Who are you guys?
We’re just three brothers and some like minded friends, who share a passion for well-crafted beers and an interest in traditional beer styles. We’ve all done a little brewing on the side. Mainly, we like drinking beer.
What are you doing here?
People always ask how we ended up importing beer for a living. Like any good job, this one started with the dedicated pursuit of a cherished hobby: scaring up and throwing down the best beers in whatever part of the world we happened to be in. Between us, we’ve hunted undiscovered beers on every continent (save Antarctica) and bagged thousands of ‘em. It was brother Joel who first stumbled on the Cantillon Brewery in Brussels, where the beer is fermented with wild yeast borne on the open air. He became fast friends with the brewer and his family, and brought great quantities of their incredible lambic beer back home for the rest of us to enjoy. When we couldn’t find Cantillon in any stores here, we were forced to import it ourselves. The rest is rather boring history.
Simply, beer is what we care about. We love wine & spirits, sure, we will start importing some of it very soon. But the world of beer is a lot broader, infinitely more diverse, and more colorful than the world of wine. And we hope that when the dust settles, you agree that beer and beer appreciation deserve the highest respect. About this, we’re perfectly serious: a good beer offers all the complexity, interest, and sheer sensual pleasure of a good wine. It just doesn’t cost as much.
But then again, it’s only beer.
How do you pick the breweries and beers you import?
The best beers are brewed with a sense of place, a distinctive house character, and an appreciation for tradition, value, and/or the natural art of beer-making. Most often, this is expressed in breweries producing less than 5,000hl per year, though some brilliant exceptions exist, especially in Germany.
Beer should have depth, texture, and nuance – it should sometimes even be a little rough around the edges. There are a few (very few) exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, that means the following about a brewery’s beers:
- Brewed in small batches using traditional methods
- Unfiltered / Bottle-conditioned
- Little to no use of spices or adjuncts
- Distinctive house yeast or yeasts
- Dry as opposed to sweet
There’s no miracle to importing good beer – just hard work and a lot of travel. We specifically seek out unmanipulated beer, generally looking to small breweries with craftsmen taking seriously their passion for a natural, traditionally made product.
Shelton Brothers is the only beer importer with these specific criteria for hand-selecting what we offer to our customers. We’ve turned down offers from large European breweries, and we’ll do it again. We’re only interested in bringing you the very best.