News

  • Wednesday, May 20, 2020 2:38 PM | Deleted user

    Poll gauged Michigan residents’ comfort level in returning to bars, restaurants, concerts and sporting events

    DETROIT — A new poll finds Michiganders plan to ease back into social activities like going out to eat and attending concerts or sporting events as restrictions are lifted or loosened in Michigan.

    The poll was conducted April 20-24 by Warrior Market Insight. It was commissioned by Great Lakes Wine & Spirits (GLWAS), a statewide distributor of wine and spirits, after the distributor was contacted by several restaurants seeking to gauge consumer sentiment on returning to some normal activities.

    “The poll drew from a panel of consumers and a social media campaign” said Mark Barron of Warrior Market Insight. “In total, over 1000 Michigan residents responded to the survey from 64 of the state’s 83 counties.”

    “This poll shows strong support for the state’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve in Michigan. It’s clear those efforts are paying off as regions of the state are beginning to open,” said Lew Cooper III, co-CEO of Great Lakes Wine & Spirits. “The poll also paints a sobering picture of how reluctant Michiganders are to return to some normal activities before a COVID-19 vaccine or antibody tests are available.”

    When asked about Gov. Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order, issued on April 9, nearly 49% of respondents were neutral on the restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19, while 17% felt it didn’t go far enough. Meanwhile, 12% of those surveyed felt the order went too far. More than 70% of respondents approved of plans to reopen the economy in phases.

    The poll also gauged Michiganders’ comfort with returning to normal activities, like going out to eat at a restaurant, catching a movie or attending a sporting event.

    When asked how likely they would be to resume these activities within the first week the stay at home order is lifted, respondents said:

    • 77% would be unlikely to see a sporting event, while 11% would attend one
    • 76% would be unlikely to go to a bar or nightclub, while 14% would likely go
    • 74% would be unlikely to go see a movie, while 15% would be to likely to see one, and
    • 62% would be unlikely to visit a restaurant, while 32% would be likely to visit one

    Respondents grew slightly more comfortable resuming those activities within the first month the stay at home order is lifted. The largest change in activity after the first week was respondent’s willingness to go back out to restaurants.

    • 70% would be unlikely to see a sporting event, while 17% would attend one
    • 67% would be unlikely to go to a bar or nightclub, while 21% would likely go
    • 63% would be unlikely to go see a movie, while 25% would likely see one, and
    • 38% would be unlikely to visit a restaurant, while 51% would likely visit one

    Those surveyed approve of bars and restaurants providing hand sanitizer (80%), installing physical barriers (74%), requiring social distancing between groups (70%), requiring servers to wear masks (67%) and taking customers’ temperatures at the door (46%).

    However, it likely won’t be until a vaccine or coronavirus antibody tests are available before respondents said they would feel more comfortable returning to large gatherings, like sporting events (65%) or concerts (67%).

    “This poll shows Michigan’s restaurant and entertainment industry will be slow to rebound from the economic impact of this pandemic, but it will rebound,” Cooper said. “It will be important for bars and restaurants to closely follow guidance from public health officials to ensure a safe environment for customers as we adjust to the ‘new normal’ created by this pandemic.”

    Since the start of the pandemic, Great Lakes Wine & Spirits has been at the forefront of helping Michigan’s restaurants and their employees. The distributor has spent over $500,000 to purchase gift cards for employees to use at restaurants across the state and contributed $25,000 to the Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund. The fund was created to help restaurant employees impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

    GLWAS has also been regularly delivering hand sanitizer produced by Michigan distilleries to front-line health care workers across the state.

    “At Great Lakes Wine & Spirits, we pride ourselves on stepping up and helping those in need in the communities we call home,” said Syd Ross, co-CEO of GLWAS. “By purchasing meals from restaurants, donating to a restaurant worker relief fund and delivering hand sanitizer to the people who need it most, we’re doing our part during this public health crisis.”

