News

  • Tuesday, September 17, 2019 3:49 PM | Anonymous

    House Bills 4960 – 4961 designed to promote choice, competition and protect Michigan’s booming craft beer and wine markets

    LANSING – A hearing was held today in the House Regulatory Reform Committee to discuss bipartisan legislation that would put a stop to practices by some big, multi-national breweries and wine producers that threaten to stunt the growth of Michigan’s vibrant craft beer and wine industries.

    House Bills 4960 – 4961 help protect the independence of Michigan’s beer and wine distributors and preserve the integrity of Michigan’s regulatory system, which has been a driving force in making Michigan the Great Beer State.

    “Michigan’s beer distributors promote choice and competition by preventing large out-of-state and foreign companies from having a monopoly on the alcohol market. However, some large brewers and wine producers are engaging in practices that threaten the integrity of the three-tier system and the amazing growth of the state’s craft beer and wine industries,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association. “We’re supporting this package of bills because we need to make it clear – once and for all – that beer and wine distributors are independent and shouldn’t be beholden to one brewer or wine producer, no matter how large and influential.”

    The two-bill package would prohibit suppliers from engaging in any of the following:

    •Require a wholesaler to provide financial records related to any of the following:

         o Other brands sold by the wholesaler

         o Compensation of a wholesaler’s employees

         o Business operations not directly related the distribution of the brands sold by that supplier

    • Require a wholesaler to spend a set amount of resources marketing or promoting the brands sold by that particular supplier based on the wholesaler’s sales revenue generated by that supplier’s brands

    • Shipments that exceed the order placed by a wholesaler or the forecast submitted by the wholesaler

    • Prohibit a wholesaler from having competing brands on a supplier brand logoed truck

    • Require a distributor to pay for reporting software owned or mandated by a supplier

    • Require a wholesaler to pay a fee for non-compliance with a supplier requirement

    • Set or attempt to set the compensation for wholesaler employees, including incentives

    • Prohibit a wholesaler from utilizing any wholesaler owned property or equipment to market, promote, or deliver brands of another supplier

    “We urge lawmakers to adopt this important legislation to send a strong message that Michigan’s beer and wine distributors won’t be saddled with unilaterally imposed, unnecessary and burdensome requirements that erode their independence, stymie choice and competition and stunt the growth of the state’s thriving craft beer and wine industries,” Nevins said.

    Michigan is a leader in beer and wine production thanks to a three-tier system that promotes fairness and a level playing field. At a time when craft beer production is decreasing across the country, Michigan craft beer production increased by 10% in 2018.

    The MB&WWA represents nearly 50 beer and wine distributors throughout Michigan. The association is recognized as one of the strongest business trade associations in the state and one of the alcohol beverage industry’s most progressive state trade associations.

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  • Friday, September 06, 2019 3:42 PM | Anonymous

    The Great Lakes State Becomes Bay Area Brewery’s 30th State of Distribution

    SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (Sept. 6, 2019) --- Michigan beer drinkers get ready! The 21st Amendment Brewery is making its way to the Wolverine State this September and bringing our favorite beers to get the fun started. Look for Brew Free! or Die IPA, Sparkale sparkling rosé ale, our summer seasonal Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer, Blood Orange Brew Free! or Die IPA, El Sully Mexican-style lager, Tasty IPA, a west-coast IPA and Blah Blah Blah IPA, an Imperial IPA.

    “We have wonderful fans of our beers throughout the Midwest and we’ve been wanting to get to Michigan for quite some time, so we are thrilled to finally make it happen,” said Dave Wilson, President of 21st Amendment Brewery. “Michigan is one of the best craft beer states in the country and has a deep reputation for great craft and helping make the industry what it is today.”

    Michigan and California have a lot in common. The two states have the largest diversity of agricultural crops in the United States, plus they share an incredibly rich and vibrant craft beer spirit and community. Michigan loves craft beer.

    “For me, bringing our beer to Michigan is wonderful. I’ve long admired the great craft beer from Michigan and have many friends that work at breweries around the state. Selfishly, I’m looking forward to toasting pints with them as well as with Michigan craft beer fans,” said Shaun “Sully” O’Sullivan, Brewmaster and Co-Founder of 21st Amendment Brewery. “All of our 21st Amendment year-round, seasonal and Insurrection Series limited release beers will be available on draft, and in 6-pack cans, including our popular variety packs,” says Sully.

    “Cans are the perfect companion for your outdoor adventures, and what better place to explore than Michigan,” said Nico Freccia, Co-Founder of 21st Amendment Brewery. “So grab some cans of our craft beer while whitewater rafting the Menominee River, the Port Huron Float Down, or ice fishing during the winter months for walleye, northern pike, and crappies.”

