an app-based way for consumers to stay informed about new beers and score the latest creations. They also offer a beer subscription program designed to get the brewery’s newest, coolest brews directly into the hands of beer drinkers.
It’s not bizarre for Great Notion to hook up with a Washington distributor. It’s just new. In general, Great Notion’s products are not the kind of beers you see on tap at the neighborhood pub or on the shelf at the local grocery store. D2C is Great Notion’s jam, or at least it has been Great Notion’s jam. Along with crazy label artwork and imaginative flavor profiles, focusing on the D2C commerce model is what sets the brewery apart from the crowd. Although it is not unfathomable that Great Notion partnered with a distributor like Orcas, it is noteworthy. Things change. Breweries grow and evolve.
Pictured above, Great Notion’s Summer Subscription Boxes ship direct to the consumer. Each monthly shipment contains 12 beers representing the best of the month’s drops.
The announcement about the new partnership came back in June via Orcas Distributing’s Instagram account:
“So this [is] an announcement we have barely been able to keep to ourselves…”
“We are so excited to share that we have officially partnered with the world-famous @greatnotion to bring all of their delicious beer to all of your favorite bottle shops, restaurants, and specialty retailers in Washington State.”
“Great Notion beer has been such a huge influence in the contemporary beer market in the Pacific Northwest, and really the entire country. They are progressive, creative, they take risks, and they have such a uniquely strong approach to customer engagement. And on top of all of that, their beer is consistently outstanding. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”
“So thrilled in fact we even did a little photo shoot with some of our favorite cans from recent releases! We can’t wait until we can load everyone up with beers just like these and many many more.”
“Keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks for fresh new Great Notion cans on shelves and kegs on tap! And if you’re in the area, don’t forget to check out their beautiful new taprooms in the Seattle area!”