    # # #

    Great Lakes Wine & Spirits is Michigan’s largest wine and liquor distributor. With more than 800 employees and facilities across the state, GLWAS services nearly 17,000 accounts in all 83 Michigan counties on both peninsulas. For more information, please visit www.GLWAS.com.

     

    Warrior Market Insight is a Michigan-based business led by Michiganders providing B2B and B2C customer research and insight.

  • Tuesday, May 19, 2020 4:29 PM | Deleted user

    MICHIGAN — Holland based Big Lake Brewing has released Healthcare Heroes, a beer brewed in tribute to those working in the medical field during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are joined by Imperial Beverage, Big Lake’s statewide distributor partner, in making donations to local hospitals to celebrate the beer’s release. 

    “We wanted to give something back to the healthcare heroes in our communities, and celebrate them with their own tribute beer,” said Big Lake Brewing owner, Travis Prueter.

    Initial donations include Holland Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital in Ann Arbor, two hospitals where a group of nurses helped with the name and label for the beer, as well as Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Imperial and Big Lake hope to expand that reach to hospitals in other parts of the state as funds allow.

    “As frontline heroes in the fight against COVID-19, healthcare workers are providing critical care to our communities,” said Joe Cekola, President of Imperial Beverage. “We are proud to join Big Lake in thanking and supporting them.”

    Healthcare Heroes follows two other tribute beers Big Lake has recently released: Farmer Strong and We’re In This Together. The hazy double New England IPA is brewed with Mosaic and Idaho 7 hops and rings in at 9.0% ABV. Released today, 4 packs of the tribute beer will be available statewide. Locations carrying the beer can be found at imperialbeverage.com/find-a-product.

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    Imperial Beverage is a long-standing member of the Michigan beverage distribution community. Established in 1933 after the repeal of prohibition and purchased by Kalamazoo’s Cekola family in 1984, Imperial has grown from a one county beer distributor to a top 10 statewide beer, wine & spirits wholesaler. With 390 employees and 4 locations in Kalamazoo, Livonia, Traverse City and Ishpeming, Imperial provides statewide coverage that serves every Michigan County, every week, all year long.

    Big Lake Brewing is a craft brewery located in downtown Holland, Mich. Best known for Blood Orange Haze, Michigan Amber, Camper, and Swing Juice, as well as their innovative new releases, Big Lake puts an emphasis on quality ingredients, consistent recipes, and a passion for quality control. Founded in 2009, Big Lake has grown from a half-barrel system to a fifteen barrel brewhouse and was included in the “Top 50 Fastest Growing Breweries of 2018.” More at http://biglakebrewing.com


  • Monday, May 04, 2020 1:49 PM | Deleted user

    Beer, wine and spirits distributor stepping up to help those on the front lines fighting COVID-19

    LANSING — Henry A. Fox Sales, a statewide distributor of beer, wine and spirits, today announced it is donating $100,000 to nearly 20 charities and nonprofits across Michigan who are helping those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting Michiganders from all across our state and we are proud to donate $100,000 to charities and nonprofits on the front lines of this global health pandemic,” said Brien Fox, President of Henry A. Fox Sales. “We’re proud to do our part to help during this crisis and help ensure these groups have the resources they need to support Michigan’s most vulnerable residents.”

    Charities and nonprofits receiving funds include United Way chapters across Michigan, several food banks, the Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund, the National Restaurant Association Relief Fund, the United States Bartender's Guild Emergency Assistance Program, as well as other community funds created to support those affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

    “I want to thank Henry A. Fox Sales for donating $30,000 to the Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund to help restaurant employees throughout Michigan get through this health pandemic,” said Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association. “Restaurant employees are struggling to make ends meet and this donation will go a long way towards helping them provide for their families.”

    “This generous donation from Henry A. Fox Sales is another example of how Michigan’s beer and wine distributors are leaders in charitable giving,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association. “I applaud the team at Henry A. Fox Sales for stepping up to do their part during this public health crisis.”

    Henry A. Fox Sales is a family owned and independent beer, wine and spirits distributor serving retailers and restauranteurs throughout the state. Their team of nearly 150 sales, delivery, warehouse and front office staff take pride in being the distributor of choice and valued trade partner to their customers and suppliers.  