    The 21A will be distributing their packaged and draft beers at retail locations throughout the state of Michigan with Imperial Beverage, their distributor partner.

    For more information about where to find and purchase 21st Amendment beer throughout Michigan, visit www.21st-Amendment.com/Find-Some.

    About 21st Amendment In 2000, Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan opened the doors to the 21st Amendment brewpub in San Francisco’s historic South Park neighborhood with Freccia managing the restaurant and O’Sullivan spearheading the brewing process. In addition to quickly becoming one of the city’s favorite pubs, 21st Amendment began expanding beyond the Bay Area by helping to pioneer the movement to canned craft beer. In 2015, they opened a Brewery & Tap Room in San Leandro where most of their beers are made and canned. Known for artistic packaging, witty names and delicious brews, 21st Amendment offers year-round selections, seasonal offerings and its Insurrection Series of small-batch, limited releases. Sold in 30 states, 21st Amendment is among the top 50 craft beer breweries in America and is the largest craft brewery in the Bay Area.

    About Imperial Beverage 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, Ishpeming, and Traverse City, Imperial provides statewide coverage that serves every Michigan County, every week, all year long.

    Launch Week Events:

    • 9/10 - 5pm - Clubhouse BFD - Rochester Hills, MI
    • 9/10 - 5pm - Logans Alley - Grand Rapids, MI
    • 9/11 - 4pm - Horrocks Farm Market - Lansing, MI
    • 9/11- 6pm - Shakespeare's Pub - Kalamazoo, MI
    • 9/12 - 5pm - Hopcat - Grand Rapids, MI
    • 9/12 - 6pm - One Eyed Betty's - Ferndale, MI


  • Thursday, September 05, 2019 3:15 PM | Anonymous

    Statewide wine and spirits distributor employs more than 180 truck drivers

    DETROIT – Great Lakes Wine and Spirits (GLWAS), a statewide wine and spirits distributor, is honoring its more than 180 truck drivers next week during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, Sept. 8-14.

    “National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is a great opportunity for us to thank our experienced drivers for their hard work every day to ensure Michigander’s favorite wines and spirits arrive safe and fresh to retailers across the state,” said Lewis Cooper III, co-CEO of Great Lakes Wine and Spirits. “Our drivers are on the frontlines every day interacting with retailers and consumers ensuring fresh product gets to market, and we’re proud of how well they represent Great Lakes Wine and Spirits.”

    Throughout the week, drivers will be greeted with banners at each Great Lakes Wine and Spirits warehouse thanking them for their work and each driver will receive a gift bag. GLWAS will provide drivers with meals throughout the week, including breakfast, lunch and snacks. Drivers can also take part in daily drawings to win useful tools, coolers or hats and a larger drawing to cap National Driver Appreciation Week on Friday, Sept. 13.

    “At Great Lakes Wine and Spirits, we’re proud to employ highly-trained drivers across the state who take pride in their work and have deep roots in the communities we call home,” Cooper III said. “Each day, our team of drivers, salespeople, warehouse workers and front office staff help wineries and retailers compete, grow and thrive on a level playing field.”

    Great Lakes Wine and Spirits employs more than 900 people across the state, operating warehouses in Highland Park, Detroit, Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Marquette, Traverse City and Saginaw.

    # # #

    Great Lakes Wine & Spirits is Michigan’s largest wine and liquor distributor. With 900 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.


  • Thursday, August 29, 2019 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    Pat Gagliardi and Geralyn Lasher strong advocates of promoting choice and competition, supporting Michigan’s alcohol regulations

    LANSING – The Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association (MB&WWA) today applauded Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for appointing to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission two strong advocates for Michigan’s alcohol regulations and safeguards, which promote choice and competition.

    Gov. Whitmer named Pat Gagliardi chair of the Liquor Control Commission and Geralyn Lasher an administrative commissioner. Gagliardi will take the helm on Aug. 26 and Lasher will join the commission on Sep. 9.

    “Pat Gagliardi and Geralyn Lasher are outstanding choices to serve on Michigan’s Liquor Control Commission and will be strong advocates for Michigan’s alcohol regulations and safeguards, which create a level playing field and fosters choice and competition,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association. “We look forward to working with Pat and Geralyn and the entire Commission to further strengthen Michigan’s beer and wine industries and build on the Michigan success story that has made us the Great Beer State.”

    Michigan is a Top 5 beer producing state and Top 10 wine producing state in the country, thanks to a three-tier system that helps breweries and wineries big and small compete, grow and thrive on a level playing field. In total, Michigan’s beer and wine industries have a more than $10 billion impact on the state’s economy.

