The folks over at Big Geyser believe craft soda is headed the way of craft beer, and they want in. Last week, the independent New York distributor announced it had entered into an exclusive agreement with Boylan Bottling Co. to service its Boylan and Mash products throughout Big Geyser’s New York metro territories. The agreement will see Boylan’s departure from its current partnership with Manhattan Beer company, a process that’s expected to complete within 30-60 days.
Big Geyser COO Jerry Reda informed suppliers on Friday via email, writing “Much like the craft beer industry, craft soda is set for significant growth in the near future and Big Geyser sees Boylan as the preeminent product and organization in the craft soda space.”
Reda says the addition of Boylan won’t come at the expense of GuS, its other craft soda offering, which it has distributed since 2003. While both brands come in glass packaging and eschew high fructose corn syrup for cane sugar, Boylan’s positioned itself as an old-time soda classic, whereas GuS offers a more modern, juice-based beverage.
GuS founder Steve Hersh says his brand already shares truck space with Boylan in several other distribution territories and, if anything, he expects it to boost the craft soda category on the whole.
“They’re very different brands,” said Hersh. “But we do see it as a validation of this craft soda boomlet that has been our mantra to retailers. We’re trying to grow the category and this puts muscle behind it.”
Boylan Bottling Co. dates back to 1891, when pharmacist William Boylan first developed a birch beer elixir in his New Jersey apothecary. Now, the brand boasts a portfolio of more than 20 flavors, including diet and seltzer varieties.
The addition of Boylan comes as the latest move in what has been a year of big happenings for Big Geyser. In January, the company requested a buyout of its contract with Glaceau. Then in February, Big Geyser added Core Natural alkaline water to its stable of brands, presumably to fill in for the recently-departed Smartwater.