News

  • Friday, March 16, 2012 4:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    LANSING -- A poll commissioned by Michigan's beer and wine wholesalers suggests state residents aren't overly concerned with cutting “red tape” when it comes to alcohol sales. By a 2-1 margin, respondents said it was more important to “ensure that Michigan has strong safeguards on the sale of alcohol to ensure public safety,” than “to reform Michigan's outdated regulations that tie up local producers and small businesses.” More than 70% said alcohol needs stronger regulations than other consumer products and 76% said existing regulations on booze were “about right.” The poll of 506 likely voters, conducted in early February, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points, according to the poll produced jointly by the Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies and the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. The results were released Friday as a state advisory committee is working on a report to Gov. Rick Snyder that’s expected to recommend changes to the state’s alcohol control regulations. It's part of a systematic effort by the Snyder administration to modernize and ease business regulations statewide. “The system works and now is not the time to dismantle a system that protects people’s lives,” said Mike Tobias, coordinator for the Michigan Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking. Mike Lashbrook, president of the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association, said current laws require large and small beer and wine producers to sell their products through independent private distributors. He said that helps put Michigan craft beers and wines on an equal footing with large international producers. http://www.freep.com/article/20120317/BUSINESS06/203170318/Michiganders-OK-withbooze-regulations-poll-finds?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s

  • Thursday, February 16, 2012 3:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Kathryn Lynch‐Morin | klynchmo@mlive.com The Midland‐based Mackinac Center for Public Policy last month issued "Eight ideas for reforming alcohol control in Michigan." At the top of the list: Eliminate the beer and wine distributor monopoly on territory. While James C. Fabiano II declined comment on the issue, he did say the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association could speak on the company's behalf. Mike Lashbrook, president of Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers, said the Mackinac Center is off base calling any distributor in the state a monopoly. "We always tell people who question if there is a monopoly to go to a major grocery store and walk down the cereal or laundry detergent aisle and see how many manufacturers are represented on the shelves," Lashbrook said. "You'll see those product lines dominated by just a few manufacturers but if you go down the beer aisle or the wine aisle, you will see dozens, if not hundreds of manufacturers represented and that's true competition." The Mackinac Center is calling for the state to change the Michigan Liquor Control Code's requirement that suppliers of beer and wine grant exclusive sales territories to a select group of wholesalers.   "This mandate prevents competition, shackles suppliers and raises costs for consumers," Michael D. LaFaive of the Mackinac Center wrote in his summary.   Lashbrook of Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers said the rules as they stand now actually help create competition, maintain strong growth and create jobs. "If you got rid of them, you'd have a negative impact on jobs in this state," Lashbrook said. "If you look at the stability of companies like Fabiano, and their growth, their employment and what they do in their communities, it's due to the system that we have." LaFaive's other recommendations included allowing suppliers to distribute their own products as they wish, removing the Michigan government from liquor wholesaling, and to allow all businesses to apply for licenses for spirits and for beer and wine.   The suggestions, Lashbrook said, would lessen the regulations on alcohol. "Alcohol is a product the public has demanded have a higher level of regulation over," Lashbrook said. "The Mackinac Center believes you should treat it like a box of corn flakes."

  • Thursday, February 16, 2012 3:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    http://www.mlive.com/business/mid‐ michigan/index.ssf/2012/02/fabiano_bros_wraps_bay_city_ex.html Fabiano Bros. wraps Bay County expansion, begins renovations in Saginaw   Thursday, February 02, 2012 By Kathryn Lynch‐Morin | klynchmo@mlive.com [Video is included in the link.] MONITOR TWP. — James C. Fabiano II is always looking for opportunities. As a partner‐owner of the company his great‐grandfather started as a cantina in Italy in 1885, Fabiano is a key piece in the ever‐expanding beer and wine distribution empire. As a kid, he'd go with his dad, James Fabiano Sr., on weekend keg deliveries. Now, he oversees hundreds of workers in more than 20 counties across the state. And, he's not done yet. "We built in room for growth," Fabiano said. "In our business, you either get bigger or you get out." A 100,000‐square‐foot expansion was recently completed at Fabiano Bros. Monitor Township headquarters, bringing the space to a grand total of nearly 300,000 square feet. The expansion project included the addition of another storage room, a larger recycling center and additional receiving and shipping doors. About 70 percent of the expansion is used for case storage and 30 percent for the recycling and sorting center, as Fabiano gets back 100 percent of the bottles, cans and kegs it sells. Upgrades are under way at Fabiano's wine warehouse in Saginaw, where crews are putting in new lighting, a new roof and a new heating system. In 2009, Fabiano Bros. moved its headquarters from Mount Pleasant to the same Monitor Township location at Mackinaw Road off US‐10, and still operates distribution centers in Petoskey and Saginaw. Fabiano purchased Flint‐based Tom Ryan Distributing Co. in December 2010, increasing the company’s volume by 60 percent to 9 million cases per year. The company's reach now covers 18 counties including Bay, Midland, Isabella, and Saginaw, as well as Beaver and Mackinac Islands. A  voice‐activated system is used to store and distribute the millions of cases of beer that go through the facility each year, and distributors from across the country even visit Fabiano's headquarters when they're planning facility upgrades.   "We're about as high tech as you can get," Fabiano said. "People are modeling their sites after ours." About 350 people are employed at this site, and as many as 400 or more people can be employed there during the busy summer months, Fabiano said. Workers in one area of the building are busy printing table tents for customers — Fabiano does all of its printing in‐house — and in another area, a sales team is discussing Seagram's. The company also employs 75 to 100 delivery drivers, a large sales force, a group of full‐time mechanics who service the Fabiano fleet and a team of training experts who teach the art of the perfect pour and in which glass you serve a stout.   "We're rocking and rolling," Fabiano said.