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  • Wednesday, August 14, 2019 1:55 PM | Anonymous

    In total, more than 400,000 bottles of alcohol were shipped into Michigan from January through March

    LANSING – Nearly one-third of every bottle of alcohol shipped into Michigan from January through March of this year was shipped illegally, according to data compiled by the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association (MB&WWA).

    In total, 408,397 bottles of alcohol were shipped into Michigan during the first quarter of 2019. It’s estimated nearly 130,000 bottles of wine were illegally shipped into the state during the same period.

    “The latest quarterly shipping report shows no signs of the disturbing trend of retailers skirting state law and shipping wine illegally into Michigan letting up,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association. “When unlicensed out-of-state retailers illegally ship alcohol into Michigan, they are robbing our state of much needed tax revenue and thumbing their nose at the mom and pop retailers that support our local communities.”

    Last year, the MB&WWA began compiling data on illegal wine shipments flowing into Michigan. Data from the first and third quarters were unavailable, however data from the second and fourth quarters showed more than 1 million bottles of alcohol were shipped into Michigan in just six months, and at least 300,000 of those bottles were wine illegally shipped from out-of-state retailers.

    “As more and more data become available each quarter, one thing is clear: Out-of-state retailers show no regard for Michigan law,” Nevins said. “We encourage the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to investigate each and every complaint and continue cracking down on these bad actors.”

    The data were compiled using reports from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and excise tax data from the state of Michigan.

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  • Thursday, August 08, 2019 1:40 PM | Anonymous

    Rave Associates president previously served as finance chair for two terms

    LANSING – Jim Warbritton was elected vice-chair of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association Board of Directors during the association’s annual meeting on July 31.

    Warbritton is president of Rave Associates, a family owned beer and wine distributor in Ann Arbor. The distributor services retailers throughout eight counties in southeast Michigan. Rave Associates, the first and largest distributor of Bell’s Brewery beer and the largest distributor of Michigan craft beer in the state, distributes both beer and wine from suppliers across Michigan and around the world.

    “It’s an honor to serve the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association Board of Directors as vice-chair. I look forward to working with our friends at breweries, wineries and retailers across the state to ensure Michigan remains a top producer of beer and wine for years to come,” Warbritton said. “MB&WWA members help promote growth, choices and competition by working hand-in-glove with breweries and wineries big and small to help them succeed today and into the future.”

    Michigan is a Top 5 producer of beer and Top 10 producer of wine in the country thanks to a three-tier system that promotes fairness and a level playing field. At a time when craft beer production is decreasing across the country, Michigan craft beer production increased by 10% in 2018.

    The MB&WWA represents nearly 50 beer and wine distributors throughout Michigan. The association is recognized as one of the strongest business trade associations in the state and one of the most progressive state trade associations in the alcohol beverage industry.


    # # #


  • Wednesday, August 07, 2019 4:37 PM | Anonymous

    Henry A. Fox Sales president previously served two terms as vice-chair

    LANSING – Brien Fox was elected chair of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association Board of Directors during the association’s annual meeting on July 31.

    Fox is CEO of Henry A. Fox Sales, a family owned beer and wine distributor located in Grand Rapids. Henry A. Fox Sales distributes beer, cider and wine throughout West Michigan and the entire state. The distributor works with suppliers large and small from right here in Michigan, across the country and around the world.

    “I’m proud to take the helm of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association Board of Directors and represent an industry that has a greater than $10 billion impact on Michigan’s economy,” Fox said. “Michigan’s beer and wine distributors create jobs and give back to their communities while helping craft breweries, wineries and local retailers compete, grow and thrive on a level playing field.”

    Michigan is a leader in both beer and wine production thanks to a three-tier system that promotes fairness and a level playing field. At a time when craft beer production is decreasing across the country, Michigan craft beer production increased by 10% in 2018.

    The MB&WWA represents nearly 50 beer and wine distributors throughout Michigan. The association is recognized as one of the strongest business trade associations in the state and one of the alcohol beverage industry’s most progressive state trade associations.

    ###

  • Friday, August 02, 2019 3:18 PM | Anonymous

    20,000-square-foot warehouse addition includes more truck bays, new keg cooler

    FLINT TOWNSHIP, Mich. – John P. O’Sullivan Distributing, a family owned beer and wine distributor in Flint Township, officially opened its new, 20,000-square-foot addition to its warehouse during a ribbon cutting ceremony today. The new warehouse – which now totals nearly 80,000-square-feet – includes more truck bays and a new, state-of-the-art, energy efficient keg cooler.

    “This new addition to our headquarters in Flint Township will make our team even more efficient and give us more space to better serve our customers and community,” said Joanie O’Sullivan-Butler, president and CEO of John P. O’Sullivan Distributing. “We pride ourselves in using innovative, cutting edge technology to deliver wide varieties of products to consumers while conserving energy and protecting our Great Lakes. This state-of-the-art warehouse addition is another example of how we efficiently connect consumers with their favorite beers and wines.”