    “At Henry A. Fox, we have deep roots in our community and a longstanding commitment to giving back through investment, employment and charitable giving and we’re honored to do our part to help those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Fox said.

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  • Friday, April 24, 2020 2:38 PM | Deleted user

    Ann Arbor-based beer and wine distributor committed to providing community nonprofits with resources

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Raves Associates, a beer and wine distributor, announced today the company has made donations to multiple nonprofit organizations that work to alleviate and eliminate hunger. The donations were made to help families and frontline health care workers impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    Donations were made to Ann Arbor-based Food Gatherers and A2 Helps, as well as Loaves and Fishes of Southwest Detroit.

    “Rave Associates is committed to lending a helping hand to our community, especially to those who don’t know where their next meal will come from during this difficult time,” said Jim Warbritton, president of Rave Associates. “Food banks have seen increased demand over the last several weeks and health care workers are covering longer shifts under stressful conditions, and we want to do everything possible to help them during this time of need.”

    Rave Associates’ donations will directly benefit those who face food insecurity in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Michigan’s economy, as well as health care workers staffing hospitals during the pandemic.

    Loaves and Fishes is a collaborative that provides small food pantries with funding to assist residents in Detroit in breaking the cycle of hunger. A2 Helps receives donations from the community to purchase gift cards to local restaurants and retail stores, which are distributed to health care professionals in partnership with St. Joe’s Hospital and Michigan Medicine. Food Gatherers provides direct food assistance in the form of hot meals, snacks or emergency groceries to low-income adults, seniors and children in Washtenaw County.

    Rave Associates, headquartered in Ann Arbor, employs over 100 people and services retailers in Genesee, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties.

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  • Thursday, April 23, 2020 11:04 AM | Deleted user

    Fund provides grants for hospitality industry employees who have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic

    KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Imperial Beverage, a statewide beer, wine and spirits distributor, today announced it is partnering with 5 Michigan distilleries to donate $10,000 to the Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund. The fund is providing $500 grants to Michiganders who worked in the hospitality industry and have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every sector of Michigan’s economy, from southeast Michigan to the western U.P, and the restaurant industry has taken the brunt of this impact,” said Joe Cekola, president of Imperial Beverage. “By partnering with these suppliers to donate to the Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund we can help employees struggling to make ends meet and provide for their families during these unprecedented times.”

    Distilleries partnering with Imperial Beverage include: Three Chord Bourbon, Ann Arbor Distilling Co., Mammoth Distilling, Grand Traverse Distillery, and Temperance Distilling.

    “There has never been a more critical time for us to band together and help those in need,” said Neil Giraldo, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Three Chord Bourbon. “By teaming up with other leaders in our home state of Michigan and supporting this relief fund, we hope to make a significant impact.”

    Since launching on April 6, the fund has already paid out $250,000 to 500 hospitality industry workers.

    # # #

    Imperial Beverage is a long-standing member of the Michigan beverage distribution community. Established in 1933 after the repeal of prohibition and purchased by Kalamazoo’s Cekola family in 1984, Imperial has grown from a one county beer distributor to a top 10 statewide beer, wine & spirits wholesaler. With 390 employees and 4 locations in Kalamazoo, Livonia, Traverse City and Ishpeming, Imperial provides statewide coverage that serves every Michigan County, every week, all year long.

  • Tuesday, April 21, 2020 2:00 PM | Deleted user

    LANSING — The following is a statement from Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association President Spencer Nevins in response to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to uphold Michigan’s ban on wine shipments from out-of-state retailers.

    “We applaud the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for seeing through the misinformation and bogus arguments peddled by the National Association of Wine Retailers and siding with Michigan retailers big and small. We also want to thank the Legislature for passing legislation in 2018 to crack down on out-of-state retailers who were flouting state law and shipping wine illegally into Michigan and we thank the Michigan Attorney General’s office for successfully defending this law in court. With this case in the rearview mirror, our state can continue its enforcement of this important law and ensure these bad actors aren’t robbing the state of much-needed tax revenue by illegally shipping wine into our state.”

