Sometimes you want to take care of your own backyard. That’s essentially the reason that Boston-based Harpoon Brewery — now the 18th largest craft brewer in the country, according to the Brewers Association, operates a separate distribution business to serve its home market.
When Harpoon first opened its doors in 1986, the brewery, like many startup craft producers, self-distributed in its immediate region out of necessity. About a decade later, as the company grew, it signed with a local wholesaler to take over distribution in the Greater Boston area. However, a few years after that, it brought local distribution back in house under its wholly owned subsidiary, Harpoon Distributing Co.