River Barrel Distributing was established in 2020 to serve the Seattle area, Olympia, Tacoma, and several other counties across Western Washington. It started as an offshoot of Buoy Beer Company, which had successfully self-distributed its products in the region. Today we share news of three recent additions to its portfolio.
River Barrel’s portfolio includes Buoy Beer, Old Town Brewing, Alesong Brewing and Blending, Zoiglhaus Brewing, Stemma Brewing, and several others. Now, River Barrel’s portfolio includes three more Washington breweries: Triceratops Brewing of Tumwater, Sig Brewing of Tacoma, and Terramar Brewing and Distilling of Edison.
River Barrel Distribution is a craft-focused distribution company, the kind of distributor some refer to as a “boutique distributor.” As the industry consolidates at the top, making the big distributors even bigger, this kind of craft-first, craft-only distributorship is more necessary than ever. That’s a story for a different day.
Here is the announcement about the addition of Triceratops Brewing and Sig Brewing.
Two South Sound Breweries Added to River Barrel Distributing Portfolio
River Barrel Distributing continues to grow its list of Pacific Northwest breweries with the addition of Triceratops Brewing Company and Sig Brewing Company. Both are family-run breweries based in Washington.
Triceratops Brewing was begun by partners Rob and Kelly Horn. Originally from Flemington, NJ, the Horns moved to Olympia, WA and opened their own brewery in August 2014 after years of home brewing. Triceratops’ operations began in the family’s garage and with the last name Horn, the brewery name was an easy choice. Three years later, the Horns opened a tasting room in Tumwater and have had a steady flow of great customers, good friends, and craft beer lovers.
“We’re very happy to add Triceratops to our list,” says River Barrel Distributing Sales Manager Joe Cohen. “Rob and Kelly brew clean, classic styles that appeal to a wide market of beer drinkers.”
To date, Triceratops Brewing has earned four medals at the Washington Beer Awards for their Hawthorne Coffee Milk Stout, Pennsyltucky Vienna-style Lager, Revival Coffee and Motors Coffee Milk Stout, and Bohemian Raspberry Golden Ale.
Three varieties Cohen is looking forward to sharing with the Western Washington area are:
Collin James Irish Red Ale – Low in alcohol and bitterness, this Irish Red Ale is a well-balanced people pleaser. Lightly hopped with the mild, earthy, and somewhat woody Fuggle variety, this beer entices the nose with a rich, toffee-like aroma. Meanwhile, notes of plum and raisin play with a slightly bready and nutty flavor provided by Irish ale malt and a touch of roasted barley.
Liquid Swords IPA – We launched our popular rotating IPA series back in 2016, and by drawing on the wide variety of expressive hop varieties available to brewers, haven’t made the same beer since. Hazy or bright, fruity or piney, no two Chambers are alike, and they never last long.
Pennsyltucky Vienna-Style Lager – This smooth, Vienna-style lager is inspired by the brewing traditions of Central Pennsylvania. Caramunich malt gives this classic style a nice, roasty flavor while the Cluster hops provide a little bite and a touch of earthy bitterness.
About 30 miles NE of Triceratops’ taproom is Sig Brewing Company. Begun in 2020, the family-owned location in Tacoma’s Historic Brewing District offers beers of nearly every style as well as a full menu of brick oven pizza.
“We love craft beer and are very proud to be part of its local community,” says John Samuelson, Sig Brewing Founder . We were fortunate enough to hire a talented head brewer in Jeff Stokes and opened our doors in the spring of 2020. Our goal was to differentiate ourselves in as many ways as possible including our beers, food, and taproom.”
Sig Brewing focuses on experimental varieties including fermented and soured beers as well as hoppy beers and pilsners. Three brands that will be distributed by River Barrel include:
Experimental Nectar IPA – A hazy/juicy IPA brewed with 2-row, wheat, and pilsner malts in tandem with some flaked oats and brown sugar. Mash hopped with NZ Cascade, whirlpooled with Nectaron, and DDH’d with a blend of Hopsteiner’s EXP 17701 and 17704 hops. Fermented with Omega Yeast’s Cosmic Punch yeast.
In Rainbows IPA – An unfiltered American IPA brewed with 2-row, special pale, and spitz malt coupled with a touch of flaked oats. Kettle hopped with Bravo and Citra, and DDH’d with Mosaic and Comet. The perfect IPA for gazing at rainbows. Fermented with Omega Yeast OYL-005 Irish Ale strain.
Pilscifer: A New American Pilsner – Built on a malt base of pilsner malt with a touch of corn, wheat, oats, and vienna malt thrown in. We then kettle hopped Pilscifer with Adeena and dry hopped it with El Dorado. Crispy with a new world fruit flare and fermented with Fermentis 34/70 Lager yeast.
“I’m excited to be on board with River Barrel and hope that we can continue to push boundaries and grow our brand through this partnership,” says Stokes. “I am most excited about growing our lager program and our barrel aged portfolio over time, but also happy to have the opportunity to get our core beers into a much wider array of spots!”
River Barrel Distributing serves the Western Washington counties of King, Pierce, Thurston, Lewis, Snohomish, Kitsap, and Grays Harbor.