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A.S. Barboro launching distribution of higher-alcohol beers in Memphis area

July 29, 2013 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Distribution, Memphis

A.S. Barbaro Beer distributor A.S. Barboro has received its license to distribute high-gravity beers in the Memphis area and is starting to roll out stronger beers to local bars and restaurants.

High-alcohol beers from Schlafly, Samuel Adams, Lazy Magnolia and Southern Tier — all part of A.S. Barboro’s beer portfolio — will soon be available in Memphis.

The distributor sold its first kegs of higher-alcohol Schlafly beers last week — 10 kegs of Schlafly American IPA went to the Flyer Saucer. Other beers are being ordered and will be available as soon as the trucks deliver, said A.S. Barboro’s Ashley Crawford.

For now, the distributor will only be selling to bars and restaurants as it ramps up its high-gravity operations under the banner of a new company called Omni Beverage, she said. But high-alcohol beers will soon be coming to liquor store shelves, possibly by the end of August.

Everything should be fully ramped-up by the time fall seasonals arrive, such as Southern Tier’s Pumking.

High-alcohol beers in Tennessee are defined as those with alcoholic content greater than 5% by weight, or about 6.25% by volume.

A.S.Barboro joins Budweiser of Memphis as a distributor of high-gravity beers in the Memphis area. Budweiser’s portfolio includes Stone Brewing Co., Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Rogue Ales, Yazoo Brewing Co., among others.

10 Comments to “A.S. Barboro launching distribution of higher-alcohol beers in Memphis area”

  1. It had dawned on me the other day I had never seen high gravity Samuel Adams beer in Memphis (though you can get it across the border in MS). This is great news. Schlafly and Southern Tier have some great high gravity beer.

  2. You know, it’s about damn time. They have known about this for almost a year and shame shame everyone knows your name. What took so long to get the “license” ?? I am disappointed in Bud as well. If you talk to bartenders they will tell you damn near all the good stuff is on back order or the beer guy makes some other excuse. We in Memphis have been treated rather poorly and the so called distributors have some ground to make up.

    Mike Bond

  3. Austin Sawyer says:

    @mike- what “good stuff” are you referring to, as someone who deals with the distributor segment of the Memphis beer scene, I have to say that it’s not always the distributor who is to blame. Most of the time , the “good stuff” is so allocated and scarce that bars don’t have it more than a few hours. The people you are referring to that tell you that the rare beer is on back order, are 99% of the time not the actual people who make the bar calls there and don’t really know what’s out of stock and what was a one time beer- available for those who got there early to try the beer. If you look at the craft beer scene in Memphis compared to the same city 2-3 years ago, it is on a whole new level of good beer, with more coming every few months. Not trying to vent- but everyone is very quick to blame the distributors in Memphis….

  4. Austin Sawyer says:

    And as far as liscensing goes, be excited that barbaro has their HG liscence, not mad that it took this long to get it. Cant say I’m too excited about the Sam HG beers, but Schlafaly has some incredible beer that will add to the already hot Memphis beer scene. Sure there are great breweries that we don’t have that would be great to be able to go out and buy such as 3 Floyd’s, Russian river, Firestone walker or many others- but at the same time you can’t go to those cities and grab a ghost river, Yazoo, or other tN brews that we are proud to have in Memphis.

  5. It’s extremely disingenuous to list breweries like 3 Floyds and Russian River which aren’t available anywhere in TN. Non-Tennessee brewed beers available in Nashville which are unavailable in Memphis (to my knowlege):

    Lagunitas, Oskar Blues, Good People, Left Hand, Highland, Bluegrass, Kentucky Brewing, Sweetwater, Caldera, Straight to Ale, Green Flash, Blue Pants, Terrapin, French Broad…

    The list for Knoxville is similar. And the Knoxville metro area is about half the size of the Memphis metro.

    The fact is that the Memphis beer market is way behind the other Tennessee metro areas – whether this the fault of distribution or retail (lack of demand), I don’t know. But it is a fact.

    I have high hopes for the new local breweries and enjoy High Cotton and Ghost River but that doesn’t change the fact that, comparably speaking, Memphis is severely lacking in selection.

  6. Completely agree Bob. It’s a distributor issue. Add Bells to the list.

  7. Austin Sawyer says:

    Everyone that has their opinions also needs to realize the facts- and the facts are that many brewwries(Avery, left hand, dogfish) pulled out because of the tn tax laws. Now that those have changed, we should see more good beer coming to tn, but it won’t happen over night. Stay calm, relax and stick to your at jobs….

  8. Anything that is in Nashville should not be a problem to get here in theory – especially stuff from west of here. Now that both houses have HG capability, I suspect we should see some growth in this market. Hopefully soon we will see Oskar Blues, Lagunitas, Sweetwater etc show up. that would be great and Im really looking forward to it, those in particular.

  9. Do any of the Beer distributors in Memphis still have dock sales? I used to buy a keg now and then at Southwestern Beverage, but it appears that they no longer have Dock sales. Is that true?

  10. Ashley Crawford says:

    I just happened to run across your question about dock sales. A.S. Barboro has keg dock sales from 8am-4pm M-F. The address is 5020 Tuggle Rd, Memphis, TN 38118. Near Lamar and Shelby. You can’t but high grav but all low grav is fair game. It’s cash only but bring a check for a keg deposit. You can give me a call if you need a list or any further direction. The website is not current as we are under going a complete overhaul for our new site. You can reach me @ 901-413-3959.


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