  • Friday, November 18, 2011 3:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    PONTIAC – Family owned distributor Hubert Distributors is partnering with an exciting new Royal Oak craft brewery, MillKing It Productions (MIP), to bring exciting new beers to stores across Oakland County. Already, the partnership has helped bring MIP’s products to more stores, restaurants and taverns in Oakland County. “We’re really excited at Hubert Distributors to support a local Oakland County brewer who’s making great beers and we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and work hard to help MillKing It Productions succeed,” said Tom Vella, president of Hubert, which has served as a beer distributor in Oakland County for decades. “Hubert strongly believes in supporting our community and local businesses like MIP brewery. They’re making exciting and terrific products and we want to help get those products to new markets and showcase the tremendous range of local Oakland County choices available to consumers when it comes to beer.” “Our brewery is very happy to be working with Hubert Distributors and we foresee a great partnership going forward,” said Scott King, founder of MIP brewery. “As a new business, MIP brewery wants to make sure that we can focus on making the best beers around, and Hubert Distributors can focus on getting those beers to stores. Hubert has an extensive network, a fleet of trucks and excellent sales people along with more than a half‐century of experience distributing quality products and services. This partnership is a win‐win for both our businesses.” A Clawson resident, King started dabbling in brewing his own craft beers as a University of Michigan student in the 1980s. King’s philosophy is to demystify craft beers and present his products in a straight‐ forward manner. A growing trend that MIP is tapping into: The brewer will use 16‐ounce cans, not glass bottles. The reason: Light and oxygen are a beer’s worst enemy, King says. Plus, glass costs are going up, while cans are more transportable. In 2010, MIP made 1,000 barrels of beer, or around 13,700 cases. Now, thanks to the new growth potential and strong distribution prospects both in Oakland County and beyond, MIP expects to boost annual output eight‐fold, to 8,000 barrels, or nearly 110,000 cases. The expanded production is expected to generate more than $2 million in new revenue for MIP.   For Vella of Hubert Distributors, which employs 105 people, MIP’s potential is virtually limitless: “MIP brewery is a true bright spot in Michigan’s growing beer sector, and as a distributor, we are 100 percent committed to helping it succeed. Nearly every other day, we’re bringing new beer products to market, and that diversity and range of choice is what’s helping make Michigan the Great Beer State.”