    # # #

  • Tuesday, April 14, 2020 1:55 PM | Deleted user

    Nationwide shortage of PPE causes Ludington Beverage to tap into creativity to protect employees

    LUDINGTON, Mich. — Faced with a nationwide shortage of face masks and limited resources in the community to make them from scratch, employees at Ludington Beverage — a beer distributor owned and operated by veterans — tapped into their creativity and ingenuity to create their own personal protective equipment (PPE) using can koozies.

    “As an essential business under the governor’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ Executive Order, it is important we have critical personal protective equipment, like face masks, so we can protect the safety of our employees and customers,” said Tad Reed, president of Ludington Beverage. “When we learned it would be tough to get face masks, we made our own, which shows the ingenuity, determination and grit of the women and men at Ludington Beverage who have bravely served our country at home and abroad.”

    The face masks designed by Ludington Beverage are made with can koozies and rubber bands. The only other materials required are scissors and a sewing machine. It takes 2-3 minutes to make each mask.

    A Ludington Beverage employee created a step-by-step instructional video for those who want to create their own koozie face mask.

    “These koozie masks are inexpensive to make, washable and reusable and I would encourage anyone who has koozies collecting dust in a drawer to watch our short instructional video and make their own,” Reed said.

    To keep their employees and retail customers safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan’s beer distributors are following protocols and procedures outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) including social distancing, hand washing and cleaning and disinfecting machines and equipment.

    Employees are limiting time in stores and using personal protective equipment when they are in stores. Retailers are also encouraged to place larger orders to reduce the number of visits from distributors.

    “At Ludington Beverage, we are humbled to provide essential services to retailers throughout West Michigan during this crisis and will continue to put the health and safety of our employees, retail accounts and customers first,” Reed said. “If we all work together, use common sense approaches and practice social distancing we can continue to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

    Shortly after the distributor made 50 masks for employees, a previously placed order of 3- ply medical grade masks arrived. Employees are currently using the 3-ply face masks and the homemade masks are part of an emergency supply of PPE.

    Owned and operated entirely by veterans, Ludington Beverage is a fourth-generation family owned beer distributor located in Ludington, Michigan. The distributor services retailers in Manistee, Mason, Oceana, Lake, Osceola, and parts of Benzie and Newaygo Counties.

    Photo Courtesy Ludington Beverage 

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  • Friday, March 27, 2020 11:07 AM | Deleted user

    1,000 gallons delivered to locations across west Michigan

    HOLLAND, Mich. — New Holland Brewing Co. today announced it has produced over 1,000 gallons of hand sanitizer at its distillery. This product has been delivered to health care and emergency service providers, as well as grocery and food distribution throughout West Michigan.

    “At New Holland Brewing Co., we are proud to step up and do our part to help in this time of need,” said Brett VanderKamp, president of New Holland Brewing Co. “We are uniquely positioned to produce hand sanitizer for our distribution partners, health care providers and those on the front lines battling this virus.”

    Shawn Gary, president of Alliance Beverage, initially reached out to VanderKamp about producing hand sanitizer after the distributor began running low on the product for employees and couldn’t find any on store shelves. Hand sanitizer is made from three ingredients: Water, alcohol (60% or higher) and glycerin.

    VanderKamp and his team at New Holland produced the hand sanitizer while Gary and Alliance Beverage supplied him with containers to store it in and glycerin.

    “Our team at Alliance Beverage has been working nonstop to ensure our suppliers products get to market and our employees are following the necessary health and safety measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” Gary said. “I’m proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with New Holland Brewing Co. and help meet the critical need for hand sanitizer across West Michigan.”

    New Holland will continue to produce 3,000 gallons of hand sanitizer a week to be distributed though out Michigan in the coming weeks.

    Alliance Beverage distributes New Holland Brewing Co. products to retailers in more than 20 counties across West and Southwest Michigan.

