Outstate Brewing Company Increases Distribution Throughout Minnesota
Steve Hesky | Jul 8, 2020 AT 1:50 pm
(Fergus Falls, Minn.) - Greater Fergus Falls (GFF) is pleased to congratulate Outstate Brewing Company’s accomplishments during their first six months of operation, despite COVID-19. The production brewery and tap house opened in November 2019, with a handful of brews on tap and a few varieties in distribution. Having been open a mere three months before COVID-19 shut them down, they found their business at a standstill. The owners, operators and investors had spent over two years crafting a business model outlining a strategic pathway for long-term success. While they were able to continue distributing their craft beer, it was clear that it wouldn’t be enough.
Thankfully for our community and craft brew connoisseurs around the region, they chose to adapt to the current business climate, and increase distribution. Their four craft beers in distribution could be found locally and regionally at over 30 locations; however, many of these establishments were bars and restaurants, who were also impacted by the statewide mandate. While their business plan indicated that they would wait until year two before expanding distribution into other markets, including the Twin Cities Metro, they decided to take a risk. They expanded distribution to the Southwest Metro, Northern MN, and throughout Ottertail Lakes Country. They have experienced an overwhelming response!
Co-owner Pat Lunderg said, “It has been an incredible struggle over the last few months. We never imagined we’d be ordered to shut down. That said, we’ve always maintained we have ‘Plan A’. That plan is the one we focus on. There are no other options. It has required grit and creativity. Thanks to our community and committed team members, we’ve been able to weather this storm and look forward to a very bright future!”
Recently, they have expanded their product line to include their top six beers. Outstate has been humbled by coverage in ‘The Growler’, news stations in Fargo and the Twin Cities, Lake Life Weekend and through the many channels of Leighton Broadcasting.
According to the Brewer’s Association, the craft brewing industry has a growing economic impact. In 2018, it generated over $2 billion in revenue in Minnesota, alone and includes a per capita economic impact of $517 per person. In Fergus Falls, alone, breweries account for $15,000 in annual property tax revenue and have created 22 new jobs with a total of 37 jobs at any given time.
Today, Outstate continues to adapt to this new “normal” by fully utilizing their location to their advantage by creating a natural, welcoming outdoor space to enjoy their craft brews and view of the Otter Tail River, adding in a dock to increase accessibility for kayakers and paddle boarders, and opening their space to provide an outlet for local and regional musicians. They are even preparing to launch a fifth beer into distribution soon. This has been a challenging time for many small businesses, but learning to adapt, like Outstate has, is your best chance for success.
"Pivoting your strategy and services during this time is crucial for long-term business success, and Outstate Brewing is an excellent example of a local business who is proactively finding ways to expand their market and customers. We congratulate their increased distribution and thank them for their investment in our community.” said GFF CEO Annie Deckert.
Press Release and photo from Greater Fergus Falls