  • Friday, October 07, 2011 4:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     By Andrew Dodson | Booth Mid-Michigan View full sizeAndrew Dodson | Booth MidMichiganCrews paint the ceilings inside of Fabiano Brothers' new 100,000-square-foot expansion currently under construction. The expansion comes after acquiring Flint-based Tom Ryan Distributing Co. in December, increasing the company's volume by 60 percent to 9 million cases per year. Construction is scheduled to be complete by December. MONITOR TOWNSHIP — An expansion at Fabiano Bros. Inc. is nearing completion and will soon be the new home for millions of cases of beer. For now, that beer, and other beverages, are stacked to the ceiling at the beverage distributor’s existing 191,000-square-foot building at 1885 Bevanda Court near the US-10-Mackinaw Road exchange in Monitor Township. Fabiano purchased Flint-based Tom Ryan Distributing Co. in December, increasing the company’s volume by 60 percent to 9 million cases per year. “It’s safe to say, we’re busting at the seams right now,” said Joe Fabiano, co-owner of the company. “We’re getting close to getting everything done around here — we’re definitely ready to get everything in place.” The 100,000-square-foot expansion is expected to be completed by December. It includes another storage room, a larger recycling center and additional receiving and shipping doors. Company officials declined to reveal the cost of the project. View full sizeAndrew Dodson | Booth MidMichiganFrom left, Steve Williams, superintendent of St. Louis, Mo.-based S.M. Wilson and Co., the general contractor for Fabiano Brothers' 100,000-square-foot expansion project in Monitor Township, gives instructions on Wednesday to Tom Kirchner, a concrete cutter with Freeland-based Concrete Cutting Specialists. About 70 percent of the expansion is to be used for case storage and 30 percent for the recycling and sorting center. A 20-foot-by-20-foot door that two forklifts can fit through provides entry from the existing building to the addition, which is located on the south end of Fabiano’s property. A giant walk-in, refrigerator-type room that stores kegs filled with beer has moved to the front of the existing building, making the trip from the cooler to the truck shorter and more efficient. On Wednesday, crews painted the ceiling and walls inside the building, along with the building’s exterior, and finished electrical wiring. Steve Williams, superintendent of St. Louis-based S.M. Wilson and Co., the project’s general contractor, said more than 100 construction workers have worked on the project. “It’s been a great project all the way around,” Williams said. “The local sub-contractors are great workers and we’ve worked well with the owners.” © 2011 MLive.com. All rights reserved. 

  • Monday, October 03, 2011 4:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Powers Distributing committed to marketing craft beer, expanding choice ORION TOWNSHIP  ‐‐  Powers Distributing Co. a third‐generation family owned beer distributor, was honored today as the nation’s top distributor of craft beers, receiving the 2011 Craft Beer Distributor of the Year Award given by the Brewers Association and the National Beer Wholesalers Association. Now in its fifth year, the national award recognizes a beer distributor that does the most to market and distribute craft beer, including expanding and growing new markets to increase consumer choice.   “Powers Distributing is truly honored to win this award for doing what we have done for three generations – and that’s making sure we provide the widest choice of beers to adult consumers, support locally made craft beers, partner with local businesses and provide quality service to everyone,” Powers Co‐President Rob Powers said. “Powers remains committed to continuing our promise to provide quality products, wide choice to consumers, creating local jobs and giving back to our community today and into the future. Powers is proud to showcase terrific local craft beers and deliver choice to consumers, especially Michigan beers that have made us the Great Beer State.” Powers Distributing has been innovative in its efforts to promote and educate about craft beer brands. Through its Web site, Powers Distributing has constructed a “Beer Finder” which teaches consumers about craft beers and the many types, flavors and styles available. Powers also has created “mix‐6 packs” consisting of different craft beer varieties and has made them available to retailers who educate consumers through sampling. One Michigan brewery, North Peak Brewing Co. in Traverse City, has partnered with Powers for years. North Peak Managing Partner Jon Carlson said: “Our brewery is very happy to work with Powers Distributing and their outstanding staff, all of whom work very hard to get our products as well as craft beers from other breweries into local markets. Michigan’s craft beer sector is doing well today thanks in large part to the efforts of distributors like Powers, who are terrific partners when it comes to expanding choices for consumers. This partnership is a win‐win for both our businesses.” While more than 1,500 craft breweries produce nearly 13,000 labels of beer nationwide, Michigan is home to more than 80 craft breweries and brew pubs, ranking it fifth in the nation. Sales of Michigan craft beer in Michigan supermarkets almost doubled from $11.2 million in 2007 to $22 million in 2010, according to Symphony IRI Group. Much of that growth has been the result of especially close partnerships and cooperation between Michigan craft brewers and local distributors. Michigan beer distributors have won the award two years in a row, with Imperial Beverage of Kalamazoo winning in 2010. Powers has also been a finalist for the award for the past three years, winning it this year. In 2010, Michigan’s craft beer industry had its largest growth spike ever, jumping 21 percent in sales over 2009 – outpacing the national average of 5 percent.   Meanwhile, family owned Michigan distributors like Powers Distributing continue to remain stable, protecting good‐paying local jobs for more than 5,100 men and women across the state. Among Michigan craft beers Powers distributes are products by Michigan Brewing Co., Dragonmeade, Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. and North Peak Brewing Co. Powers was one of only 16 distributors selected from thousands nationwide for the 2009 honor. Distributors source labels from brewers of all kinds – large and small, domestic and international – unlocking the market for new beer brands, small breweries and innovative beverages. Beer distributors like Powers help craft brewers grow and compete by helping them reach a wide network of retailers.  The U.S. beer distribution system provides a level playing field that allows all brewers equal access to consumers.   The award is a joint project of the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Brewers Association.

