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Local brewery hoping distribution agreement expands products reach

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Local brewery hoping distribution agreement expands products reach
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St. Lawrence County's only locally crafted beer could soon be at a store near you. The St. Lawrence Brewing Company has reached an agreement with distributor A. Cappione to sell its beer throughout the North Country. And as our Matt Jarchow found out, the partnership is a win for both maker and distributor.

CANTON, N.Y. -- Here at St. Lawrence Brewing Company in Canton, the county's only locally crafted beer is made.

Owner Ken Hebb says the location of his brewery is a great one for his product.

"Being the only micro-brewer in St. Lawrence County we are breaking ground, but with the colleges and what not we do have a fair number of people that really do know craft beer," Hebb said.

What started off as a small, local beer could soon reach shelves and bars across the region.

St. Lawrence Brewing Company reached a distribution agreement with A. Cappione Inc. to help expand the market for the beer.

It's a deal distributor David Cappione says turned competitors into partners.

"To be able to put his beer into my portfolio was a great addition," he said. "Also, we can market it as 'I'm distributing the only beer brewed in St. Lawrence County.'"

Hebb hopes the partnership will take his beers across the North Country, from bars to gas stations and to the biggest seller of them all, grocery stores.

"Seventy percent of beer sales is in packages off the grocery store shelves, so the minute we got into cans our volume immediately doubled. It was fantastic," he said.

While the beer is still extending its reach across the county it calls home, the ultimate goal is to satisfy thirsty customers far beyond its county lines.

"I'd certainly like to have a strong presence in all of New York State," Hebb said. "If we can have a presence in surrounding states, Vermont, Massachusetts, that would be neat."

With its St. Lawrence Brewing Company name, wherever people drink it, one look at the label and they'll see right where it came from.

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