Redbridge Beer Being Reformulated
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Apr 9 2010

Redbridge Beer Being Reformulated

For a couple of months now, rumors about Redbridge gluten-free beer being discontinued by Anheuser-Busch have been floating around cyberspace. Gluten-Free Living even blogged about it, saying the company reported that rumors about Redbridge beer being discontinued were unfounded. That is exactly the news that the company reported to myself and many others who contacted them for the facts.

Shortly after my conversation with an Anheuser-Busch representative, I found out that all Publix stores (located in 10 states) kicked Redbridge out of their beer line up when it was redesigned in January of this year. Publix managers are happy to order in the beer as a special request, as long as it’s available from the local distributor. The local distributor in this area stated in February that they have no plans to drop the beer. However, several other large distributors did choose to drop the beer, reportedly due to poor sales in their areas.

Since many Redbridge fans have been complaining that their stores don’t carry the beer anymore, I’ve stayed in touch with Anheuser-Busch regarding the situation. The company continued to report the beer was not being discontinued, period. They added that that several distributors did choose not to offer the beer anymore, which is totally out of their control. Then finally, after seeing another listserv post about Redbridge possibly being dropped by Anheuser-Busch, I contacted the company yet again.

The representative I spoke to the last time confirmed that the beer is being taken out of circulation for the time being, due to it being reformulated. They stated that the beer now has too high an alcohol content to be sold in every state. The reformulated beer, so they said, would be around 4% alcohol and therefore can be sold in all 50 states. It is currently around 4.7% alcohol. I can only report what the company is saying, but that sounds like some of the strangest news I’ve heard in a while.

Unfortunately, I was not able to obtain a time line for this new reformulated beer to re-enter the market. If the corporate communications office (apparently the only department that know the time line for the reformulation) gets back to me with that information, I will update this post. For now, Redbridge will no longer be available for local distributors to buy and resell it to consumers. Anheuser-Busch is owned by a European company and many changes have occurred since the takeover. In the past, when Anheuser-Busch discontinued a product, they didn’t shout it from the roof tops. It would seem odd at this point for the company to claim they are reformulating the beer if that is not really what’s happening. However, by the time the new beer enters the marketplace (if it ever does), there is a good chance some Redbridge fans would have converted over to something like Bard’s Tale.

There are some in our community that think companies make products for us to be nice. That is the case with small companies that started out of a need in a family with one or more celiacs in it. The list of those fine companies is too long to list here. But large companies like General Mills and Anheuser-Busch are entering the market to make money, as well they should. The problem is that such companies are not going to keep products around if they are not profitable enough. What deems something profitable enough at a large company is quite different than that same at a small company.

Anheuser-Busch might have overestimated the size of the gluten-free beer market. Not every person who can’t eat gluten is a beer lover, after all. Maybe Bard’s Tale will take advantage of this great opportunity to get their exceptional gluten-free beer (my opinion) distributed more widely in the U.S. In GA, the Savannah Distributing Company drives up twice a week to stock Whole Foods and some restaurants with Bard’s Tale beer.

Article Written by:

Tiffany is considered a gluten-free advocate as well as the most discriminating gluten-free diner around. Her goal is to help others learn that there is life after a celiac diagnosis. Gluten-free dining and travel are two of her favorite things to do. Tiffany is a contributing writer and the Advertising Manager at "Delight gluten free" magazine. Check out her local blog, Gluten-Free Atlanta, for tips and tricks about living gluten-free in the ATL! Follow Tiffany on Twitter!

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Comments

  1. Kim says:

    Thanks for clearing that up!

    Kim

  2. tonya boatman says:

    thank you for you post….i live in alexandria, la. and i have been having the hardest time getting redbridge in my area…my local gro store is working hard on getting it back in this area but right now i am without luck…i drove to whole foods in baton rouge to stock up on groceries and redbridge but that is a two hour drive from here….i was recently told at another gro store that our local distributor no longer carries it because not enough was being sold so the beer was going bad…i also have our local liquor store working on ordering me some…not been an easy task i might say… but thank you for letting us celiacs know what is really going on…i now have some leverage to work with…i will succeed in getting it in our area one way or another…i have very high hopes and besides…who in la. doesn’t need a cold beer with our crawfish?!?! thanks again!!!!!

  3. Glad to help Tonya! Good luck getting RB back into your market. I’ve seen the new version and the box is a bit different than the original version. The company said their goal was to make the beer more appealing to a larger segment of the gluten-free market – and to sell it in more states (due to lower alcohol content).

  4. Jay says:

    It’s always stocked at Kroger & Whole Foods. Haven’t a problem yet.

  5. dc says:

    There are some wonderful gluten-free beers from England sold as Green’s beer. The distributor will go to small liquor stores as well as large stores. Our local store orders it in for us. Being English, the beer is in pints. Ranges from ales to pils to Dubbel Dark Beer, Trippel blonde. Site: http://www.glutenfreebeers.co.uk/

  6. Kim says:

    That is interesting. However, I thought beerl was 6%. When I was growing up there was also 3.2 .Which is what we drank if we were under 21. I will double chck but i think the rest of the line up is 6%.

  7. I found Green’s (which is my fave gf beer so far) at a local liquor store this past weekend. I was over the moon as it was $2 less than at Whole Foods. Many beers I’ve checked are 5% alcohol by volume, but Redbridge is much less than that regardless. It wasn’t ever at 5% before the reformulation. Here is my post about other gf beer options in the U.S. It’s not comprehensive, but there is much more than Redbridge to choose from ;) http://celiac-disease.com/gluten-free-beer-market/

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Waffles and a Menu Plan « Gluten-free is Life says:

    […] Redbridge Beer is being reformulated. […]

  2. […] had trouble finding Redbridge lately, Tiffany Janes wrote a great article on it last week over at Celiac-Disease.com, check it […]

  3. […]  All of a sudden it disappeared from grocery stores shelves.  Tiffany Janes at Celiac-Disease.com reported that after speaking with a representative from Anheuser-Busch, she confirmed that the beer was […]

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