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"We're all about local, but its also a chance to try bringing breweries outside of their market," Kwapil said.Guest Brewer will kick-off its first month in Milwaukee with Loose Cannon IPA and TropiCannon citrus IPA, both from Baltimore, Maryland-based Heavy Seas Brewing, and Capella Porter from Portland, Oregon-based Ecliptic Brewing Co. Those beers will be on tap at select bars and restaurants under the "Guest Brewer" tap handle and by-the-pack at liquor stores. In July, that selection will rotate to feature Rocky Mountain Kolsch and Thai Style White IPA, both from Boulder, Colorado-based Upslope Brewing Co.; and Sweet As Pacific Ale and Descender IPA, both from Bend, Oregon-based GoodLife Brewing Co. Brew Pipeline has so far secured almost 20 craft brews that will participate in the three-month Guest Brewer program. Each beer will "visit" a new city each month for only 30 days, which fuels competition with local breweries, said Kwapil.
"That urgency will create fast turnover in the store," he said. "There's data out there that shows new brands coming into a market are hot for the first six to eight weeks, so we're focusing on that special limited edition timing."The program's current roster spans 12 brewers from across the U.S., including two Wisconsin-based businesses: O'so Brewing Co. in Plover and MobCraft Beer in Milwaukee. Kwapil said the company is in talks with other Milwaukee-based breweries, saying there is "no lack" of interest. That's because Brew Pipeline has rolled out a model that it claims will be profitable for brewers. It handles the logistics, including state regulations, transportation standards, shipment and distributor contracts, that in recent years has presented barriers when breaking into a new market. "We want to provide an opportunity for these brewers that they just don't have," Kwapil said. "It's much more profitable because they don't have all those support expenses. They just have to have the beer for us." Once a brewery has gone through Brew Pipeline's three-month Guest Brewer program, that partnership comes to an end because "there are thousands more brewers out there," he said. Starting in June, Guest Brewer's rotating craft beer selection can be found at Milwaukee-area stores and taverns including: