For Night Shift Distributing, the liquids don’t stop at beer. Less than two years after setting out to create a better wholesale option for breweries, the Massachusetts distribution company has announced that they will add wine, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages to their portfolio. The wheels are already in motion, as Night Shift Distributing (“NSD”) has added a group of seven new, non-beer partners.
This path forward comes on the heels of a busy 18 months for Night Shift Distributing. When the company launched in October 2016, their sole partner was Night Shift Brewing – the Everett-based brewery and originator of NSD. Since then, their portfolio has grown to include 18 brewery partners, along with the seven new non-beer brands. An initial sales and delivery staff of seven has nearly quadrupled to cover a distribution radius that stretches as far west as Hampshire County and covers over 900 accounts in the state. This summer, the company will begin regular deliveries to Cape Cod.
When the Night Shift leadership team began hearing from small beverage producers that few, if any, options for mutually beneficial distribution agreements existed, they sensed an opportunity to help. This challenge parallelled the beer wholesaler landscape that NSD initially set out to change, and indicated potential for expansion. While the products may fall into categories outside beer, the NSD mission will remain the same: help independent beverage producers reach the right consumers.
Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Glennon, is looking forward to the next step for his team: “We’re excited to help guide new types of partners into the Massachusetts market. This expansion will allow us to continue following our passion for great craft beverages, and open the doors for exceptional companies to succeed on their own path.”
The first wave of new signees to the NSD family will roll out over the next few months.Backpack Wine Co.’s colorful and versatile wine cans are already headed out on the trucks, while Everett-based Short Path Distillery’s bottled spirits will be making their way to a host of new stores. On the non-alcoholic side, the list includes two Vermont-based companies: the family-owned APIS Honey Kombucha and natural maple water company DRINKmaple (who is in the process of rebranding as Drink Simple). MOJO’s New Orleans-style cold-brewed coffee drinks and Nutty Life organic nut milks are Massachusetts-made and will see larger distribution through NSD. The brunch-ready, chef-approved STOUT Bloody Mary Blend rounds out the group.
As with their brewery partners, the NSD leadership team examined the beverage landscape to find companies that were the right fit.
“What really struck us about these companies was their dedication to excellence across the board,” Glennon said. “From quality of product through branding, to how they share their story, and their ability to address a true consumer need – each company excels.”
Unlike a traditional distributor, NSD will work with each individual partner to offer as many additional advantages as possible – be it industry knowledge, marketing guidance, or logistical dedication.
“NSD has clearly shown us that they have our best interests in mind,” said Ryan Miller – owner and co-founder of APIS Kombucha. “Besides providing custom cold chain conditions to ensure a stable product, they’ve been easy to work with, attentive to our needs and concerns, and have also assisted us on marketing strategies. Their proven expertise in the beverage market has brought a lot to the conversation and informed positive growth for our company. Although we originally thought self-distribution was the best strategy for MA, the confidence we have in NSD has enabled us to focus our efforts where it’s most needed – on maintaining a quality product. We trust them to do the rest.”
Over the coming weeks drinkers will find these artisanal products hitting shelves across the state.
“The whole Night Shift Distributing team looks forward to sharing innovative products and curiosity-driven dialogue with our customers,” said Glennon. “We believe in a bright future for beverage distribution here in Massachusetts and that’s something everyone can get behind.”
Night Shift Distributing began in 2016 with a fresh approach to beer distribution in MA. With four years of self-distribution roots in the brewing industry, Night Shift Distributing is disrupting the MA wholesaler landscape by offering breweries a like-minded distribution partner with a strong focus on beer quality and freshness, brand control, and customer service.