  • Thursday, September 29, 2011 4:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Mackinac Center's recent column in the Times Herald regarding Michigan's alcohol laws does not give the big picture of a system that historically has been successful. Talk to any number of Michigan brewers or large national brewers and there is no doubt that the partnership between beer-maker and distributor fuels growth and jobs in Michigan. Earl Smith Distributing has developed successful partnerships with dozens of brewers, importers and many of the 80 craft brewers and brew pubs here in Michigan. Craft brewers here in Michigan have flourished with the help of creative partnerships with family-owned businesses such as ours. The brewers focus on making beer, while we focus on delivering beer to over 600 retail customers. We have been in business for over 78 years providing many jobs with good wages and benefits. The Center's claim that Michigan's alcohol laws discourage competition is inaccurate. In June alone, 47 new brands of beer entered the Michigan market. Amid wide choice, Michigan's alcohol laws have increased exposure to Michigan products, allowed manufacturers to tap into the marketing and merchandising expertise of the distributors, and kept tainted products off the shelves, all in an accountable and transparent manner. Despite the center's claims, the state does not set distribution territories. Brewers and wineries do and the number of distributor licenses is not restricted. As a result of this competitive climate, Michigan has 138 licensed distributors, more than states of comparable size. While brewers and distributors support modernizing regulations, it is important to remember that both our private companies are succeeding today because of Michigan's alcohol laws, which balance competitiveness with the public good. Sales of Michigan beers are up. So is responsibility and moderation. We must be doing something right. ROBERT E. SMITH President, Earl Smith Distributing Co., Port Huron 

  • Friday, September 23, 2011 4:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Garden Party Foundation celebrated its third annual The Garden Party event at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills, featuring food from Michigan’s best restaurants and 100 of the finest wines. More than 600 people attended this year’s Garden Party. Proceeds from the event benefited Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan and Oakland Community College Culinary Studies Institute, with $35,000 to be donated to each organization from The Garden Party Foundation. Elizabeth and Sydney L. Ross, founders of The Garden Party Foundation and owners of Great Lakes Wine and Spirits, presented the checks at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 12 to William Seklar, president of Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan, Dr. Timothy Meyer, Oakland Community College Chancellor, and Chef Susan Baier, Program Coordinator of Oakland Community College’s Culinary Studies Institute. The presentation took place at Meadow Brook Hall – the new site for the 2012 The Garden Party. Next year’s Garden Party will take place on June 10, 2012. “We are thrilled that the next generation of Detroit philanthropists supported Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan and OCC Culinary Studies by attending the event,” said Ross. “We are already looking forward to next year and are excited to hold The Garden Party on the beautiful grounds of Meadow Brook Hall.” Several event sponsors helped make the event a success including Atlas Oil, Bodman PLC, Celani Family Vineyards, Charity Motors, Comerica, English Gardens, Epiphany Glass, Fifth Third Bank, Great Lakes Wine & Spirits, Hour Detroit, Korotkin Insurance Group, Moon Valley Rustic Furniture, The Morawski’s, Ryder, Plum Market, The Schindler Group, The Suburban Collection, UHY Advisors, and Yelp. Headquartered in Troy, Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan is a statewide agency helping Michigan families cope with leukemia, lymphoma and related blood disorders by providing information, financial assistance and emotional support. Oakland Community College’s Culinary Studies Institute provides students with hands-on experiences in one of the largest facilities of its type, with quality instruction by award-winning faculty. — From staff reports http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2011/09/14/life/suburban_life/doc4e713095677fb18224360 5.txt?viewmode=fullstory  

