The closing of taprooms has upended a major source of business for most small craft breweries, not only ending their on-site draft sales but also cutting into the to-go sales that on-site consumption inevitably generates. Some very small breweries can probably get by on their social distancing-approved curbside pickups, but for most it is more important than ever to have a strong partner in distribution. For many years craft beer companies had to play second fiddle to big beer even among their own distributors, there are plenty of horror stories of breweries going out of business because they were locked into distribution contracts with a company that didn’t care about their brand. Recently a number of boutique craft-centric distributors have started up to cater to the specific needs of craft beer in distribution. The distributors have an added focus on marketing, hold tastings, and making sure product is properly shipped, stored and rotated. It is clear that many local and regional breweries have built strong partnerships with their distributors, some are even brewing collaboration beers between brewer and distributor. A great example is the new collaboration between New York based Singlecut brewing and their New England distributor Craft Collective. The beer is a crushable IPA named I’m In Love With Massachusetts, with a name like that I doubt they are selling it in New York, but I am sure it will move well in the Boston area. Singlecut/Craft Collective I’m In Love With Massachusetts is available now in 16 oz cans.
Singlecut I’m In Love With Massachusetts pours murky light orange with a massive white head. The aroma features a big hit of hops, tropical and citrus fruit. The flavor is also hop-forward, notes of mango, tangerine, and guava along with just a touch of late bitterness. This is complemented by a mild malt backbone, hints of crackers and cereal. I’m In Love With Massachusetts is light-bodied and easy-drinking, not overly boozy at 6.0% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor. This is a really nice IPA, tons of flavor, well-crafted and delicious. Cheers to great collaborations between breweries and distributors, which are more important than ever right now!
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