Craft Republic, a new St. Louis craft beverage distributor, sold its first case of beer on June 8.
Founder Brian Dix has been working to grow the company’s diverse portfolio. With over 25 years of experience in the beer industry – including 10 immersed in craft brews – Dix founded Craft Republic to help fill a void in the beverage distribution community. He discovered an opportunity to cater toward small and medium-sized craft brands. “That’s where my passion lies. I love the brands, the products, the ingenuity of the brewers starting these careers out of passion. It’s a real sort of American story here,” Dix says.
Craft Republic currently distributes 13 brands around the nation, including notable craft brews from Evil Twin Brewing and Stillwater Artisanal. Dix plans to double the company’s profile within the next two years, searching for brands that Craft Republic can proudly represent. According to the founder, selecting the right brands from over 7,000 craft breweries in the nation includes asking an important question, “What’s gonna make someone buy this beer on a Tuesday in February?” To him, a brand needs to have quality, a well-respected reputation, solid creative soul and a means to carve its own path against the grain. Craft Republic also seeks out what is missing overall, which means going beyond beer.
Along with beer, the company also distributes Topo Chico mineral water, and is looking into other craft beverages such as hard ciders, mead, spirits, kombucha and cold brews. Dix says that Craft Republic is committed to meeting 100 percent of craft standards, including all refrigerated storage and delivery with no gaps. The company strives to do more than represent, find a home and deliver its brands from point A to point B. That’s why a team with as much passion as Dix has is working behind the scenes.
Before becoming one of Craft Republic’s account managers, Katie Herrera was a manager for International Tap House and the tasting room manager at Side Project Cellar. The team also includes account manager Nick Pepera, central command Erica Ivers, craft courier William Woods and captain of quality Brian Devine. As the company expands its portfolio, while also launching a 24/7 online ordering feature, the team is expected to grow.
This online ordering system will enable customers to purchase from Craft Republic brands any time of the day. Although Dix admits that it's a big undertaking, he says the quick and nimble company will be able to maintain its high standards, ethics and accountability.
At the moment, Craft Republic is only distributing in St. Louis. As the company begins to grow, operations will expand into Kansas City and Columbia, tackling the major markets in Missouri. Eventually, Craft Republic hopes to be distributing to all of the Show-Me State. “We have conversations going on with breweries and some commitments coming where we’re launching brands,” says Dix. “My ultimate goal is to have a company the industry respects, that customers love doing business with and that’s commercially successful.”
Craft Republic, 314.241.5458, ourcraftrepublic.com