River Barrel distribution portfolio expanded to include two South Sound breweries


River Barrel Distributing continues to expand its list of Pacific Northwest breweries with the addition of Triceratops Brewing Company and Sig Brewing Company. Both are family-run breweries based in Washington.

Triceratops Brewing was founded by partners Rob and Kelly Horn. Originally from Flemington, NJ, the Horns relocated to Olympia, WA and opened their own brewery in August 2014 after years of home brewing. Triceratops operations began in the family garage and with the surname Horn, the brewery name was an easy choice. Three years later, the Horns opened a tasting room in Tumwater and had a steady influx of great customers, good friends and craft beer lovers.

“We’re very excited to add Triceratops to our list,” says Joe Cohen, River Barrel’s director of sales. “Rob and Kelly brew clean, classic styles that appeal to a broad market of beer drinkers.”

To date, Triceratops Brewing has won four Washington Beer Awards medals for Hawthorne Coffee Milk Stout, Pennsylvania Vienna-Style Lager, Revival Coffee and Motors Coffee Milk Stout, and Bohemian Raspberry Golden Ale.

Three varieties that Cohen would like to share with the western Washington area are:

Collin James Irish Red Ale – Low alcohol and bitterness, this Irish Red Ale is a balanced people pleaser. Lightly hopped with the mild, earthy and slightly woody Fuggle variety, this beer indulges the nose with a rich, toffee-like aroma. Meanwhile, plum and raisin notes play with a slightly bready and nutty flavor provided by Irish ale malt and hints of roasted barley.

Liquid Swords IPA – We launched our popular rotating IPA series back in 2016 and have not made the same beer since, drawing on the wide variety of expressive hop varieties available to brewers. Hazy or light, fruity or piney, no two chambers are the same, and they never last long.

Pennsyltucky Vienna-Style Lager – This smooth Vienna-style lager is inspired by the brewing traditions of central Pennsylvania. Caramunich malt brings a nice, roasted flavor to this classic style, while cluster hops add a bit of bite and a touch of earthy bitterness.

About 30 miles northeast of Triceratops’ taproom is the Sig Brewing Company. Opened in 2020, this family-run eatery in Tacoma’s Historic Brewing District offers beers of almost every style and a full selection of brick oven pizzas.

“We love craft beer and are very proud to be part of the local community,” says John Samuelson, founder of Sig Brewing. We were fortunate to hire a talented Head Brewer in Jeff Stokes and opened our doors in Spring 2020. Our goal was to differentiate ourselves in as many ways as possible, including our beers, food and taprooms.”

Sig Brewing focuses on experimental styles, including fermented and acidified beers, as well as hoppy beers and pilsners. Three brands distributed by River Barrel are:

Experimental Nectar IPA – A cloudy/juicy IPA brewed with 2-row wheat and pilsner malt along with some rolled oats and brown sugar. Hopped with NZ Cascade, swirled with Nectaron and infused with a blend of Hopsteiner’s EXP 17701 and 17704 DDH hops. Fermented with Cosmic Punch yeast from Omega Yeast.

In Rainbows IPA – An unfiltered American IPA brewed with 2-row specialty Pale and Spitz malts paired with a touch of oatmeal. Kettle hopped with Bravo and Citra and DDH’d with Mosaic and Comet. The perfect IPA to marvel at rainbows. Fermented with Omega Yeast OYL-005 Irish Ale Strain.

Pilscifer: A New American Pilsner – Built on a malt base of Pilsner malt with hints of corn, wheat, oats and Viennese malt. We then kettle hopped Pilscifer with Adeena and dry hopped with El Dorado. Crunchy with a new fruit flavor and fermented with Fermentis 34/70 lager yeast.

“I’m excited to be on board with River Barrel and I hope this partnership allows us to continue to push boundaries and grow our brand,” said Stokes. “I’m really excited to expand our lager program and cask aged portfolio over time, but I’m also excited for the opportunity to bring our flagship beers to a much broader range of spots!”

River Barrel Distributing serves King, Pierce, Thurston, Lewis, Snohomish, Kitsap and Grays Harbor counties in western Washington.

Around River Barrel Spread

River Barrel Spread is a West Washington area distribution company serving King, Pierce, Thurston, Lewis, Snohomish, Kitsap and Grays Harbor Washington counties with a premium selection of craft beers, spirits, wines, mead and ciders.

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