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  • Wednesday, March 25, 2020 1:20 PM | Deleted user

    Hand sanitizer produced by Detroit City Distilling

    HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. — On Tuesday, March 24, Great Lakes Wine & Spirits (GLWAS) delivered eight gallons of hand sanitizer to Children and Family Services in Kalamazoo and Goodwill Industries in Traverse City. The hand sanitizer was produced by one of GLWAS’ suppliers, Detroit City Distilling.

    “All of us at Great Lakes Wine & Spirits are proud to work hand-in-hand with Detroit City Distilling to deliver hand sanitizer to health care professionals on the front lines battling COVID-19,” said Lewis Cooper III, co-CEO of GLWAS. “Our hospitals, medical providers and organizations helping those in need are in desperate need of equipment, including hand sanitizer, and we’re happy to step up and help meet this urgent need.”

    Hand sanitizer has been shown to kill the coronavirus and help stop the spread of COVID-19 when soap and water aren’t available. Because of this, hand sanitizer is in high demand. Distillers across the state, including Detroit City Distilling, have answered the call and pivoted to producing hand sanitizer, which is made up of at least 60% alcohol.

    “This is another example of Michigan’s alcohol industry stepping up when times are tough,” said Syd Ross, co-CEO of GLWAS. “If we all work together and avoid going out in public, practice social distancing and wash our hands, we can help stop the spread of this deadly virus.”

    Last week, GLWAS announced it would be purchasing $250,000 in takeout meals from restaurants across the state with the goal of providing take-home meals for its employees twice a week.

    “I want to thank everyone at GLWAS for going above and beyond during this time of need, whether it’s our warehouse employees or delivery drivers ensuring store shelves remained stocked or our leadership team for helping restaurants in the communities we call home,” Cooper said.

    On Monday, March 23, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order. Under this Executive Order, Michigan’s beer, wine and spirits distributors will continue their operations. Many alcohol distributors also distribute water, pop and juice providing an essential service to retailers across the state.

    # # #

    Great Lakes Wine & Spirits is Michigan’s largest wine and liquor distributor. With more than 800 employees and facilities across the state, GLWAS services nearly 17,000 accounts in all 83 Michigan counties on both peninsulas. For more information, please visit www.GLWAS.com.


     

  • Tuesday, March 17, 2020 2:22 PM | Deleted user

    Money will be used to purchase meals for GLWAS employees

    HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. — Great Lakes Wine & Spirits today announced it will begin working with local restaurants to provide meals to its employees and their families.

    “In these incredibly difficult and unprecedented times we wanted to find a way to support the restaurant community, which is taking the largest immediate hit to its business by being shut down or limited to carry-out only,” said Lewis Cooper III, co-CEO of GLWAS. “The governor’s order to close all sit-down restaurants is needed to keep us all safe, but that doesn’t make it any easier for the businessowners or their employees.”

    GLWAS will begin coordinating with restaurants around the state to have them put together meals that can be sent home with employees after their shifts. The goal is to send two meals a week home with employees.

    “We feel it’s important to show our support to our hardworking employees who are dealing with many issues at home, including educating children and caring for loved ones” said Syd Ross, co-CEO of GLWAS. “We have also been working closely with our union locals and our employees to continue to adapt our work routines and practices to create social distancing while ensuring our retail customers are stocked with wine and spirits.”

    The restaurant community has played a key role in fueling Detroit’s comeback over the last five years. By purchasing meals at Detroit restaurants and other restaurants across the state, GLWAS hopes to keep that momentum going.

    “We should be able to support our local restaurants and help our employees all while encouraging the proper habits our health care system is requiring at this time to hold back the spread of COVID-19,” said Cooper.

    # # #

    Great Lakes Wine & Spirits is Michigan’s largest wine and liquor distributor. With more than 800 employees and facilities across the state, GLWAS services nearly 17,000 accounts in all 83 Michigan counties on both peninsulas. For more information, please visit www.GLWAS.com.


CONTACT

332 Townsend Street
Lansing, Michigan 48933
Phone: 517.482.5555
Fax: 517.482.1532

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