    John P. O’Sullivan Distributing is located in an industrial development district in Flint Township near Bishop Airport and all three major interstates. The distributor employs more than 100 people, from front office staff and warehouse workers to drivers and salespeople.

    “Every day, we work hand-in-glove with breweries and wineries right here in Michigan, across the country and around the world to help them succeed today and in the future,” O’Sullivan-Butler said. “Our state is a Top 5 beer producer and a Top 10 wine producer and is poised to keep growing through a system that promotes fairness and a level playing field.”

    U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, state Reps. Tim Sneller, D-Burton, and John Cherry, D-Flint, and state Senator Jim Ananich, D-Flint, were among those who attended today’s ribbon cutting.

    “John P. O’Sullivan Distributing has been a great community partner and will be for years to come,” said Senator Jim Ananich, D-Flint. “We are pleased to toast them on their warehouse expansion and for proudly calling Flint Township home.”

    # # #

    U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (blue scissors) and John P. O’Sullivan Distributing President and CEO Joanie O’Sullivan-Butler (yellow scissors) cut the ribbon on the beer and wine distributor’s 20,000 square-foot warehouse expansion. Photo courtesy John P. O’Sullivan Distributing.


    John P. O’Sullivan Distributing President and CEO Joanie O’Sullivan-Butler, her family and the John P. O’Sullivan Distributing team. Photo courtesy John P. O’Sullivan Distributing.

  • Thursday, July 18, 2019 4:02 PM | Anonymous

    Great Lakes Wine and Spirits donates nearly 12,000 bottles of water to Highland Park residents

    Tests at some homes have found high lead levels in drinking water

    HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. – Great Lakes Wine and Spirits, a statewide wine and spirits distributor headquartered in Highland Park, is donating nearly 12,000 bottles of water to the City of Highland Park after tests found high lead levels in some homes.

    “The health and safety of our community is a top priority for all of us at Great Lakes Wine and Spirits, which is why we are donating nearly 12,000 bottles of water to the city of Highland Park,” said Lew Cooper III, co-CEO of Great Lakes Wine and Spirits. “While we distribute wine and spirits statewide, our headquarters is right here in Highland Park and we’re proud to call this community home and want to help any way we can.”

    The water was delivered today. On Wednesday, the city of Highland Park announced the results of water testing done on several homes, which found high levels of lead. Nine of the 36 homes tested came back with elevated lead levels.

    “We appreciate this generous donation by Great Lakes Wine and Spirits and thank them for being a good community partner to the city of Highland Park,” said Mayor Hubert Yopp.

    The city is urging residents to take precautions, including running tap water for up to five minutes to flush out any potential lead and using a lead filter tested and certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 53.

    “When it comes to giving back to our community, we pride ourselves on leading by example,” Cooper III said. “Whether it’s a crisis like last year’s wildfires in California or concerns with local drinking water, we’re prepared to step up and help those in need.”


    # # #

    Great Lakes Wine & Spirits is Michigan’s largest wine and liquor distributor. With 900 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.


  • Monday, July 01, 2019 10:47 AM | Anonymous

    Thumb area beer distributor putting in extra hours to stock retailers ahead of Fourth of July

    PORT HURON, Mich. – One of the nation’s most popular holidays for beer sales is right around the corner, which means Earl Smith Distributing is working overtime to ensure beer lover’s favorite beverages are stocked at stores, restaurants and bars across the state.

    “The Fourth of July is one of the biggest holidays for alcohol sales, and there’s no better time to be a beer lover in Michigan considering the dizzying array of options available at retailers across the state,” said Erik Smith, Vice President of Operations at Earl Smith Distributing. “We’re proud to partner with suppliers right here in Michigan, across the country and around the world to ensure our retailers offer an unmatched selection of beer.”

    Americans are expected to spend more than $1.5 billion on beer and wine for the Fourth of July holiday, making it one of the biggest holidays for alcohol sales each year.

    “With the Fourth of July falling on a Thursday, our dedicated team of salespeople and drivers are working hand-in-glove with retailers to ensure their store shelves are stocked and their taps are flowing for the long holiday weekend,” Smith said. “I’m grateful to each and every member of our team for putting in extra hours to ensure a successful holiday for our retailers and our suppliers.”

    Last year, Michigan’s beer industry poured more than $10 billion into the state’s economy. Michigan is a Top 5 producer of beer in the country, thanks to a system that promotes fairness and creates a level playing field.

    Earl Smith Distributing, a fourth generation family owned beer distributor, serves retailers in Michigan’s Thumb area including St. Clair, Tuscola, Sanilac and Huron counties.

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CONTACT

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

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