  • Monday, August 22, 2011 4:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    JACKSON – Family owned distributor Anderson Distributing Co. is partnering with Jackson’s landmark craft brewer, the Local Pub & Brewery, to bring exciting new beers to stores across Mid‐Michigan.   “We’re really excited at Anderson Distributing to support a local Jackson brewer who’s making great beers and we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and work hard to help Local Pub & Brewery succeed,” said Steve Anderson Sr., president of Anderson Distributing, which has served the community since 1958. “Anderson Distributing strongly believes in supporting our community and local businesses. Local Pub & Brewery makes terrific products and we want to help get those products to new markets to showcase the tremendous range of Michigan‐made choices available to consumers when it comes to beer.” “Our brewery is happy to be working with Anderson Distributing and we foresee a great partnership going forward,” said Phil Wilcox, founder of Local Pub & Brewery. “As a new business, Local Pub & Brewery wants to make sure that we can focus on making the best beers around, and Anderson Distributing can focus on getting those beers to stores. Anderson has an extensive network, a fleet of trucks and salespeople and more than a half‐century of experience distributing quality products and services. This partnership is a win‐win for both our businesses.” Anderson will begin distributing Local Pub & Brewery products to retailers, restaurants, bars and taverns in Jackson, Branch, Hillsdale and Lenawee counties starting in late August.   Local Pub & Brewery is the only craft brewer currently operating in Jackson County. It is located at 6020 Ann Arbor Road, off the Sargent Road exit on I‐94. The brewery opened in early 2011, after renovating a long‐vacant building. The Local Pub & Brewery makes the lightning kolsch north German style beer;  the Lucky Penny Alt, an old‐style beer; the E.H. Pilsner, a classic American pilsner inspired by two pre‐ Prohibition‐era Jackson breweries; the JaXon IPA, which is based on a national award‐winning recipe; the crisp Cork County Irish Stout; the Yellow Dog Bit‐her, a traditional British ale; and the Mulligan Wheat, a spice‐tinted ale.     Anderson Distributing was established in 1958 in Jackson and today is a third‐generation family business. Anderson employs 35 people in good‐paying jobs with benefits. It carries more than 500 brands of beers and wines, reflecting its commitment to deliver wide choice and selection to Mid‐ Michigan. Anderson is also active in the community, supporting local charity, community and public safety programs. To learn more about Local Pub & Brewery: http://www.thelocalpubandbrewery.com/ To learn more about Anderson Distributing Co.: http://andersondist.net  

  • Monday, August 01, 2011 4:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Jim Holton and Joe Fabiano Like many local businesses, Mt. Pleasant Brewing Co. grew from humble beginnings. The very first batch of beer from what is today Mt. Pleasant Brewing began life in a college dorm room, and has grown, over the past 3 years, into an acclaimed Michigan craft beer. This summer, as adults raise a toast to friends and family with mugs of cold Michigan beer, we'd like to tell the story of what helps make Michigan the Great Beer State. It's a story of innovation and entrepreneurship. It's also a story about building partnerships and how our separate businesses ‐ a craft brewer and a beer distributor ‐ can thrive under a pro‐growth alcohol distribution system in Michigan that balances business needs with public safety. One of the first things Mt. Pleasant Brewing did three years ago when it was time to reach a wider market was find a distributor. Fabiano Brothers, which distributes to retailers and taverns in more than 30 counties, was a natural choice. And for Fabiano, supporting a local hometown brewery that made quality products made sense. Fabiano Brothers' network covers a region stretching from Midland to Mackinac Island, from Caro to Kalkaska. A fourth‐generation company with roots dating to the late 1800s, Fabiano Brothers employs more than 300 people in highly skilled, good‐paying jobs. At Mt. Pleasant Brewing, growth has also been a theme. From two employees when the brewery started, Mt. Pleasant Brewing today employs 12 people and recently added new fermentation units to keep up with demand ‐ and demand, as other Michigan craft brewers know, is growing. Michigan's craft beer industry as a whole grew an impressive 21 percent from 2009 to 2010. Sales of Michigan craft beer almost doubled from $11.2 million in 2007 to $22 million in 2010. Much of that growth is the result of Michigan's beer distribution system, which consists of three separate, independent tiers ‐ brewer, distributor and retailer. Each segment of the beer sector is distinct and independent. Brewers like Mt. Pleasant Brewing Co. do what they do best ‐‐ make beer. Distributors like Fabiano handle the logistics of reaching new markets and maximizing distribution. And stores and restaurants sell a wide range of beer without undue outside influence. For craft brewers and their fans, Michigan's beer distribution laws ensure that small brewers can compete with large, out‐of‐state beer conglomerates. That means more competition, more choices and ultimately, more jobs. The alternative would be what Scottish craft brewer BrewDog complained about in the June edition of Beverage World. In Britain, large corporate breweries own bars and restaurants. Small independent beer‐makers must sell their products through these large breweries, which have little incentive to sell craft beers and instead, step up sales of their own products in bars they own to consumers who have fewer choices. Not good for consumers or independent craft brewers. Michigan, on the other hand, has more than 80 craft beer‐makers, ranking our state fifth nationally, with at least three more planning to open this year, according to the Associated Press. Mt. Pleasant Brewing and Fabiano Brothers are like family today, investing in the future together and growing, thanks to Michigan's beer distribution law. We're proof that the partnership between small brewer and distributor results in growth and success. Jim Holton is founder of Mt. Pleasant Brewing Co. Joseph Fabiano II is president of Fabiano Brothers Inc

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Lansing, Michigan 48933
Phone: 517.482.5555
Fax: 517.482.1532

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