29 March 2011

Shelton Brothers Next to Leave Indiana

Achel. Cantillon. De Molen. De Prouf. Dieu Du Ciel. Drie Fonteinen. EKU. Fantome. Haandbryggeriet. Jolly Pumpkin. Mikkeller. Nøgne Ø. Nørrebro Bryghus. Struise.

While these breweries may not be anyone's "regular", they are the sort of breweries whose beer fills a niche. If you're looking for a one-off beer to bring to a party of better beer fans, you could hardly go wrong picking from the list of breweries above.

They are also all breweries whose beer currently sits on the shelves of liquor stores throughout Indiana. But not for much longer. These beers, which are part of the "hand-selected" Shelton Brothers portfolio, have stopped being shipped to their Indiana distributor, Cavalier.

What's behind the decision to leave Indiana? It's hard to say.

"We received special shipment of Anstichs in Aug '10 and ordered Xmas seasonals at the same time. The Anstichs were the last items we've gotten. I've been aware of a growing disconnect for a couple of years. Heard both sides, and I find the whole situation tedious, in that while sides spat, consumers and retailers are the ones being punished," said New Albanian's Roger Baylor, via twitter.

Regardless, Cavalier isn't saying much.

"At this point you would be better to ask Shelton as they currently are not shipping us any beer and have not renewed their state registration," said Cavalier President Mat Gerdenich.

While brewery lineups continue to come and go in Indiana, this particular group are not easily replaced. Hoosier Beer Geek has attempted to contact Shelton Brothers. We'll let you know if we hear anything more.

For more on Shelton Brothers and the process behind the beer they import, check the comments on this interview with Urbain Coutteau of De Struise Brouwers from back in 2008.


  1. This one hurts. I didn't buy a great deal of 3F (Drei Font) or Cantillion because of the prices, but I did usually buy about 8-10 bottles of them a year. Cantillion was always hard to find, but for the money was the best lambic "sour" beer you could buy in Indiana. I am really going to miss Jolly Pumpkin at Christmas time.

    I am all for supporting local breweries, but these brands represent something cultural from other nations or states we simply can't get locally. I hope this spat somehow gets resolved and we again get those great sours from Belgium again.

    If Rochefort 10 leaves the state too I might have to go into the distribution business.

  2. This is seriously some sad news.

  3. Boo. Add these beers to the growing list of beers that I'll have to buy in Cincinnati the next time I go there.

  4. Thanks for pursuing Shelton Bros on this, I hope you get some feedback. Very, very sad news. Heard rumors some weeks ago and was hoping the lack of official mention meant it was untrue :(

  5. Wow this is insult to injury after the DFH evacuation. I haven't had the pleasure of trying the others, but Jolly Pumpkin is one of my favorite breweries and the uniqueness of their barrel aging souring process is one that is not replicated in any other commercially available brew.
    Nogno (sorry I dont know how to type the circle slash) is a grevious wound to the craft beer lover as well.

  6. The beers may be good, but the importer is one of the worse in this country. They make a habit of NOT registering beers and ales properly in the states in which they sell. Also, just because one of the principles in the company has a law degree, Shelton Brothers constantly tries to make money bringing frivolous lawsuits against others in the business. In the industry, a lot of distributors spit when they say the name.

  7. So, Anonymous, are you the ex-Indiana distributor or another ex-Shelton distreibutor? Distinct odor of sour grapes coming from your post.

  8. No way, man. This is just stuff I've heard. Believe it or don't, I don't care.

  9. There is truth to what Anon. is saying. I hear that in Missouri they are getting ready to switch to another distributor. If the rumors are true it'll be the second time in under two years. SB has a awesome portfolio of products, but if they can't maintain relationships in the business then they deserve to fail. You can't going around stabbing business partners.

  10. Your comment raises a coupla questions I'd like to see you field.

    Even if what you heard is true (that they're changing distirbutors somewhere else), how does that mean the old distributor is getting "stabbed in the back"?

    I'm sure the distributor will say that they were doing a great job, but why would SHelton switch (or pull out of a state) if the distributor was doing a good job?

    For my two cents, there's a bit too much "I heard" here. I'd like to see specific claims to back it up before I give much creedence to anonymously made statements.